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2016 April 25
by Curmudgeon

It was eight or nine years ago we loaded Haley into our truck and brought her home. On that ride home Janice reiterated she’s not a dog person but the stop at Petsmart was an obvious betrayal. There was Blue Buffalo hard food, canned soft food, treats, a raised food and water dish, a cute pink collar with lotsa bling and a matching leash and more. It wasn’t two weeks later Janice arrived home from work and Haley met her with excited yips and yipes and front feet flailing in the air. Janice may not admit to being a dog person but there is no arguing that afternoon proved she is a Haley person.

She is our little girl, sweet as she can be but with an independent streak all her own. Janice’s boss took her in when a neighbor found her dodging traffic on a busy street. We became her people and she continues training us. Since then we’ve grown to believe she is the most adorable thing on four legs. Of course we readily admit our prejudice.

Even though trying our patience is her specialty, Haley is 14 pounds of precious. If either of us is not feeling well, upset about something or just having a bad day she is there to help make it better. We don’t always recognize how in tune she is but eventually one of us picks up on it.

When we came home after the February 16 Urgent Care visit, hospital blood draw and CT Scan, the little girl was laser focused on our stress. She was especially drawn to being with Janice and doing everything possible to help “the mom” feel better. She must have believed her responsibility was to make it better. As things have progressed she continues to be both amazingly empathetic and comforting. If only “people” words could explain to her.

April 7 was the first chemo and radiation treatment for Janice. We took time for breakfast before treatment. We are frequent customers and so many awaiting updates.

Little could anyone imagine the untimely death of the owner. His memorial was Sunday, 24th of April. Meanwhile the restaurant is closed while his wife seeks suitable purchasers to take over the business.

Then there are the dreaded moments of truth. You know, the ones when you accompany the person you love beyond yourself tand observe while the IV gets set up and a couple different things go in before the chemo drugs start. And Janice insists I go home, be with our little girl and there will be a text before time to transport her home. I ain’t sure but suspicion has it she wants me to comfort the little girl.

Whether it’s her intention or not that’s what happens. At times when Haley is concerned ‘cuz one of us is ill she stays close by believing her closeness helps comfort and heal. And in her unique way she helps more than can be told.

Then there is the language barrier. We don’t speak dog and she doesn’t speak people. So sometimes even though irritating, whining is the best she can do. At those moments either Janice reminds me or I remind her the goal of our baby girl is for us to understand she knows things are going on and she is stressed just as we are. In Haley’s world, language barrier be damned, just let me make “the mom” feel better.