'Buck'  Copyright 2000 Cynthia Crawford

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Nancy's Story

My Name Is Nancy

My name is Nancy. I am a small, black poodle and I lived with my manperson until yesterday when my little world came crashing down. It has been just me and my manperson for my whole life. We didn't have any family, just a few friends so it has always been just us. But that's okay, we liked it that way. We were always together. I went everywhere with him and he went everywhere with me. When he sat down, I sat down. When he took a nap, I took a nap. When he went to sleep at night I snuggled close to him and the world was a good place to be. He always took very good care of me. I took care of him too. He always took me to the vet right on time. I always had my shots and heartworm medicine. I never had fleas or was sick. I got my haircut regularly. So it didn't matter that we didn't have family. It didn't matter at all. Because he loves me and I love him.

We both started to get old. I got blind in one eye and then the other. But it was all right. My manperson was always there to watch out for me. He started to get forgetful and confused. But it was all right -- I was always there to watch out for him. So it didn't matter that we were old and I was blind and he was forgetful. It didn't matter at all. Because he loves me and I love him. Then last year my manperson started to get worse. He would get lost in the house. Or he would forget my name. Sometimes he even forgot to feed me. But I didn't mind if I was a little hungry. We were together and we took care of each other. So it didn't matter that I went hungry. It didn't matter at all. Because he loves me and I love him. But some people started coming to our house. I don't know who they were. They weren't family, because we didn't have any. They weren't our friends, because many had died and I knew all the rest. They would tell my manperson things that would upset him. I learned what tears were, because I could feel them falling on my little head. They would tell my manperson that he couldn't live in his house anymore, that I would have to go away. They would tell him he had something called Alzheimer's and that he couldn't take care of himself or me. But we managed; we took care of each other. I knew he was getting worse because he didn't get my hair cut anymore or take me to the vet or feed me for days at a time. My fur was matted. I tried to clean it, but I couldn't always because I couldn't see. My own poop began to stick in my fur and I smelled. But my manperson didn't mind, he held me close anyway. They told him that I was nasty and dirty and sick, but he didn't think so. It didn't matter that life had become a little scary because my manperson was with me. It didn't matter at all. Because he loves me and I love him.

Then the day came about 2 weeks ago when they came to our house and said I couldn't live there anymore -- that I had to go away. My manperson cried and so did I. Our hearts were breaking. They took me away and took me to a place that I didn't know. The put me on the cold, wet cement floor. I was so scared. I didn't move. I could hear dogs barking -- all sizes of dogs. I didn't know where they were or if they were going to hurt me. I could tell by the barking that some dogs were really big but some were really small. Some sounded mad, but most just sounded really, really sad. I didn't move. I didn't know where the dogs were. I am only 7 pounds and the big dogs might hurt me if I went by them. I didn't move. Strange people came several times a day and sprayed water on the floor. It got on me and I was so cold. I didn't move. I was very hungry and I couldn't see to find the food and I was scared. I didn't move. If I had to pee or poop, I did it right there. I was so scared. I didn't move. When I couldn't stand any more, I laid down in my own mess. I was so scared there might be big dogs right next to me. I didn't move. After 2 days the people came back to get me. They said my manperson had been crying for me the whole time and they couldn't stop him. I was so dirty and smelly and sick from being wet and cold, but my manperson didn't care. He hugged and hugged me. It didn't matter that we were both scared and worried because we were together. It didn't matter at all. Because he loves me and I love him.

Then yesterday they came back. Then told my manperson that he couldn't live in his house anymore. That he had to go to a nursing home with the other old people and I had to go away. They took my manperson away. They said that I was too old, too sick, too smelly and blind. That nobody would love me or want me. They said to bring me back to that place, that the people there would do what had to be done. I wish they had just brought me to my vet. He would have given me medicine and put me to sleep. Then I could have waited for my manperson at the bridge. It would have been all right I wouldn't have minded. But they didn't, they brought me back to the scary place. The big dogs were there. I just stood and stood and stood in the same place, just like before. Some people would pass and talk to the other dogs, but not me. They would just pass by and say "What a shame". I guess I was too old, too sick, too smelly and blind. The people who took me away said no one would love me and I guess they were right. No one but my manperson did, and he was gone from me forever.

