My Life-saver Sherry

by Marianne Rankin
(Hattiesburg, Mississippi)

My Boston Terrier, Miss Sherry, was the "runt" of her litter. Her owner sold her to me for next to nothing. Sherry slept with me (I was divorced), and when I adopted a stray kitten, she taught Chablis (who was also black & white) how to to get up on my bed, and both slept with me every night.

They shared a litter box, and then how to use the pet door to go out for "business" when I put it in.

They would take rides with me, around the block or when I went to the bank (drive-through). In 2005, Sherry couldn't get me to wake up. She barked and ran out, in and out that door frantic, apparently for hours. A neighbor who cut my yard passed by in the morning, at lunch and around 5 pm. Sherry was still going in and out & panting heavily by then, obviously exhausted.

The man got my spare key from his house and told his wife to call the police. The man found me on my bedroom floor, "out cold." He couldn't get me to wake up. He called 911 and my uncle. I had suffered an idiopathic brain aneurysm.

Sherry lived with my son who was 6 hours away in college while I had four surgeries (I have a coil and a stint in my head). I am now, since Hurricane Katrina, in an assisted living 45 minutes away from my hometown, 3 hours from my former home and 6 hours from my only child, Ben.

Sherry lived to be 14 years old, and passed away a few years ago. I am searching the net for a poem I think was titled "Only a Dog" was on my desktop (I don't have a printer or I would have printed in out of course. I can forward to a friend who will print it and snail mail it to me.

A dog CAN truly be your best friend.

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I Hope This Is the Poem
by: cindy

Just a Dog

From time to time, people tell me, "lighten up, it's just a dog,"
or "that's a lot of money for just a dog."

They don't understand the distance travelled, the time spent,
or the costs involved for "just a dog."

Some of my proudest moments have come about with "just a dog."

Many hours have passed and my only company was "just a dog,"
but I did not once feel slighted.

Some of my saddest moments have been brought about by
"just a dog," and in those days of darkness, the gentle touch
of "just a dog" gave me comfort and reason to overcome the day.

If you, too, think it's "just a dog," then you probably understand
phrases like "just a friend," "just a sunrise," or "just a promise."

"Just a dog" brings into my life the very essence of friendship,
trust, and pure unbridled joy.
"Just a dog" brings out the compassion and patience
that make me a better person.
Because of "just a dog" I will rise early, take long walks and look
longingly to the future.

So for me and folks like me, it's not "just a dog"
but an embodiment of all the hopes and dreams of the future,
the fond memories of the past, and the pure joy of the moment.

"Just a dog" brings out what's good in me and diverts my thoughts
away from myself and the worries of the day.

I hope that someday they can understand that it's not "just a dog"
but the thing that gives me humanity and keeps me from being
"just a man" or "just a woman."

So the next time you hear the phrase "just a dog,"
just smile, because they "just don't understand."

~Unknown Author

***Please read my story "Our Sweet Bruty."

I know your pain. You are not alone. And we will see them again....

God bless!!


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