I came home from Oakton on Wednesday and MK and I were going to have a bit of lunch. Just as we were sitting down, we received a call from our neighbor’s daughter. When I say ‘neighbor,’ I mean our wonderful neighbor, Mr. Delaney to the north of us.
Mr. Delaney, which is what we usually call him, is a widower and in his eighties. He has been living alone for some time. His wife had suffered from postpartum depression after the birth of their third child and was never the same. He took care of her and raised the three children. We knew about Helen because one day we heard her in between our two houses and making sounds that were indescribable. We rarely saw her as she pretty much kept to herself and rarely came out, although we would see her smoking from time to time. She has been gone for some time. Two of the children live in the area (far western suburbs and Chicago) and one in Michigan.
A few years ago, Mr. Delaney’s companion dog, Aida, passed away and he was quite despondent. Our family went into action and found Bailey, one of three dogs belonging to a family friend. It turns out Bailey just never fit in the group and so he got farmed out and ended up with Mr. Delaney. The two of them were constantly seen walking the neighborhood. Mr. Delaney, by now, has a cane and Bailey walks ever so slowly.
We got a call from Mr. Delaney’s daughter, as she was concerned for her dad. It seems Bailey was ill and Mr. Delaney did not know what to do. His daughter called a mobile vet they have used and he was to come over around two. MK went over to find the dog on the floor, looking miserable, and not moving much. She came home and we both went back a little later. Mr. Delaney did not call us himself as he is very private and never wants to bother anyone.
I ended up helping the mobile vet, but it was with great care as Bailey has, like his predecessor, Aida, not really ever liked me. I used to think that Aida might have been abused by someone who looks like me. Anyway, the good doctor had a canvas muzzle and we were trying to decide who would get it on. Mr. Delaney did his best, almost had it on, but didn’t get it tightened fast enough. He tried again and I jumped in and tightened it. I then had to hold poor Bailey down as the vet took his temperature (104 degrees) and then shave a spot on his leg to take a blood sample to see what the infection is caused by. That was followed by another spot shaved on his back for a bag of saline for hydration.
During all this time, I was on pins and needles as we proceeded since Bailey really doesn’t like me and was trying to bite the doctor in spite of the muzzle. The vet lost his hearing half way through the visit as his hearing aid battery must have dropped out. Even at my ripe old age of 63.5, I felt quite spritely surrounded by 87 and who knows what age.
After that, we went back home (next door). MK cooked some rice and hamburger for Bailey and I took that to Mr. Delaney in the early evening. By this time, Bailey was acting like his former self, the antibiotics having granted him a new lease on life.