February 2, 2023 – West Bend, WI – Rick Takacs from Meadowbrook Pumpkin Farm recently lost his best friend Nellie who crossed the Rainbow Bridge. His tribute to her is below.
You all have met Nellie if you visited the Meadowbrook Pumpkin Farm. Nellie is Molly’s Puppy (Molly is still with us, Spunky as never before, but does sleep a lot at 22 + years old.) Molly trained Nellie well and was and is a great Mother.
Nellie is the ‘hostess’ when you visit the farm. She greets you, leads your car to the parking area and then sits patiently while you got out. Of course, she learned she got rewarded with gentle pets and love from all the guests.
She then accompanied you to the market area where she introduced you to our staff or animals. If you went to the animal park, she guided you to her most favorite farm critters and made sure you were good guests. She then checked on me and repeated the process.
The kids could pet her, hug her, and almost climb on her. When she got too much love, she would reward the kids with a big long wet lick across the face or ears; the kids would go “ew” and move on. Nellie knew how to kindly tell them enough.
She proudly made her daily rounds checking on all the farm critters, Judy and myself. She would inspect for any unwanted critters and complete mice and rabbit control. The rabbits always outran her. Nellie loved the farm, loved the visitors and always respected everyone.
She was loyal and faithful to this farm and to me as I was to her. She was my co-pilot when I drove places and plowed snow.
She was as close of companion to me as her mother, who is too old, arthritic and has dementia to accompany me most places now; Molly spends much of her day at the house sleeping.
I loved Nellie to no end. She was never much for retrieving or fetching, she loved to run, and make you smile, she was serious and mostly all business, keeping an eye on me and Judy, the animals and the farm.
Nellie did many silly things just to get noticed or get someone to laugh. No one, no critter dare enter without being announced. When you visited and could not find me, all you had to do was ask Nellie. Just like her mother, Nellie would find me and tell me to follow her and then get you and tell you to follow her and we would meet in the middle.
In October Nellie ripped off a toenail digging or investigating. She was seen by a vet and prescribed antibiotics. Her foot was sore for a long time.
In November she went to the emergency room and was diagnosed with glaucoma. Her right eye turned white within a few days. She lost vision in that eye. Her next visit to the emergency room was a couple weeks later, when her eye turned swollen red and dark. The next day her left eye was not seeing so well.
Another visit to the emergency room and more tests and she lost vision in her left eye from sudden retinal detachment. All the eye drops, and the tests and all the medications had little effect. In early January she had another appointment with the eye doctor.
They did a few tests but could not tell me what caused all this. She was blind in both eyes and doctors suspected a neurological disorder, or cancer behind the eye.
I cried my heart out for her. Guess I’m not that tough cookie I try to be.
Up until now I believed I would have a blind Nellie of good spirit to look after and love and be loyal to. However, that was short lived when the doctors told me she most likely would not make it through the summer.
Within two weeks that belief was dimmed and Nellie, as stubborn as she was, became depressed and held her head low… as we would go for walks. We both had to learn a whole new language to guide her, and she learned it well. She enjoyed these short walks however they got harder and harder.
Feeding her became harder; she no longer liked dog food, hamburger patties, bacon, or even bits of roast or steak. Even feeding her by hand and putting food in her mouth no longer worked.
I cuddled with her all night and much of my day with her curled up next to me. I was preparing to lose my Nellie as tears fell on my desk.
I’m writing this so I don’t hear all summer and fall, “Where is Nellie?”
So, please don’t ask this summer. She will be in Heaven with all the other great dogs.
Now I have to make the hardest decision to end her suffering or let God end it.
I know God will take care of her. Nellie was a gift from God, who took care of me.
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