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Pet Stories: In Your Own Words


By: Betty Hudelson

It has always been my philosophy that animals are a gift from God. Each has a job to do in our world, and thru their intricate diversity each intertwines with the other to pull us as humans into the fine weave of a beautiful pattern. When there is a tear in that fabric the soul of the human becomes a little raw until the right thread can be found to mend and heal it.

So, with deep sorrow and joy i will tell you about my Sarah, a gift that was given to me for eleven years, a weaver of some beautiful patterns, who has returned to her true home leaving me to philosophize, smile, and experience love with more intensity. As you read, many of you will also relate to this small bundle of love, for she has touched many of your lives. Let me share the love.

Once upon a time, eleven years to be exact i went with a friend to a rescue pound to search for a dog for her and her husband. We wandered the isles but kept returning to one area that housed a cocker spaniel with only one eye. The dog was seven and had lost the eye in a car accident. As all magic works, Bev could not leave without the dog she would call Popeye.

I continued with my life, work, home, and all of the things in-between but would find myself going to this shelter "just to see". On one of these "just to see" days i walked by one of the cages and heard a small whimper. I stopped and gazed on a small reddish golden haired dog with big eyes and a mouth that seemed to be curled up in a smile. As she sat one of her paws came through the side of the gate to touch my hand. The back part of her body shook as her busy tail swept the ground. As i walked off she emitted a howl that echoed through my head as i made a hasty retreat to my car.

Thoughts kept running through my head for the next twenty four hours---don't know anything about her-would she get along with Jacob, my friends dog-when I saw her, she had a runny noise, was she in good health?--maybe she had already been adopted---then the sound of the howl would echo through my head and i knew i had to return. When i walked into the area where she could see me the forlorn howl came from her cage. I walked over; she sat, wagged, smiled, and made contact with her paws on my hand again. I was hooked. I am sure God turned to St. Peter and said, have you ever seen such a hard head? At the office as i was filling out paper work, they told me that she had been brought in by a man who said his kids found her on the streets. He had signed over paper work to have her put down within a week if she was not adopted. Two days were left of that week. Finishing the paper work, they brought her in all bathed. She saw me, trotted over and sat by my side. As if we had always been together she trotted besides me to my car and hopped in and sat on the passenger side. As we drove every once in a while she would put a paw on my leg, lift it, then gaze out the window. Looking sideways at her, her mouth was curled up into a grin and her eyes twinkled. Sarah and i were finally a team.

We went to obedience school, i learned, she learned to tolerate. She brought home a second place trophy-I brought home pride.

Within five years i would retire from my job of thirty years and we became twenty-four hour companions. Where i went she went, always within touch, always silent but there. I am a pacifist, she loved to hunt in the yard, and not one inch would miss her patrol each morning and evening. If she would catch a mouse, she would bring it to me with pride. As i would shriek, she would cock her head as if to say gee, what's wrong with you. My friends would call her the huntress, and laugh cause we were of such opposite ends. The highlight of her day would be the visitation of the mail person. The rattle of the mailbox would elicit a ferocious bark, tearing out the doggie door, and a verbal assault of barks and growls that could be heard throughout the neighborhood. Yet when on leash she would meet the mail person with her winning grin and wagging tail.

Meal time became momentous occasions to her. She loved to eat. In later years she developed bladder stones and her diet would have to be carefully monitored, but before this happened, after i had finished a meal, i would leave a few drops of milk in a cup for her. She would stick her nose into it and act like it was ambrosia. The result would be a little milk mustache on her lower lip. Thanksgivings she would endure as i made a pilgrim hat for her. Christmas would bring her own presents, each individually wrapped, and put into her stocking. We would get on the floor, and she would rip up each one revealing a sweaky toy or plush animal, she was particular, only the soft ones would do. She was loved at the vets. When picking her up from a bath the office would rave about her charm. Visitors would come in the house, she would sit up, do her smile and their hearts belonged to her.

As this is a story of life, Sarah grew old, but she did it without complaint. Arthritis attacked her bones, stones grew in her bladder, and cataracts covered her eyes. Each day was a new one for her and she enjoyed it as it came. She is gone now. The enjoyment of life stopped and it was time to go.

I will miss her warm body snuggled against me in bed, her smiling face, the feeling of not being alone. Most of all i will miss the love given by a creature that was once known as a pound puppy.

God bless


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