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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Saying Goodbye to Petey

I remember that night almost as if it were friend Susan called me up and said there was a dog that she knew that was getting ready to be taken to the pound. She said he was a good dog and wondered if maybe we had some room up here on this mountain to take him in. So I got in the car at like 9pm and headed 30 miles out of town to pick up a dog I didn't know and bring him home.
When I arrived, Susan said, "This is Petey, he is a one and a half year old Australian Shepard/Border Collie mix and he loves kids and other animals." He had his own kid but the Dad found out he was terminally ill so the whole family was moving back east for his last days and there was no room for Pete.

So, Pete and I said our hello's and I loaded him up for the drive home.
Next came the lecture, yes, I was lecturing this dog on the way home because you see...I am a cat person.
So I proceeded to tell Petey that after his bath he could sleep on the bed but he would have to sleep on the right side because my cat Mikey sleeps on the left. I ran down all the rules of the household and told him I really didn't want to get a dog. I had a full house already with a  2 year old, 6 cats and a standard poodle, I was already spreading myself thin but....I couldn't let him go to the pound. Petey seemed to take it all in and looked excited about this new adventure he was now on, not nervous at all.
When we arrived at our property, we both got out of the truck and headed towards the house. Petey looked like he had just hit the jackpot as he looked around and sniffed everything. It was dark though so the full appreciation of where he had just made his new home would not come until morning. We have 22 acres here, a dogs delight and it would all soon belong to Petey.
When we went into the house, my friend Marven who also lives here told me that our neighbors Rick and Raeanne wanted to see our new dog. Our neighbors live on the 22 acres also and their house is right next to ours. So I said "Come on Pete" and he followed me to the neighbor’s house.
What happened next is something that I know will stay with me forever. The neighbor’s door was open and when we approached heir house, Petey broke and ran straight into their house like he knew the place and ran right over to where Rick was sitting in his chair and sat down in front of him and in that moment I watched as a friendship was born.
Rick and Raeanne were both very taken by Pete and told me what a cool dog he was…so I jokingly asked “Do you want him?” I figured they would give the reply most people give when you ask them if they want a dog, you know the list of excuses as to why they can’t have one right now. Instead to my surprise, they said ”Really?” I asked “You really want him?” and Rick blurted out “Hell yes I want him”.
And so Pete had a home with two of my most favorite people on the planet. I was so happy that night, never in my entire life as an animal rescuer, have I ever rehomed an animal so easily nor had I ever felt so good about the home that an animal was going to. Funny thing was, Petey rehomed himself that night because he was going to live with me but he picked them and I was perfectly ok with that because as I said…I am a cat person.
So that was back in 2008, it’s been almost four years ago, how time does fly. Along the way Petey has managed to be “our” dog here on the property.  He and my daughter Haley bonded right of the get, I suppose because he missed his little kid he had prior to coming here. Haley and Pete played together anytime she was outside, Petey loved Haley because she couldn’t tell him no. Petey was a ball dog, he loved that ball and would chase it down and bring it back and throw it at you, yes, throw it at you. Haley would always throw it again, not all of us were always up to this game so Pete appreciated Haley a great deal.
I’m sure you notice me speaking of Pete in past tense here…that’s because on Friday night Pete was killed. He somehow managed his way on to the freeway that is nearby and was hit by traffic. We believe he was probably chasing a deer.
When I told my daughter Haley the news, I saw her literally slouch, the tears fell immediately.  I don’t think I have ever seen her cry this way, she cried for two hours straight, she kept saying “But Mom, Petey is my friend”, she finally cried herself to sleep.
Rick and Raeanne were obviously devastated, Pete was their dog for four years, their family member and he was a pretty spoiled dog along with his dog sister Lily who is also pretty sad right now.
On the night Petey was killed Rick had went out looking for Petey and Lily because they weren’t here as they always are. Living near a freeway, Rick decided to look there even though Petey never went near there before. What Rick discovered Friday night was any animal Parents nightmare. There was his beloved Pete, hit by traffic and no longer in one piece. I cannot imagine seeing what he saw the other night and it breaks my heart. What Rick did next makes me proud to just know him. It was way after dark and there Rick was on that busy I-80 freeway recovering what he could of his friend so he could bring him home to bury him. Wow.
Needless to say it was a tough weekend for us all. Living so close together we are very much a part of each other’s lives and this loss is felt by us all.

So, for Rick and Raeanne, I want you to know that I love and adore you both so much.
Thank you for giving Petey such a loving home these past four years. Petey loved you both so much and he loved his home, he was a happy dog and it showed.
Rick, what you did the other night goes above and beyond what most would do in the same situation. I am sorry you had to see your friend this way; I know how much that had to hurt you. The fact that you pushed aside your own pain to bring Pete home shows me your heart and I admire you more today than I already did before. 
 And Petey, you were a great dog. I am so glad I drove down to get you that night. And though I may be a cat person, you made dogs look pretty good.  It was an honor to know you my friend you and you will be missed everyday.
Thank you for loving my Haley girl and please keep an eye on Roo for me. 

Here are some photographs of Petey....

Goodbye Pete....
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