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The Old Man and the Dog
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The Old Man and the Dog

this was sent to me by a dear person I am so glad I met Smile

This is a lovely story….save it til you have the time to read and enjoy it…

     Watch out! You nearly broad sided 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 had 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. The article described 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, 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, 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. At those words Dad  
whirled angrily, his hands clenched at his sides, his eyes narrowed  
and blazing with hate.  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 changed  
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.


thanks So Much to my newest friend "Auntie" who sent me that :o) *woof_WooF*


this cartoon belongs to Guy Gilchrist

Believe in the
of your


06-06-2014 01:01 AM
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