I wish this story had a happy ending, but it doesn’t. I got a text this morning from Texas. It was from the daughter of the elderly neighbor I wrote about a few weeks ago. He died this …
I wish this story had a happy ending, but it doesn’t. I got a text this morning from Texas. It was from the daughter of the elderly neighbor I wrote about a few weeks ago. He died this morning.
He had a bad wreck driving his truck to the grocery store. The single-vehicle accident sent him to UAB Hospital. Miraculously, he wasn’t badly injured in the wreck, but tests revealed something was going on in his brain. It wasn’t a stroke but some kind of issue with his brain. No one would speculate whether this contributed to the accident or not, but I think it probably did.
I got a chance to run by and see him in the ICU there at UAB. It took him a while to realize who I was. His voice was as fragile as a feather, but he managed to tell me he didn’t think the wreck was his fault. I shook my head as if I believed that too.
We had a good visit until nurses shooed me from the room for some additional tests. Before I left, he asked me to take care of his dogs. I promised I would. That’s the last time I saw him.
He remained at UAB until they got him stabilized.
His daughter made it home to see her dad. She found him a bed at a rehabilitation facility at a local nursing home. He was there for a short while before heading back to the hospital with a suspected stroke.
While his daughter was here in Alabama, she made arrangements for local animal rescue groups to find new homes for his precious critters. Hershey, the older of the two dogs, was the first to go. Lucy took a few extra days to place.
I went over every day and let her out to do her business. Each time she'd run to the swing in the front yard where she had spent quality time in the evenings at the foot of her dad.
Only after a lot of coaxing with a treat would she go back inside. I repeated this every day. One evening while sitting in the swing, I had a heart to heart with the pup. It was hard explaining to Lucy that her dad would not be coming home. She listened, but she kept looking down the road for his truck.
When it came time for Lucy to go to the vet for treatment before going to her new home, I wasn’t sure how I would get her in my truck. Her middle was bigger than her neck. I borrowed a harness from my niece for the job. Before trying to wrestle Lucy into the harness, I had a thought. Walking over to my truck, I opened the door, and she jumped in as if she did it all the time. I’m guessing her dad had taken her for a ride before.
Forgotten Tales Rescue came a few days later after her treatment to pick Lucy up. Between the vet’s office and the car, Lucy backed out of her collar and ran away. She’s been missing ever since.
I put her picture on Facebook with a little history, and the response has been amazing. Several people have seen her near the Faith Worship Center in Sumiton. She is frightened and confused. So far no one has been able to get close to her.
I was hoping we could catch her and take her for one last visit with her dad, but it’s too late now.
Take care Lucy. RIP Harold.
Rick Watson is a columnist and author. His latest book Life Goes On is available on Amazon.com. You can contact him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.