~| Furry Loved Ones |~

Furry Loved Ones

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This is a special tribute page for our “Fuzzy Loved Ones.” The genesis for this page came in February 1997 when we nearly lost our little dog, Oz.

The following email, sent out to all my cyberspace friends to ask for emotional support when it happened, tells it all:

Re: Asking for prayers for our little dog, Oz.

Oz is a 7-yr old terrier, looks very much like "Benji" but a little bigger. He is a a very sweet, adorable, intelligent, loving, loyal and fiercely protective dog. You could not find a better pet.

All the time we have had him, he has never had a propensity to run off. We could have the front door wide open and he MIGHT wander out into the front yard but that’s about it. He has not ever strayed off.

Well, suddenly he has developed the habit of sneaking out the back door when we’re not looking --- being very devious to slip out when we’re carrying in groceries or taking out the garbage, etc. This morning, he snuck out when our housekeeper was putting trash outside from the kitchen.

I had come home from running errands and Oz, who always barks and runs to the front door to greet me, did not make any such greeting. I called out to my roommate, "Where’s Oz?"

Just then, the phone rang. A neighbor TWO STREETS over called and said that Oz was over there. Arlee went to get him. When he came back I saw that he had Oz lying on the front porch, and Arlee was crying. He said Oz had been hit by a car.

At first, I feared Oz was dead and I just freaked. But then I could see there was a spark of life in his obviously pain-filled eyes, but that faint glimmer of life seemed to be fading. He appeared to be slipping into a coma.

Much as I wanted to do nothing more than to stop everything and attend to Oz, the reality of life was that I had a concert to play tonight and just had too much to do to get ready, so Arlee took Oz to the vet.

At the concert, it was all I could do to play. My mind was very much on Oz and it was a tough evening to get through. At the end of the concert, I called Arlee to see if he had heard anything. The vet had, finally, called with a prognosis.

The vet had to do some tests and Xrays and said that Oz was a very, very lucky dog. There is no internal bleeding and in that regard appears to be fine. However, he has several (multiple, compound) very serious pelvic fractures. So bad that the pelvis has separated from the sacroiliac. He is going to need major surgery. Which is gonna cost $2000 but that’s another story --- and another prayer... *sigh*

I’m just asking you to pray for my little doggie that he pulls through this okay. We love him SO MUCH ...

Please : Do not write and suggest (1) that it is stupid to spend this much money on a dog. If you knew Oz, and how much he has given to us, you would understand; or (2) that we should just have him put to sleep --- the vet said Oz is very, very lucky to have survived; indeed, just before Arlee got there another family brought their dog in, who was hit by a car, and their dog died. So we think it’s up to us to do whatever we can for Oz. If we do not have the surgery done he will be lame the rest of his life and that would be worse than having him put to sleep.

Also ... please don’t tell me (as one "friend" already has) that we are to blame for not making sure the door was closed tightly. Believe me, we KNOW that. I, for one, feel extremely guilty and stupid for not keeping a closer watch on him. So does our housekeeper. When she found out what happened she was extremely distraught and I could hardly calm her down.

If you have never owned a dog you just wouldn’t understand, and we don’t expect you to. We just ask that you help us pray for Oz that he will be okay.

Sorry to go on so, but we have a lot of friends here in Cyberspace --- and am asking those of you who care to pray for Oz, as well as for Arlee and me.

This hurts very, very much.

Charles Richard Lester & Lee del Rosario


Well, the responses began pouring in immediately. Our cyber-friends really rallied around us and let us know they were praying for us.

I saved every single reply we received and have used them as the basis for this web-page.

This page is here for a two-fold purpose:

First, as a loving tribute to our very sweet dog -- who has so greatly filled our lives with love and joy. (Oh, and of course, my sweet, aged kitty Nikki Goldberg is also featured here -- lest she get jealous!)

Second, I hope this page will serve as a very belated, but none the less sincere (and, hopefully, touching), thank-you card to all of you who cared enough, and bothered to take the time, to send your support to us. None of you will ever know just how much that meant to us, but I hope in some way the outpouring we received can be shared by our readers as you review with us the many lovely messages we received.


I know just how you feel. We had one of our poodles operated on just two weeks ago. Her left rear knee would not stay in joint. The operation took about 3 hours and cost about $900 but it worked fine. She could stand on the leg in about two days and two weeks later she is using it about half the time. Dogs heal fast. They did some chisel work on the bone and put in two pins.

I’ll send up a prayer for you and for Oz.


We will light a candle for Oz.

We have 11 cats and love each one dearly. We spend $3000+ a year for routine and not so routine vet bills for what are mainly reformed stray tom cats, one of whom, "L--", travels with J-- in his work truck for days at a time while fixing mountain-top communications sites and the rest try to keep A-- warm at night.

Pay whatever it takes - our pets are better companions than most humans we know. Will you accept donations on Oz’s behalf?


Maybe this is why I couldn’t sleep. Woke up in a sweat having a bad dream--what I can’t remember, but enough to say, "Forget it. Get some coffee and do some work. It’s only 2 hours before regular alarm anyway!"

I know exactly where you are. Spent $500 a few years ago when we had nothing on a cat that had been a stray. Little guy was a bundle of joy and gave me a lot of comfort. Didn’t think twice about charging the operation to fix a broken leg. Then cried like a baby Christmas Eve 1995 when he was killed. Man, it was hard to play those services. Still have his picture around.

I’ll pound an extra chord or 2 today--know that always helps me.


I’m writing to you, Chaz, because,
I’m thinking of you and of Oz.
With help from above,
and your tender love,
in time, he’ll be just like he was.


We are something of a cyber-family here, in a way, so perhaps a bit of band width can be sacrificed to offer our support to Charlie, at what I, as a dog lover and dog owner, know is a very upsetting time. Good luck, Charlie.


1255am ... the planets must be misaligned. No, i could never tell you that you are doing the wrong thing. I have already stopped and prayed. My prayers have included that you will be given the strength to know what is best for Oz, from Oz’ standpoint. That is important. Forgive me if this sets poorly. I had P-- at the vet yesterday, trying to organize what to do when I can no longer take care of him. This must be wrenching for you both and i will keep praying for the 3 of you, in bed in a moment with my arms around my doggie. Please let me know what happens. F--- is away or I would ask him to pray for the 3 of you, also. He had a terrible tragedy with his beloved cat last year. He is not over it.


Poor Oz! We’re both so sorry to hear about his accident. Best wishes for a speedy recovery...for all concerned.


Sometimes an animal just takes it into his head to run out or get into some kind of mischief; it is very, very, very hard to stop him. I hope you’re not feeling so very guilty now (easy for Me to say, right?); don’t listen to anyone who tries to make you feel worse. That goes for vet bills, too--friends are not interchangeable, and that goes for the fuzzy kind as well, and some of us Do know that (I think we spent about the same amount on M--’s vet bills, not that I want to go check). Oz is a great dog, and you *are* lucky to still have him. Take good care him, And yourselves, and keep us posted.


At 0235 i am now feeling this will work out. let’s let the vet do his job. he will want a success story in this difficult scenario.


I am sorry to hear about your dog. A-- and I had a white collie for 15 years and she developed cancer lumps, which I had removed several times before it got too bad. The saddest day of my life was when I had to take her to be put asleep - I weep now and it has been 10 years! I certainly hope yours survives the operation and does okay.

Again, you and Arlee have our thoughts and prayers!


