Farewell Pat

Often times I would look out the back door into the yard and see Riley standing at the fence. His giant head peering over letting out one bark after another. Knowing Riley the way I do, I always knew these as "hey, pay attention to me, I want you to pet me" barks. They were the same barks he gave to neighbor Terry (aka The Vegetarian).

These past few years though, Riley has split his neighborly barking among a few neighbors. One neighbor even gets Bella hopping around and eager to paw or bark for attention (as opposed to merely biting Riley's ankles). I had always thought that it was the neighbor dog Buddy, that runs along the fence with Bella that got her all wound, but it wasn't; it was that dog's owner, Pat that got them both so excited.

So it goes that I'd hear barking outside, I'd look, and there my two beloved children would be, barking at the fence. I'd see Pat wave finally, I'd send a wave back and go about my business while I watched him and his dog, along with my dogs hanging out at the fence. It was a little while later I learned that he made special trips to the fence with treats for my dogs.

Pat was a really great man who had a kind heart. It was Pat that knocked at my door to notify me that someone threw a rock through my car window. I saw Pat at least twice a day if not at my fence, always taking his dog Buddy for a walk.

I'm very heartbroken and sad about the death of a man I hardly knew. Perhaps I'm sad for my dogs who will never understand why their pal will never again be over for treat time at the fence. Perhaps I'm sad for Buddy who is now without his faithful master. Perhaps I'm sad for the entire neighborhood, as we've lost a really great person and neighbor.

Anyway it goes, I'm sad. January 25, 2010 -- Rest in Peace Pat, you were a great person.

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