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Pet People

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

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


Blogger Skeeter said...

Even though I know this story, it still gets to me!
Amazing how a pooch can have such an effect on a person...
Thanks for sharing that with us Brett. I know it was tough to relive it by writing it down...

Wednesday, January 30, 2008 6:53:00 PM  
Blogger Skeeter said...

How are things going with your new additions???

Wednesday, January 30, 2008 6:54:00 PM  
Blogger Alice said...

B... a touching and moving telling of your Dad's story...

I know your Dad... he was my Dad too.

Funny thing was, he was always an animal lover, just never seemed to "love" them. But he did little things to show his deep love and yes, respect, for animals.

My Daddy adopted a little German Shepherd that someone abandoned out in the country where we lived in California. He named him "Enu" which is Japanese for Dog. We lived by a busy country road and sure enough a couple of weeks later, Enu was hit by a car. I was there and held Enu while he died... it was mercifully quick. Dad accepted the news stoicly and said he knew he wouldn't last. I hurt some much for him inside.

Dad also helped me pay for Jacquie, a one-eyed cat who adopted US. Her eye had been shot by a beebee. The vet showed it to us. Jacquie would ride to town in my Dad's van on the console in between the two front seats. She was the queen of the van. He called her a tough old girl. She was still with me when Dad passed away.

It was a wonderful article B...

Wednesday, January 30, 2008 7:10:00 PM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

I know how this story goes, but reading it touches your heart even more. Thanks for the tears.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008 7:44:00 PM  
Blogger tina said...

all is fine with the six pups. we are used to each other and they are really super-i mean they are goldens aren't they? that is why i volunteered ...for 2-3, i do know how i got six and have no one to blame but myself. shannon, don't worry, i have them under control and we won't need you to help but thanks! i know you are not feeling well.

they are great little buggers. the biggest trouble i have is getting only two out of their crate at a time or putting them in. i do NOT let them walk in the house and know they have to go right out. did you ever ever try to get only two of six wiggly pushy little puppies out or into a crate without losing another one in the mix? omg

they spent the day in the garden with me. it was too much for them and they all finally curled up and slept nearby outside with me. and, the best news is i pretty much slept through the night. that is after i put them to bed at 11 pm after standing outside with them for about an hour in the FREEZING wind and cold weather. it was scary for me and them. they were sitting up in their crate waiting for me when i woke up at 5 this morning. not one single pup has messed in the crate or even peed. they make a point of letting me know when they need to go out. that can be good and bad. i am hoping as they get bigger (probably have gained 2-5 pounds already) they will need less going out and food. i pretty much have them on a schedule now, just like children. i am posting about them tomorrow with at least one picture. maybe more but depends because i have an appt in the morning. they are up on petfinder with golden huggs so anyone can go look at them there. those two women, brigett and deb are so totally awesome. i am not sure if someone has done a post on these fine folks who seem to LITERALLY give their lives for these animals and i know you all are dedicated to it too, but this is their job and they work with people everywhere. they have both been very very good people to me in this process. i have NEVER been around pups (more than one). my only pup (just one) ever was link. he is now 12 and was a difficult pup but is now a great dog. i just knew golden pups would come potty trained already (yeah right) and was prepared for the chewing (really), but not the destructiveness. poor poor poor garden. anyhow, check them out tomorrow and on petfinder if you can't wait to see them. i have fallen in love with one. he is just like my bj. laid back, loyal, beautiful and sweet. it will be hard to part with him. his name is dade, as in miami dade. he only needs the sunglasses.

sorry it is so long but while they are sleeping i thought it best to get it all out because who knows when next i will have the freedom.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008 10:48:00 PM  
Blogger tina said...

this was a sad story. i read it in the paper this morning but had heard about it from the comments earlier when he died. sorry b.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008 10:57:00 PM  
Blogger tina said...

also meant to say thanks to sandy for setting up the vet thing so close. let me tell you i was not ready to put six pups on my leather backseat and drive to putnam county so i am SO glad she found a local vet. the crate is too big to fit in my car and it was bad enough coming home from waverly. yes maybe mayberry, but a long way away from woodlawn and i got lost two times. thankfully jimmy was along to help. only one pup got sick and the rest were fine. no accidents or anything. thanks again sandy and b for his concern.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008 11:07:00 PM  
Blogger B said...

Sandy said that this story might help someone else, so I gave it to her. Skeeter, your right, it was very hard to sit down and keep it all in check while writing it. Alice-bless you dear. Its nice to know there are other "daddy's" out there.
Sandy, thanks for using it.
Tina, your still my hero (next to Daddy). Don't wanna be a pest, but like I said, please let me know if I can do anything to help with the pups.

Thursday, January 31, 2008 8:21:00 AM  
Blogger Stacey said...

Go read Tina's In the Garden blog today if you haven't already. She has puppy dog tales and a pic of 4 of the 6 golden puppies. CUTE!!!!!

Thursday, January 31, 2008 10:57:00 AM  
Blogger O'Malley said...

Oh B,
This just brings tears to my eyes, good tears too. Even tho its heartbreaking that Little Bit is gone, this little pup has probably opened doors on your Dads heart that have been closed for years. Thank you for sharing this. I know it must have been hard.

You are awesome. If the weather wasn't so nasty I would love to ride out and visit with you and all those wiggling puppies. I am going to the website to view them when I get off the blog. I don't know if I have everyones email but I did send out an update and pics on our boxer girl this morning via email. If I missed anyone who would like to get it please give me your email address and I will forward it. She is a doll and a keeper. My girls have renamed her Gracie. Not sure where that came from-but it seems to fit. We bought her a bright pink collar and leash. She looks like a bony little princess. Well, I am going to clean more water off the floor. I just love snow days!

Thursday, January 31, 2008 11:04:00 AM  
Blogger Skeeter said...

I just went and read Tina’s story on the pups.. Yall have to check it out, they are adorable in the picture... Well, the four she could slow down long enough to pose!

Anyway, she it talking about them destroying the garden and the garlic too. I know yall told me that onion is toxic to dogs and cats, what about Garlic? I would think they are similar… who has the answer for me???

Thursday, January 31, 2008 11:42:00 AM  
Blogger B said...

Those are the most adorable little guys! I hate to admit it, but I had to laugh at some of your story about having them in the garden. I get the picture in my head of Arnold Swatzawhosee (can't spell that-you know, the gov of california)in "Kindergarden cop". The kids are tearing the place apart and he is trying to control it--but as soon as he gets one out of trouble, two more are into something else.
Bless you and your garden Tina. Remember that Love grows in even the most shallow dirt. And you have a good crop planted at your house.

Thursday, January 31, 2008 4:50:00 PM  
Blogger tina said...

b, that is exactly what it is like! omg. going every which way. you all don't worry about the garden, it will be fine.

o'malley, the weather will be great this weekend so anytime you want to visit them, let me know!

skeeter, they only ate the top portion of the garlic and are fine. i wouldn't think that would hurt them but it wasn't much anyhow. just made a strong smell. i watch them pretty well to make sure they don't eat too many plants:)

Friday, February 01, 2008 12:19:00 PM  

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Pet People

Sandy Britt, an animal welfare advocate and volunteer with Clarksville rescue organizations, takes care of three dogs: Zoe, Scooter and Peanut; two cats: Catfish and Tarzan; and one husband, Glen, and according to him she takes care of them in that order.

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