A loyal companion

Canela appeared on our property around December 2007. She was
just a puppy but we already had two dogs at that point and I felt it
was not a good idea to add another one to the mix.

We brought her to the vet to get her shots and have her spayed with
the idea that after her surgery was completed and her recuperation
was finished, we could ask the good doctor to put her up for
adoption. My young daughter and son, having a pretty good idea of
my personality went along with this idea. I suppose they knew
that after a couple of weeks of having Canela living with us,
putting her up for adoption would not happen. They were right!

Canela was a beautiful, faithful dog. She grew bigger than any other
dog I have owned and there were many times when Canela actually
knocked me down accidentally when she ran past me chasing the
odd iguana. I became so fond of Canela that I could not remember
or imagine a life without her.

In July 2016, a careless neighbor drove too fast on our road and ran
Canela over. He left her in the middle of the street without a
backward glance. Another neighbor informed me and after many
exasperating and painful minutes, we were able to get her to the
vet for some attention. Canela never really recovered from her
wounds; she lost her spleen, had difficulty getting back on her feet
and less than 18 months later, she passed away. She was about 10
years old, still had a few good years left. We were heartbroken.

When I shared the story in a weekly newsletter, I was astounded by
one response from a man in the community who called me
“careless” because Canela was not on a harness…the road she was
hit on is private…country dogs roam freely as they should be able to.
I suppose I might have taken his response better if I had heard it
months later or in reference to someone else’s plight. That day was
not the right time but then again, people don’t always measure the
impact of their words. I haven’t completely gotten over my
resentment of his dismissiveness and the way he then shared all of
his complaints about the neighborhood he lived in, replete with pets,
noise and neighbors. Frankly at that time, all I could think about was
myself and my loss!

I am not sure what triggered those memories today, except that our
Lila is now getting closer to 9. She is slower than she used to be and
although we have taken to keeping her indoors when there is too
much traffic on our private road, I still worry that she will also be a
victim to a vehicle’s wheels and that not much sympathy will be
forthcoming from our neighbors.

Life in the country used to be so quiet, everything is changing,
including that.

I miss Canela and I know that Lila does too.

Picture of Canela my own

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