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  1. The year I got my dog, an old man in my neighborhood got Joey, a husky puppy. Joey's owner was probably 70ish then, and that was 9 years ago. Since then, he's walked Joey twice a day past my house. Joey and my Buddy became friends, and I always knew when Joey and the old man were coming down the street, because Buddy has a very specific Joey-bellow of excitement. A few times in the last year, the old man fell in my driveway when Joey tugged him too hard. The old man is too frail and unbalanced now to restrain Joey or keep himself up - Joey's gotta be close to 100 lbs. of strong dog. So... this winter... the inevitable happened. The old man slipped on some ice and fell, breaking his hip in several places. The man's cousin is a fairly wealthy local businesswoman who doesn't like dogs. She's his only relative. Joey went to animal control, and then the woman put him in a kennel. The old man had surgery, pins put in his hip, and then a month of rehab. He's home now; it's been 3 months. Now... all the dog-walking neighbors know this man, and his dog, and have been very concerned about the whole thing. A daughter of one of my neighbors (lives a couple miles away) called the business woman and offered to adopt Joey. So, he was neutered and rehomed, but still in this area. Meanwhile... I stopped by the old man's house yesterday, and he's doing quite well. He stood and talked to me for about 15 minutes, leaning only on a cane. He's walking fairly well. Not well enough to control Joey, I'm certain. (And he's cantankerous enough that if he got Joey back, he'd be right back to trying to walk him.) So: Old man has no idea where his dog is. I know exactly where his dog is - I found out immediately after visiting the man, when I ran into the mother of the woman who adopted Joey. We could probably broker a reunion or visitation at the ball field where Joey and all the local dogs have met every day for 9 years. The old man could probably visit the dog on a fairly regular basis if the local dog-walkers worked it out. But the question is - yes or no? Is it better to let Joey settle in his new home and get to love his new owners, and to let the old man learn to cope with this loss? Would it be more painful to have them see each other, then have to separate again? I can see both sides, but in my heart it seems very, very cruel that the old man and the dog can't see each other. It's like a terrible dog movie with a sad ending. ::Sigh:: Mary
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