For All The Pet Lovers Out There…This One’s for You

April 7, 2013

A good friend of mine, Sheila Handley McDonald lost her beloved pet, Buffy last week and was devastated. Buffy was 16 years old and died in her sleep. Sheila knew Buffy’s health was deteriorating and had talked about having her put to sleep to relieve her pain but nature took its course before Sheila was forced to make this difficult choice. Even though Buffy went peacefully, it still did not dull the pain of her loss to her Master.

You see, Buffy was more than a pet…she was a loyal companion to the very end.  This sweet creature saw Sheila through some of the roughest times in her life, the most difficult ones were the loss of her mother to cancer, her father, who passed as a result of injuries from a fall,the death of a very special Aunt Joanne, and the tragic passing of her best friend, Carrie Smith. Sheila also lost her brother, Terry Handley some 30 years ago in an automobile accident. She was very close to him and has never quite recovered from this loss.

Sheila and Buffy formed a bond from first sight that only grew stronger over time. Buffy’s constant presence warmed Sheila’s heart and helped ease the pain she had endured through the heartbreaking losses in her life. “ I could hold her and talk to her and she seemed to listen” said Sheila.  Buffy went everywhere with Sheila and was always dressed to perfection.  She summed it up with “She was the child I never had”. Sheila’s love for animals showed everywhere she went. She never lets a pet pass her by without a kind word or a pat on the head. She even keeps dog treats under the counter at Young’s Drug Store, where she works for the customers in the drive-thru who have their pets with them.

Buffy’s health began to decline last year when she contracted a virus and had to stay at her veterinarian’s for over two weeks, because she could not keep anything down. Dr. Sanders was skeptical, but told Sheila not to give up hope on her furry friend. Dr. Sanders went above and beyond the call of duty with her care, and eventually Buffy finally began to get better. But age was taking its toll on her…

The day that Buffy passed, She and her husband, Roger laid her to rest in the corner of their back yard. Sheila called Pattye Sudduth, a beautiful, sweet lady and a fierce pet lover as well, who was by her side in mere minutes. Pattye is known for being the town caregiver to all pets, mostly the strays. Sheila and Pattye released pink balloons to serve as type of memorial in Buffy’s honor. Both shed tears for Sheila’s lifelong friend, but her heart seemed a little lighter as she watched the balloons rise and disappear into the skies.. Buffy’s resting place now has a headstone that reads “A Loving Companion” under her name with a beautiful little bouquet of pink flowers from her co-workers at Young’s.

My daughter, Angela, another huge pet lover, does not have children, but has many pets instead. All of her animals are rescue animals and she currently has 20 at this time. She loves them all and she chastises them much as one would a child. I often tease her by saying the only difference between her pets and children is that she can leave them alone during the day without going to jail. She recently lost Gertie, a beautiful long-haired Chihuahua, who she took in after she was brought to Dr. Sanders when she was found near death on the side of the road. Gertie was a spunky, loving little soul who gave as much love as she was shown. Gertie contracted cancer, and lived past her life expectancy due to tender, loving care she received from her master. Gertie lived a very rich life to the very end when she went peacefully in my daughter’s arms. She was buried underneath the very window she used to lay in everyday. Even though she has other pets, none will ever take the place of her dear, sweet Gertie. Losing Gertie was hard on me too… coming to her “Nana’s” was her favorite pastime.

Many people underestimate the power of a pet’s love and what it can bring into a person’s life. These are sweet creatures who love you unconditionally, that provide comfort and joy every day of their life. To see their little eyes light up and ears perk at the mere sound of your voice can sometimes make their day.  You can leave the room and come back back in five minutes later, and they will meet you with as much enthusiasm as if they had not seen you in ten years.These animals place you on a pedestal and nothing you do can ever knock you off of it in their eyes. A pet is a gift from God and should never be taken for granted. Pets fill a void in their owner’s life and when they are gone, they mourn just as they would a family member.

There are those who have never had children who view their pets as just that. Some people can never truly comprehend this bond, and until you live it, you will never fully understand. Pet lovers are ridiculed at times for their feelings, although I have never understood why. My opinion is this: if a person can love an animal with all that they have inside, their character is one to admired and respected. I feel these people are completely trustworthy, loving, and make the best loyal friends.

God Bless our furry little friends and their caregivers. Both rank in my category of “Angels Among Us” and they help make the world a better place

All About me…

me

Hi! My name is Tammy Andrews and I am the Editor of Clay County Web. Some of you may remember me from my time at the Clay Times-Journal.  My mission in creating this site is to keep the good people of Clay County posted with the latest news. I hope you find it informative and enjoyable. I appreciate your readership more than you know and hope this is just the beginning of a  new era for our citizens. I would like to tell you a little bit about myself, so here goes…

Some of these things may be considered very personal, but you will learn as time goes along that I am an open book and I don’t keep secrets. My life may have not been picture-perfect to some people’s standards, but their opinions do not matter to me. The bottom line is I am a good person and I don’t feel inferior to anyone. I am a child of God, and that makes me special in His eyes, which are the only one who really matter to me. So, here goes…

I was born in Randolph County, in a community many call “Ofelia”. My parents married young, divorced young, with 2 children that had to grow up too fast. The memories of my childhood are bittersweet, but too few to count. It seems I went from being a child to a child bride overnight. I don’t have any memories of being a carefree teenager. Much to the horror of my family, the first boy/man that told me he loved me became my first husband at the very tender age of 14. I was too blind to see that 14 was way too young to know that I wasn’t really in love with him, but we did what was right…or so we thought.

