Some 15 years ago, I was taking my daily walk and towards the end, I was joined by this little critter.
She had no collar but seemed well cared for and was the friendliest dog I had ever met. Not in the I've got to jump all over you to show you how friendly I am way but she actually appeared to be smiling and she trotted along and told me she was going home with me. I gave a half hearted attempt to shoo her away but when I opened the front door, in she came and jumped right up on the sofa and asked "what's for dinner?" I didn't do much edible cooking in those days but I happened to have a pork roast braising in the crockpot. I shoo'd her off the sofa, gave her some water and called WSH at the office.
"This dog followed me home" I said.
"Hmmm" he replied somewhat skeptically.
"No really I tried to get rid of her but she came in the house... she seems really nice"
"She must belong to someone, we need to find her owner" he stated
"OK I'll make some posters" I replied
I called around and it turned out that she had been (I think dumped off by someone) visiting a few of our neighbors during her sojourn in our little neighborhood. It also turned out I had competition. Everyone loved this dog. Thinking quickly, I knew she MUST be hungry so I fixed her a little bit of the pork loin roast. Truth be told, I wanted an edge in the competition. She visited around again and it was close. Our dear friends the Macleans had lots of children! other dogs! excitement! in their house. But I think ultimately what they had was enough and Bullet as she came to be known (due to her speed when chasing chipmunks or squirrels), came back to the pork roast house to stay. We did try to find owners but no one claimed her. (Thank God!)
So we spent 15 wonderful years together, with this creature who has become more than a dog to us. We have pictures but mostly the old fashiuoned kind, on prints. She is a very expressive animal and has body language that says way more than words ever could. I think I've only heard her bark perhaps 10 times in the fifteen years, she spends more time snoring or smiling. She has two special beds, one upstairs and one downstairs. And no she isn't catered to...why do you ask? Way back when I was a church treasurer and keeper of the rose garden, Bullet accompanied me to the church grounds for the gardening sessions. Once our wonderful and much loved Rector Joel Hudson came out and was chatting with me, and mentioned that Bullet seemed to be looking for some acknowledgment. I said "Yes, that's because she's so neglected, can't you tell?" And Joel said to me, "Sally you may neglect God, you may neglect the church, or even your husband, but you will never, ever neglect this dog." He was always right.
Anyways about 10 days ago, our old friend started throwing up, she couldn't hold any food at all. Trip to the vet: tests, change foods, anti nausea drug. Food change didn't work. Soon she couldn't hold down water. Another trip to the vet. More tests. No discernable cause. After 10 days of no food, and little water (with several vet trips for IVs) our friend was clearly fading away. She didn't move all day. She didn't respond to our pats, our voices, even squirrel noises. I cried a LOT. She grew very weak. WSH got some Pedialyte and fed her with that through a medicine dropper. She became more alert but still wouldn't eat. Bless his heart WSH cooked up several meals for her (they tasted good to me) and she wouldn't even try. She had lost over 10% of her body weight.
|Dog meets pig|