Our thoughts are with you, Arlee and Oz. Anyone who has loved a pet knows your anguish. I still feel sadness when I remember when I was 10 and my pet dog was hit by a car and ran under the house limping and crying and then disappeared. It wasn’t until years later that I found out that my parents had him put to sleep when W-- and I were at school.


Dear friend, Since we have four dogs, and all of them are special, I can empathize with your situation, and certainly will pray for you, your family, and your dog. One of ours has recently taken to jumping the fence, and we must keep him locked up most of the time. The others are too old for that.

Praying that God will grant you His peace during this ordeal,


As the owners of three dogs (and a kitty) be assured that our prayers are with you. One of our dogs-also a Benji look-alike is eighteen years old and has arthritis. The other-a twelve year old is diabetic and blind, the third is a blacklab mix (all of our dogs have been rescued from the pound because my eldest son used to tell us that someone will always buy the purebreds) who is frisky and takes me for a four mile walk every day. The thought of "pulling the plug" on any ow them is foreign to us. They do provide immeasurable and unqualified love and joy. Those who have never experienced this love and joy will never understand.

Hang in there...hug Oz for all of us.

S--, B--, P--, G--, R--. and B--- (meow)


I read your post, and indeed: you have my prayers and my good wishes...

I have 4 Yorkies and KNOW your grief.


I have a 12-year-old cocker spaniel, "S--," and I understand fully.

You and Oz have our prayers.


Being a great dog lover myself, I was very saddened to read of Oz’s accident.

My thoughts and my prayers are with you all, and I hope to read soon that Oz is on the mend.


As another animal lover on the list, you have my prayers - and my sympathy.

As to advice, I can only say: keep it up! I have an 18 year old cat (a stray) who has (over the years) cost in excess of $10,000.00. Currently he has a shot a day drug habit to deal with his kidney condition. We do it because we love him. They are frequently our best friends. Good luck - God bless.


Your family, and especially "Oz", is and will be in our prayers. We have a "special" family member ourselves and know how much "Oz" must mean to you. We sincerely hope that he recovers completely.


Like it or not, pets become very much a part of the family. Some people don’t understand this. My thoughts and prayers are with you.


Hi, Charlie. Indeed I did say a prayer for you and Oz, and I believe it’ll be okay. Of course I understand how a pet is part of the family, and you have to do what you can when something like this happens.

We had a miniature poodle named "S--" for about 12 years or so, and she got so old and blind that we had to take her to be put to sleep. It hurt. She couldn’t function any more, and it had to be done.

God bless.


Sorry to hear of the mishap. My thoughts and prayers are with you and with Oz. My partner and I have shared pets for the last 29 years and they become full-fledged family members. I was almost petrified in 1984 when a feisty Shih Tzu named B-- developed a spinal problem which was corrected by surgery performed by a vet specializing in orthopedics. He pulled through just fine.

D-- and I have found that the best cure when nature takes its course and a loved pet dies, is to carefully choose another. R--, our fifth "canine unit" is a joy to live with. It makes no difference how stressful a day at work may be--R-- can coax a smile from me by meeting me at the front door!

Keep the faith--prayers help in times like these, and I am sure that there are hundreds for you and for Oz.


Charlie, my sympathies to you and your family members. We too have had the experience of losing pets - both a dog & a cat - to accidents - the cat we actually ran over ourselves in the driveway as she for some crazy reason tried to run under the car as it was moving.

And sure you feel guilt - but you shouldn’t. Not your fault, or your housekeeper’s. It’s very saddening when beloved pets get into serious trouble - but NOT YOUR FAULT. Stuff happens - that’s life ( and sometimes death.)

Our own current cat goes nuts to get outside at night, esp. when therte is a full moon - Really! we try hard to keep her in, as we live in the country and there are coyotes/wild dogs/foxes etc out there that are hungry. But we can’t always get or keep her in at night (she too gets devious about it!) so we have determined to be as philosophicl as possible should something happen - while of course taking all reasonable care.

So - grief is oK - but try to avoid guilt too.

I hope your dog recovers ok, not to mention your bank balance... Cheers.


My prayers and thoughts are with you. Good luck with the surgery. Hope Oz has at least another 7 years to frolic. I have a 16-year old "pound puppy" who is still moderately frisky, and I can surely understand the attachment that grows over the years to a faithful friend.


I am really sorry to hear about Oz. i will send out some prayers. i do know how you feel, because i love my animals as if they were my children.


All my words can tell youwould be inadequate.

May I express my feelings by a little story!

While I was in my surgery residency at the LA County Hospital, we were obliged to go to the dog lab where we had to practice on open chest heart standstill resussitation.

I told my chief of service that I could not do it. He said either do it or we’ll kick you out of the residency. I further protested and refused. I was taken to disciplinary review, and it went to the Medical Director of the hospital. No one had ever refused before, it seemed, and they weren’t about to make an exception for me.

Well TMALSS, I didn’t do it, had to do a lot of extra projects in lieu of it, and was made fun of by all the residents for quite a while, even still, some that were in my year remind me when they see me at meetings.

That tells you where I’m coming from, so your tragedy is truly emphathised with.

I think I have more regards for animals than I do for people----------


A heartfelt novena from here, dog-lover that I’ve been. Having met your hound, it makes it all the more urgent. Get well, little one.


Yes, you do have friends on this list!

You have my prayers for the return to health of your special dog. Although I am not an animal person, I do understand that people and animals can become quite attached to each other. When my sister’s cat disappeared from the place in Maine where she, her husband and 3 cats were staying for their summer vacation, it was quite a traumatic time. He did reappear about ten days later. I pray that you and your family along with the help of God through the vet and a guardian angel or two will be able to enjoy the alert, alive, loving company of your "Benji" once again very soon.


As human companion to the eponymous D-- for nearly eight years now, I extend my concern to you. He is a Lhasa Apso, still with a bit (sometimes more than a bit) of terrier feistiness, but mostly a lazy and loveable little guy to have around. On the rare occasions when I get back to the apartment from a trip or something and he is not here, there is an eerie feeling. Some of my colleagues like to mock the closeness of human and canine companions -- but they have never enjoyed that experience.

There are even those who suggest that I have become a somewhat different (perhaps even nicer) person since D-- came to live with me.

We share your concern and hope for the best!


Hi, Your message touched me and my family as something very worth while. I’ve never prayed for a dog before. Keep me in touch as to his condition and I hope he recovers fully.


I have a 12 year-old Schnauzer that I love dearly and I know that if she got away from me, she would have no fear of cars. I hope Oz’ surgery is successful. Please keep us on the board post about his progress. Good Luck,


Although we have never met, I guess I am a distant relative of your’s.

Received your message tonight about your dog. I am very sympathetic as we had an English Setter that was hit by a car in 1992. After a week at the Vets, both in and out of it, he had to be put to sleep. He had very bad internal injuries, among other injuries. We miss him terribly but we also have very good memories of him.

We have another English Setter, FDSB Registered, and has been used for stud purposes. He is an excellent pheasant hunter, wonderful companion, and a great friend. We always try to be careful when he goes outside but I am always afraid that something will happen.

Our thoughts and prayers are with OZ and keep us posted.


I was VERY sad to read this. You certainly have my best wishes and hope for a good outcome. My two German Shepherds, W-- and G-- have certainly kept me going through difficult times.

They continue to provide me with unconditional company and pleasure (my friends tell me that they are my "children replacements"), so I can well imagine how you feel about "Oz".


Charlie- You are certainly in my prayers and I will mention this to my husband, also. I know where you are with this, and I completely understand. We have a Japanese Chin named D--, and it would destroy us if anything happened to him. Give Oz a hug for us. Hang in there!


