Sally was sitting in the waiting room waiting for word on her puppy. The stray that came into her yard and bit her dog in the privates nearly killed him. Infection had set in flowing into the little dogs blood stream. She sat anxiously awaiting the vet to enter the room and let her know how her little puppy was. She glanced around the office to see four other people, each seemed deep in thought.

The door opened to the Vet's office and in walked a young man, holding the door open. She must have been 83 or 84 as she slowly worked her walker through the door. Sally glanced up when the door opened and saw the frail little lady coming into the office. The young man helped the elderly lady sit down on one of the benches along one wall. In her arms was a little knitted blue and white blanket. In the young man's arms was a small older dog. He placed the dog in the arms of the older woman. The older lady began to pet the little dog ever so gently. The young man sat down next to her. Tears began to roll down the little lady's cheeks as she kept petting the little dog.

"Nicky, you have been my faithful friend all these years. Remember when papa died and I didn't want to go on? It was you who gave me the love and strength. You were always there, offering all your love on all those lonely nights when all I could do was cry." The people in the office looked up at the elderly woman as she talked to her little dog.

"Remember when I broke my leg and I couldn't get around? You always laid on the bed next to me and I could feel you telling me how much you loved me and that one day I'd be able to walk again. When we lost our precious Thomas from cancer, you always seemed to know I hurt so much. You'd put your head on my arm and look into my eyes and I felt like you were telling me, 'I'm still here for you." "And when you had your litter of little ones, we found fine homes for each one." "I always felt bad that I had to give your 'children' away but when I explained to you we couldn't keep 8 puppies, you seemed to understand.

She reached over and touched the blue and white blanket she'd knitted, the tears flowing down her cheeks. "I made you something Nicky. I don't want you to leave this world without something from me other than my love. You and I have traveled many long roads together now for 16 years, and now you've come to the end of your road. I can't go with you, so I'm sending you with something so you'll always remember me."

People in the office began to wipe their eyes and you could hear someone clearing their throat and blowing their nose. But the little lady didn't seem to notice.

The young man spoke then. "Grandma, you don't have to go in there when the vet calls your name. I'll take Nicky for you." The little lady looked up into the eyes of her grandson and replied, "We've had 16 years together, Nicky and I. I don't know how to say good bye. She began to sob, as was everyone in the room. "Would you make sure Nicky has his little blanket wrapped around him when they.........when they......" "Grandma, I'll make sure, don't worry." The grandson said.

The door opened and the vet appeared, telling Sally her puppy was going to be just fine. "A few antibiotics and he'll be good as new in two or three days." And then........... "Mrs. Ruckert.........." The lady tried to stand but the grandson put his arm out and told her, "No grandma, let me do this." She began to cry buckets of tears. "I hate to leave him like this, oh why did this have to happen to my Nicky?" "Grandma, he's getting old, he can't walk anymore, he's blind and can't see and you said yourself you couldn't bear to see him in this condition." "I know, but........but.........I don't know how to say good bye.

Sally couldn't take it anymore. She jumped up and walked through the glass door. She got outside and sucked in a big breath of fresh air, the tears streaming down her face. It was so hard seeing that elderly lady bringing her little dog in couldn't say the words.

When she entered the room again, the grandson was gone as well as Nicky. The little lady was propped up against the wall crying her eyes out. Everyone in the room was crying. Through the tears, she looked around and said, "He's all I've had for so many years since my husband and son died. But he's old and he can't walk anymore nor can he see. I can't bear to see him in that condition. But Nicky has given me the most wonderful 16 years of my life. He's been my companion and faithful friend all these years. I will never forget him. At that moment her grandson came through the door, tears streaming down his cheeks. "Come on grandma, it's time I take you home." She bowed her head and said a prayer as he helped her up from the bench. Slowly she walked through the door on her walker, her grandson holding her arm. You could hear the sobs even as the glass door closed............

Somewhere last night an elderly woman went to bed alone. For the first time in sixteen years, there was no little furry creature to lay next to her. No more little kisses will she be given. No need to buy doggie treats anymore. A heart was broken.

Sharon Bryant [email protected]

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