On September 24, 1995 my entire world, as I knew it, caved in on me. That day was just one of many, and the beginning of a long list of ongoing painful experiences.|
I met Topper in the spring of 1996. He was three at the time. His family was moving to Sacramento and they could not take him. We were both nervous, but, I liked to talk and he liked to listen.
Topper liked riding in the car, but he would get car sick. I never became upset with him, just cleaned it up. He worked hard and overcame that problem.
One day shortly after moving in with me, he wondered off while I was washing the car. I called and looked, but could not find him. Neighbors all around heard me call in a panic voice. They quickly came, mounted their vehicles, and joined the search. I was driving down Cross Bend, about five blocks from the house, and there I saw Topper walking toward me on the other side of the street. I quickly stopped the car, ran across the street, and called "Topper." I don't know who was happier......., me holding Topper .....or Topper being held. We went home and he never wondered again.
Topper was always a polite dog, friendly to all, never felt the need to bark, and always seemed to want to do what was right. One time he chased a rabbit across the street. I yelled at him "Topper Stop" and he came to a screeching stop. I went across the street and walked him home. I told him that was bad, and I honestly felt he understood. He never chased a rabbit again.
Topper loved to go places with me. We would go out together on Saturday. We would go to the bank, the Post Office, Home Depot, and of course PetsMart. Once we were in the Post Office and a lady Postal Clerk said to me, "Sir, dogs are not allowed in the Post Office." I quickly replied, "its okay, he's my seeing-eye dog." The lady, a little bewildered, said, "Oh, all right," and went on with her business. Of course Topper was not on a leash. Topper was so good, he never needed one. I would only lease him when we were near or in traffic. He would sense it was dangerous and wait for me to leash him. I think he felt the leash was for me, so I wouldn't wonder out in the street.
Topper and I quickly became the best of friends. He had his own pillow. I put it down each evening next to my bed and he would lay his head on it.
Topper hated to be dirty. He would stay out of muddy areas and if it was wet and muddy outside, he couldn't wait for me to clean him up.
You noticed his name is Topper Krause. That's right and he had his own Mastercard credit card to prove it. It had a credit limit of $500, just in case he went crazy at PetsMart.
Everyone in the neighborhood new and loved Topper. Topper knew more neighbors than I. And, for sure, he had more friends than I. We would walk a lot and in our younger years (Topper and mine) we would run a mile in the morning. Many times it was at daybreak and neighbors walking toward us would yell out, "Hello Topper!" They would stop, talk to him, and pet him. Topper loved the neighbors.
To say Topper was my best friend, is an understatement. He worked with me in the office. If someone was having a bad day, he was right there. He knew it and put his head on their leg.
I have never known a dog with as much love and kindness for everyone as Topper. Children of all ages adored him. Mothers with children in strollers would stop to let their children pet Topper. Once we were leaving PetsMart and a lady and her toddler daughter (about age two) began admiring Topper. The lady asked if it was okay for the little girl to pet Topper. I said yes and the little girl squatted down and gently began petting Topper. And while Mom and I were watching, the little girl placed one hand on each side of Topper's face, leaned forward and planted a great big kiss on Topper's nose! Topper did nothing and it happened so quickly the little girl's Mom and I could only laugh.
I kept Topper on a good diet of quality food, but Topper new quality. He was especially excited when his friend, Gary Hirsch, would come by and cook on the grill. Topper knew then that Gary would slip him a nice Hirsch's hamburger, fresh off the grill! Topper was good with secrets, he never let it on. But, you could tell by Gary's face, Topper had a treat.
Topper had his own house key. He had his own over-night bag for when he went visiting and would stay over. I never had to worry about Topper when I was out of town. There was always a line of his friends that couldn't wait for Topper to stay with them.
One of Topper's friends is Sandy Tysseland. A few years back, Sandy was the recipient of the Athena award. The next morning Sandy received a big bouquet of fresh flowers from a secret admirer. Needless to say her husband, John, was quite jealous and wondered who was sweet on his wife. Well, curiosity got to Sandy and she called the florist who did not want to divulge the sender's name. Under pressure the florist confessed, the sender was Topper. I did mention Topper has his own credit card?
Was Topper my best friend? You bet, and then more. Topper was quite, never barked. He never had the need to. You may hear the saying, "Everything I learned, I learned form my dog." Well, this is true, and then some.
Topper taught me to love 24/7. He taught me to forgive at the drop of a hat. He taught me to always put others first. He taught me to forget the bad times. And, most of all he taught me to always be happy.
Good-bye my best friend Topper. You are truly missed, .....but never forgotten.