About two weeks ago, I was lucky enough to connect with an old friend, Indy. Indy is a 12 year old yellow lab who has been John’s assistance dog for the past ten years. Indy and I go way back to when he was a puppy in training. I helped with his training by being a puppy pal for an assistance dog program in our area. During the first year and a half of his life, I would help socialize him by taking him to church, shopping, to work, even boating!

Over the years I’d see him from time to time with his John, who Indy always adored. The other week we connected wtih old friends from Indy’s training program along with John and the program director Jill. It was kinda in celebration of Indy’s twelfth birthday. A lunch at Red Lobster was a great reunion for us. I sat on the floor with the boy as much as I could, but Indy would never take his eyes off of John. Such devotion was so beautiful! Indy was aging. I was told, he had been having seizures and having trouble walking. 🙁 We enjoyed the lunch and when it was time to go, we followed John out to his specially equiped van. Opening the side wheelchair accessible door, remotely John lowered the wheelchair ramp and Indy stepped on. John pressed another button and up Indy went to the floor level of the van. Indy promptly went in, and crawled up on his very own back bench seat! Remotely, John lowered the ramp, wheeled on, and rode it to the van floor level and rolled in. What an awesome pair. Such devoted friends for so long. Just so inspiring, beautiful!

Indy looking at John at the restaurant

Indy on his bench back seat in John’s car

Ok, back to today. I knew when my phone rang and saw Jill’s number, it could not be good news. She told me they had made the final vet appointment for 4:30 today at John and Indy’s home. Jill told me about the big seizure and how hard it was for Indy to get around today and that they all decided today would be the day. I cried and mentioned I’d love to see him but did not want to intrude on his last few hours with his best friend. Jill seemed to think it would be ok and called John to confirm our visit would be fine.

I met Jill along the way and followed her to John’s home. When we arrived, we went in and Indy was lying near John. He tried to get up to see who came and managed to come over to a throw rug when I sat on the floor. Fighting tears the whole time we just made small talk among ourselves. Jill mentioned to John that I had Zeke in the car and suggested he come in. I didn’t want to stress Indy and assured them Zeke would be fine waiting in the car. Jill assured me it was fine and went out to get him. Zeke came in with Jill and starting roaming around WITH INDY FOLLOWING – WAGGING HIS TAIL! He was happy before but he just seemed to really want to be up and about with everyone again.

Looking at John you could see the torture in his mind about what was supposed to happen in a half hour. Then he verbalized his thougths – not sure if he was doing the right thing! WE CANCELED THE VET APPOINTMENT! Indy has more time! Working with others in the assistance dog program to help John care for Indy, they would at least have the weekend together. Praise God.

After visiting a bit, Zeke and I left to give them their time together. Driving home my phone rang. It was Jill. “You need to give Zeke an extra big hug tonite! He saved Indy!”, she stated. She truly felt John seeing Indy rally when Zeke came in made him (and her) change their minds. At least we pray it will be a good weekend for all. Thank you little buddy, Zeke. Guess we’ll keep you another week 🙂