1928 - Alderson High School - 1968



A Dog Named Chrissy

Dan Duff

As we get in the car, I know exactly where we are going.  I've made this trip several times in the last few weeks.  Usually I would be trembling at this point, but not today.  For some reason today I am as cool as can be.  In fact for some reason I am looking forward to the trip.  The sun is out and bright as we go up the street in the car.  The air is full of the smell of fresh spring flowers and new mown grass. 

We arrive at the brick building and my owners waste no time getting me inside, the lady behind the counter immediately take us down the hall to a little room with the stainless steel table.  My owners have been scrambling for the last hour to get me here ever since they found me in living room seemingly staring off into space and gasping for air.  Hey,  I just heard a puppy yapping in the back.  I'll bet he is here getting his shots and tests for rabies.

Wow, it doesn't seem that long since I was his age, getting all my shots and tests.  It is kind of a blur now, but I remember after getting all those things done to me they put me in a tiny cage in front of a huge bright lighted window.  A lot of people came by and looked at me and some even took me out of the cage and would hold me and pet me for a while.   Then one day this nice man came in and took one look at me and said, "can I take her home today"?  Because it was during the holiday season I was officially named Christmas Angel, Chrissy for short.

I was not prepared for the welcome I would receive when I got home for the first time.  Here I was a mere pup just weaned and there staring me in the face were two older dogs.  One looked just like me except instead of the red and white color of my coat, she was black and white.  The other was the same size as the black and white but she was not Japanese Chin like us, she looked to be a dog with several breeds in her background.

From the start these two wanted nothing to do with me and made it known that I was anything but welcome around this house.  If the owner didn't watch carefully they would steal my food and chase me away at mealtime.  They would do everything in their power to keep the owners from having anything to do with me. 

One day when  my owner was heavy with child I was taken to live with two older people.  I was sad leaving my owners but the new owners took me in and started to spoil me right away.  Wow, what a place.  I had the run of the house and there was always a bowl of fresh water and dry dog food.  I could eat all I wanted and no one would take it from me.  It took some time for me to adjust to the new life style and a new concern.  There was a cat.  It took me quite a while to get used to having that cat around, but once I showed her who was boss, we got along just fine.  Not that things didn't come to a head now and again, especially when I had a treat out on the floor, I would chase her off and she would pretend to run away to the bedroom.

Things went well over the years with the older owners.  Every once in a while my old owners would show up and always seemed so glad to see me.  I was glad to see them too except now they were caring a baby.  Over the years I watched him grow and grow, then one day when they came they were caring another baby.  At first I was very jealous of those boys, but after awhile I really got excited when they showed up. 

Over the years a lot of people came to visit my new owners.  I would bark and let them know there was a guard dog on duty.  They would sometime pretend to be a little afraid but for the most part they would just speak to me, pat me on the head and go on with their visit.

My health had been doing really good until that fateful day back in late December. My owner and I were out walking the neighborhood and talking to home owners as we went by.  Suddenly up the street a woman came with two huge dogs.  She did not have good control of them and my owner pointed that out to her.  Suddenly those dogs broke loose from her and were on me before my owner could react.  They were biting and holding me down while my owner was trying to beat them off with his cane.  Finally, the attack was over but I would never be the same.  The vet said I was in good shape with only a couple of holes in my skin, but I knew better.

Soon my heart would pound at the least bit of exertion on my part and my trachea would close up on me as if I had swallowed a piece of meat that refused to go down. After several visits to the vets and my owner pushing pills down my throat, things just kept  getting worse.  I no longer had an appetite.  It was not only hard to swallow but it was getting extremely hard to breathe.  Just last week I was at the vets all day sitting in an oxygen tent.

This time as we sit in the vets room my owner is crying and the tones of their voices are low as they speak of me.  The outcome is that there is no more they can do for me.  There are no pills or treatments that will help me. 

I wish I could speak to my owner and tell them how I feel,  I wish I could say something that would stay their pain at this time.  The Vet picks me up and takes me back to her lab and inserts a tube in my fore leg and then takes me back to my owner. The vet leaves again for awhile and tells the owner to take all the time they need.  They put me on a small blanket and talk to me in whispers until the vet comes back in.  The vet gives me a needle in the tube in my leg and tells the owner that this will clean the passage.  Then the vet gives me another shot,  it doesn't  take but a few seconds until I feel  sleepy.  So Sleepy.

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