I read this story online the other night, love it so much. I actually considered ordering Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover's Soul on Amazon after reading it because I'm sure there would be more stories like this. Then I realized that if I owned that book combined with my Dog & Cat Fancy magazines, the changes of ever having a boyfriend or friends that didn't think I was a freak would be reduced to zero...though I'm sure I will still buy it and hide it with my other weird books. Anyway, enjoy this story taken from The Herald-Zeitung by Mike Fitsko (published 2/21/10):
If you have or have ever owned a loving pet, you’ll certainly appreciate this story written by an anonymous writer and recently sent to me by an old high school friend who recently learned she has breast cancer. If you don’t currently have a pet, you might decide you want one after reading this!
Mary and her husband Jim had a dog, Lucky. Lucky was a real character. Whenever Mary and Jim had company come for a weekend visit they would warn their friends to not leave their luggage open because Lucky would help himself to whatever struck his fancy.
Inevitably someone would forget and something would come up missing. Mary or Jim would go to Lucky’s toy box in the basement and there the treasure would be amid all of Lucky’s favorite toys. Lucky always stashed his finds in his toy box and he was very particular that his toys stay in the box.
It happened that Mary found out she had breast cancer. Something told her she was going to die of this disease … she was just sure it was fatal.
She scheduled the double mastectomy, fear riding her shoulders.
The night before she was to go to the hospital, she cuddled with Lucky.
A thought struck her … what would happen to Lucky? Although the 3-year-old dog liked Jim, he was Mary’s dog through and through.
If I die, Lucky will be abandoned, Mary thought. He won’t understand that I didn’t want to leave him. The thought made her sadder than thinking of her own death.
The double mastectomy was harder on Mary than her doctors had anticipated and Mary was hospitalized for more than two weeks. Jim took Lucky for his evening walk faithfully but the dog just drooped, whining and miserable. But finally the day came for Mary to leave the hospital.
When she arrived home, Mary was so exhausted she couldn’t even make it up the steps to her bedroom. Jim made his wife comfortable on the couch and left her to nap.
Lucky stood watching Mary but he didn’t come to her when she called. It made Mary sad but sleep soon overcame her and she dozed.
When Mary woke, for a second, she couldn’t understand what was wrong. She couldn’t move her head and her body felt heavy and hot. Panic soon gave way to laughter though when Mary realized the problem. She was covered, literally blanketed, in every treasure Lucky owned!
While she slept the sorrowing dog had made trip after trip to the basement and back bringing his beloved mistress his favorite things in life. He had covered her with his love. Mary forgot about dying.
Instead she and Lucky began living again, walking further and further together every night.
It’s been 12 years now and Mary is still cancer-free. And Lucky? He still steals treasures and stashes them in his toy box, but Mary remains his greatest treasure.