I’m praying for you and Oz. Last January my family’s 2 year old cat snuck out the back door on a rainy night. She was hit by a car and killed. We found her in the middle of the road the next morning and it was a very traumatic experience. We still miss her very much. It was hard not to blame ourselves for not running after her because we didn’t think she would go far. This January we had to have our dog put to sleep. She had epsilesy and the medication was no longer working. She was a very sweet part black lab mix. We now have another cat and dog, but M-- and S-- are still missed greatly. Pets are very special and I hope Oz will be ok.


He will certainly be in my prayers tonight. Two years ago, we lost our Scottish Terrier after 13 years with us. She was the most wonderful pet that I have ever had, and I have had them all of my life. It was like a knife in the heart, Even now, it brings tears to my eye. They are more than many, many so called friends. Such love approches divine love, as they give to us.

We now have two more, saved from the pound and from abandoned owners. It helps but the love we had for T-- can not be replaced but only transformed.

Take care and know that such love had a very profound meaning.


First and foremost, you can’t blame yourself for this as it was something that you really had no control over. Afterall, Oz had never run off before, so you had no reason to expect this to happen.

We went though somthing very much like this a few years back, so we understand some of how you feel. Believe me; all our prayers and best wishes are with you. I wish that I could knowingly say "everything’s going to be fine," but I can’t, as I don’t know the situation. What I can say is that Oz is exceedingly lucky to have an owner who cares about him as much as you do. That alone will be worth more to him than anything that I could offer. Nonetheless, my prayers are still with you.


I was so sorry to hear this news. As for the expense: I aquired two Ridgeback puppies last year, a brother and sister. As it turned out, the bitch had some genetic defects which could be fixed by surgery. So we went for it. The surgery went well; but then the wound became infected and there were no less than three subsequent operations to drain, etc, etc. By this time the bills were sky high. However, all was eventually well; although I then had her spayed because I didn’t want to breed and risk passing on the genetic problem (dermoid cysts). More expense.

Was it worth while? Every wag of the tail, every lick on the face, every bound through the forest or on the beach and even every hole in the garden repays me a thousandfold. Not to mention her brother’s joy in her company. Only people who don’t know dogs would suggest not spending money on them..... And THEY are, paradoxically, the poorer for it.

With my best wishes to Oz and to you and Arlee.


You have my prayers for your sweet pooch - having been through the loss of several dogs and being with a few when they drifted off, and being currently the thankful mistress of an almost-human Golden named Z--, I understand fully what you must be going through. Do whatever you must to try to save Oz - if this were the time for him to go, you’d know it instinctively - follow your instincts.


Sorry to hear about your pet’s misfortune.

I hope you won’t blame yourself for this accident. While perhaps more could have been done to prevent the dog from getting out, I think we also need to realize that there were about a million other variables involved here that ultimately resulted in the dog’s being hit by the car. In any case, nothing can be done to reverse that, now.

About a year and a half ago, I finally had to have my beloved dog put to sleep. He was 19-1/2 years old. He had lived almost his whole life with only one eye, since the other one was mutilated by a neighbor’s cat when he was very young. He could hardly have been a better pet. Unfortunately, with age, he had started having frequent "accidents" on the carpeting, floors, etc, and his sight and hearing were no longer very good.

Both of his hind legs had been operated on at different times, due to a genetic predisposition for Schnauzer/Poodle combinations to have their rear knees get sloppy, and they were clearly starting to bother him again. It became very difficult for him to get up on his feet after laying down for a while, and jumping up on anything was no longer an option.

His life was eventually reduced to being barricaded in the tile-floored dining room of my Mom’s house, where he would sleep, wander around (banging into chairs), and otherwise exist among sheets of damp and soiled newspaper.

After praying for about a year that he would die, which he didn’t do, we finally decided that enough was enough, and that the quality of his dear life was not a positive thing. I made an appoinment, and we took him to the vet on the scheduled day. He was frightened, as usual, to be stood there on that formica countertop, and I tried to soothe him as we did our best to make him comfortable. The vet explained that sometimes pets feel a burning sensation as the injection goes through.

The needle went into his front paw, and as the injection was delivered, my dog put his head up and gave a heart-wrenching high-pitched howl. As the howl tapered off, he slumped over, and that was it. The whole thing took maybe seven seconds. The vet left me there with my dog for several minutes, and I continued to hold him until I noticed the blood running from the place where the injection had been delivered. I will never forget the profoundness of standing there over my dear dog’s lifeless body, which was slumped in a motionless heap on the table.

My mother had gone out to the lobby before the injection was given, but she heard the cry, and was sobbing just as much as I was when I came out of the room. We had his remains separately-cremated, and they are now in a tin box on Mom’s fireplace.

It took a long time for me to get over the tremendous guilt I felt after we had the dog put down. I would often be driving (of which I do quite a bit...) and would end up sobbing as I thought about him. He was so innocent, and he never did anything to anyone to deserve to die. As a friend later said, "You feel like you betrayed him." But I have had to keep in mind that we did what we did because we did not want him to suffer any longer. Of course, there will never be another dog like him, but we have many happy memories of our beloved pet.

I will certainly keep you and your dog in my thoughts and prayers, and I hope your dog’s recovery from the surgery will be swift and complete.

Best wishes, and sorry for dumping my sad story on you!


So sorry to read about your little dog. I am just now collecting my mail from the weekend and happened across your posting. I hope by now your doggie is doing better. Also, our animal hospital takes payments, so you might ask yours about that, although it is very sad for a long time to make payments on surgery where the patient did not survive, an experience we had, thank goodness, only one time.

Having grown up on the farm, I have been accustomed over the years to losing many animals, but it is always hard. (Although I’ve always had a rule ~never~ to eat an animal (duck, chicken, steer) that had a name. ;-) Anyway, thank goodness, dogs fight for life harder than most any animal I know of, and yours is probably no exception.

Your dog is seven years old. He’s an adult. He should know better. Now a puppy--that might be different. But, I’m sure he’s quite prepared to take the consequences of his actions and, hopefully, he will put two and two together and not do it again in the future.

We have only had two dogs ever put to sleep. One was twenty years old. (Need I say more?) The other was 16 years old and had developed arthritis so bad that his life was mostly not very pleasant anymore--his legs dragged and he was in pain.

And don’t *you* blame yourself. Sometimes there’s nothing you can do. We have a cat that can zap out through the door so fast you barely see the streak going by, if you see it at all, and I always worry about her when she gets away, there are predators where we live--owls, skunks, etc., etc. So far, she’s always returned, but sometimes there is no way to restrain an animal with a mind of its own. Unless you beat it into submission, or some such thing. Which is also not an option.

Let’s see. We have a female dog, K--, who has been hit by a car twice now. (I did it once myself--imagine the guilt about that. She was a pup and got in front of my back wheel when I thought she was gone.) She has survived both, but still hasn’t learned not to chase cars. A white dog comes down from over the hill once in a while and beats up our male dog, P--, who then ends up in the animal hospital, and I think he’s suffered hearing damage in one ear from it, but he’s fought back each time. We once had a female dog whose pelvis got broken, but the vet never knew how. She not only recovered but was able to have puppies, something they weren’t sure she could do anymore.

So, with those words of encouragement, I hope things go well for you.

