Woman hides dog collar in dog house so husband doesn't know his dog is dead before he eats his dinner

Tracey Folly

*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events I experienced firsthand; used with permission.

My father brought home a puppy one summer day when I was a child. After initialing telling me I could name the pup, my father decided to call him Snoopy.

Snoopy was a good dog. He was quiet and gentle. He had a penchant for getting loose and wandering the neighborhood, but that wasn't his fault. It didn't make him a bad dog; we just had a bad fence.

As Snoopy aged, he grew ill. His hind legs didn't work the way they were supposed to.

The vet recommended putting him down because treatment would be incredibly expensive. My father wouldn't hear of putting him down. He opted for the treatment.

Snoopy was a large dog. Getting him to the vet for weekly treatments was more than a handful. So my parents paid for the vet to come to the house and administer the treatments at home.

The dog rallied at first, but eventually, the treatments became ineffective. Once again, the vet advised euthanizing our family pet. This time, both my parents agreed.

My father didn't know when it was happening; he just knew the day was coming.

Knowing that my father would be heartbroken if he found out that his beloved dog had passed away, my mother decided to take matters into her own hands. With a heavy heart, she quickly hid the dog collar in the dog house, careful to make sure it was well hidden from view. She hoped that by doing this, she could protect my father from the sadness of losing their beloved pet until after dinner.

"I knew if I told him about the dog as soon as he got home from work he'd be too upset to eat dinner," my mother explained. "And I wanted him to eat his dinner."

It wasn't until later in the day my father noticed the dog hadn't made an appearance. He went outside to check on the dog and found the empty dog collar in the dog house. Just as my mother expected, my father was devastated.

Tears streamed down his face as he cradled the now-empty collar. It was only then that he felt the true loss of his beloved pet, but also gratitude for my mother's compassion in shielding him from it until the day was done. With a heavy heart, they accepted their fate of living without Snoopy and took comfort in knowing that their beloved pup had lived a full life surrounded by love.

While his absence was felt in their home for many years after, memories of Snoopy were not forgotten. Whenever my father needed a reminder of his beloved pup, he'd go outside and talk to Snoopy's memorial under the grapevine where his dog house once stood. He'd share stories and fond memories, tears streaming down his face as he recounted their adventures together. No matter the sadness that the loss brought him, he knew that Snoopy would always be with us in spirit.

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Ordained Minister, Universal Life Church

Massachusetts State

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