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Dog Reunion
June 20, 2011 2:13 PM   Subscribe


 
Oh, dammit. Something in my eye.
posted by usonian at 2:18 PM on June 20, 2011


...and my heart. Wow.
posted by BigHeartedGuy at 2:19 PM on June 20, 2011


This story touches my flinty heart, because we are not unfamiliar with this sort of thing in my household.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 2:24 PM on June 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


NSFPeopleWhoChooseNotToMedicateForDepression.
posted by Ardiril at 2:24 PM on June 20, 2011 [7 favorites]


I am a fucking hardass, but this one got me.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 2:26 PM on June 20, 2011


I have family in that area of Iowa. I'll pass this along.

I wish the story had more about why the man was living out of his car and if this fact perhaps contributed to his declining health. Guessing the car bound set don't have the best health insurance.

In other news: Man Robs Bank for $1 for Health Insurance.
posted by cjorgensen at 2:28 PM on June 20, 2011 [5 favorites]


Strong men also cry... strong men also cry.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 2:29 PM on June 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


There's something about the unconditional love of a dog...they love us when we're having a bad day, when we don't feel like having polite conversation, when we're stinky, when we're homeless, when we're down and out. When we don't have a pot to shit in, dogs will love the shit out of us. And I love that their is no social pressure inhibiting their love. When I first saw my dog after months of estrangement, she was so excited, she peed on the floor. Uninhibited, unconditional love. That's gold, man.
posted by chara at 2:30 PM on June 20, 2011 [22 favorites]


I wish the story had more about why the man was living out of his car and if this fact perhaps contributed to his declining health. Guessing the car bound set don't have the best health insurance.

This is exactly what I came in to say. The story with the dog is very touching, but if this man had been able to get proper health care, perhaps he could have enjoyed more years with Yurt?
posted by anastasiav at 2:30 PM on June 20, 2011 [13 favorites]


I don't know if there's an afterlife.

I only know that if there is one, the dogs are first in line to get in.
posted by Trurl at 2:34 PM on June 20, 2011 [7 favorites]


If this were fiction I would be upset at the heavy handed symbology inherit in naming a homeless man's dog "Yurt."
posted by cjorgensen at 2:40 PM on June 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


you behave
.
posted by hortense at 2:49 PM on June 20, 2011 [5 favorites]


Thanks KMZ, that was a good one.
posted by doctor_negative at 2:59 PM on June 20, 2011


Wow, if that paramedic didn't volunteer at the animal shelter, he may never have seen his dog again or known what had happened to her. That must happen to elderly, sick, and dying people all the time. :(
posted by oneirodynia at 3:00 PM on June 20, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm going to go home and hug my dog.
posted by ahdeeda at 3:05 PM on June 20, 2011 [5 favorites]


I saw this episode of House. In the next scene, it turns out the dog was poisoning him the whole time. Then House says something about Cuddy's breasts and takes a Vicodin.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:14 PM on June 20, 2011 [6 favorites]


Lucky for me I'm a cat person, so this story really didn't affect me at all.

Okay, maybe a little.
posted by It's Never Lurgi at 3:18 PM on June 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


* This is exactly what I came in to say. The story with the dog is very touching, but if this man had been able to get proper health care, perhaps he could have enjoyed more years with Yurt?

* Wow, if that paramedic didn't volunteer at the animal shelter, he may never have seen his dog again or known what had happened to her. That must happen to elderly, sick, and dying people all the time. :(

* "'He wasn't very communicative,' Garrett said of McCalin. 'The entire time he was there, he only stated his goal was to see his dog. That was really all he was concerned with.'"

* "She resolved to unite the two: Yurt, who seemed miserable in the kennel, and McClain, who was spending his last days without his most loyal friend, with no family members at his bedside.
"'I think he had a hard life,' Erceg said."


This is a man who everyone, people, our culture, the economy, the government, EVERYONE failed. Everyone except his dog.

I'm crying, but it's not just sadness that's bringing the tears. There's a bit of rage in there too.
posted by JHarris at 3:18 PM on June 20, 2011 [29 favorites]


Dog reminds me of my Tasha. The former owner said she was going to go to a home since she was giving away two other dogs when we bought the house. We just assumed that it was because she was moving to a small condo. Nope. She was suicidal. She gave away so much including her friendship. We took her dog (who is the most perfect dog ever), a lot of her belongings, and her friendship. I'm glad she's still here despite the attempt.

That dog is the world to us. When our son came home from the hospital on day 3 she was the first to greet and kiss him. When he was an infant on his play mat, she wouldn't leave his side, even pushing our other, younger (and bouncy) border collie away so she wouldn't step on him. And when he's sick, she won't leave his side. Just last night our son sprouted a 103 fever. She demanded to go on the bed (she can't get up on her own anymore) so she could snuggle with him. They slept together all night.

