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April 1, 2011

A Positive Message

As many of us experience on Facebook, we inevitably find people we've lost touch with over the years. In one case I stumbled across Allison, someone I dated for a few years back in the early 90's. We eventually parted ways.

Some 15 years later Facebook comes along and reunites us in a virtual world. She is happily married and living in Iowa. Back when we dated, I had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know her Moms. They were a couple of quirky, happy-go-lucky ladies who travelled the country in their huge RV, and every now and then they would blow into town and stay with us for a few days. One of the things I remember fondly about these wonderful ladies was their love for all animals, particularly dogs. They used to always travel with their dog Jessie, a medium sized mix breed who looked a little like a German Sheppard. I recall Jessie was an incredibly friendly and well-behaved dog. Not knowing much about dogs back then, I did know that this dog was an above average, good and loyal dog with a huge heart...much like their guardians. Jessie has since passed on but the Moms always found room in their hearts and family to care for more dogs since.

Allison recently posted a note about her Moms and their latest experience with another one of their lovable pooches. I was at first saddened to read this story but I soon found it was written with a sanguine message despite the tragedy. With the unfortunate events that sometimes fall upon us as pet parents, it's nice to see that we can take those same events and turn them into something positive.

This is Allison’s note:

“To begin, my moms are the Mother Theresas of the pet kingdom - they have always had multitudes of cats and dogs that have been discarded or mistreated by the masses. The day before yesterday my mom was doing her usual park excursion with their current two pups. During that walk, their eldest dog, Emma, was accosted by a couple young brutish canines. The large alphas were muzzled, which my mother was most thankful for, but the excitement was still too much for Emma to handle. By the time they returned to the van, Emma was in great distress and went into horrific convulsions, biting and swollowing her tongue and suffered a heart attack. My wee little mom (4'10"-71 yrs) had to wrestle this extremely large animal, who had just died before her, into her van. Her other dog, Camilla, watching on in bug-eyed horror. She did it--she always gets done what needs to be done. When she arrived home, shaking still, she popped on Skype to tell me the sad news.

So what is the moral or point of this story? There is no one to hate or be angry with. No injustice to scream about. There is no other outcome to wish for. (Secretly, I will always carry the wish for all living creatures to pass miraculously in their sleep.) She is sad, she is rattled (a diet-breaking vodka was in order), but she is thankful. Emma had become so old and so crippled. She was suffering with the pain of her age -- and in a quick, unexpected moment it was over. Emma is at rest. My moms were saved the heartwrenching decision lurking in the near future to have her put to sleep and out of her daily misery. Those big dogs that made a fuss and went after her--they did not intend to cause her to die. It just happened that way. Life. Life takes over.

But my moms--it is terribly cliche but they are my heroes. Little old ladies kicking life's ass and taking names. Tough as nails. Not falling to pieces when a crisis rears it's head. And yet so giving, such open and welcoming hearts. Emma was alive still because of them. She, and countless wonderful animals before her, had long, well-fed, warm and happy lives because of them. And for as long as they live, any animal in need or distress that crosses their path will get nothing less. Love. Love takes over.”

Allison tells me Emma has been placed in a special place in the country to rest beside her past siblings including our beloved Jessie. Thank you for sharing this story Allison.

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