Sunday, October 12, 2008

Dog on the Blog: The Bonnie Saga - Part 4......... Mr. Gillooly Intervenes

Bonnie had lost her lifelong partner, Lloyd, after twelve years together. It was a heartbreaking situation for Bonnie, and we feared we might lose Bonnie from a broken heart -- until the upbeat and affable Lucas came into her life, and helped her move on.

Bonnie and Lucas proved that love can be lovlier the second time around, and their relationship inspired joy in everyone who observed it. Although Lucas' death at his advanced age was not completely surprising, it was another tragic blow to Bonnie, whose heart had only begun to mend after losing Lloyd.

We quickly introduced Bonnie to Otto, a very recent widower. We hoped that Otto and Bonnie could fill the void left in each others' lives by the loss of a long-time companion. But before we could really tell whether this match was destined to provide the solace we wished for Bonnie and Otto, we lost Otto, too.

Bonnie had now had three partners and lost three partners in a six month period. We were afraid that Bonnie's little heart could not take much more.

But we also knew that Bonnie seemed happiest when she had a companion.

Enter Mr. Gillooly. He was talking to us when we took the picture above! Mr. Gillooly is another one of Laurine Murtaugh's elderly rescues from the Texas City Shelter. Laurine has a heart for the older dogs who are unable to compete with younger dogs when prospective adopters come to the shelter.

Mr. Gillooly was an ancient guy who was not expected to live very long. He walked slowly with tiny steps - sort of like Tim Conway doing his "old man" routine on TV! His back legs frequently failed him, and he sat down right where they gave out.

We took Mr. Gillooly upstairs at the farm house and he became an indoor dog. We expected to lose him pretty much any day. He seemed old and frail.

Then one day, Ricky left the door to the upstairs covered porch open for Mr. Gillooly to enjoy some sunshine and fresh air. The rails are several inches apart and it seemed safe to let him out there.

Ricky was working below the porch when he heard the "thud" hit the ground. Mr. Gillooly had somehow squeezed through the tight spacing of those rails and sailed down to the ground from the upstairs! Ricky dropped what he was doing and rushed to Mr. Gillooly's aid -- but before Ricky could reach him, Mr. Gillooly picked himself, dusted himself off and proceeded down the driveway, taking his tiny, close Tim Conway steps!

There were no broken bones, no fractures, no sprains. Nothing. Mr. Gillooly was completely unphased by his fall, and he didn't even cry out when he hit the ground.

It was that day when we realized a couple of things about Mr. Gillooly that we had not known.

One thing was that Mr. Gillooly really wanted to be outdoors. We thought he would enjoy some afternoon sun and fresh air on the upstairs porch. But Mr. Gillooly wanted more -- a lot more! And he wanted it badly enough to sail to the ground like the Flying Nun!

The other thing we learned was that Mr. Gillooly was not nearly as fragile as we had thought! He was probably a tough guy in his younger days, and he was still a tough old guy in his golden years.

We decided that Mr. Gillooly might just be a good match for Bonnie. When we introduced Bonnie to Mr. Gillooly, Bonnie was a bit aloof. I think she was just waiting to see if Mr. Gillooly was going to stick around, or leave her the way the others had.

For his part, Mr. Gillooly was happy and animated around Bonnie. He seemed to move more fluidly and had fewer problems with his back legs giving out when he was around Bonnie.

Soon, Bonnie was seen being escorted by Mr. Gillooly on daily walks in their yard, just as Bonnie had done with Lucas a couple months before. They had connected and become part of one anothers' lives. It looked like Bonnie finally had a partner again, and Mr. Gillooly had found his "second wind".

Or so it seemed.

Be Sure to Read Tomorrow's Blog:

The Bonnie Saga - Part 5: A Happy Ending -- at Last!

Jay Hellerich, executive director
smiling dog farms
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wharton, texas

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