Last year Pocket and I went to see a marvelous show called Jersey Boys. In it the character of the bassist for the Four Seasons, Nick Massi explains why he left the group thusly: “When there are four guys in a band, and you’re the Ringo......” When I think of Hattie Mae’s Pack of Four I think of a band with four members. Hattie Mae is the John, smart, clever, the leader. Jackie Lynn is the Paul, the cute one. Fella is the George, the smart one (work with me on this one.) And Smartie is the Ringo, the quiet one that we never hear much from. But we suspect that Smartie has plenty to say, as his name would suggest, but not the gumption to fight the others for the limited family spotlight.
fellowship of four and their parents have been keeping a secret to us
of late: Smartie has been an ill little pup. The first sign of trouble
was when Hattie offered us some diapers because Pocket still suffers
from excitable peeing, and gets excited a lot. Why does Hattie Mae have
diapers, we wondered? Shortly we heard Hattie Mae whispering in the
Tanner Brigade cathedral to heal her sister Smartie and give her parents
one pried, Hattie is a Jack Russell terrier, and they don’t like
being pressured. Finally, when she felt ready, as we all knew she
would, she informed us of Smartie’s illness. The family first noticed
it when the little beagle stopped eating. If you know a beagle they
never stop eating.
Smartie began having accidents in the house. The vet did what vets do.
They start with the most likely answer, a urinary tract infection.
But Smartie did not respond to the treatment the way the vet had hoped.
now the pack entered the horrible puppy health care torture go round.
You start with the blood work. Mom pays the bill. The doctor says
they know no from the blood work. Mom pays the bill. They run x-rays.
They find nothing. They order more tests. Mom pays the bill. They
got sent to a new hospital, one with an excellent reputation. They took
more blood, they did an MRI. Mom pays the bill.
thankfully, the merry go round ended there. Smartie was diagnosed
with Stage III Chronic Kidney Disease With a new diet and medicine
Smartie took a turn for the better. She was acting like a pup again,
playing with Jackie Lynn, smacking Hattie Mae.
then she went back to being one sick pup. More tests showed the
disease was progressing. Also her red blood count had dropped quite a
bit. Her Mom and Dad decided they could manage her care with her being
poked and prodded for the rest of her days.
is home. She has accepted her medicine, her diapers, her pee pads.
She is working with Jackie Lynn passing on all her knowledge. We don’t
know how long it could go on for but your prayers will be appreciated.
don’t believe that just because Smartie was the quietest that she
wasn’t equal to her pack members or better. Smarties has held her own
council and lived her life out of the spotlight. Not a life for me but a
life I can respect.
tonight when you go to bed think of the quiet, loyal, proud dogs like
Smartie and know they mean to their families. Because without Ringo
they would have just been a bunch of guys with guitars, long hair, and
It’s the Ringos that hold the pack together.