I just happened to be going back in my office this morning when I glanced back to the street and noticed someone riding a bike with one of those child pull-behinds attached to it with a dog riding in it. I began to turn away when I noticed the person riding the bike to be a gentleman that I know. His intention was just to go down Federal Ave. but when he noticed me turning back around and walking towards him, he turned around and came back to the curb. We exchanged the normal greetings as I began to notice his dog riding in the bike buggy. He introduced me to his Shar Pei whose name is Mabel. As he was lifting her out of the buggy he pointed out she was missing one of her back legs.
Because I was so curious about what caused her to loose her leg, he began to tell me her life story. She is six years old and was purchased by his aging father when she was likely a year old. They lived in Arizona and decided to move back to Mason City. Well, shortly after his parents moved here, his father died leaving the son to take care of Mabel. Since Mabel is a bit a a free spirit, she liked to wandering off a bit. One evening, she wandered off and was struck by a motor vehicle. Not many days later, she was found to have lost the vision in one of her eyes. Several years passed and while visiting a relative, one of their dogs bit her so badly in her abdomen, she had to have 27 stitches to close the wound. Before her owner left for home, the same dog bit her in the head and caused her to go blind in the other eye. If that wasn’t enough for one dog to handle for the rest of its days, not but a year later she wandered off again and was run over by another vehicle and broke her back leg in four places. The veterinarian couldn’t do anything more than amputate her rear leg.
Mabel took an instant liking to me and when I decided to go back in the office to get my camera, she started following me in by just following her likely now heightened sense of hearing and smell. Back out on the sidewalk, I found myself trying to get back far enough from her to take a photo as I found her following every step I took. The owner said he’s learned many lessons from her adversities. His most memorable words were, “Every time I feel a bit down or kind of sorry for myself I just think of Mabel and say to myself, “Mabel up!” and I find myself back on life’s track.” After that brief encounter with Mabel and hearing her life’s story, I will likely say to myself a time or two, “Mabel up!”