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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Tough Day to be a Pet Owner

This is a picture of Little Dog.

We found her running in the street seven years ago. We were driving though our neighborhood when we used to live in Cleveland Heights, and my wife stopped the car yelling, look at that dog. There was a small brown Beagle/Dachshund mix strolling through the intersection, oblivious to traffic. We got out and tried to catch her, but the poor thing was terrified and ran right under another car sitting at a stop sign. She wedged herself in front of the rear tire of the car. So, while my wife yelled at the person in the car not to move, I tried to retrieve her. Every attempt I made was met with terrified growling and snapping. The standoff lasted about ten minutes until some guy in a pickup pulled over. He had heavy leather work gloves and was able to reach under the car and remove her, placing her on a tree lawn where me and my wife could check her for injuries. Fortunately, by then she had calmed down and stopped snapping, and we were able to tell she was all right. By that time, both the woman driving the car and the guy with the work gloves had both vanished, and we were left with a dog.

We called her "little dog" because we were certain that someone loved her and her owner would turn up. We went door to door, called shelters and posted signs, but her owner never claimed her. By the time we realized she was ours, she was answering to "little dog."

She was already somewhere between eight and twelve years old when we found her, but she was always in good spirits, if somewhat cranky with our Labrador. But today, after a long series of health problems that came and went, we had to put her down.

This was especially hard, as two months ago we had to make the same decision with our cat Mu. Mu was another rescue case. My prior cat had died, and we went to the Geuaga County Humane Society to look at cats. While my wife filled out the adoption paperwork, I sat down and this large black and white cat with an underbite decided to jump on my shoulders. When she draped herself across my shoulders and started purring, I knew we had found a cat. Despite my wife's protests, "That funny looking thing, no, you're kidding. . ." she was eventually convinced that Mu was the best cat ever.

I know we were happier for having both of them in our lives. Its also nice to think that their lives had been much better for being with us.

The ironic thing about all of this, in a circle of life sort of way, is that we had been planning since last week to get a kitten tomorrow. We had already set things to pick her up before Little Dog took her bad turn last night. . . So, to make up for this depressing post, I'll be giving you some kitten pictures by Friday.


Maureen McHugh said...

Oh. My sympathies guys. I'll miss both of them, although not as much as you will.

RobRoy said...

Deepest sympathies. Pets are a part of the family.

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