- May 3, 2016
- Trigg County, Kentucky
What a good story and sad at the end for the dog’s passing. Glad you got to tell him goodbye.
What a beautifully touching story. Thank you for your kindness!As a letter carrier, I see the same dogs on my route for many years. Unlike some carriers, they all seem to become my friends and are found patiently waiting by the window or door for me to pass by. The encounters are short, but always a pleasant exchange and despite being against regulations, I always have a treat available.
It is an interesting policy, when I began the route years ago, every dog in the neighborhood would bark constantly and some were even rather aggressive as I passed by. Once I started carrying treats, it was only the matter of a few days before they all became vastly different. No more barking, no more aggressive behaviors...just sitting there wagging their tails when I approach. I find that to be a far better way to go so I violate the policy.
Anyway, there is one dog on the route that was a rescue dog. The owner told me that they saved it from a shelter in the neighboring city where it was abused by the letter carrier on its route for over a year. The carrier was captured on camera throwing rocks and even pepper sprayed him almost on a daily basis (yes, that carrier was fired right after). As a result, the dog was not a fan of the uniform and really hated the hat.
With the owners permission, I gave the dog a stuffed monkey the next time I passed the house. He didn't seem interested in it at first, but after several weeks of me speaking to him friendly and tossing him a treat, he changed. He would always fetch the monkey and bring it to me when I delivered the mail. We would spend a few seconds just playing a bit and continue on my route. Every day, he would be either in the window on cold days or outside with that monkey in his mouth waiting for me to pass on by.
Today, it was a bitter cold day. We had high winds pushing wind chills into the single digits making for a long and miserable day. As I passed this house, I was surprised to see that dog waiting outside for me with the monkey in his mouth and his owner standing on the porch. I watched as the dog shivered and then limped over to me, tail wagging the whole time. His eyes were not right, the whites were pink and he clearly was struggling to move his back legs, but he was otherwise friendly and offered the monkey up for me to tug at like always.
Then the owner told me the bad news. He was diagnosed with cancer in his hip and they were taking him to the Vet soon to have him euthanized due to the pain and no chance to recover. They decided to wait until after I passed by for our daily ritual since it always made the dog happy and to give us a chance to say good bye.
I only got to see the dog for about a minute each day, but he became a buddy just the same. Sorry to see him go, he was always a positive part of the day in what can otherwise be a difficult job. Glad the owners chose to wait and let us get one last visit...thanks for the memories Bandit.
Tragic story my friend, and I know it doesn't help, because I've got memory flails I use on my own back. You really can't know what you don't know. IF you had of known, I have no doubt you would have helped. You gave her comfort when you did, I'm sorry for the loss of the little dog.This is the most touching post I've read in a while. I have high regards for anyone who makes a dog's life better, be it their own pet or a stranger.
Some things are hard to tell.
When we first looked at this house for rent where I live now, it was around this time of year in 2017. We met our first and best neighbor that very day, a small friendly caramel colored dog named Roxy, maybe a border collie mix like I have now.
We got to know her humans over the next few months, and Roxy came to the fence to say hello anytime any of us were outside. If I was grilling, she hung out at the corner of her yard where I could see her: not begging, but she knew I'd always hook her up with a scrap or two as a treat.
On the day that our foster puppy was having fatal seizures in the back yard, Roxy barked frantically at the fence to alert us; I didn't realize that until later, because she NEVER barked at anything.
I don't know how old she was, but she developed a phobia of thunderstorms, and started escaping her fence and showing up at our carport door during bad weather. We'd always bring her in, towel her off and try to comfort her, and let her play with our dogs and kids. She never had an accident in the house, or caused any issue at all.
One stormy night around Halloween in 2019, Flash, my black Lab, became agitated for quite a while before he could be calmed down.
I neglected to check outside, and that will haunt me I guess forever..
because the next morning we found Roxy hit by a car and killed in front of my house.
I'm pretty sure she was at our door in a panic, and my dog knew even though Roxy never barked or scratched, she'd just appear there. If I'd paid more attention, she might still be alive. I had to text the neighbor and let him know...one of the most difficult things I've ever done.
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RIP Roxy...I loved you like you were my own. Best neighbor I ever had.