Lost dog – Love found!

A recent story from the Asheville Citizen-Times, by Carole Currie –

We all like to think that things happen for a reason. Sometimes we can put the stories together and sometimes we can’t. This is one of those stories.

When Jeanne Keesler Nanney lived in North Asheville, her friends saw her out daily, walking and jogging with her 80-pound yellow Lab, Nick. She was so devoted to that dog that when he got cancer and had to have his leg amputated and could no longer go upstairs in the house to sleep, she slept downstairs so, Jeanne says, “He would know how much he meant to me.”

Nick died in 2006, and Jeanne did not get another dog – because she rejected the idea of a “replacement dog” and because her life took a whole new turn.

She reconnected with Louis Nanney, an attorney from Rutherfordton, a man she had dated for three years 20 years ago. Back then, they broke up and married other people. But both were divorced by 2002, when Louis called Jeanne and said, “I just want you to know that you were the love of my life.”

They dated for a long time after that, seeing each other on weekends. To bring their lives closer, they bought a house  and got married in 2008, but Louis was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. They battled the disease together, but Louis died in February 2009.

“After he died, I felt the need to have a puppy and something in the house to love,” Jeanne says. But it had to be the right puppy.

Enter Jeanne’s friend, Deborah Compton, of Asheville, who was on the case. At Bele Chere last year, Deborah looked at several dogs rescue groups were promoting. She called Jeanne to tell her about them but couldn’t reach her.

On that Sunday, Deborah had to leave the house, and her dog, Izzie, wouldn’t go back in the house, so she left Izzie on the porch, closed in by a gate across the front so she couldn’t get out.

“It never occurred to me that somebody might get in,” Deborah says. When she got home late in the afternoon and walked onto the porch to check on her dog, she said she realized Izzie wasn’t the only dog jumping around glad to see her. There was a young dog on the porch, maybe a Lhasa Apso or a Shih Tzu mix, with button eyes and a face like an irresistible stuffed animal.

Deborah walked up and down the street with the dog asking if anyone owned him or had seen anything. Then it occurred to her that someone surrendered the dog to her on purpose because the dog couldn’t have gotten over the wooden gate onto the porch on his own.

There are a lot of apartments across the street from Deborah’s house, and Deborah believes that in these tough economic times someone placed him there on purpose. The puppy had been well-fed and had been neutered.

The next day, Monday, she took him to a veterinarian, who proclaimed him healthy and maybe about 7 months old. By that time, Deborah had taken a picture of the dog and sent it to Jeanne. That evening, she took the dog to Jeanne’s house.

Jeanne had been looking for a sign that she should have a dog, and as soon as she saw the puppy, she fell in love. She named him Teddy Bear. He’s well-behaved, and Jeanne says he’s the giver of unconditional love.

“Who could ask for more?” she says.

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