P.S. When you first bring your doggie home, after being on an IV.... Be sure to let him go to the bathroom *often*, (before he gets in the car, and then immediately upon arrival at home before you go into the house, etc. etc.) or he will do lots all over your floor. ;-) The IV gives them liquids, which seem to go straight through them. ;-) Live and learn. ;-) Twice now, I haven’t seemed to have learned, myself. ;-)  


After a very long day and sleepless night worrying about Oz, we got some news from the vet.


Hello, one and all.

Thank you all, so much, for the incredible outpouring of kindness, support and encouragement regarding Oz. My friend Arlee and I are both so very deeply touched by the flood of responses to my posting last night.

The good news today is that the vet said Oz is out of the woods regarding concerns over internal injuries. He is okay, and very fortunate, in that regard.

He is going to have the surgery. The vet showed us x-rays ... you would not believe your eyes --- there is about a 3/8" gap where the left side of the pelvic bone -was- attached to the base of the spine; the other side of the pelvic bone was pushed way up out of place and will have to be pulled back down. So, actually, two separate operations will take place.

We went to visit Oz today and his spirits were certainly lifted (as were ours) when the vet brought him into the room and he saw us. He seems to be managing okay; was doped up and quite groggy -- but that’s good as it means he is not in so much pain.

The surgery will take place tomorrow afternoon. Will I be able to sleep at all, tonight??

Thank you all, again, for supporting us through this. I’ll keep the posts on this to a minimum, but do realize (and am grateful) that a lot of you are animal lovers, and are concerned for Oz. So I’ll let you know how the surgery goes.

Please do continue to pray for us, and for Oz.

Charles Richard Lester


The well-wishing continued to pour in...


My prayers are with you both and Oz, for the surgery tomorrow!


Thanks for the good news. I am glad the lists first round of prayers were heard. We’ll give another round for Oz’s fast and full recovery.


My thoughts and prayers are certainly with you. We love our families and the dogs and cats are very much part of them. Your later news that there is good hope for recovery is heart-warming to all of us.


Thanks for the update on Oz. Poor baby! Looks like you and Arlee will be playing Nurse Ratchet for the next few months. Oz will be one happy little camper to get back home.


I’ve been dissertizing all weekend, so I missed your original post - but my thoughts and prayers are with you and Oz. Some people don’t understand - but there are many of us who know - they are our children - they may happen to have more hair and walk on 4 legs, but the are children nevertheless. I’ll be hoping for good luck in the surgeries. Please do post his progress - we do want to know.


Although I did not get your message until Monday AM, Oz has my prayers.

I know how you feel. I have a Pomeranian (11 years old) who is in better health than her sister and brother, but about four years ago, she also was hit by a car, and while she had blood coming from her eyes and ears, she turned out to have no obvious internal injuries, and I was able to take her home the next day. She occasionally has trouble controlling her rear legs, but that is really very seldom. I assume there may have been some nerve damage.

A year and a half later, she suddenly became very ill with seizures after being in the kennel for a week. She appeared to be suffering from a brain problem and enlargement of the heart. She was on heavy medication for a week and it looked like she would only survive as a vegetable. She no longer knew who I was. We decided to put her to sleep and all of a sudden, she recovered, and has never had another episode. We believe it was a reaction to flea spray they were routinely giving the dogs at the kennel.

My point is that under such circumstances, these very loving animals can pull through. They give all their love and expect very little in return.

I pray that Oz is now through the operations and recovering, and that you will be together for a long time.


I hope Oz and you all come through ok. Never feel guilty about giving any love or affection to any living thing. dogs are wonderful and just as giving and loving as anything. We couldn’t do without our little doggie, S--.


I’m REALLY sorry to hear abut your dog. I can relate as a few years back I went to Phoenix for Thanksgiving and left my dog, H-- (an Airedale) with my boss (and friend) for safe keeping. Well, our dog got out of his "secure" yard and got hit by a car and KILLED while we were gone. Talk about grief. Talk about learning to forgive. I have no kids and my dog is my only living child. I couldn’t go to work for days. At least you still have Oz, and he’ll get better. Dogs have remarkable regenerative capacity. You’ll see.

If Oz is a guy, the change that came over him (running away suddenly) was likely due to a female dog in heat being somewhere close by in the neighborhood. My Airedale went through that--went from lying by the back door all day to sprinting away any chance he got. We had to tie him up (we had no fences). It was a real dramatic personality change. I now have a FEMALE airedale, F--, and she has reflective a collar, a reflective tag, etc. Even she found out how to get out of the yard at my husband’s office downtown, and she’d run across five lanes of busy traffic to get in line at the bank drive-up across the street--because they’d always send dog biscuits out in the carrier when we took her to the bank with us! A local paper actually did an aricle on her for that reason...

My best wishes are with you, Charlie. Thanks for telling me what’s going on. Keep me in posted on the progress, okay?


Dear Charlie I will pray for Oz, and for you and your peace of mind.

I have lost a couple dogs in the past 10 years, one I saw get hit as he ran out to greet another dog. D-- who was a special terrier that looked for all the world like Nipper died in my arms that day, and my heart almost broke - Tears come as I relive it. I understand and feel for you.


I’m VERY happy to hear (from your later post) that Oz is doing better.

And you won’t hear any blame from this quarter about Oz’s sneaking out--my partner and I have a wonderful dark-and-white cat (along with two other cats) who is insatiably curious, and who has gotten out of the house through the front door twice when he could sneak his way past us. Fortunately, he has stayed in the yard when he’s done that, but I was certainly surprised one day to see him looking in the living room window from the outside! So we are especially watchful now.

Yes, the medical attention can be expensive, but our "common household parasites" give us SO much that it’s more than worth it. There is something very touching to me that a cat becomes so trusting as to come curl up on my lap or chest and purr contentedly.


You don’t know me but I’m a pipe organ student and subscriber to the piporg-l list and saw your message.

It is most certainly not stupid to spend that much money on a dog, or to not want to put him to "sleep". I’ve always hated that term, as it implies that you’re doing something kind to the animal. I’m sure that in certain cases it is, but far too often people put their animals to "sleep" because they don’t want to spend the money and then use this as some sort of rationalization for not doing so.

I’ve had dogs all my life. The most precious thing to me in the world is my dog V--. She is 15 years old and other than some hearing loss, she is in excellent health and I thank God for that every day. I would no more put her to sleep for a fractured bone than I would kill my parents if they incurred a similar injury. If V-- was suffering badly and her life was being artificially extended with no reasonable hope of recovery, only then would I consider putting her to sleep, and I pray that I never have to make that decision.

Anyhow, my prayers go out to Oz and to you and your family. You are doing the right thing. Ignore those who tell you it is stupid; they have not been blessed by the love of a pet and do not realize that love carries no price tag.


I was glad to hear that Oz is doing better. As a dog lover I can attest to the special contribution that they make to the homes and lives of their companions (i.e. us!). Our thoughts and prayers are with you...


Charlie - I’m so sorry to hear about Oz. If its any consolation, I have a similar tale: A dozen years or so ago, we had two Norwegian Elkhounds, L-- (M) and M-- (F). Do you know what Elkhounds are, Charlie? In case you don’t, they’re in the Spitz family (which also includes Chows and Samoyeds). They look like miniature German Shepherds, except that they have tightly curled tails (which curl even more tightly when they are excited) and their colors are supposed to be limited to combinations of black, white, silver and grey. They are such handsome animals! And smart as a whip, too!

L-- was undersized at about 60 lbs (he should have been about 80-90 lbs). Anyway, L-- liked to wander. We had a chain-linked fence, and he started digging under it and he wouldn’t come home until he was really, really hungry. One time I chained him to a landscaping timber (as long as, but not as heavy as, a railroad tie) thinking it would keep him in our yard. When I got home, he was dragging that timber down the street. I put up an electric fence - I saw him, repeatedly, take the shock (he’d growl or yelp) and still go under our fence. Nothing would keep him in.