I need a MF'in time machine for that dog because I can't even bare her going anywhere. She's 15 now, pretty good health, just slowing down. Vet said every year is a blessing and she will age like 100 years each year.

Dogs/animal companions are amazing. Best hospice, antidepressant, and unconditional love people need in a conditional world.

I will be lucky if we ever find another "Tasha" in a million lifetimes. Our other dog is sweet and amazing but she also eats cat poo, Kleenex, and pulled watermelon onto the floor yesterday. She's lucky she's cute because well...the smarts aren't there *wink*.
posted by stormpooper at 3:32 PM on June 20, 2011 [8 favorites]


This touches me very deeply.

When I was a hospice nurse and was about to go on vacation, I was visiting one of my patients who was still up and around and independent, managing well on her own with some help from her family. At the end of my visit I told her that I'd be away for a couple of weeks and asked her if there was anything she wanted to talk about that we hadn't talked about before. She said that she was ready to die when the time came but was so worried about what would become of her dog.

Of course Mr.p said we'd take him. I knew he would. I called her that night and told her, and she said that she was sure that if she couldn't mange his care her daughter would look after him in the meantime.

She abruptly died two days later. I wasn't surprised to hear it when we got back. Sometimes that happens when people feel at peace, as I was pretty sure she had.

So, my Ozzie was the most wonderful dog in the world. I swear he could understand everything I ever said to him. He was intuitive, loving, protective and silly and all of the wonderful things that a dog could possible be. I will miss him all my life. But I'm pretty sure that dogs go to heaven, so that's OK. The thing is, I may have been able to give my patient a little peace, but she gave me one of the most treasured gifts I'll ever have- the unconditional love of a truly wonderful dog. I would do it again in a heartbeat.
posted by puddinghead at 3:55 PM on June 20, 2011 [11 favorites]


What a good man. People who care for and love their companion animals, regardless of their own personal circumstances, are, in my book, the very best kinds of people.
posted by tumid dahlia at 3:59 PM on June 20, 2011 [10 favorites]


Ah, ha geez ... gimmie a second ... gimmie a couple ... I don't even ...

... and the way Yurt knew McClain's scent so well that she found him on her own in the hospice ... oh man ...

"you behave"

Forget it, I can't even begin to handle this ...
posted by EatTheWeak at 4:04 PM on June 20, 2011 [3 favorites]


I've lived out of a car with my husband and two dogs before. It's hard, but the dogs don't seem to mind. They're just happy to be with you.

Besides, living out of the car usually means you take every opportunity to get out of the car, which meant lots of outside time. The car was more for sleeping.
posted by Malice at 4:05 PM on June 20, 2011 [6 favorites]


Welp, I'm sobbing like a baby.
posted by sophistrie at 4:07 PM on June 20, 2011


It's been ten minutes and I'm still wiping tears.
posted by linux at 4:13 PM on June 20, 2011


the dogs are first in line to get in. - Only because the cats already cross back and forth at will.
posted by Ardiril at 4:13 PM on June 20, 2011 [11 favorites]


Other Stories:
Dying Man Gets Wish for Citizenship
Watch Video
Dying Boy Meets Santa
Watch Video
Woman's Dying Wish: Day at the Beach
Watch Video

Sadness sells.
posted by Gordafarin at 4:51 PM on June 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Unexpected blubbering all over my keyboard. Messy but happily moved to tears.
posted by nickyskye at 4:55 PM on June 20, 2011


the tears they burn.

I just euthanized my beloved 15 year old cat a few weeks back and I had that same sort of conversation with him.

We don't deserve our animal companions.
posted by drewbage1847 at 5:06 PM on June 20, 2011 [5 favorites]


Thought I'd make it with just a few tears, but no, full-on crying.
posted by FeralHat at 5:10 PM on June 20, 2011


Less marketable -- A man's wish : "Please don't let me die of lung cancer, living in squalor out of a car."
posted by boo_radley at 5:13 PM on June 20, 2011 [8 favorites]


I don't know if there's an afterlife.

I only know that if there is one, the dogs are first in line to get in.


Which reminds me of an episode of the Twilight Zone called "The Hunt," where a poor man walks along a path in the afterlife with is dog. He comes to a first gate where the keeper promises him a wonderful new world, but his dog cannot go in with him. The man decides instead to keep on walking up the path where eventually he finds Heaven and an angel tells him the first gate was a trap and actually hell.

In that vein, I could never understand why so many people got confused about the Rapture hoax last month - if such a thing is going to happen, despite what they say about it being humans only, I believe you'll have nothing to fear until the dogs are all gone and you're left just standing there with a dumb look on your face.
posted by Muddler at 5:34 PM on June 20, 2011 [11 favorites]


I had something in my eye. I DID. It really hurt. I had even called my eye doctor to make an appointment.

And then I watched this video and read the story and I bawled and bawled. You know, the kind of tears where you can't even see the screen anymore because you're weeping such huge drops of tears.

