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A Tribute to Hairy

Story ID:691
Written by:Suzana Margaret Megles (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Diary/Journal Entry
Location:Lakewood USA
Year:2006
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I met Hairy, a large red "lumbering" Chow 15 years ago when his owner Allen moved into a building storefront with 3 apartments almost catti corner to where I lived with my companion animals.

Allen had initially told me that he saved Hairy from becoming a "meal" in a Chinese restaurant in Florida where dog meat was listed on the menu. While dogs are eaten in some Asian countries - he admitted later to me that this
restaurant didn't serve dog meat. Rather he
traded services with the Chinese restaurant owner in exchange for this chow puppy who he appropriately named Hairy because of all the red hair that covered his small body.

Together they came back to Greater Cleveland -- Allen's hometown and into my life. I always enjoyed Allen's way of naming animals. When a black chow was added to the family, he named her Ebony. When a beautiful black kitten came along in April, he named her April. Another sweet
rambuctious puppy found his way into Allen's yard and he was simply dubbed "Boy." Samantha, a beautiful white cat seemed to be the only one
whose name had no relationship to her specifically.

Hairy died on June 25, 2006 at the amazing age of almost 16 and on my "watch." Large dogs rarely live to this age, and later I found out that Hairy's days were numbered because he had cancer. Sadly, Allen had not clued me in on Hairy's serious conditon.

Allen asked me to watch both Hairy and Boy and
brought them to my yard. He said he was going on a boat and would be back in 3 or 4 hours.
So Allen left for his boat trip and believing that both dogs would be fine and safe in my yard, I went inside to visit with my friend Sorin.

Checking on my two "guests" a couple of hours later, I was horrified to find the car gate swung wide open and no Hairy and Boy! Boy
probably pushed the closer bar away easily with his large body weight.

Sorin and I immediately went out to find them, and I was much relieved when Sorin shouted to me that they were in their own yard! We returned Boy to my yard but Hairy did not want to come. Poor Hairy - he was panting and his purple tongue was hanging out. And even though Allen's yard was not far --his old body showed the effects of trying to keep up with Boy's much younger one. I also noticed that this exertion had even caused him to wobble about unevenly.

I asked Sorin to get Hairy some water and I told
him that I would stay in the yard with him for
awhile while I tried to make contact with Allen.
After drinking some water, Hairy laid down in the grass. I thought Allen would be back soon, so I stayed with Hairy who didn't want to move. Obviously, he loved Allen very much and this was the closest he could be to him at this time. And, of course, he was in a weakened condition from a cancerous prostate which I was completely unaware of.

After awhile, Hairy got up, and noticing the hallway door opened, walked in and climbed the 2 flights to Allen's apartment which was locked. I waited for him to come back down. I marveled how in his weakened condition that he had scaled those steps - not only once but again later on.

I had called Allen re the problem and he called Judy, a friend to try to help me coax him again into my yard. No soap. I noticed that Allen's car was opened - should I try to get him in? He said yes. When I mentioned Allen's name, he came
to the opened car door and I struggled to get him up on the back seat. Then I went home to get him a "treat" and was surprised that he enjoyed the veggie burger which I had microwaved for him. I didn't know it then but it would be his last meal on this earth. I left him to rejoin Sorin.

Before Allen returned home very late-- the life of his faithful companion left his tired and diseased body. He would die alone in that cramped car. I wish that I had just stayed with him in the open freshness of the yard on the softness of the green grass and under the canopy of a large spreading oak tree.

Peace Hairy. I think you were a wonderful
companion to Allen for all those years and I enjoyed bringing you a milk bone almost daily. I will miss you, but I believe we will all meet again in the end time and the restoration of the world. That is my hope.