Columnist Ronnie Polaneczky paid a touching tribute to her dog, Blackie, in yesterday’s Philadelphia Daily News.
Blackie, a female border collie-Labrador mix, died on Sunday evening after a sudden illness.
“I was so overcome with tears as she died, I was unable to properly tell her all the ways that her life had made mine better,” Polaneczky wrote. “So this is my thank-you letter to Blackie, the first dog I ever called my own.”
Nine years ago, Daily New columnist Stu Bykofsky offered her the dog, which he had taken in after finding it abandoned in South Philly. Here’s an excerpt from Polaneczky’s column:
“Thank you for tolerating the way we claimed that you had magic ‘healing powers.’ See, not long after you came into our lives, we discovered that our daughter’s bumps and scrapes didn’t hurt her so much once we had her press the injured area into your warm, shaggy coat. Soon, she was telling her young friends to use your powers when they were hurt, too.
“Over time, we realized that those powers were not a parent-created myth but a true ability. When my husband and I were distressed about something, you’d sense our upset and quietly lean against us in solemn comfort.
“Thank you for letting us dress you as a bee on Halloween.
“Thank you for never – ever – chewing our shoes into jerky.
“Thank you for having a gentle spirit that belied your fierce appearance. The first time my husband took you to the schoolyard to retrieve our daughter from kindergarten, a few of the parents pulled their children away in fear of your wolfish looks. Within moments, you were sprawled on your back, a portrait of maternal contentment as a dozen tiny hands rubbed up and down on your belly.
“Thank you for your tolerance of your four-legged housemates. You put up with one prickly cat until his death at 19. You endured the addition of two kittens, who tried to nurse at your row of tiny teats. And then you gamely allowed the latest member of the family, a tiny Yorkie with a brain the size of an M&M, to use your belly like a trampoline, grabbing at your ears and snout while you lolled placidly on the floor.
“Through all of it, you’d look at us with world-weary affection, as if to say, ‘These little ones, eh? Waddya gonna do?’
“We were there with you at the end, at Penn’s veterinary hospital, to sob goodbyes and stroke your soft, dark fur as you peacefully slipped away from us. The doctor had told us that the illness in your lungs was slowly suffocating you and had caused an en
Posted by John Woestendiek September 2nd, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, blackie, column, columnist, death, dog, dogs, letter, news, newspaper, pets, philadelphia, philadelphia daily news, ronnie polaneczky, thank you
A teenager in Michigan got her dog, Blackie, back — thanks to an anonymous donor who footed her bill at the pound after reading of her plight.
Tia Schidler, 14, was swarmed with emails after TV station WNDU first aired the story of how she was unable to come up with the $200 she needed get her dog from the St. Joseph County Humane Society.
Humane Society officials weren’t all that thrilled with the happy ending, because it was the third time the dog had been picked up for running loose.
“I think everyone needs to understand this is rewarding bad behavior,” said Carol Ecker, humane society director. “If the dog continues to get loose it’s going to die.”
On Friday morning, Tia’s $200 bill – a $100 pick-up fee, a $75 fine as a third offender, a $20 vaccination fee, and a $10 charge for food and care – was paid in full by one of many people who offered to help the Michiana teen.
Tia’s mom was unable to help her with the bill because she’s disabled, the TV station reported in its first story.
Tia promised her rescuer that she wouldn’t let the dog run loose again, and said she was ecstatic to get her dog back. “Wow. That is like so amazing,” she said. “I didn’t think anyone would actually do that because of the way the economy is now.”
Posted by John Woestendiek May 4th, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, anonymous, behavior, bill, blackie, dog, dogs, donated, donor, humane society, michigan, picked up, pound, rescue, rescuer, responsibility, running loose, st. joseph county humane society, stray, teen, teenager, tia schidler