Monday, July 21, 2008

Another Angel

[I am a storyteller. Sometimes when reality is ugly, I make up a story, and fill in the blanks, to make it better. You never know, it could be...]


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The landlord checked out the apartment. Poor old lady, he thought to himself. Not a single "next of kin" and what was he going to do with all this stuff? Well, that china cabinet might be worth something. He didn't even see the small dog trot out through the open door. He did see the dog dishes in the kitchen, but assumed the police had taken whatever it was to the pound. Then he noticed the small black dots on his pant legs. Oh, great. Fleas.


The two friends were talking about what a scorcher it was going to be as they walked around the corner, and the two whippets they were walking went into "small furry animal" alert. Straining on their leads, heads and tails up, eyes trained on a little something hobbling in the parking lot.

"Oh, no," the woman said to her friend, Karen. "It's a dog."

It was a blessing that Karen had just recently started walking with her, as there would be no way to approach the little dog with the whippets barking and being whippets. Karen held her two dogs, with the woman giving the younger one a firm 'sit, stay' command. As she got closer to the little dog, her stomach lurched.

It was nearly bald, and what coat it had was filthy and matted. The temperature had already reached ninety-four degrees with stifling humidity, at seven thirty in the morning. The little dog, which she could now see was a Shih Tzu, was panting with raspy breaths. And limping.

The woman tossed a small blueberry dog treat from her pocket in front of the little dog. "Come here sweetie." The little dog smelled the treat, and then wagged up to the woman's voice. "Oh, you poor dear. Let's get you out of this heat."

Karen led the two curious whippets, and the woman carried the little dog home. "I'm sure it's a Shih Tzu. I wonder if this is mange, look how swollen and inflamed its skin is. I don't see any fleas or flea dirt at least."

"She must be old," Karen said.

"I don't think so. because she doesn't have cataracts. Look how black her eyes are." The woman lifted a lip. "Oh and her canines are sparkly white. She's had a litter though. I think she must be maybe around two?"

After her dogs were walked and Karen had gone home, the woman got the little dog out of the crate. She was pleased to see that she had eaten the senior food and had a nice drink of water. The little dog wagged and then convulsed in long raking coughs. The woman saw a flea. She picked it off, only to see three more. Bath time.

She bathed the little dog in a flea repellent herbal shampoo, followed by a soothing oatmeal shampoo. She tried to cut off some mats, which were pulling the dog's face in a twisted, grotesque distortion. The little dog struggled, setting off another debilitating fit of coughing. "No more of that for now," said the woman. She wished she knew more about coated breeds. And she wished it wasn't Sunday.

She took the dog outside to dry. Now the warm sun and hot breeze was just the thing, and the dog was dry in an instant. And so were the fleas. Scores of them, leaving the mats in droves. The woman shuddered, and made her decision. She sprayed the little dog, much to the dog's delight, and toweled off the dead fleas. The little dog had another bite to eat, and another drink of water, and after another coughing spell, she curled up on her clean bedding in her crate and slept.

The next morning they were at the vet's at nine-thirty. This woman just loves her vets. "I think she's young," the woman said. "But I'm really afraid of her cough. Could she have an irritation from being out and panting so much?"

"It could be a tracheitis," said Dr. Compassion. But her face betrayed her concern. The woman told the vet that she had found three toenails in the crate bedding this morning. The vet said, "Mmmm. She looks like a thyroid dog. She's completely blind, you know."

The woman said, "What! Her eyes are so black!" The vet explained that she had a disease where the cornea is replaced with pigment, and is like a window with a blackout shade pulled down. Then, after looking at her teeth, she said, "She's probably more than ten."

"What! Her canines are pearly white!"

Dr. Compassion showed the woman that all the bottom front incisors were not only gone, but the gum had long ago healed over. She explained that all the roots were exposed, and the constant itching in the long coat had flossed those canines clean. "This is an old, old girl," said the caring vet, giving the little dog a gentle caress. Then she put her stethoscope in her ears and listened to the dog's chest. "Oh dear. Did you listen?"

"No," said the woman, who was a retired nurse. "I'm no cardiologist."

"You don't have to be," said the vet, handing the ear piece over.

The woman listened. No lub dub. Just a rapid, loud, leaky wusha-wusha-wusha. The little dog started to cough again, a long, wheezing, choking rasp.

Dr. Compassion continued with the exam, giving the woman a moment to digest what she was learning. "Her knee joint is destroyed. I can't even find her patella. Oh, there it is. Poor, poor girl."

Tears were forming in the woman's eyes. "Damn," she thought. "Damn it all to hell."

"This heart might last four months, if we're really aggressive, but it would not be a good four months for the dog."

"I just can't walk away from them when I see them. I just can't," the woman was crying.

"No, I know you can't," said Dr. Compassion. "I'm glad you brought her in. She's not out in that heat, alone and blind and lost. But now? It would be a kindness."

And there, where ever "there" is, a lady opened her arms in delight. "Sweetie! My little darling! There you are! Oh how I hated to leave you, but here you are!"

The little Shih Tzu, long silky coat in glowing beauty, tail gaily wagging, proudly trotted up to her Lady. She looked with eyes that, after so long, could see again, and with legs which felt no pain, she jumped up onto her Lady's lap, and kissed the face she had loved. And she felt her heart, strong and full, dance in the loving embrace of her Lady, which would now last forever.


hug your hounds

35 comments:

  1. Oh Patience we are so sorry.

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  2. Oh, Patience, what a loving tribute to Sweetie. Your finely crafted words show us how this world could be a much better place if only we had the eyes to see, the heart to care, and the hands to help.

    Thank you for being there to love her when there was no one else. We send our love, our prayers and gentle hugs to you.

