The dog and the old man. - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 3 Old Jan 18th, 2008, 5:13 pm Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
yechave's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Lehighton, Pa, USA
Posts: 783
The dog and the old man.

'Watch out! You nearly broadsided that car!' My father yelled at me. 'Can't you do anything right?' Those words hurt worse than blows. I turned my head toward the elderly man in the seat beside me, daring me to challenge him. A lump rose in my throat as I averted my eyes. I wasn't prepared for another battle. 'I saw the car Dad please don't yell at me when I
'm driving. 'My voice was measured and steady, sounding far calmer than I really felt.

Dad glared at me, then turned away and settled back. At home I left Dad in front of the television and went outside to collect my thoughts. Dark, heavy clouds hung in the air with a promise of rain. The rumble of distant thunder seemed to echo my inner turmoil.

What could I do about him?

Dad had been a lumberjack in Washington and Oregon. He had enjoyed being outdoors and h ad reveled in pitting his strength against the forces of nature. He had entered grueling lumberjack competitions, and had placed often. The shelves in his house were filled with trophies that attested to his prowess.

The years marched on relentlessly. The first time he couldn't lift a heavy log, he joked about it; but later that same day I saw him outside alone, straining to lift it. He became irritable whenever anyone teased him about his advancing age, or when he couldn't do something he had done as a younger man.

Four days after his sixty-seventh birthday, he had a heart attack. An ambulance sped him to the hospital while a paramedic administered CPR to keep blood and oxygen flowing. At the hospital, Dad was rushed into an operating room. He was lucky; he survived.

But something inside Dad died. His zest for life was gone. He obstinately refused to follow doctor's orders. Suggestions and offers of help were turned aside with sarcasm and insults. The number of visitors thinned, then finally stopped altogether. Dad was left alone.

My husband, Dick, and I asked Dad to come live with us on our small farm. We hoped the fresh air and rustic atmosphere would help him adjust. Within a week after he moved in, I regretted the invitation. It seemed nothing was satisfactory. He criticized everything I did. I became frustrated and moody. Soon I was taking my pent-up anger out on Dick. We began to bicker and argue. Alarmed, Dick sought out our pastor and explained the situation. The clergyman set up weekly counseling appointments for us. At the close of each session he prayed, asking God to soothe Dad's troubled mind. But the months wore on and God was silent. Something had to be done and it was up to me to do it.

The next day I sat down with the phone book and methodically called each of the mental health clinics listed in the Yellow Pages. I explained my problem to each of the sympathetic voices that answered. In vain just when I was giving up hope, one of the voices suddenly exclaimed, 'I just read

something that might help you! Let me go get the article.' I listened as she read she article describing a remarkable study done at a nursing home. All of the patients were under treatment for chronic depression. Yet their attitudes had improved dramatically when they were given responsibility for a dog.

I drove to the animal shelter that afternoon. After I filled out a questionnaire, a uniformed officer led me to the kennels. The odor of disinfectant stung my nostrils as I moved down the row of pens. Each contained five to seven dogs. Long-haired dogs, curly-haired dogs, black dogs, spotted dogs-all jumped up, trying to reach me. I studied each one but rejected one after the other for various reasons, too big, too small, too much hair. As I neared the last pen a dog in the shadows of the far corner struggled to his feet, walked to the front of the run and sat down. It was a pointer, one of the dog world's aristocrats. But this was a caricature of the breed. Years had etched his face and muzzle with shades of gray. His hipbones jutted out in lopsided triangles. But it was his eyes that caught and held my attention. Calm and clear, they beheld me unwaveringly.

I pointed to the dog. 'Can you tell me about him?' The officer looked, and then shook his head in puzzlement. 'He's a funny one. Appeared out of nowhere and sat in front of the gate. We brought him in, figuring someone would be right down to claim him, that was two weeks ago and we've heard nothing. His time is up tomorrow. He gestured helplessly.

As the words sank in I turned to the man in horror. 'You mean you're going to kill him?'

'Ma'am,' he said gently, 'that's our policy. We don't have room for every unclaimed dog.'

I looked at the pointer again. The calm brown eyes awaited my decision. 'I'll take him,' I said.

I drove home with the dog on the front seat beside me. When I reached the house I honked the horn twice. I was helping my prize out of the car when Dad shuffled onto the front porch.

'Ta-da! Look what I got for you, Dad!' I said excitedly.

Dad looked, and then wrinkled his face in disgust. 'If I had wanted a dog I would have gotten one. And I would have picked out a better specimen than that bag of bones. Keep it! I don't want it.' Dad waved his arm scornfully and turned back toward the house.

Anger rose inside me. It squeezed together my throat muscles and pounded into my temples.

'You'd better get used to him, Dad. He's staying!' Dad ignored me. 'Did you hear me, Dad?' I screamed those words as Dad whirled angrily, his hands clenched at his sides, his eyes narrowed and blazing with h ate.

We stood glaring at each other like duelists, when suddenly the pointer pulled free from my grasp. He wobbled toward my dad and sat down in front of him. Then slowly, carefully, he raised his paw. Dad's lower jaw trembled as he stared at the uplifted paw. Confusion replaced the anger in his eyes. The pointer waited patiently, then Dad was on his knees hugging the animal.

