We are sad to see ol' Raleigh-Raleigh go.
He was always alone out in the yard by himself. He was only about three years old, as best as we can figure, and had, had a rough life before he came to live with us; being obviously abused. As Cappy says, you count count his ribs, he was terrified, keeping his tail tucked under his tummy most of the time, and screaming in terror if he was scolded, even a little. He was with us for about a year and a half, we treated him lovingly and he became the nicest little dog you could imagine. He came to love children and people just in general. But he was just so lonely most of the time. I think the lonliness must have broken his little heart. Because I think it's appropriate at this time, I'm adding the short little story we had written about him a couple of months ago. It follows: Jude's wife, Sonia, loves watching the crazy antics and goings on in our yard, by our dogs,outside her kitchen window. I don't always get to see the show, from inside our little house. She came over and told me she wishes she'd had their video camera handy the other day. Raleigh-Raleigh, who has taken up residence in the flowerbed, now wicked weed patch next to our front door, was sitting in the middle of the matted-down weeds, early one morning. I feel sorry for the poor guy, because, since he doesn't want to be in the house, and the spoiled Bichons stay in the house most of the time, he's left out there by himself and has to find ways to amuse himself. Sometimes I think he must get kind of lonely because I'll see him 'talking' and playing with the strangest things, such as candy wrappers that have blown into the yard, or his dog bones. Occasionally, SparkyBear and MarkyBear will go out and give him a little company or run around the yard with him; but only briefly. Well, on the day in question, Sonia said it was early and the sun was bright, casting a very dark shadow of Raleigh on the house next to him. He happened to notice his shadow and seemed delighted to have suddenly found himself in the presence of 'company'. I don't know what all he did that amused Sonia's attention, but she said he seemed thrilled to have another dog out there, sitting by him. Together, 'they' sat there and watched the world go by. At one point he put his paw up, in such a sweet way, to touch the other 'dog'. 'They' sat there for awhile longer, and much to our neighbor's delight, she saw Raleigh lean over and 'kiss' his new friend. Awwww. He really is a nice dog. Santa's helper got him some special toys for Christmas that might help keep him occupied and happy out there in the yard, when the sun is on the other side of the house, poor guy.
I mentioned the other day that the dogs' Invisible Fence had 'gone down' because of a recent storm, which 'fried' the control box, leaving the dogs with no barrier between them and the road. Well, Robert, the fellow who always comes out whenever there is a problem, or for maintenance, perhaps once a year, came out the other day, with his little dog, Lilly, in tow. All our dogs were acting up trying to impress little Lilly. I put the 'bee-shees' in the house, and as Robert was fixing our electrical problem, I asked him off-hand if he knew of anyone who would want Raleigh-Raleigh, as Robert, himself said that our yard dog seemed deprived of attention. He said, "No, not really...does he bark?" Resignedly I nodded my head, and admitted sadly, "Yeah, he does; but only to let us know somebody's in the driveway or yard, but then he pulls back and doesn't bother them". At that, he said, "Oh yeah! I do know somebody who wants him. This guy has a dog, who won't bark to let them know when anyone's around, so that's what they want...a dog who does bark.", then got right on his cell phone. He arranged for this man, who happens to be wealthy well-known chiropractor, from Baton Rouge, to call. I think the Lord must even answer prayers from animals sometimes, because things couldn't have worked out more perfectly for Raleigh. The man drove over with his large motor home, bringing his female black lab named "Shadow"...(Raleigh's 'dream girl', from the flowerbed), and his precious little 8 year old daughter and her sweet little girlfriend. They all fell in love immediately, swooped Raleigh up and whisked him off to his new life, on four acres, two of which are Invisible Fenced in, just as he's used to. He now has a real family of his own with another yard dog for a constant companion and kids...kids of his own to play with, an a very nice man and wife, who are already talking about spoiling "poor" ol' Raleigh-Raleigh. They have called a couple of times now to tell us how well things are going, that Raleigh and his "Shadow" stick together like glue, and that already Raleigh is teaching her how to make these weird little noises...he does make strange noises when he's being silly, that boy. They said they will send us some pictures. I had planned on taking photos while they were here, but it all went so fast. We are sad to see him go and miss him, but we are so happy for him; all we have ever wanted for him was a good loving home, and now he has that. As a couple of people put it, "Raleigh can now live the life of Riley".
And as for Robert and his little dog, too, well, they are our heroes for da day!