Not Helen and John Reavis. They know better.
They watched as Lady, a terrier mix, and Lucy, a miniature dachshund, delivered tender loving care to Helen's mother, Amy Bailey.
"They were such a comfort to mother after a chemotherapy treatment when she couldn't do much else but pet the dogs,” Helen said. “She could rest peacefully as long as Lady and Lucy were in the bed with her and within petting distance.”
But it was Lady who knew that Mrs. Bailey's cancer had returned last fall.
"Lady would begin sniffing at the top of mother's head and gently proceed down her body until she reached her abdomen. Then she would stop and lay her head across mother's stomach,” she said.
After more tests, a voice on the other end of the phone confirmed what Lady already knew. The cancer had returned; this time, in her liver.
Mrs. Bailey referred to Lady and Lucy as her “girls,” and Lady rarely left her side.
Helen said her mother would request four buttered tea biscuits every morning — three for her and one to split between the girls. Their relationship was very dear, with much give and take on both sides.
In addition to tea biscuits and other treats, Lady and Lucy received unlimited belly rubs and ear scratching. In return they gave their total devotion.
It's only been a few weeks since Mrs. Bailey passed away, and Lady still cries at times. Lady is known as the meditator, and she bats her beautiful eyes like a Hollywood starlet.
Lucy, the instigator, carries on conversations with John. These days, the girls love to play with each other, and sometimes stand on their hind legs and appear to be wrestling.
John says that he and Helen will do without in order to provide the best care for these two special dogs. It's obvious that Lady and Lucy are heaven-sent.
Ann Malone is a pet photographer and can't remember a time she did not have pets in her life. Today she has three dogs, three cats and one parrot. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.