Suddenly my eye felt better. And my heart swelled that this beautiful dog got to live a life with a family who will love it even more than her original owner, who died at peace knowing that he was able to give that dog one last goodbye.

I cancelled the eye doctor appointment.
posted by HeyAllie at 5:43 PM on June 20, 2011 [8 favorites]


Jesus but it's hard to type through streaming tears.

A couple of years ago, I unexpectedly went into the hospital as an emergency admit. From the day I adopted her until that point, the dog and I had never been separated; she came to work with me, to conferences with me, and on trips with me. After 18 hours of holding my hand in the ER, my husband finally went home without me, and I think the dog's heart broke.

She wouldn't eat, she wouldn't drink, she wouldn't even poop, and staring at the door became her full time job. Finally after 5 days, a nurse wheeled me outside in a wheelchair and my husband brought the dog down the hill to meet me. The canine joy was unbridled.

There simply is no loyalty like the love of a good dog.
posted by DarlingBri at 5:51 PM on June 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


There's a nearly homeless man (I think he lives in an SRO hotel) that I'm friendly with because of our dogs. He has a 14 year old chocolate labrador and was recently diagnosed with cancer. My first thought was, what's going to happen to Cocoa. He's had Cocoa since she was a puppy; six weeks after he got her, he an accident and ended up in a wheelchair. He taught her how to help pull him and she's been doing it for 14 years. After the cancer diagnosis, the VA hospital gave him an electric chair.

He says he can't put up with chemo. Originally he said he had made arrangements for her to be put down upon his death because he didn't want her to end up at the pound or to have to get used to a new owner after 14 years with him. He recently told me that he'd found a friend to take her. I was so happy for him and Cocoa.
posted by shoesietart at 6:10 PM on June 20, 2011 [4 favorites]


WHY DO I READ THESE THREADS.

I knew from the name of the thread what it would do to me; I knew from the name of the link what it would do to me.

WHY.
posted by tzikeh at 6:17 PM on June 20, 2011


My partner's two border collies have come to love me over the years, but they worship him.

Not long ago, when Kevin was returning from a busines trip, I said to them, "Kevin's coming home tonight!" Dib, the 12-year old, settled onto the hearth by the front door to wait. Evinrude, the 5-year old, gave a single, strangled bark that seemed--I really don't think I'm imagining this--half grief, half joy. And she peed on the spot, which was, unhappily, the living room carpet.

At the time, I told myself that they couldn't possibly understand what I had said, but time has schooled me otherwise.
posted by Short Attention Sp at 6:21 PM on June 20, 2011 [6 favorites]


@shoesietart---Just a thought, if you know what kind of chemo he can get, you may want to try contacting the pharma company. Many will give free chemo to at need patients. Never know.
posted by stormpooper at 7:03 PM on June 20, 2011


This reminds me of the story of Shep of Ft. Benton, Montana.
posted by tamitang at 8:07 PM on June 20, 2011


Anyone else creepy reminded of the recent post? I mean, what if the gentleman mentioned in this story would have had some sort of options beyond those life present him with, especially with regards to health care?

I'm no politician, I've got none of the answers, but things like this make me believe more and more firmly that people should have a right to health care and safety nets when weath is becoming more and more concentrated here in America.

Lord knows what this man's situation was, but anyone who chooses to take care (GOOD care, from the wording of the article) of a dog while in such dire straights is ok in my book.

RIP Kevin McClain, unknown to the internets in life, show to us as a gentleman in death.
posted by RolandOfEld at 9:04 PM on June 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


The man decides instead to keep on walking up the path where eventually he finds Heaven and an angel tells him the first gate was a trap and actually hell.

Well, true, but he also tells the first gatekeeper that any kind of heaven that would not let his dog in with him is no heaven that he wants to be part of. Which is pretty much what I'd say in the same situation, with more profane language.

As for the story, it's incredibly heartbreaking, not just because of the Old Shep aspects, but because, as others have said in this thread, that man, that kindhearted man, didn't have to die, he did not have to die in the country that is supposedly a beacon of freedom and human dignity to all other countries in the world, he did not have to die in a country that is one of the richest nations on the planet, he did not have to die in a country that supposedly cares more for its citizens than any other nation has in the past, does in the present, or will in the future (if you are to believe the kind of rhetoric coming from the Republicans these days). He didn't have to die, but he did.

At times like this I always think of the most radical and earthshattering statement that's attributed to Christ in the Gospels: “Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me." (Matthew 25:45) A statement that many of his so-called believers see fit not only to ignore and contradict, but to dismiss as the ravings of an ascetic wild-haired lunatic who, if they saw him on the street tomorrow panhandling, they would kick and spit on.
posted by blucevalo at 9:32 PM on June 20, 2011 [7 favorites]


http://soundcloud.com/nevenen/yurt-rave

in memorandum.
posted by RTQP at 10:49 PM on June 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


*sniff*
posted by kryptondog at 12:58 PM on June 21, 2011


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