Years ago my neighbor moved a few doors away. She stopped talking to me after we’d been friends for years and we had even rescued George the cat and re-homed him. She said I lied to her. I never did.
A couple of years after she moved and we were not in touch, it was April 2001. Her dog Osa dragged her to my house. I petted her and she died the next day. Osita the little bear needed to say goodbye to Aunt Dee. I brought over a blue vase with yellow flowers. We talked and my neighbor said she didn’t like the guy I was dating or what I was doing with my life, plus that I never lied.
A month later my dog bled out on my front lawn. A tile guy from down the street helped me lift her into my Jeep to take her to the vet a couple of miles south. The vet said she needed to be put down. I stayed with her through a very difficult dying process and afterwards was proved right. She now has a memorial tree in her park that I can see on Google Earth and ashes are in her teddy bear (Osa) that I keep with me always.
The next day my old neighbor stopped by with a blue vase filled with yellow flowers and we were friends again.
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I tell you this because there’s a therapy dog for hospital work here who is up on all her shots and just got kennel cough, which will keep her out of therapy and daycare for weeks. Because of Osa and my first and current dog, I’d like to help.
The first dog with the memorial tree got kennel cough once and she had the bordatella vaccine at the time as well. Keeping her away from her park and friends for five weeks was not fun for either of us. Our friends and the kids and parents were disappointed as well. The kids would yell her name and rush out of the tot lot to pet her, so much for an abused shelter dog afraid of men and children. I don’t like to think that I worked wonders. She was my partner in her rehabilitation to the first and only normal life she’d ever known.
I think I’ll never live without a dog. Dogs keep me out and walking and meeting others. A recent neighbor’s dog died a few weeks ago. I neglected to bring him a blue vase and yellow flowers. My dog and I did, however, water one of Jake’s favorite trees in the park across the street and said a prayer. When we get together again, I’ll bring the blue vase and yellow flowers and tell him the story. Cheers, hug your dog (or cat), Dee
ps I wrote this because of the neighbor’s dog with kennel cough. I took one of the first joint Red Cross/Humane Society rescue courses years ago and looked up the manual for kennel cough, get to a vet for treatment. In it I found a delinquency notice for failure to pay my dog’s license fee with escalating penalties. This is five months after the vet notified the county that she was dead. I just wrote DEAD and the name of the Vet and never heard from them again. Just watch out for these actions and let them know the bad news. Good news are memories, a bear with a heart sewn with love and a collage of photos courtesy of a dear friend. D