Finally, he got hit by a car on a nearby expressway. The car just nicked him on the rear quarters, but somebody found him and looked at his tag and called us around 9pm on a Sunday night. I found him and slid him onto an old blanket and dragged him to my car, then lifted him into it and drove him to the nearest animal emergency room. $200 later, and about 3 hrs, too, he was resting quietly.

The vet told me to watch him for a few weeks to make sure that he wouldn’t pop his ball-&-socket joint apart again. I couldn’t take time off for him because I didn’t have that much leave available, but I left him in our garage everyday. Sure enough, he popped his joint out again. Another trip to the vet. This time it was $600 for his ball joint to be removed. Plus 6 weeks in the vet’s office, at $7/day. $900 for that dog, and no guarantee that he wouldn’t run off when we got him back home.

A few weeks later, when I visited him one day after work, a lady came in and remarked what a beautiful dog he was and how he made her miss her "L--," an Alsatian she had to put down earlier that day and how she wished L-- was hers. Instantly, I said, "Lady, he’s yours!" She couldn’t believe her ears. I told her that we had problems keeping him in our yard, and she said her dogs stayed indoors during the day, and that she and her husband didn’t have any kids, but they had a ranch with horses and that L-- would spend all his weekends there with them, unless he got snakebit. That was the last time I ever saw him.

A year or so later, M-- developed a slipped disk in her neck. She couldn’t move without groaning. She couldn’t eat or drink water and was slowly dying so we had her put down. My wife really missed her.

Now we have M--. She is a Golden Retriever/Australian Shepherd mix. She is a beautiful reddish-gold color, and when she lies down in front of the TV, she looks like a lion with its mane. She is as smart as a whip, too. If a door is ever so slightly ajar, she will stick her nose in it and push it open. Our doors have to be closed all the way to keep her in or out of a room. Plus, if she wants you to go someplace, she will gently push you with her body, then walk in front of you and bark, and then run behind you and push you some more. She does this if she wants you to go to the kitchen and give her a treat. On the whole, she’s a real good girl.

So, as you can see, I really love dogs, too, and I was so sorry to hear about Oz. I’m sure he will be all right and will run and jump and entertain you as soon as he can. I’m sure he misses being able to be with you as much as you do him.


Well, I must admit that I got a bit "teary" reading this but it is indeed EXCELLENT NEWS! I am sure that he is in good care and I know that by his seeing you there to visit him he knows you care for him.

Believe it or not, you probably will sleep tonight, at least out of fatigue over all this. I find that mentally I get more tired than physically when stressful situations occur.


I was heartened to read the "Oz Update" {#1) and I hope that you and Arlee feel able to relax just a little bit more now. I’m still keeping everything crossed for the time being though.

I’m glad you liked the limerick and I’m flattered that you stuck it on your wall.

I mailed a "get well" card to Oz today, so hopefully it’ll be with you/him before the end of the week.

Keep me posted as to how things progress.


Allow me to send you my sympathies, thoughts, prayers, etc. in hopes that all turns out well with Oz. He, as I recall, is quite a friendly little guy, and though I have never had an animal companion, I feel very sad that this has happened. Having taken care of friends’ cats on occasion, I know their propensity to attempt to sneak out the door, despite all efforts to prevent it, and I certainly hope you don’t blame yourselves overmuch about that. I wish there was something I could do in a more tangible way, but I will certainly remember you three in my prayers.


You know Iam not really an animal lover but do understand the love that one can have for a pet. Must say that I got a bit anger when you mentioned some unkind comments that you had recieved. Thank God we have the fellowship that teaches us to consider to the source.

Glad to here that things are better for Oz. Once again if you need me for any kind of support I’m here. Will you be there when they perform the surgey?


We had a little cocker spaniel mixed breed who my father used to take with him on a mail run between branches of a bank he worked for. One day, "S--" jumped out of the van when father was in the bank and we never saw him again.


Charlie, I’m really glad that Oz has no internal injuries. After the surgery, what are his chances of being 100% and able to get around. I don’t mean to offend you, if I do, it’s that when I was around 16 I had a dog that I loved very much and she was hit by a car, too, so I know how badly Oz must be hurt. I didn’t have any control over whether she had surgery or not(my Dad did), and I’m not even sure surgery could have helped. I really don’t remember if it was even mentioned..She was unable to walk, so after a week or two we had to do what one of your "friends" suggested. Each person has to do what they feel is right for themselves, especially where their pet is concerned. It was devatating, to say the least. I’ll be hoping for the best.


Just another animal lover checking in to say we’re thinking of Oz and you & praying that all will be well. I know what you’re going thru - I just lost my M-- last spring after 13 yrs - it was a rough decision to make - and since my life was driven by her needs, my whole routine is mixed up. M-- was a full-size Nubian goat (used to have 2) and you can’t just go away & leave them to be baby-sat - or stay out late - you must be home for dinner etc. Keep us posted on Oz. God Bless.  


The vet called us after the surgery with some very good news!


Dear Family and Friends,

I am writing with happy news.

The surgeon just called to say that Oz’s operation went very smoothly; no complications; he is fine and emerging from the anesthesia. They expect complete and full recovery.

Barring complications, we should be able to pick him up Tuesday evening.

I cannot tell you how deeply we have been touched by the tremendous outpouring of love, prayers and support we have received from List members.

Many of you shared your own pet stories -- some happy, some sad. While the happy endings lifted our spirits, even the tragic ones helped in their own way. Because those stories confirmed the fact that there are a lot of animal lovers out there -- people just as caring and devoted as us who would do ~anything~ for their pets. Even when it means making the anguished decision to end irrevocable suffering with euthanasia, when that truly is the only viable choice for the animal.

Again, thank you all so very much. This tragedy has brought me much closer, spiritually, to many of you; which certainly represents the ~good~ that has come from this most anguishing experience. And it surely has brought me even closer to my dear little doggie, OZ.

God bless you all, and your "loved ones" --- of whatever the variety.

With deepest gratitude,

Charles Richard Lester  


So happy to hear about OZ’s successful surgery. Will pray for a speedy recovery!


Yes, please keep me posted. I really feel for both you and Oz as you go through this awful process. I’m sure the dog is suffering quite a bit, and will continue to be very uncomfortable until the healing makes its way along.


I know that it is hard to deal with the emotions that go along with owning pets. Although our own story is not quite identical, the grief inflicted on our family by the event was enough to make me realize the emotional attachment that folks get to their pets.

They really become members of your family and only those who have never experienced the joys of pet ownership don’t understand.

We had an orange tabby named O-- who was a lovely cat and loved "M--" (my wife) more than anyone. Soon as my wife went out to go to work, the cat "knew" that that’s where she was going and would go into his "morning Mourning". The sound was the most acrid sound I’ve ever heard from an animal in my life! Never mind if anyone else was in the house, either.

We had him for about 4 years, and I had grown up allergic to cats. I made a "deal" with my daughter, (who coerced me into having this cat with the words: "how can you say no to a face like this?") For some reason, this one had never bothered me before. Then, all of a sudden, after I came back from installing my California organ, I developed a real allergy to him and I simply could not tolerate being in the house anymore. It got to the point where it got down to "him or me" (of course, my family would have rather kept the cat and ditched me!!)

Of course, it really tore me up to have to find him a new home too, because I was attached to him and was glad that he was good company for my wife when I have to be away from home for extended periods of time.

