When I first saw Pappy he was running down the middle of busy Highway 16 in Denver, NC. It was 1997, I was on my way to check on some dogs that I was sitting for. I quickly pulled the Luv truck into the nearest parking lot, got out and called him. He came right to me and looked glad to see me. I’m sure he was frightened with all the cars whizzing by him and was happy someone got him out of the road. He had on a collar with no tags. Attached to the collar was a short length of rope. He appeared to be an older dog, a Golden Retriever I think (he was a little on the small side). He also had some skin problems. Otherwise he looked healthy.I opened the truck door and he hopped right in. He rode with me while I made my rounds and I think he enjoyed it. He was having one fine adventurous day. Escaping from where ever it was he came from and then out for a joy ride with a new friend.I still had the grooming shop at that time, so I took him back there with me. The shop was only about 1/2 mile from where I found him. I thought it would be easy to find his owner. Au contrair, Mon Frair. I went to all the neighbors. No one seemed to know where he came from. In the meantime, I gave him a bath, some food and water, and settled him in at the shop for the night.
The next morning I arrived at the shop to find him gone! He had broken out one of the bottom windows of the 12 pane front door. Now, that’s a small window to squeeze through! I finally found him at the back of the building relieving himself. He happily followed me back inside where I fed him some breakfast and called the man to come fix my door.
That night Pappy went home with me. He was introduced to the dogs, Eddy and Alley. He got along very well with the cats. Pappy soon settled into his new home. I named him Pappy. I thought it was an appropriate name for him. I have memories of my Dad calling my grandfather, Pappy.
We didn’t know how old Pappy was but he looked to be at least 10 years old. When he walked, it looked like his tail end was trying to catch up with his head or like he was fish-tailing. He did have a spring in his step though. After a few years went by it just amazed me that he was still with us. He developed some incontinence but he was still active. He was also deaf.
One day in 2001 I came home to find him unable to stand. He also had a swelling on his side, I knew it was time. I called the vet and took him in. It was Kidney failure. Charley rushed over and we said goodbye to our old friend. We stroked his head as Dr. Kim gave him the injection. We took him home and laid him to rest in the backyard.
I think of Pappy often. I have no idea how old he was. I’m guessing 14 or 15 years. He was a good dog. Dr. Kim and the staff at Maiden Animal Hospital gave us a stone in remembrance. It simply says
©2008 Susan Hoke