DOWNEY – It was a warm summer evening in August 2010 when I was coming home from dinner with my girlfriends that my life changed.
As I pulled into the driveway at my home there sat a scared and scroungy dog who wouldn’t move an inch as I tried to park my car. That was the beginning of a relationship between this scared – and I assume very neglected – dog that my mom and I will never forget.
He spent his first night with us in our backyard. In the morning my mom recalls waking up to see him basking in the sun in the middle of the yard. When she went out to greet him he ran behind the garage in fear. This is where he spent the next three weeks. We had to leave his food and water beside the garage so he would eat.
Then one evening he just decided to approach us. He was dirty and missing fur. Clearly neglected and I would say abused. We gave him a bath and took him to the vet. The vet said he was a Papillon Chihuahua mix and was about 6 to 8 years old. He had severe hip dysplasia which made it impossible for him to jump or walk without effort. We didn’t care about that. It made him who he was. When the vet asked what his name was we said Oreo. He was black and white so it seemed like the perfect name.
Unlike your typical dog, Oreo loved cats. We would joke around and say that he was a cat in his former life. As soon as Oreo came to our home he adopted our cats. Every day he would clean them and snuggle with them on his dog bed.
He was afraid of people but over the years, and after much love, he learned that people who came to our home were of no harm to him and he would greet every guest with a little bark and howl and lead them to the laundry room where his biscuits were kept.
As we all know, no creature lives forever. But in the manner which life ends isn’t always fair. Fast forward from 2010 to just last Friday, with a fresh haircut and lots of love, before I went to work for the evening the lives of myself, my mom and sadly Oreo would change.
Normally Oreo stays the night in the house with my mom. On this particular evening she was away and Oreo spent the night outside with his best friends: our cats on their cozy blankets on the back porch.
When I returned home that morning I did not hear Oreo so I assumed he was sleeping in the backyard. I was very quiet when I entered the house so I wouldn’t wake him. Shortly after, my mom came home and she knew something was wrong. There was no greeting from Oreo. She looked out in the backyard and there he was; on the lawn was his lifeless little body that had been put through a tragedy beyond words.
Coyotes are prevalent in Downey but we never thought that one would come in our tranquil backyard and take the life of our best friend. These animals are protected as this is their “home”. Nothing can be done to keep these animals out of our yards or away from our animals or children.
My purpose of this article is to bring awareness to the residents of Downey that these animals are roaming the streets alone and in packs. They show no mercy and can take the life of your “best friend” or even a family member in a split second.
I will miss my best friend every day. He was taken away from us way too early and in a vicious and horrible way. My hope is to spread the word to the residents of Downey and the surrounding communities that these animals are here and that they can change your life forever.
Because these animals are protected the best we can do for our loved ones is keep them in at night and make sure no food or water is left out to attract them. They will bypass a home that has nothing to offer them.
Rest in peace, Oreo. With all of your disabilities you can now run and jump on as many sofas as you would like in doggy heaven.
Contributed by Kathy and Julie Ledesma.