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Story ID:5454
Written by:Suzana Margaret Megles (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:In Memory
Location:Lakewood Ohio USA
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Somewhere in Ontario, Canada around 1992 a little puppy was born. This
puppy would profoundly impact my friend Sorin who had made his way from
Romania to Canada- probably sometime before this puppy's birth. Her birth
would also play an important part in my life, but first Sorin and she would
have to meet.

I would learn their story when in 2005 I met Sorin and Finelle, this sweet
little dog who received her beautiful French name as a token of his father's
ancestry. But first some of Sorin's background. As a young man, Sorin
decided to move to Canada in search of an education and a better life. Here
he took up engineering and soon found himself gainfully employed. While in
Canada, he shared this unusual account of a dinner invitation from a Muslim
friend which was unusual to say the least. After accepting the invitation, Sorin
was dumbfounded by his host's request - never to look at his wife in the face
during his visit! Awkward to say the least - I bet Sorin was glad when the
evening was over.

Another friend asked him one day if he wanted a dog. Visiting the friend and
seeing this cute little dog who may have been a Schnoodle--part Poodle and
part Schnauzer, Sorin gave a resounding yes to taking her home. In my
opinion, nothing happens by chance. Sorin was meant to have this little dog
who would be loved and cared for. Now each morning was special for Sorin
because he would find Finelle frolicking on his bed. She was also a welcome
sight in the evening when returning home from work. Who doesn't get a lift
when coming home from a tedious or tiring day at work and find a loving
companion animal waiting for them? Peaches, my dog did the same for me,
and I bet a lot of you can say the same.

But everyone with a new dog will have to agree -there are lessons to be
learned. One day while riding in their car, Sorin cracked the window on Finelle's
side of his car a wee bit too much. At one point, Finelle started to go through it-
though just in time, Sorin thwarted this attempt as he pulled her back in. I
think all of us have probably had that experience at one time or another. I know
I did with Peaches too.

Most dogs love to stick their heads out the car window to feel the rush of wind
coming over their heads -especially on a hot day. Both Sorin and I learned a
hard lesson and now our windows would only be opened slightly for our dogs to
enjoy the fresh air flowing only over their little noses.

Another experience that only Sorin would experience because my Peaches did
not like water- occurred one day when Sorin took Finelle for a walk near the
lake. She thought the water looked inviting and impulsively suddenly dashed
into it. And Sorin dashed right after her before a wave enveloped her. What a
relief for Sorin that she had escaped yet another dangerous situation. Finelle's
exuberance would require careful watching from then on- but happily there
would be no more frightening episodes again.

Sorin married in Canada and one day he and his wife decided to move to Ohio.
He found an apartment at the corner of my street in Lakewood and there I would
sometimes see him walking Finelle -though we never exchanged words. During
this time he happily brought his mother over from Romania for a visit. While I
believe she enjoyed her stay here, not surprisingly she was eager to go back
home to Romania.

Then another happening would find Sorin alone - though he would be the first
to say that he was never alone as long as he had Finelle. His wife -- with his
approval moved to Chicago for an employment opportunity. She found that she
liked it so much in this new city that she wanted to live there permanently.
Naturally, this decision and separation began to put a strain on their marriage.
Sorin was happy to remain in the Cleveland area where he felt his job
opportunities were. So this became a bone of contention for them which finally
led to the parting of their ways and the dissolution of their marriage.

So now it was just Sorin and Finelle. One wintry day Sorin was on my porch and
knocking on my door. Of course, I recognized him immediately. He told me that
his mother had died and he needed someone to care for Finelle while he was gone.
He would have loved to take Finelle with him but that meant a trip overseas in a
cold cargo hold for a long flight. Sorin knew he couldn't subject his sweet little dog
to that. I told him I would be glad to care for Finelle in his apartment as mine was
too small to care for her, my dog and two cats. He agreed and the next day he took
me to the apartment and showed me what he fed Finelle. He told me to leave
the TV on for her in his bedroom each night so that she wouldn't be too lonely
without him.

Finelle was an absolute dear to care for and I made sure I visited twice a day for
companionship, to feed her, and give her a little walk for her bathroom needs.
Before I knew it- the week was over and Sorin was back. I can well imagine the
happy reunion between both of them.

Since then Sorin has become a very dear friend and a much needed one. Hence
my earlier remark about nothing happens without a reason. As I am a technical
klutz, he has been here to help me so many times in so many ways including
helping with connecting a new computer and showing me how to navigate on it.
We bought a scanner and DVD- neither of which would I have been able to use
without his much needed directives.

Later I was happy for Sorin when he decided he would buy his own home, and one
wintry day he found a lovely home in a neighboring suburb. Still he was never
too far away to give me a helping hand when needed.

I was soon grateful to him again when I took in a neighbor's dog - Casey who
was very neglected and disheveled in appearance. He suggested we take her to
Pretty Coat Junction where he had Finelle groomed. This was my first
experience at a groomers because none of my other 6 dogs ever needed grooming
except for the bathing, brushing, and combing I did for them myself. Casey came
out looking 100% better -thanx to Sorin.

The summer of the home purchase, Sorin invited a lovely lady friend from
Romania to renew their friendship and to enjoy his new home. I was happily
invited to the housewarming. I can't pronounce her name but it reminded me
of Roxanne. The Romanians have beautiful and unusual names. During her
visit, she and Sorin decided that Finelle needed companionship and one day
they found a Terrier Breeder's advertisement. Seeing the puppy terriers made
them choose one which they purchased and brought home with them. Now
"red" Max would enjoy life in his new home with Finelle et al. I told Sorin I was
sorry that they had not adopted from a shelter. I believe he said they had made
an attempt but for some reason it didn't work out.

The summer ended and Roxanne returned to Romania. I'm sure that both she
and Sorin enjoyed this time together since he had known her from childhood.
Things began to settle down for Sorin, but it wouldn't be long before he started
putting his own mark on his new home. Though happily for me, he was always
just an e-mail or telephone call away if I needed him.

One day in the summer time I thought Sorin deserved a "gratitude" treat so I
invited him to the yearly Slovak picnic held in a green rustic place away from
the polution of our cities. He accepted, and so Marian (a friend), Sorin, and I
were enroute to a summer picnic in the woods with a "Slovak" flavor. True
picnickers we soon gravitated to the food stand with its enticing smells. Sorin
and Marian chose the stuffed cabbage and I opted for the noodles with fried
cabbage. The baked goods looked yummy but I would forgo them because of my
vegan lifestyle.

None of us were dancers, but for awhile we watched those who were and listened
to some Slovak and American music. When we decided to leave - we "stumbled"
upon a really beautiful antique car among the parked cars. Sorin made Marian,
Rose, and me pose for a picture in front of it. The owner noticed and smiled. I
moved towards him and said that he could work on my '72 Comet anytime. He
laughed and said - not old enough!

Finelle at 15 began to have a frequent cough. Sorin took her to the vets where
she was diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure. I was alarmed because my
tiny part-chihuahua Tina had died from this malady. However, I didn't want to
worry Sorin and hoped and prayed that the prescribed medication would keep
Finelle well. But sadly, despite the loving care and medication - on September 13
Sorin came from work only to have her die in his arms. Anyone who has lost a
beloved dog or other animal knows the terrible heartbreak Sorin suffered at this

He buried her lovingly in his backyard under a Magnolia tree which he said
in happier days delighted Finelle because of all the flowers which had rained
down from it and in which she had joyfully run through and played in. He said
that when the flowers fall again, they will fall on a sleeping Finelle.