The day was Good Friday in April of 1998. It was a warm spring day, one of the first we'd had, with yard work being my primary agenda for the day. My wife Kathy and her friend Fran were off in search of a Maltese dog "at risk" that we'd heard of, destined to be our second rescue.
Several hours passed before they returned. When the car finally stopped in the driveway, they stepped out and set a little boy in the lawn that could only be described as pathetic. He was in such bad shape when they found him that two stops were necessary on the way home. The first was at a groomer who shaved off the dirty matted hair and did a flea treatment. The second was to the Vet for any immediate care he would need. And care there was. This poor little boy was bruised and emaciated, had infections in both ears, with an infected mouth and eyes. His name was Teaser. When I knelt with Teaser in the grass, he crawled into my lap to start what would become a lasting friendship.
I held Teaser many times after that day. There were the times in the night that he would wake and cower at the foot of the bed from the nightmares of his abuse. A cuddle and some reassurance and back to sleep he'd go. There was also that little bout with cancer, that now doesn't seem like much. But for every bad time, there were many more good times. He learned to trust us humans again. Eventually all of his hair grew back and he became a very handsome boy. His tail came out from between his legs to make the happy curl over his back. Funny how he never really learned to wag that tail, it just quivered.
Teaser 1 month after coming into Roger's and Kathy's life
While I wanted to share this loss with all of the family here in rescue, please don't feel sorry for us. Teaser was 12 and we had 6 1/2 good years together. Kathy and I are blessed that we were able to give him more "good" years than the "bad" years he lived before us. These were years of laughter, play, excitement, tranquility, and yes, a little sadness. He was a quiet, gentle little boy that walked with the elegance and gate of the finest show dog. He loved all, and touched those he knew. And, if he could say anything to you all, it would be to thank you for helping those like him to find safe, happy homes.
God Bless You All for the work you do.
Roger and Kathy
Yesterday morning, I held Teaser for the last time as the heart attack he suffered took his life. In the end, it was the abuse that killed him really, for even though we could give him all the best, our love and the medications could never take away the damage that the abuse and infections had done to the valves of his heart.
Today is a bad day, but not as bad as yesterday, and not as good as tomorrow. We still have three more at home to keep us company, relieve the hurt, occupy our time, and kiss our tears away. Even so, we miss our boy.