I just saw our down the block neighbor a few minutes ago with the last of her three shifts of dogs she walks 2-3 times per day. This last shift is the sad one. One of two elderly members of this bunch, Miss Lucy, is catching the train to dog town this afternoon and my neighbor was in tears. She had told me over the weekend that today was Lucy's last day and even then my neighbor was struggling, so you can imagine how hard today is. I told her I'd come down this afternoon and give her a hug when was all said and done.
My neighbor is the "animal lady" of our block. For the past thirty years or so, she picked up any and every stray--or used to--and is nearing retirement from the Dallas Zoo. Since she's older than me, I think she's decided that she's slowly going to whittle down her crew and not replace them as they fade. Walking all those animals in the heat is tough and the cold is no fun either. And picking up all that poop? Nuh, uh. Not to mention the expense of feeding all of them and medicating the ones that need it.
She's had a huge macaw, too many cats to count, a zillion dogs, and I'm not really sure what else--maybe snakes. Anytime one of our "choicey" animals didn't like a new bag of food, we've always taken it down the block to her animals. All rescues, they'd eat and be happy with just about anything.
Putting down Miss Lucy has been a tough decision--not like it's ever an easy one. Old, blind, and deaf and chewing herself half to death, it's just become time. And given that Lucy now bites when startled, the problem just got bigger. (How in the world you could possibly not startle an old, deaf, blind dog is beyond me....whataya do...poke 'um with a stick?) Anyway, happy puppy trails to Miss Lucy and may the train ride take her to the biggest, best, most beautiful dog place ever.