It is the New Year and my heart is aching, I have betrayed my best friend Flo.
| It is the first day of the New Year and my heart is aching. I have betrayed my best friend Flo and I have no one to blame but myself.
Flo is a mix of mountain cur and beagle dog that showed up in Greens Bottom in the fall -in heat- and being trailed by every male dog in the area. She was very skittish around men so we figured she had been beaten or abused at some time.
She and my grandson's dog "Flash" hit it off and became fast friends. They became a pair - Flash and Flo - they would accompany me on my daily walks and hikes in the woods.
Flash would become distracted by different things and wander off but Flo always stayed fairly close to me even after chasing a squirrel or rabbit for a while. Days that I was in dense woods or thickets hunting walking sticks she stuck by my side. Cutting and clearing the Demint cemetery of briars, thorn trees and wild roses took several days but Flash and Flo stayed near by checking out the many game trails.
Flo had her pups in early November about the time of the election with Grandma Debbie helping with the delivery. One male and eight females. Is that luck or what?
One had a 'W' on its back and two brown dots in a white strip down its nose. I called it George W till it turned out to be female and it was renamed. The one male had a red nose so he became Rudolph the red nose beagle. There was Heinz 57 and my wife's favorite was Patty. Debbie started feeding them extra in early December as they were overwelming Flo's milk supply. They all became little butterball pups in short order.
We found homes for several of them but the remaining five pups overran the house and were shifted to the garage. The garage is my domain where I do my reading, writing, studying, and have my bar with TV and a fridge well stocked with Busch light beer.
Flo has a couple of bad habits. Turning over trash containers and scattering the derbis around and having bowel movements in the house (even when she was let out often).
Grandson Zachary has a weak stomach and tends toward laziness like his Grandpa Steve so the cleanups fell to Grandma Debbie. She has periods of headaches where she is out of action for several days at a time.
Debbie contacted the dog warden and he said he thought he could find homes for all of them. She wanted to get rid of Flo because of all the messes she made.
On a day when Zachary was visiting his other grandparents and Debbie was out the dog warden showed up. We loaded the butterball beagles in the back of the truck including Fatty Patty. Flo was not around but I found her in the living room and I gathered her up in my arms and took her out side. Her liquid brown eyes looked a me trustingly till I put her in the cage and then she made a bolt for freedom but I helped pin her down and we placed her in the cage. I can still see those brown eyes turn from trust to hurt.
Its a couple of days later and I am on my first long walk since the snow storm of Christmas week. Flash and I are headed toward the end of Greens Bottom road and it is misty and foggy with most of the snow gone. Flo used to love those woods toward the end of the road. Flash has become distracted by something and has wandered off. "What have I done" I thought.I have betrayed my best and most loyal friend and I am the a--hole that packed her to the truck.
I hope someday Flo will find it in her kind heart to forgive me because I know I will never forgive myself.