    Hugging my hound damp with tears,
    Kathy and Star the Wonder Dog

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  3. We are sorry about Sweetie too...and we are sorry we took your whippes without your ppermission, but ...we had a good time in Ioway.

    gussie

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  4. Yes, you do know Angels, Patience. What an example of humanity toward this old girl and her owner who surely loved her dog a great deal even if she couldn't take care of her. I'm going to believe your story because otherwise we'd go mad. . .

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  5. Oh Patience

    Ouw eyes awe leaking again..you always do it..that was bootiful..thank you
    smoochie kisses
    ASTA
    pee ess..I have something fow you

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  6. Oh,Dear Patience,Dear dear Patience...hopefully that is the way it went. So,so sorry..Martha and Mr P-Doggy

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  7. I choose to believe your story as well, Patience. Bless you for being the angel who was there for this little girl when she needed someone most – bless you for being there as she crossed the bridge.

    Hugs to you. You did a wonderful thing, as hard as I'm sure it was.

    xo

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  8. You absolutely tore me up! Get this, Husband was willing to take her in. I can't get past my tears. My heart hurts!

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  9. You've got mom crying, Patience. We're so sorry.

    Love ya lots,
    Maggie and Mitch

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  10. We are crying too.
    We love you Patience.
    Kisses and hugs
    Lorenza

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  11. dear auntie patience,
    i'm writing this cause mommy's eyes are leaking so much she can't see the screen.
    god's speed, little Sweetie, run free!
    you're the best, auntie patience!
    we love you.
    Lady

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  12. So sorry to hear this. LS's eyes welled up with tears after reading this. We'd choose to believe your story too, will feel too sad not to.

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  13. I am sorry to hear about Sweetie. I hope she is happy now. Dunno what else to say but thank you, Petient for being there for her and did what you thought would be the best.

    RIP, Sweetie. Whoever who had been nasty to you will get their retribution. Till we meet again, Sweetie. Run free and enjoy yourself to the fullest at God's garden.

    Luv
    Snowball

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  14. god bless you sweetie.....

    and god bless you as well Patience...

    2 angels....

    love

    opy

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  15. Sadly reality is often worse than anything our imaginations can dream up. I'm so sorry for you and poor Sweetie. But I'm not sad that she got to know the better side of people before she went. As hard as it was for you, I'm so glad she got to know just a sliver of love and care.

    wally.

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  16. we are incredibly sorry as well!

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  17. Patience, I have an award for you. Come over and check out my blog.

    Luv
    Snowball

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  18. Patience, I'm so sorry that you had to experience such sadness. I think that it was as good a sadness as it could be though, because assuredly, Sweetie knew trust and compassion when it mattered most. You are heaven-sent for animals, and that's the very best (and you help humans too, with your beautiful storytelling).

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  19. What a little sweetie Sweetie was. And how lucky for her she encountered you!

    Madison Street Linda

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  20. Sad woof's Patience...i saw it on the boneyard...i am sooo so sorrwy, i guess angel lacylulu will haff another angel to play with now..at least her last days she knew love..u r in out thots and prayers..

    a sad,
    rocky
    bear
    angel lacylulu
    and their mama :(

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  21. Bless you for giving her a few days of love and caring at the end.

    love & wags,
    River

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  22. That's why it is called the Rainbow Bridge. May these sweet pups rest and revive and then romp to meet a loving hug.

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  23. We're so sorry about poor Sweetie. We know she is having a grand time now with no pain. Thanks for helping her.
    Luv & Wirey Hugs,
    Butchy & Snickers

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  24. Whoa,

    I just read your post about ELSA/SHELBY and oh my, it's been a difficult couple of days for you.
    Thank God for your kindness to both dogs for at least Sweetie and Elsa/Shelby got to be loved and pampered before they died. You did a good thing.

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  25. Hi Patience,

    You are right. You ARE a storyteller. I went through your previous posts about Sweetie, and I think you are right. It mustn't have been a case of wilful neglect, otherwise one should wonder about the kind of world we live in!

    Thanks for the story - You must be a very brave person to write it.

    Licks,
    Oorvi

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  26. You are such a wonderful person to help that poor little girl :( We are sad to think of what happened in her life but we are happy to know that she passed with people around her that truly cared about her and did the very best thing for her they could have

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  27. you're making our mom's eyes leak.

    woofs

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  28. OMIGOD - I AM READING THIS AT WORK AND I AM BAWLING MY EYES OUT. WE FOUND YOUR BLOG THRU ANOTHER BLOG AND WELL IT WAS THE MOST HEART WRENCHING STORY.

    WE ARE SOO GLAD THAT YOU HELPED SWEETIE FIND PEACE AND BE WITH HER OWNER.

    HOW AWFUL - WE ARE SOO SAD FOR YOU TO HAVE GONE THROUGH THIS - BUT WE WISH THERE WERE MORE WONDERFUL PEOPLE LIKE YOU!

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  29. Thank you Patience, for making a good ending for Sweetie with your story. You made me cry missing all my old Shih Tzus, and I hope they are waiting for me in never, never land or wherever we go from here, as I would give anything to see their little faces once again. And see their ever wagging tails, rosebud tongues, and bright grins. I am sorry for Elsa too, poor dear thing; and for you, to have to do this thing over and over. It is sad, but thank goodness you were there for
    Sweetie.

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  30. Crap! I wrote too soon. I'm so sorry about Sweetie. At least her final days were with someone caring and loving.

    Christina

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  31. Oh Patience! I am so sorry to read that Sweetie could not be rehabilitated and rehomed. But at least she is running free and not suffering. . . .

    Wiping away the tears,

    Erin

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  32. We are so glad that you took the time to get involved in Sweetie's life.
    The end could have been so much worse for her. We are glad you were her angel.

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