One-eyed dog softens tough heart - By Brett
You all heard from Brett about the little one-eyed dog that showed up at his Dad's place in Waverly. What you don't know is that Brett wrote a story about it. It appeared in the paper today in my column, but I wanted to also post it here because it's a touching, wonderful story, that shows the true heart of a Pet Person. The photo above is not a picture of the dog, but it's a picture of a stray that showed up at my house a while back, an Airedale puppy that eventually was placed in a home through an Airedale rescue group. It just illustrates the plight of the stray dogs that are dumped on roads all over America:
Daddy always was a rough character. He believed each thing had its place in God's scheme and in that place it should stay. He didn't give way to new thinking, nor did he show emotion. But as he got older, even though he talked tough, his heart began to discover feelings he never before experienced.
Such was the case with the one-eyed stray dog.
Just before Thanksgiving, someone abandoned the little female mutt on the highway just down from Daddy's shop in rural Waverly. A stray dog on the highway usually ends up being a dead dog in a very short time. Daddy didn't hate animals, but he wasn't a man who took to strays either. He simply chased them off to be somebody else's problem.
But for some reason, Daddy let the little one-eyed dog stay around the shop. Before too long, he was feeding her and letting her sleep in the shop at night. Every day, Daddy would open up his shop to greetings from the happy little mutt. She adored him, and whether he liked it or not, he was falling in love.
I learned of the dog during a phone conversation with Momma, who told me the dog worshiped Daddy and followed his every step.
When I spoke to him he said, "I found you another abandoned dog," referring to my habit of taking in strays. As we talked, he tried to make the dog sound like just another nuisance, one to be discarded or put out of its misery. I knew the tone. It's how he refers to everything in his life.
But there was something different in his voice this time.
'Little Bit' finds a friend
Christmas came, and I made the pilgrimage home to see the folks and meet the little dog. She'd been there almost a month and still had no name other than "dog." The first time I laid eyes on her, I said, "Well, she's just a little bit of nothing." Thereafter, I called her Little Bit.
She had a dirty black and white coat that looked as if someone had taken a spotted sheet and buried it in the coal bin for the winter. She had one shining eye, the other most likely put out by someone or something.
But the thing I noticed most was the way she idolized Daddy. Her one bright eye stayed focused on him always.
I left thinking I should have brought Little Bit home with me. But I knew that I couldn't take another, as I already had four. So I asked God to watch over the little dog and keep her safe.
After the first of the year, I called home. When I asked about Little Bit, Daddy said she was sick and acting strangely. He thought she had worms and planned to go to the vet and ask for some worm medicine the next morning.
"Why not just take her in and let the vet look at her?" I asked.
"I'm not spending any money on that ... dog!" he said. "If she dies, it's just another dog. I'm going to get rid of her anyway!"
I was crushed. I knew in my heart that Little Bit was going to die, and there was nothing I could do about it.
'A creature with a purpose'
The next day I went to work and tried not to think about her, but around 9 a.m. I broke down and called Daddy's shop. My brother answered the phone. "Is the dog still alive?" I asked. "No." he said.
He said when he came to work that morning, the dog was having seizures. He took her to his vet, who said she was too far gone to save. Seems she had ingested antifreeze, which destroyed her kidneys. Daddy probably didn't realize the grave danger it posed. The vet put Little Bit to sleep, and the light faded from her one shining eye.
It was bound to happen sooner or later, with the danger of the highway and Daddy's shop full of chemicals. Though I sensed what would happen, I was still crushed.
I called Momma as soon as I got home. She said she'd cried the whole afternoon.
"Well, it's just another dog." I said. "I guess Daddy just doesn't care."
"Oh, yes he does," she said.
She told me how they had gone to the shop the night before to check on Little Bit and how in the morning it was Daddy who told my brother to take her to the vet and do what he could to help her.
I could hardly believe what she was telling me. My Daddy didn't think like that. There was no way he would have paid a vet to take care of a little dirty, one-eyed stray dog.
Then a strange peace came over me, and I realized God works in wondrous, mysterious ways. Little Bit wasn't just another dog. She was a messenger, a creature with a purpose. God sent her to touch Daddy's heart. It took her only a little over a month to reach inside him and bring to life something that had always been hidden. She came like an angel, and when her job was done, she left forever.
I told Momma that if I had brought her home I could have gotten her adopted.
"Son," she said, "She already has been."
posted by Sandy at 1/30/2008 04:00:00 PM