My final visit with old friends
Published 12:37 pm Wednesday, June 1, 2022
Many years ago, Pat Viera adopted the first one of Lennie’s kids. Beautiful Mandy was an 8-month-old Husky Shepherd mix. At that time, Pat’s husband Harry was quite sickly and Mandy immediately became Harry’s protector. She was the only dog Harry allowed on his bed.
A year or so later Pat heard about Lexi, a sweet Spitz mix that was being returned after being adopted. Pat contacted me and Lexi became Lennie’s Kid #2. By this time, Harry had passed on and Mandy (nicknamed the boss) was grateful to give up protection duties and handed them over to Lexi, nicknamed the sheriff.
Another dog, old man Percy was enjoying all the new company coming into his home.
Not long after Lexi, Pat learned of Isabel, who had been found in a shoebox. I never did determine Izzy’s breed but she was cute as all get out. When Pat learned of her she was at Landrum Vet, high heartworm positive, and in need of a home. Izzy was not quite a year old when she joined Percy’s family.
About a year later I told the story of Hannah, a black and tan Coonhound that I’d fallen in love with. Hannah was approximately a year old, was severely malnourished and weighed only 19 pounds. She had a deformed right front paw that angled outward. Hannah completed the group of Lennie’s Kids at the Viera’s, and in no time became a sleek and healthy black and tan that fit in perfectly under Pat’s care. Her nickname was the ballerina.
I’ve had many visits to see Percy and the girls and each was full of joy and love. Percy passed on around 2 years after Hannah came on board. Percy truly loved holding court and he died a very happy old dog.
My visits pretty much followed the same routine. I first greeted Mandy, and then Lexi as Izzy fought to get close to me. Hannah would stay off to the side and when she had enough, would emit a soft woo woo.
“I see you girl,” I would say, “Come here, Hannah. I love you, too.” Hannah would trot over with a triumphant smile on her face that blew me away. Ear rubs and kisses for the ballerina before I sat back on the couch.
Next came the best part of the visit. Mandy allowed the other girls to have their go at me and now I was hers. Mandy would actually lay on my shoulder as I stroked her, and Lexi would lay at my feet looking up now and then for attention. I don’t deny it, I was in heaven.
Mandy passed on about 2 years ago and I still remember the hours I spent winning the trust of the shy little girl.
Last week I received a call from Pat asking if I’d like to come over to say goodbye to Izzy and Lexi, “It’s time Lennie,” she told me.
Izzy, now 14 years old, has developed tumors and is losing control of her hindquarters. Lexi, now 17 years of age, has dementia and loses awareness.
I paid a final visit and when Lexi came over to me I hugged and kissed her. Izzy, ever the brat, fought to get near me and nearly fell over twice trying to jump in my lap. I leaned over and hugged her.
“It’s okay Bella,” (my good girl name for her) “I haven’t forgotten you and I never will.”
Pat said, “Dr, Raines said she’d come over when the time comes.”
“Come here Hannah,” I called out, “Uncle Lennie loves you too.” In trotted the ballerina and for a moment it was like old times. “Hannah is doing well,” Pat said, “When the girls are gone I will go to the shelter and get her a companion.”
All of a sudden Lexi came over to me again and looked up at me with a look of love that bore into my soul. A huge teardrop escaped and landed in her fur.
“You don’t know me Lexi, but Uncle Lennie loves you dearly.”
“I know you Uncle Lennie, and I want to thank you for giving me a home where I was always loved and cared for.”
“You certainly deserved it, Lexi.”
“Momma always told me I was a good girl,” Lexi went on.
“Not just a good girl my darling you were the best.”
Thanks for listening.