You know every pet who comes to stay with us at Granbar is special. Each one is different with his or her own special traits, habits, likes, and dislikes. Some start coming as very young puppies like Dickens did, and graduate from Puppy food to Adult food and then on to Senior food with very special soft treats, and special mats in their rooms to help old creaky bones. But each one gets special treatment and finds a special niche in our hearts ... Like Dickens!

He had been coming for seventeen years and his Mom tells everyone that if he could have opened the front gate, they would not ever have had to get out of their car when they would drop him off at Granbar for a visit. He would stand by the little swinging gate in the office, ready to rush down the hall to his 'room' and to see if some of his old friends happened to be here also. You could walk him down the hall and he would stop to greet some dog he recognized. You can't help but have favorites and I have to admit he was one of my very special ones.

Recently, he had developed a strange attraction for his water bowl. Yes, indeed! Dig all the water out, all over the floor, the wall, and his bed, having the time of his life. But then there was none left to drink. So then his Mom and Dad brought a raised platform with the bowls recessed in the top. Well, Mr. Dickens loved this setup even better. I found him standing on his hind legs looking exactly like a busy little boy washing his hands in a sink filled with water, splashing and barking at the water which was everywhere of course. What fun!

Dear Dickens, your last visit with us two months ago was very peaceful and you loved my special home-cooked Rizotto meals. We will all miss you ... I, especially, will. But just think of all the fun you will be having with those big soggy rainclouds in Heaven! I know Saint Francis was happy to see you. It's almost his feast day, October 4. You will get his personal blessing this year, dear little Dickens!