I was also 14 years old when I gave birth to my first child, a beautiful daughter we named Ashley. I loved her with all of my heart from the moment I laid eyes on her. Because of her, I never regretted missing out on my teen years. She was a happy child…a bit more difficult through her teen years and even still at times, but I love her as much today as I did that first moment they laid her in my arms.

My youngest daughter, Angela, came into my life at the ripe old age of 19. Again, love at first sight. She was also a very happy baby, who was content to be by my side and loved being at home. She was so much like me it scared me…and still does. Both of my daughters are beautiful, bright, and hard-working girls who never seem to know their worth, which saddens me for them. I have watched my daughters grow into exceptional young ladies who make me proud everyday.

Me and my girls
Me and my girls

My husband and I divorced after 17 years of marriage and my life changed yet again. This time more drastically, because it was a whole new world for me. I was terrified in more ways than one. I had never even went out on a real date with another man, and I prayed that God would send me someone to love. He beckoned me to be patient for he knew what he was doing. It was all just a matter of time.

I was 34 years old when I became a grandmother for the first time and have to admit, I was quite upset because I felt I was too young. But again, God knew what he was doing, because I have never been so smitten as the first time my Caylon was laid in my arms. A very beautiful, precious child that could warm the heart of the most hardened stranger with an intelligence far beyond her years.

When Ashley made me a grandmother for the second time, with the birth of Miss Rylee, I remember thinking ” Will I ever be able to love this grandbaby as much as my first one?”. I need not have feared, because I fell in love for the fourth time in my life. Just as beautiful…just as adorable, with a keen fashion sense and a little high-maintenance attitude at times.

When Ashley told me she was expecting yet again..I was shocked. And even more so when she told me she was having twins. She married Chris, a wonderful son-in-law to me, and gave birth to twin girls, Crimson and Clover, who are the most unforgettable creatures you will ever have the priviledge of being around. They are cute, comical, entertaining, and very smart. To say they run that household would be putting it mildly.

And as a result of Ashley and Chris’s union, I gained another beautiful granddaughter, Madison, who may not be of my blood, but I love her just the same. She is an exotic little beauty with remarkable intelligence with an imagination that never ceases to amaze me. There is no question that my five gorgeous granddaughters make my life sweeter everyday. Just thinking about them puts a smile on my face.

all my beautiful granddaughters
all my beautiful granddaughters

Brian came into my life in 2001, when I was freshly divorced. We became good friends and remained that way for over a year and then the feelings took on another direction. We dated, moved in together, and just recently got married on the 10th anniversary of our first meeting. This man has seen me through some of the roughest times of my life and I love him with all my heart. He is the one I had been waiting for all my life.

Becoming a stepmother was an added bonus with Brian’s two children, Brianna and Michael, who I also love like they are my very own. I may not be their mother by birth, but my heart does not know the difference. I have watched them grow from scrawny little kids to very attractive, procrastinating teenagers. They are very intelligent, although they lack the confidence to really see this sometimes, which also saddens me.

Brian, me, Brianna & Michael
Brian, me, Brianna & Michael

All in all, I’ve had a great life so far, even though my days get a little hectic at times. But then again, who’s doesn’t, right?  I never did get around to winning the lottery but I’ve had my family, their good health and mine, and lots of love around me, which is the most important thing to me. I never went to college and got the education I always wanted, but I don’t feel like this makes me any less of a person.

The most special lady in my life is my 92 year old grandmother who has laid the foundation for our entire family. She is one amazing lady. I also have a sister, and two brothers who are everything to me. Aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and a huge host of amazing cousins….my family is huge and I love every single one of them.  There is nothing that makes me happier than to be surrounded by my family. In my eyes, I couldn’t be any luckier.

I have laid many demons to rest in the past few years who have haunted my mind for over 3 decades and I can honestly say, it feels wonderful to let go of bitter feelings. Sometimes you just gotta let things go, or they will eat you up inside and life is too short for hate.

I may never be famous for anything, but I don’t need to be. God has provided for me with everything I will ever need. Do I want more? Well, who doesn’t? But it’s nothing I can’t live without. I’m 47 years old, 50 lbs overweight, have high blood pressure, and have to dye my hair every 4 weeks to hide the gray. What beauty I had has begun to slowly fade, but the inner me remains the same and as long as my family and friends can still see the inner beauty…then I’m just fine.

My Dad, grandmother, sister, and two brothers
My Dad, grandmother, sister, and two brothers

 

What could I have done different? Why did I choose the path that I did? How could I have been a better person? These are questions I no longer ask myself, because I now know the answer. There’s an old saying ” Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans” and that’s how you can sum my life up…I only wish I could have figured this out at an earlier age so I could have really slowed down and enjoyed everything more. The good times you cling to because they make wonderful memories. I wouldn’t even change the bad things that’s happened to me has made me into the person I have become today and I am okay with the person…..

So, there it is, folks. Pretty much everything you want to know about me. Anything else you want to know, feel free to ask. Just wanted to give you a firsthand account of the story behind the face. I am honest, straightforward, and I say exactly what is on my mind.  I will work very hard to bring you all the latest breaking news concerning our county and sometimes surrounding counties. Please feel free to contact me with any news tips, stories of interest, or concerns. So, let’s get this thing started, y’all!

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