Amazing story of an angel dog - East Valley Tribune: Columnists

Amazing story of an angel dog

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Posted: Saturday, July 16, 2011 4:00 am | Updated: 2:44 pm, Mon Sep 16, 2013.

She's a lovely dog, perhaps part chow. Reddish tones streak through her light, brown coat. She's young, frisky, but definitely fearful of humans. Though wild, she clearly had once been domesticated.

No telling how long she'd lived from one hiding spot to the next. When she found herself under a portable office on a Los Angeles construction site, she became attracted to a man with a broken heart. Who knows how the animal kingdom picks up on such things. But, out of all those who walked that site from day to day, she followed only one man, all night long.

He's a Queen Creek resident who's the project superintendent of an L.A., night-time job. The wild dog spooked him. He would get an odd feeling, look around and there she was, standing in the dark, over there or there, watching him.

He first noticed her the night he returned with the broken heart. That morning, the man held his beloved Tyson in his arms, his dog and best friend for a dozen years. He tenderly whispered reassurances as an East Valley vet put the very sick pet to sleep. The depth of sorrow was immeasurable as two friends parted from this earthly life.

The trip back to L.A. was a tearful one. Anger and sorrow tormented the man who grieved more deeply than he could contain.

Then, "Tyson's ghost" showed up and wouldn't give up. She stayed with the man night after night, but wouldn't come near. The man began to leave food for her, but found no peace in what I suggested was God's gift. "It's too soon," he told me. "This animal will not replace Tyson."

But this is the twist, and a twist it is: The wild dog looks exactly like Tyson, same face, same eyes, same colors. She looks like "Tyson's daughter."

The man, my son, would not be comforted. "I need time to grieve," he told me. "I can't embrace her. I don't want to."

But "Tyson's daughter" was not to be denied. She stayed near my son for weeks. Eventually, his uneasiness subsided when she would suddenly appear, here and there. She would accept his food, but not his touch and she allowed no one else near her.

My son's sorrow remains, but he has softened toward the gift from wherever such gifts come from.

And, so the time came to move the construction trailer. A decision was made to trap the wild dog and put her in a portable kennel. With the help of other workers, the trap was set with food, the dog was placed in the kennel and my son drove her back to Phoenix.

He did so reluctantly, but something demanded he respond to her attention and her plight. From there, he had no plans for her.

At her new home, with her new family, she immediately accepted a much-needed bath. She was already house broken. She quickly loved Bunny, also a family dog. But, Bunny is playing hard to get. She's old and lazy and snubs the playful advancements of the young intruder.

Family pleas to call the wild dog Tyson Jr. have been rejected by my son. It's not to be. She will not be given that honored position. Not yet anyway, thus her new name is Berber.

I've now met that beautiful, still shy animal, who avoided my touch, but studied me hard. I believe Tyson sent her. I'm anxious for the day my son knows it too. In the meantime, I'll call her Angel.

• East Valley resident Linda Turley-Hansen (turleyhansen@gmail.com) is a syndicated columnist and former Phoenix veteran TV anchor.

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