All Dogs Go To Heaven
I’ve been following the saga of the severely injured Belle over at Willowtree.
It takes me back to the late eighties when we went through a nearly identical scenario with our beloved dog FreeBea.
You may have guessed by her name the price we paid for her. Nothing.She and her adorable litter mates were sired by a black lab of questionable origin that jumped the fence. Her mom was a registered German Wire-haired Pointer. FreeBea inherited the coarse hair, but none of the wiry curls from the show dog. Her coat was a combination of brown and black, with an undercoat of brown when you brushed the wrong direction.
The following adjectives all applied to her disposition (and position) in our household: Happy, spirited, trustworthy, affectionate, and loved.
She was smart about potty training and never soiled in the house. She always squatted in a specific corner of the yard allowing for easy pooper scooping and lawn maintenance.
The same obedient nature did not apply to her chewing habit. Nothing was safe from her teething requirements – including shoes, panties, purse straps and toys. Dirty socks were a favorite target of her sniff, search, and destroy missions - especially if they were still attached to feet. We were all entertained by the daughter vs. dog dance that precipitated a FreeBea sock snatch and run.
A sleepy snuggle could be celebrated anywhere, but she favored the girls beds. They didn’t mind too much, until she pushed them off the edge.
She was very tolerant of the cats, even letting them rub against her or kneed her chest. Her eyes, however, followed every feline movement.
Unfortunately, our sweet tempered mutt was also a major klutz. There was the time that she escaped the back yard while the hubby was unloading railroad ties from the back of the truck. He didn’t see her in time and one caught her tail on its heavy drop and snapped off nearly 6 inches. Her waggy ways discouraged any healing. She ended up getting a bob.
The accident that is so burned into our memory happened one day when she followed the paper girl down the road. (Although we suspect the paper girl opened the gate and lead her.)
Fortunately, Hubby was home when the knock came on the door. A remorseful gentleman informed that he’d run over a dog- and the papergirl pointed him here.
Hubby jumped in the pick up truck and drove the two blocks to the sight. FreeBea lay on the side of the road, both front legs crushed by truck wheels in the gravel. Her tail wagged as Hubby approached and she made feeble attempts to rise.
He wrapped her in a blanket and sped away to the veterinarian, the same place that Karmyn was working part time after school.
FreeBea was lying on the table with the hubby and the medical staff attending her when Karmyn walked past the commotion.
“Oh!” she said, “that dog sure is in a bad way.”
She later said it reminded her of the scene in The Wizard of Oz, where the scarecrows arms were tattered by the witches evil monkeys.
Then she did a double take and said, “Wait a minute… THAT IS MY DOG!”
FreeBea spent many immobile days; the first week at the clinic and the next two at home, with daily appointments at the clinic for dressing changes
Being the sweet and loving creature that she was, FreeBea was always happy to see her new friends – and was very cooperative as they tended her wounds.
Finally, the mangled tissue healed enough to sustain plaster casts. Soon, she began to test her ability to shift positions.
During her convalescence it snowed about 10 inches and turned very cold.
We wrapped her legs in plastic and carried her outside for each potty break. Unfortunately, she did not want to squat near the patio. Slowly and painfully she would stiff leg her way to the far side of the yard, where she would wait for me (or whoever) to turn away for her privacy.
After completing her task she would whine and look sad until I donned my boots and retrieved her.
It took months for her to heal – as much as it was going to. Her scarred legs never bent again – and it was sadly amusing to watch her run around and do the stiff legged prance… happy once more.
She earned the nickname “Gold Dust” down at the Veterinarian’s clinic because of her propensity to get into expensive trouble.
I wish I could say she grew out of that stage. But, she didn’t.
Around the age of 11 she began acting strangely odd. We now know that she had a disease that some call doggy dementia. On her last day she escaped, Houdini style, through our six-foot fence. She was killed less than a block away from the site of the other incident.
Losing a loved pet is always distressing. But we were especially bereft, not being able to say goodbye.