It was the beginning of a warm and intimate friendship. Dad named the pointer Cheyenne. Together he and Cheyenne explored the community. They spent long hours walking down dusty lanes. They spent reflective moments on the banks of streams, angling for tasty trout. They even started to attend Sunday services together, Dad sitting in a pew and Cheyenne lying quietly at his feet.

Dad and Cheyenne were inseparable throughout the next three years. Dad's bitterness faded, and he and Cheyenne made many friends. Then late one night I was startled to feel Cheyenne's cold nose burrowing through our bed covers. He had never before come into our bedroom at night. I woke Dick, put on my robe and ran into my father's room. Dad lay in his bed, his face serene. But his spirit had left quietly sometime during the night.

Two days later my shock and grief deepened when I discovered Cheyenne lying dead beside Dad's bed. I wrapped his still form in the rag rug he had slept on. As Dick and I buried him near a favorite fishing hole, I silently thanked the dog for the help he had given me in restoring Dad's peace of

mind.

The morning of Dad's funeral dawned overcast and dreary. This day looks like the way I feel, I thought, as I walked down the aisle to the pews reserved for family. I was surprised to see the many friends Dad and Cheyenne had made filling the church. The pastor began his eulogy. It was a

tribute to both Dad and the dog who had ch anged his life. And then the pastor turned to Hebrews 13:2. 'Be not forgetful to entertain strangers.' 'I've often thanked God for sending that angel,' he said.

For me, the past dropped into place, completing a puzzle that I had not seen before: The sympathetic voice that had just read the right article...Cheyenne's unexpected appearance at the animal shelter, his calm acceptance and complete devotion to my father and the proximity of their

deaths, and suddenly I understood, I knew that God had answered my prayers after all.

Life is too short for drama & petty things, so laugh hard, love truly and forgive quickly.

Live While You Are Alive.

Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.

Forgive now those who made you cry. You might not get a second time.

And if you don't send this to at least 4 people - who cares? But do share this with someone.

Lost time can never be found.

From: [email protected]
yechave is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 3 Old Jan 19th, 2008, 9:39 pm
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Harrison, AR, USA
Posts: 353
Beautiful story. Did you write this? There is no authorship credited or source indicated.

OK, I just did a search for some of the phrases, and found this story was written by a lady named Catherine Moore

http://www.la-spca.org/pet_loss/in_memory/cheyenne.htm

As a writer, I am a strong proponent of preserving authorship along with the writing when things are reposted on the net. Takes only a little extra effort. I realize this probably came to you with no authorship indicated. Still, somewhere down the line someone got careless, or just didn't care.

I have seen some of my own stories come back with someone else's name on them. Catherine Moore wrote a wonderful story and her authorship should go along with what she's created, I'm sure you agree. I have even seen some people copy and paste a story that someone else wrote, and then when their own sig is automatically added to the bottom of what they've pasted, it looks like they're trying to say they authored the piece.

An issue worth noting by everyone in these days of copying, pasting, forwarding, and instant reposting. Just have a care to send the author's name along with the work you like enough to send around or repost. Or at least indicate, "I found this on the net, don't know who wrote it." When I read this piece, all indications were that Wayne Brunner wrote it.

Thanks. I know it's a lost cause, but those are my specialty.

T.

The Bad Ted

To view links or images in signatures your post count must be 10 or greater. You currently have 0 posts.

Last edited by fenixroyale; Jan 19th, 2008 at 9:40 pm. Reason: typo
fenixroyale is offline  
post #3 of 3 Old Jan 20th, 2008, 6:07 am
Senior Member
 
dshealey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
Location: Dandridge (Near Knoxville), TN, USA
Posts: 12,165
Quote:
Originally Posted by fenixroyale
Beautiful story. Did you write this? There is no authorship credited or source indicated.

OK, I just did a search for some of the phrases, and found this story was written by a lady named Catherine Moore

http://www.la-spca.org/pet_loss/in_memory/cheyenne.htm

As a writer, I am a strong proponent of preserving authorship along with the writing when things are reposted on the net. Takes only a little extra effort. I realize this probably came to you with no authorship indicated. Still, somewhere down the line someone got careless, or just didn't care.

I have seen some of my own stories come back with someone else's name on them. Catherine Moore wrote a wonderful story and her authorship should go along with what she's created, I'm sure you agree. I have even seen some people copy and paste a story that someone else wrote, and then when their own sig is automatically added to the bottom of what they've pasted, it looks like they're trying to say they authored the piece.

An issue worth noting by everyone in these days of copying, pasting, forwarding, and instant reposting. Just have a care to send the author's name along with the work you like enough to send around or repost. Or at least indicate, "I found this on the net, don't know who wrote it." When I read this piece, all indications were that Wayne Brunner wrote it.

Thanks. I know it's a lost cause, but those are my specialty.

T.
Thanks for posting those suggestions Ted. I feel the same way. I try to never post something (other than jokes) without at least stating that I do not know where it originated, or if it is true or not. So many things on the internet are not only plagarized, but twisted around or just plain fabricated.

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work...I want to achieve it through not dying.

David Shealey
Dandridge, TN
EX: '01 Black LT, BAT BYKE (Totaled at 110,000 miles)
IBA SS, BB, BBG, 10/10ths.
No bike now, but maybe in the future.
dshealey is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the BMW Luxury Touring Community forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in











Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome