Guest Blogger: Terry Kuehner
Sometimes, the stars and planets line up in just the right pattern. That’s what happened in 1996 when I was adopted by an incredible dog. It was 1am and I had just come home from work. While opening the front door, something brushed against my leg. I looked up to see a golden dog standing in my living room. He was smiling and vigorously wagging his tail. I just looked at him and asked, “What the heck am I going to do with you?” Of course, I already knew what I was going to do with him.
After searching in vain for his owner, I took him to the vet, who determined him to be about 1 year old. I named him Nick at Nite, Nick for short.
Nick already knew all the basic commands and was housebroken. Somewhere, he had a family who had taken care of him, but he had no collar, tags or microchip. He seemed to be a Husky/Golden Retriever mix. He had the high-pitched bark, faint mask and cotton-like undercoat of a Husky. His outer coat was gold and red, long and feathered at the ends. He was a beautiful dog. At the time, I had another dog, Brady, who was, in shelter terms, a “black dog”. He was a lovable lab mix and Nick and Brady became instant friends.
Nick was an amazing athlete. He was fast, agile and could jump like a Jack Russell. He was also a cuddler and became so attached to me that I had to stand in the kitchen for him to eat.
We were friends for over 16 years when it came time to say good bye. The most active of dogs still get old. Nick developed arthritis and lost both his hearing and his sight. When his pain was obviously hindering him, I knew it was time. I kissed him, told him I loved him and held his head as he left me. That’s when I swore I would never go through that again. No more dogs for me! I decided to plant grass and flowers in my backyard. I had never lived without at least one dog though and something was missing in my home. About ten days later, I heard about Duke of Earl.
Duke had lived a life of neglect, in a backyard, chained. His owner paid no attention to him. The neighbors watched over him, fed him and even took him to the vet. When his owner passed away, Duke was lucky enough to find his way to Animal Friends. I knew he was the guy I was supposed to help. I also have several (much loved!) cats and they too have accepted Abe (as he is now known). I couldn’t ask for better friends.
The grass and flowers in my backyard have been ruined. My backyard resembles the surface of the moon now but do I regret bringing Abe into our family? Never! The stars and planets were exactly where they were supposed to be the day I said good-bye to Nick and was guided to Abe.