At least, the good news is that a family friend too him and once in awhile, my wife and daughter get to see him, but it does go to show that after awhile, pets forget, because when O-- lived with us, the cat practically flew into my wife’s arms and would knock her down because he was so glad to see her when she came home, but anymore, he doesn’t pay her any attention anymore.

Hopefully, that cheers you up a bit. Meanwhile, you’re in our prayers!


I to would like to express my sympathy as you go through the trials and pain with OZ as he struggles to recover from his injuries. B-- and I have two cats, both approaching 15 years of age. The last year has not been ’Clear sailing" as it were. One had a cancer, which was removed. She was the only one from about ten that our vet did surgery on, that survived.

We feel for you since we know what it is like to go through the emotional upheaval that serious sickness and injury to a pet can bring on to a person.


Hi Charlie. Glad to hear about Oz doing well. I think you guys will be alright now. I look forward to hearing from you in the future. Take care.


Sorry to hear about your doggamus and also happy that he’s turning out OK.

I know all about the difference between dogs and cats. Cats are fine, but dogs are like, tray cool. I personally am a dog man. I think if we started a survey we would find that organists are dog people in general, if for no other reason than because of intelligence, etc.

I assume that Oz has a little black vinyl nose, because every dog I’ve ever seen has a vinyl nose, and they keep it shiny by licking it frequently.

Every dog needs a nice human master to love and take care of (both ways), and I’m glad Oz is in fine shape in that department.


I know Oz will be getting an extra ration of TLC when he gets home tomorrow. A friend of D--’s lost his wife a couple of years ago. M-- was a true animal lover, and "All Things Bright and Beautiful" was one of the hymns at her memorial service. I thought it was most appropriate, and I am very fond of the text. It reminds me of the James Herriott books about a vet in Yorkshire and the excellent television series, "All Creatures Great and Small".

Dogs are truly a joy in our lives!


Here’s wishing OZ a complete recovery. I’m sure he’ll be frolicking at your feet again in no time. In honor of OZ, I’ll play a couple rounds of ’All Things Bright and Beautiful’ when I do my practicing today.

Take care now!

P.S. It sounds like it may be time to invest in a fence for your back yard. :)  


And, then, a happy day finally arrived...

(A couple of notes about this photo: First, see his little stuffed doggie he has clutched in his paw? He held onto that thing for dear life. Then, see the huge stitches on his hip? There was another set on the other hip as well.)


Good morning one and all...

Well, am very happy today that I’ll be picking Oz up tonight.

Thanks, again, for helping us through this storm. God sent us many, many guardian angels to watch over us and we have felt and known your loving concern.

Charles Richard Lester  


Dear Charlie: Glad to hear the good news. Hope the recovery will be swift and painless. Love, N


Horray! Horray!! Horray!!

I just read your letter giving the update. Even with the good news it still brought tears to my eyes again. I took youe e-mail to work and passed it around. J-- wanted to home and kiss his own dog. T--, well it doesn’t take much to upset her. Well I’m beside myself with joy for Oz. I couldn’t get on line for 2 days and knew you had alot happening but we were all praying for all of you.

You may want to post you home address so those who may want to send Oz a get well card.

Keep us up todate on his recovery!!!!!!

Thanks for including me in this most tragic of moments for you.


Just collecting the rest of my mail today and read your doggie is out of the woods. I kind of thought that would be the case. Just remember what I told you about the IV and the need to go to the bathroom often. :-)


Glad to hear that the operation went well, and hope OZ is coming along well. I am sure it will be good to have him home again this evening, even though he will not be very frisky for a while. Hope he continues to heal rapidly.

I’m sure you will sleep better tonight also.


J-- and I understand and little Oz is in our prayers. We don’t have dogs (2 cats) but you & I grew up with them and I know how attached one can get to a pet. Anyone who is callous enough to suggest that it is somehow your fault should be shot (figuratively, of course!).

Hope he does well and that you have an angel to drop you a bag with $2000 in it.

I’ll be in touch soon.


I am so glad the operation was successful. After A-- (the white collie I told you about) we never got another pet. A-- is allergic to everyting, including dog hair. Also, I just did not want to ever become that attached to another animal - selfish of me I know - but that’s the way it is. I hope Oz will continue to do nicely.


Thank you, Charlie, for keeping us up-dated with Oz’s prognosis and recovery.

I share your and Arlee’s elation. I just think of all the dogs that don’t have Charlies and Arlees.


I’m *so* glad your doggy Oz is doing better. I expect now that he will have limited activity for some weeks, anyway that’s our experience. Glad you didn’t have any accidental big puddles. I never knew a dog could *hold* so much liquid after ours came home from having an IV--he literally flooded our porch. (The second time, he flooded the basement. ;-) Almost needed the shop vac to clean it up. ;-)

She was my husband’s dog already when we got married back in 1968. I think she was born in 1965. She was put to sleep some time in 1985. We already had fairly big kids by the time that happened, 15 and 13, I think. She had gotten very feeble in her old age, couldn’t see (cataract-type lenses on her eyes) although she retained her sense of smell, her hearing was about gone (except my husband said she could still hear the food hit the dog dish but she wouldn’t come when anyone called), she could still get around okay couldn’t be allowed in the house for very long, had difficulty getting her orientation.

When she would arise from a nap, she would spend some time going in circles before she got herself oriented. But she made it all around the neighborhood somehow, but I started keeping closer watch on her after a couple incidents. Some neighbors found her sleeping one night out on the paved road--not good, there’s more traffic there--and brought her back. Then, another time, she got into the slight "ditch" on the side of our driveway and the meter reader found her feebly trying to get herself out and brought her up to the house. I was afraid she might get attacked by some wild animal, and it was quite a worry in general just keeping an eye on her.

I was also afraid our other adult female dog might attack her, because she did once when I gave the older one some food the younger one didn’t get--they have their own pecking order, you know, and the old dog by then was definitely Bottom Dog. (Our male would have growled a warning at her but ~never~ would have attacked her, being as males attack males *only* and females attack females, and the sexes do not generally cross over, except a tom-boy female might join in a dog fight with a group of males once in a while, but they’ll never hurt her, except perhaps a mentally ill dog might, but that’s rare.)

When there’s a pecking order, and there always is, Top Dog, usually a male but not always, gets food first, and Second Dog next, and so on down. You have to remember that. When we got the pups, the male was Second Dog for a couple years (with the old female as Top Dog) and very gradually took over as Top Dog, who eventually made it down the ladder to Bottom Dog, a position she accepted gracefully as inevitable. (Our dogs are Australian Shepherds and tend to have dominant females, so often a female is Top Dog. We had a real bossy, tomboy, dominant female Top Dog for some five years a while back--she died early, not a mark on her, no one knew why, a couple years ago, just found her dead as if she just lay down and went to sleep. Aussies make the *cutest* puppies, by the way, real fuzzy little bear-like, stub-nosed pups of all colors.)

Anyway, so back to the old dog, we had the vet come out to the house and put the her to sleep in our family room. Then my husband took the kids out to eat to comfort them, but I couldn’t go because I had gotten sick to my stomach by then. These things affect people in different ways. I suppose she *could* have been kept in, but she *hated* it and always wanted back out, she loved the out-of-doors and wandering around, probably better than anything. My husband thought she was a real dumb dog until we got married when I discovered what she was was really a really smart dog, she just had him fooled. ;-) She didn’t fool me, though and, although I’m the one that fed her for years, I was just convenient and nothing else, and she wouldn’t mind me, I always had to get him to give her orders. She was definitely *his* dog.

