Today we lost one of our old DDR dogs, we lost Big Petey Boy. A blind 17 year old dog, who just this morning, had his normal spring to his step and ate a hearty breakfast, but later in the day, we knew something was wrong. Pete had two tumor removal surgeries within the last five years, some of the tumors had come back and he was no longer a candidate for surgery. He died peacefully, sleeping on his favorite blanket on his Kurunda bed around 4:00 this afternoon. I’d like to think that it was time for me to give him back to his daddy, pictured above, in happy days, before Vietnam Vet Steven passed away and left me Petey in his will. At the time I did not know the gift that I received.
Not an easy dog, I met Petey because he had landed in the North Central Shelter, Steve had been arrested, he was homeless and lived in his van with Pete. The first time I bailed out Pete, I met a person who has become an important part of my life and the Shelter Intervention Program, Trainer Larry Hill. At that point in time, he was the only person to encourage me to return Pete to his owner and not rescue him. Then he got impounded again and again and AGAIN. Each time I would come up to the shelter and get him out, returning him to Steve who loved him more than anything. Steve got very sick and could no longer care for Pete. Boarding him at a vet, my friend Esther went and walked him on all the days I could not, together we made it work until Steve died from health complications and I inherited Pete. At that point I thought What the hell am I going to do with this dog. Then I met Dog Man, one of the only people who didn’t think I was CRAZY to take on Pete and told me “You can do this!” Week after week I met Dog Man at the Coliseum with Pete, each week we got better and better and the class got bigger and bigger. Pete was a rock star and I actually could do recall and walk him without him taking me down to the ground. Pete lived many years in my home in Altadena as a country dog, living among rooster, chickens, horses and lots of birds that he loved to watch. He moved with all the other dogs to our kennel in South Gate where he grew to love Daniel, Shyann and recently Miguel who took care of him. Tons of volunteers loved Big Pete. His favorite thing to do was to chase his friend Bernadette around each evening, super cute, he always loved the ladies, no matter how dog aggressive they were. Pete taught me a very important lesson, some of the things that you feel you are very unprepared for in life become the things that make you grow and become the person you need to become.
We will all miss you BIG PETEY BOY