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By Jack Hackley
I lost my best friend. Her name was Betty, and I have bought her breakfast and dinner every day for the past ten years.
After I moved to town I fixed up an old milk barn on my farm, and go out two times a day. Early in the morning I read the paper, drink a coffee, and watch the news on TV with Betty at my side, patiently waiting for breakfast, but satisfied with a few Meaty Bones while I read the paper.
I lived on Gillespie Road north of Oak Grove, which was noted as a favorite dumping ground for townspeople. When they dumped a dog, I always loaded it up and took it back to town.
Betty was a pretty Australian Sheep Dog, spayed, well trained, and looked like she was well cared for when dumped on Gillespie Road.
I normally would have loaded her up and taken her back to town, but my wife suggested that since she got along well with my dog, Buddy, we should keep her. I eventually found out the reason she was dumped was because she didn’t like kids. But that’s alright. There’s a lot of kids I don’t like either.
My big dog Buddy drug up part of a deer during deer season. Betty ate some deer hair and plugged up her intestines. That operation at the vet’s office cost $765. My grandson ran over her with a trailer. That bill was $345. When I would take her to the Animal clinic, the vet would always say, “Here comes Gold-Plated Betty.”
Every day, I used to take a walk through the timber and along the creek on my walking trail. Betty always went with me, occasionally chasing a rabbit or squirrel. When there was water in the creek, she would take a swim. One day, I took off for a walk, and when I noticed Betty wasn’t with me, I looked back up the hill and there she was watching me. She knew her heart couldn’t take it. So, I quit walking on the trail and started using the treadmill at the fitness center.
I have been a member of the Oak Grove United Methodist Church for 72 years. When you are sick, in the hospital, or lose a relative, the minister and church family are there in a heartbeat. Lose your best friend of 10 years, and no one is there. Only a sympathy card from the vet.
Jack can be reached at PO Box 40, Oak Grove, MO 64075 or firstname.lastname@example.org.