Then today a ladyperson came to the place. I could hear her talking to each dog. She told them they were very pretty or beautiful or sweet. She told them they were a good boy or girl. She told them that she couldn't make any promises but that she would work very hard to find each of them a home and a person or family to love them. I knew she wouldn't tell me that. After all, I was too old, too sick, too smelly and blind. But she did come up to me. She said "What a shame" like everyone else. I just sank lower and waited for her to go on to the next dog. BUT SHE DIDN'T. I felt a pair of warm, gentle hand lift me up. She hugged me close and said it's all right. The person who had been spraying water on us told her not to pick me up that I was full of poop and I smelled. She said, "It doesn't matter." It didn't matter, just like my manperson would say. I knew she was crying, cause I felt the tears on my little head, just like my manperson would cry. She held me close and whispered in my ear, "Everything is all right now." It didn't matter that I was too old, too sick, too smelly and blind. She carried me outside. I could feel the sun on my back and smell the fresh air. We went riding in her car. I knew it was a car because I remember riding with my manperson. She let me lay on her lap and she keep petting me. It didn't matter that I was too old, too sick, too smelly and blind. She told me I was beautiful. She told me she would find somebody to love me. She promised me. She didn't promise all the other dogs, but she promised me. That had to mean something, didn't it? She wouldn't tell me that if she didn't mean it. I believed her. She promised me. We went to a place where they gave me a bath and a haircut. She stayed with me the whole time so I wouldn't be scared. She told me "Everything was going to be alright." My hair is shorter than I normally wear it. But she told me that was because I was so matted. I couldn't see it but I could feel how matted I was. It felt so good to be clean. And I believed what she told me. I believed her. She promised me. We went to a vet. I was surprised because it was my own vet. We were all surprised. But Doc checked me out and said all the things he always said. No heartworms, no worms of any kind. I just have a little bacterial infection in my ears and nose and eyes. But he gave me medicine. The ladyperson said that is why I looked so sick, because I had all that mucus coming out of me. But Doc said my lungs were fine. Now, I don't want to say anything bad about my manperson, but I guess he didn't know he could brush my teeth. The ladyperson said they were "gruesome". They probably are because they feel bad. But Doc said when I am feeling better there is no reason why we can't clean them. She said she would do that. And I believed what she told me. I believed her. She promised me.

Then we came here. I am scared of the big dog here too, but she said the dog wouldn't hurt me. That I was safe here. It still makes me nervous. I wonder if the big dog knows that. Anyway, she gave me something soft to eat; I was so hungry. She gave me some water. Then I pooped and she made sure I was still clean. Then she gave me a big soft quilt to lie down on. I scratched and pawed and turned round and round till I had it just right and then I laid down. It felt so good. I was clean, and full and on a soft bed. She started crying again and she rubbed my head and as I feel asleep she told me again that I was beautiful and everything would be all right. And I believed what she told me. I believed her. She promised me. She promised me.

Please help me keep my promise to Nancy. This sweet, gentle soul needs a forever home to go to where she can live out the rest of her days. She needs someone who is home all day to watch out for her. She needs to be somewhere that she can feel safe in her dark little world. Although Nancy may not have a lot of days left to her life, she has a lot of love to offer while she is here. And I promised her.
~ Rocky Gates

Nancy's story was originally posted by Rocky Gates, who moved the hearts of many people with the beautiful telling of this tale. Here's the sequel:

Nancy's Happy Ending!

Hi, this is Nancy again. The ladyperson who brought me home said a lot of people sent best wishes for me. They all thought I was a wonderful dog. Imagine that! Those other people didn't know what they were talking about. There are lots of people who can love me. AND THEY DON'T EVEN KNOW ME! It didn't matter that I was old and sick and blind. (I am not smelly anymore.) The ladyperson who brought me home said another ladyperson who lives only 40 miles from here is going to let me go live with her. She has 2 other senior citizen rescue dogs and I will fit right in. The new ladyperson stays home all day and can take care of me. I will learn to take care of her too, just like I did my manperson. I really miss him, but the ladyperson here told me that he is getting really good care where he is. So I won't worry about him. I am going to get on with this business of getting well and getting to know my new ladyperson, my new sisters and my new home. Doggie hugs and wet nosed kisses to everyone who sent me good thoughts. I gotta go now we will be leaving soon to go to my new home.

Thanks everybody,
Rocky Gates

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Last Updated: 26-January-2005
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"Buck" Portait © Copyright 2000 Cynthia Crawford
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