Her name was H--. We got a couple pups (male and female) when H-- was about 11, thinking that she was getting old and wouldn’t be around much longer. ;-) She taught the male her watch-dogging skills. She used to sleep around back by the garage in the shade. And I observed this a number of times. The pups would be sleeping on the other side of the house, by then maybe 1 1/2 years old. A car would start up the drive. Hotei would get up, go around front, start the pups barking at the car, and then retire back to the shade and go back to sleep, leaving all the watch-dogging up to the pups. Our male even copied the funny way she barked: Woo-woo-woo. All those three dogs are long gone now....

The sad thing about dogs is that their life span is so much shorter than ours, and you’ll have several dogs in a lifetime. But all are remembered and talked about. My husband and his brother, to this day, talk about the dog they had when they were growing up, a most unusual dog that could climb trees..... (Really true. I have seen pictures.)

But for sheer entertainment in observing animals, though, nothing beats ducks. ;-)

I hope Oz continues to recover safely with no complications. Also, I hope he has now learned his lesson. But...you never know.


I’m glad to read that Oz is back at home. I’m sure he’ll make an excellent recovery in familiar surroundings with people that love him.

You’re all still in my prayers,  


I was very happy to send out the following update:


Oz is doing just fine. This morning he wagged his tail for the first time since the accident. This evening he BARKED! (again, for the first time since coming home.) He sleeps a lot, but has been walking around the house a little. Vet said that would be fine as long as he didn’t overdo it.

Charles Richard Lester  


Good news, indeed! You must be overjoyed.


Dear Charlie, We havn’t met before, here in cyberspace, but I recently came onto the Internet. I live in the ’world’s most liveable city’., Melbourne, Australia. (Actually, Adelaide comes a close second!) My friend of some years, B-- e-mailed me your letters re the unfortunate accident to your precious friend. "OZ". I am so glad to hear that things are going well for him, and you certainly have my prayers that Oz will make the fullest recovery.

I know B-- realises just how much my boy means to me. I have a tag on my key ring which says "The more people I meet, the more I like my dog" but, may I start from the beginning.

When my mother passed away in 1979, I was still on the dreaded mortgage. My share of a modest estate got rid of that, and I then made what I regard to be the best decision of my life. I simply said, "I’m going to get myself a German Shepherd!". When growing up, we had a cocker spaniel, but having lived in a couple of units after leaving the family nest, I couldn’t keep a pet. We all have our favourite breeds, and I have always admired the Shepherd.

Well, getting that dog changed my life. Naturally, I joined the German Shepherd Dog Club to get some training into him. Soon after, I started entering obedience trials. At first I was bored as I didn’t know anybody, as well as being nervous when we were competing. Wherever I went, I was certainly proud to have my friend by my side. People would look at him when we were passing them in my car. I would put my arm around him, give a great hug and smile back,"Yes, he is my friend, and I am proud of him". He was named T--.

Well, we had eleven WONDERFUL years together. In a period of a few days, he had been diagnosed with throat cancer. I had him in a vet. hospital over the weekend on a drip. This alone cost about $400 dollars. Maybe it didn’t make much difference in the end, but I felt that I had to give him every chance; so I don’t blame you for spending a lot to bring your friend back to full health. They give us total love, total devotion every hour of the day.

Of course, I almost drowned in a sea of tears when I made the decision to put him to sleep. I felt the decision was easy as it would have been cruel to put him through surgery when both vets felt that the growth was malignant, and it would not have prolonged his life by very much - if at all. I went and held his paw as he was put to sleep. His ashes are with me in a small casket on my mantelpice. It still brings tears to my eyes when I think of him, and I look up from my typeing to see his large framed photo on the opposite wall.

Yes, there had to be another boy to come into my life. This one is called R--. He has two obedience titles to date and is starting to trial for his third, maybe you could spare a prayer or two for us in competion - we may need it! I still get nervous entering the ring, but most of the handlers talk to each other throughout the afternoon and I get a real buzz from the social contact of all my obedience friends.

I have sent a copy of this to I--. Must be a wonderful person - TWO shepherds! I would like to have another one, more for having a mate for R--, as I am often at work, but perhaps soon. Being on my own, I find one dog a handful.

Well, about time I cut this off, I would love to hear from you Charley.


I’m glad your doggie is on the way to recovery.... one person once wrote me that the loss of a pet can be as traumatic as the loss of a dear relative or parent...

I have been fortunate enough to have two wonderful dogs during my life... A collie, which lived about 11 years, and at Shetland Sheep Dog (sheltie) which lived about 14 years. They were both loyal, loveable, and good watchdogs --- but they were not fighters per se...

I feel that many people on the list have either had or presently have dogs... our canine friends are so smart... My mother said to one of the two dogs (I think the Sheltie), "M-- is coming home...." the doggie immediately went to the kitchen door... he thought I was coming home right away.... actually I was not scheduled to come home for a couple of days...

Hopefully everyone on the list was rooting for you and your pet... and hopefully no one complained to the listmeisters...  


Recovery continued, but it was not all smooth sailing...


Oz is doing much better but is in pain today. now that surg anesthesia has worn off he is suffering. Trembles. Pants. Whimpers sometimes. We have him on doggie narcotics but it only seems to help so much. Vet said he would just have to "tough it out." :(( This was to be expected; I just hate seeing him hurting.

Charles Richard Lester  


A friend of mine is a pharmacist, so you say that she knows something about the health profession. She once told me that if a doctor refused to give her pain medicine when she hurt, that she would change doctors... So far I have only had one operation that took time to recover... it was a cyst operation on my lower back... but I was upset because the office clerk too said as much... that they couldn’t give more medicine. The Achilles heel of a doctor (if you want to talk with him) is to call his answering service after the office staff have gone home... At least that has been my experience in the past..

The doctor might say that the pain medicine could be habit-forming; but if your dog is suffering *too* much, you should let the doctor know about it, IMHO. Ask your doctor.. perhaps some of the pain is caused by the tissues healing back together after being separated... I don’t know, as I’m not a doctor....

You can provide some human anesthesia by being with your doggie, and if it won’t hurt, by petting him.... at least you can talk with him, and look at him.... he will know you care..

At least your poochie is still living.... he has been through a lot, from what you have reported....

Your description, by the way of how a doggie reacts to his master and what doggies offer to their masters was excellent... I’m sure many people are thinking about your poochie.... After a few days you might send the list a short message re: your dog’s progress... and hopefully there will be no criticism from the listmeisters... I think oneof them is/has been temporarily away in another part of the country...


Sorry about Oz hurting. Dogs are super-resistent to narcotic painkillers. I understand that when dogs are in pain, it helps them stay still and rest when they need to most. Oz’ll be better sooner that you’d believe--dogs are fantastic healers, fortunately.


It most certainly will get better, so long as nothing gets infected. Maybe even by the time you get this, it will be better. Of course, he’ll have ups and downs. Have been through major surgery twice myself and so some of us know these things. ;-) If he’s like me, he’s fine as long as he doesn’t move. ;-) But if he tends to be an active doggie, he will want to move and it will hurt, and then it will take the hurt a while to stop. But barring any complications, it should be gradually going away.

Also, in my small experience with dog pain medication, they don’t like to have a dog on it for too long or too steadily, although I never found out why. Our dog has a little problem with his hind legs once in a while, ever since the last time the neighbor dog beat him up. I have the pain killer-anti-inflammatory to give him, but the instructions are not to do it regularly, just when he needs it, for whatever reason. Since ours are outdoor dogs, I find it helps much to make sure he’s in at night.

