This is Junior, a beloved “family member” of my son and daughter-in-law, Reedy and Tammy. He had to be put to sleep New Year’s Eve. He was about 13 years old and had developed cancer. He wasn’t any particular breed of dog, but he was happy. He made a good watchdog because you could never come into the yard unnoticed. He’d set up a barking fit. But he didn’t have a mean bone in his body. Pet him and he was your best friend for life.
But Junior’s best buddy was another family pet, Boy, a beautiful husky-chow mix who nearly died as a puppy and could not run or walk straight. Junior would never let anything happen to Boy. A neighboring pit bull once had Boy down by the neck. Junior ran to the rescue, jumped the pit bull long enough for Boy to escape, then the two buddies ran away.
Though Junior and Boy could be safe inside the chain link fence that encircles the house, and they mostly stayed inside, they would make little exits that they used at will no matter how many times the fence got fixed and holes were plugged. It’s a wonder Junior lasted as long as he did because he was an escape artist and a car chaser.
However, he was happy and healthy and just a galuphing good ole dog who didn’t miss a meal. Reedy and Tammy made a little cross for Junior’s grave and in lieu of flowers put his favorite item upon it — his food dish. Come spring they plan to plant flowers to mark his grave.
It was a heart-rending end to 2012 for Reedy and Tammy, who were both sobbing as they took Junior to the Humane Society to be put to sleep. But the staff was apparently used to those who mourn their pets, and hugged and comforted them. They also warned that Boy would mourn his buddy, and in many ways he has already been doing so since Junior became sick and not able to play and bounce around with him. Staff members were also very tender and loving to Junior as they helped him get to that great food dish in the sky.
Thanks Humane Society staff, for easing a hard time for a suffering pet and his family.