Editor’s note: This letter is in response to one written by the owner of the dog named Scruffy in response to a letter penned by reader Gary Duran.
It is so nice to see an intelligent reply. As you are at your paw top typing away, I bet your little tail is wagging like crazy. I do appreciate your concern about me accepting unconditional love from a pet. So, for you not to worry about my compassion, here is my story. People that know me will tell you this is true.
When I was in South Korea we had dogs in the motor pool. A female black lab took a liking to me. She slept on my bunk with me. I never took her on my recovery operations in the DMZ. One morning while I was on an operation, the guys were going to work when she was hit by a jeep. She seemed fine, but they should have taken her to the vet. I got back to the motor pool at almost midnight. They did not say anything. She died on my bunk. I was furious. Her name was Sunshine.
During college I needed a companion, so I found a Brittainy Spaniel male. He was everything to me. My friends will tell you. I named him Sunshine also. Then my sweet little female Peaches joined my family. I was owned by two dogs and a shop cat. When Sunshine got sick, I took him to U.C. Davis for cancer treatment. I spent almost $30,000 on him. Later he developed a condition that could not be diagnosed. So I took a video of his behavior, and took it to Davis. The video showed he had myasthenia gravis. I gave them the video that they still use in class. What that did, it gave Sunshine free health care for life.
One morning he told me he was ready for his pain to end. It was the hardest thing I ever did, was to let him go.
Peaches had torn one of the tendons or chord in her heart attached to her heart valve. Her lungs would fill with fluid, and I would take her to U.C. Davis for treatment. Again, I spent close to $30,000 on vet bills. One night she told me she was tired. So the next morning I had to let her go too.
Both were cremated, and I still have them. They will go with me. I hope your human will do the same for you. I am now owned by a cat. His name is Boris. He is a Russian Siberian. As I type this out, he is sleeping next to me, making sure I don’t make any mistakes. Sometimes the pets that own us, treat us better than our own family members.
My best to you Scuffy,
Gary J. Duran