Of course, the deer are absolutely denuding our evergreens with the dogs being kept in at night, but I guess that can’t be helped. ;-) Know anyone who would like to hunt deer the easy way-- Just sit out on our deck and have the gun ready? (The neighbor kid, who’s no longer a kid, has done that once in a while for a number of years. ;-)

Of course, we’ll continue to hope he improves. Once in a while a person or animal doesn’t. Several years ago, my older sister broke a collar bone and it wouldn’t heal. I never did find out exactly what the outcome of it was, but she had physical therapy for a while, whatever that does to help a collar bone heal. ??? The last time I talked to her about it, it was apparently doing okay, although I never did find out if it actually healed. She is an organist also, but she is pretty much retired now, and that collar bone break was the beginning of her retirement--she couldn’t play for a long time after. She couldn’t use the one arm very well.


Good to follow the continued recovery of Oz, if he’s not a wizard he should be after all he’s been through! Please give him a gentle pat for me....

Re our pig C--, to be exact, is eight years old and very much house broken. He love to snuggle and watch TV and generally be the center of all activities, especially edible ones! His intelligence easliy surpasses the dogs and cats and knows how to open doors and the frig. etc. So he does get some close supervision. He is musical in the extreme and loves to sit at my feet while I tickle the ivories. He is an all around wonderful pet and a complete handful, as are most things in life worth the time and effort....

As you might guess we don’t do pork, we make due with turkey bacon -  


But the worst setback was yet to come.


Oz had a setback, complications related to the surgery, and we had to take him back to the animal hospital. He was not in a life-threatening situation but was in tremendous pain and may have suffered some neurological damage. We’re waiting today in fact (Sat.) for a call from the vet. He’s been there alllll week. Really miss the little guy!

Charles Richard Lester  


I’m sorry about the surgery complications, and that Oz has had a setback; but this is something that often happens... and doctors should be on the alert for relapses...

Fortunately my two doggies never had to be hospitalized for a period of time... we only took them to the vet’s to board them when we went away... Naturally they were both *very* happy to see us when we returned...

I’m still hoping Oz will pull through. My father has passed on; but he went through a terrible period medically and was able to pull out of it... but the worst problem was the depression he came down with... they finally decided to use what I thought they should use at the beginning: ECT (shock therapy).... instead of the various anti-depressants that are available in pill form.

Take care of yourself... Your doggie has many friends on piporg-l that are pulling for him...


We must have a little ESP going. I was just wondering how Oz was doing a couple days ago. So sorry to hear he’s had a relapse and will say a little prayer for him.

If he’s still in the animal hospital, be sure to visit him as much as you can and let him know he’s not forgotten. Dogs are real fighters, and he has that going for him. Also, they can compensate for many problems, although I hope the neurological damage isn’t too bad.

I hope Oz is doing better by now. Every time our dogs disappear for a bit, I get really worried. Some years ago, we had a dog that was stolen. When we got pups to replace him, I was so paranoid I had them penned up all day and was absolutely terrified of them going out to the road (it’s a gravel, dead-end road and not much traffic). (He *looked* like a pure-bred but wasn’t. ;-) It’s been a few years, but it still crosses my mind.

Then, one time, we had a couple dogs that I think someone took and then released. It was a mother dog (with new puppies) and her grown-up daughter who were taken, and we had to take the puppies to the animal hospital for the day to be fed as we were both working that day and no one would be home to care for them. Then, suddenly, the two dogs arrived home again. I will always think that someone took them and then discovered they had a nursing mother on their hands and then released them.

Usually a nursing mother will not get very far away from her pups, but they have to have made it out to the road (across 5 acres) for someone to take them. Either that, or someone drove up the driveway and coaxed them away, hard to believe, but I suppose possible.

Our last dog to die (the one who just laid down and died) did it shortly after my mother died, and in some way I think the grief over the two deaths got confused in my mind, or reinforced each other, or something. We got a replacement puppy, because our male was so lonely, and then the puppy had a problem--her front paws started turning under. We had gotten her from a breeder in Kansas City (she had been flown in), and the breeder offered to take her back, and there was *no way* I was going to let loose of that pup, even though we had only had her for a week.

She had some tucks taken in her front tendons and had to wear braces on the front legs for about six weeks, but she ended up walking normally and she is our little lady who gets our male into trouble by running all around and getting him to go along. She’s only about 2 years old, and I’m hoping she will soon settle down. If she would have pups, that would settle her down, but she has proven to be difficult to breed.

Meanwhile, she’s a little trouble-maker. Dogs can communicate with each other, you know, and she will somehow indicate something to him, and they will both dash for the door at the same time and sometimes be out and away before anyone can grab them. We are now onto her tricks, though, hopefully.  


Oz ended up having to have a second operation. After the x-rays, the vet discovered that one of the screws had worked loose and was hitting a nerve. No wonder the poor little fellow was in such pain. So they went in there a second time and re-did the hardware on one side in a slightly different way.


I hope this find Oz in better shape, it must be terrible for the little guy, not understanding it all. I’m sure all your love and attention helps a lot though...

Our Irish Wolfhound, L--, is pushing six which is getting up there in wolfhound years, and suffers badly from arthritis. It seems that next to regular aspirin, only attention from B-- and I really works. Our other dog is an Irish terrier, a total hooligan named J--. His main job is keeping L-- moving and limber with frequent play, that is, of course, when he isn’t supervising the pussycats, which in his mind is evidently very important!!


Thought you might be encouraged at my dog’s surgery recovery. L-- had her kneejoint chieseled on and pinned but after only several weeks is back to playing ball, stealing my socks and running like hell with them and begging to go for a walk. Dogs heal much faster than humans.


I’ve been catching up on my tardy e-mail and note your travails with Oz. My belated prayers, and my congradulations on the successful operation. I hope the recovery is swift! B-- and I have two dog, four cats and one pigmy pig and consider all of them our children and God’s gift for a sometimes bumpy ride through life. We couldn’t imagine being without them. Having Oz snatched from an untimely ending is really wonderful!


Today, Oz seems pretty much back to normal. He runs, plays, is very frisky. Every so often he will sort of bolt up and start furiously nibbling at one of his hips -- apparently he gets spasms of pain that do seem a bit intense sometimes. And he is more reluctant these days to jump up on things, especially on my very high bed.

But considering what he went through, how serious his injuries were, and how touch-and-go it was at first, he is a very fortunate little doggy. And so are we. Not just for him, but because we saw first-hand how kind, warm, caring and generous people can be ... even total strangers ... as the outpouring of love and support for Oz, and us, was so very touching and overwhelming.


Following is a little photo gallery of our menagerie: Oz, of course, and Nikki Goldberg -- a jet-black 16-year-old cat who, despite her years, is in excellent health and very frisky. She was a street-walker in Hollywood, and we rescued her from a life of sin!

For memorial’s sake, I’ve also including some photos of Pearl Kitty, a little grey tabby that we had to have put to sleep in early spring 1997. She developed horrendous tumors on her underside that kept getting bigger, and bigger, and bigger --- that the vet said were probably malignant and non-curable. (It would have taken a painful and expensive biopsy to find out for sure.) When it got to the point that she was obviously in pain, and suffering, we took her in to be put to sleep. It was a very easy and gentle passing for her; she did not let even out a little meow but just quietly slipped away. She was a very, very, very sweet and personable kittie, and we miss her tremendously.






Guess who!


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