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We had an angel all along

For the most part, Chinese Crested Hairless dogs are not beautiful. They are small with large bat-like ears, pinky-gray skin and almost no hair.

Peggylou Parker was all those things. She was a little thing with large ears that sprouted white hair. She had wrinkly pinkish- gray skin and a small tuft of fur on her head. And she was beautiful.

When my friend, Candy, first brought Peggylou home, she could fit in the palm of your hand. She was the runt of the litter, but under Candy’s loving care, she thrived.

Candy had never had a dog. She was allergic to most breeds, but the hairless nature of the Chinese Crested was a perfect fit. Together, Candy and Peggylou made a life together. The two depended on each other.

Candy fed, loved and babied Peggylou. She had her own wardrobe and was Candy’s frequent travelling companion.

In return, Peggylou provided constant companionship and friendship. And, like a miniature EMT, she served as Candy’s on-call doctor. Candy is a diabetic, and Peggylou had an uncanny ability to sense when her sugar was low. Sensing Candy needed medication, Peggylou would lick her to wake her up. Other times, Peggylou would go get someone to help Candy.

Recently, Candy said Peggylou hadn’t been feeling well. She hadn’t been her usually happy self, and her white tufted tail wasn’t wagging as much as it did.

On Oct. 5, Peggylou died in Candy’s arms.

She was eight years old. Doctors later discovered she had heart and thyroid conditions.

Candy always said Peggylou loved to “go” and was the first one in the car when it was time to leave.

The one place Candy always wanted to take her was the beach, she said, adding she regretted she hadn’t had the chance to do so.

But in my mind, that’s where Peggylou is now. She’s running down a sandy beach, with a full long white coat flowing behind her.

Or, maybe, Peggylou is in Doggy Heaven sporting her big ears and white puffs and pinky-gray skin, fitting in with all all the other angels, each of whom look just like her.

And, maybe, all of us who knew her are realizing we had an angel here all along.

– Leada Gore is publisher and editor of The Hartselle Enquirer. Her column appears each Wednesday.