431 Cabot Way, Pittsburgh, PA 15203

A Dog and His Person

A Dog and His Person

Ever since he was nine weeks old, he went to daycare while she went to work. He arrived each morning and went home with her in the evening. For seven years his Person came to get him after daycare.

His Person did everything for him. She expanded his world with toys, puzzles, adventures with children, people gatherings, dog parties and training classes.

She took him to the groomer and always picked him up. She never let him down.

All the dogs know the time their people will come for them. They all gather at the best vantage place to watch the door. They cheer loudly when a human comes in the door. He raced along the fence when other dogs ran by to greet their people and leave. Leaving time was a fun time.

But one day he went to daycare and stood with all the dogs watching the door in the evening and barked and ran the fence when dogs left, but his person didn’t come.

Daycare had been his second home for seven years, so he took it in stride. He was in a familiar place with people who loved him, and he loved them back. But his person didn’t come the next day or the next week until seven weeks had passed.

He didn’t know it, but she was thinking of him and, as always, doing her best for him. She talked to the woman at the daycare about his future there. She asked the woman to keep him if she couldn’t and she made plans for him to receive enough money that he wouldn’t be a burden on the woman. She told her family the arrangements that should be carried out. But nobody thought it would be soon.

She started to regain her health and he was going home to her within a week. It would be a short visit at first and then he would stay longer and longer until she felt ready to full care for him. However, that plan was never implemented and the woman at the kennel covered him with kisses and tears and took him to the funeral home to see his Person’s family and friends.

His Person did all she could for him, but she never came to get him and every evening he sits by the fence and watches the door.

The dog, whose name is Tucker, and I are carrying on, but I now have a sense of urgency about letting dog owners know how vital it is to plan for pets when they die. We all worry about how we will feel when pets die. But a worse scenario is that we die first, without thinking of their futures without us.

Perhaps we think a dear friend will take them. But my first beagle came from a shelter when the appointed “guardian” didn’t want to deal with a puppy. Will family members step up? Tucker’s didn’t. Luckily his owner anticipated that and planned

Subsequently, when I asked my brother to take Tucker if I’m unable to continue, he flatly said “No.” Thankfully, a kind person who knows Tucker from the daycare stepped forward and offered him a home as soon as she heard about his Person. Now we have paperwork for her to take him if something happens to me.

Tucker’s owner left money for his care. Tucker is a Havanese that needs professional grooming every five or six weeks and, although he is very healthy overall, he will need regular dental cleanings and probably extractions.

Because I want to do for Tucker whatever his Person would have done, I have continued his health insurance. I never want to deny him the best medical treatment because I don’t have the personal resources to cover it.

Of course, there are annual shots and physicals and vet visits for minor illnesses during a dog’s life. Although there will be a bit of interest income, Tucker could outlive his money.

The point of all of this is that owners need to take action. There are documents on-line for transferring ownership of a pet that should smooth out the process. One of them gave me Tucker and a second one will transfer him, and his unused money, should need be. Like his Person before me, I’m at ease now knowing Tucker will always be safe and loved for the wonderful little guy that he is.