Monday, November 19, 2012


It was a very hard day at work.

Today was the first day without our dear Tyler. It was the first Monday without hearing him racing up the stairs. Zipping through the halls delivering food, water, blankets and supplies to the long term and short term clinic residents.

Tyler was our kennel manager.

He came to us 1 year fresh out of high school. He wasn't sure that college was the right fit for him and he wasn't sure about what the "rest of his life" was going to be. But he knew he wanted to stay close to home, and he knew he loved his dogs. So he thought that working with them might be a good place to start. He was right in knowing what he was good at. He was a natural around the animals and he was a man beyond his 21 years.

He was always the smiling face, the boisterous laugh, and the vigor of youth and determination to make every corner of his workspace orderly, clean, and homey for our patients.

There wasn't ever a single Monday where I didn't have to force him to eat his lunchtime sandwich by 4 pm and remind him that his shift had ended 2 hours ago. He wouldn't leave until he knew every pet in is kennel had been fed, walked, and gotten a clean fresh bed. He had an unparalleled sense of responsibility seeded on his deep concern for the pets welfare. They came first and he cared for them like they were his own personal pets.

We have a very large fenced in yard for the boarding dogs to get exercise in. But you would often see Tyler walking them out to the pond on a leash instead. He loved to treat the dogs to individual walks. No matter how rushed he was to get everything done and kept in order he still found time to take the dogs for their own solo walk.

My fondest memory of him was watching him stroll down to the pond with Lobo, our solid stocky brutish Staffie bull terrier. Tyler with his lanky skinny carefree stroll and Lobo with his choppy stiff gait. Tyler arms swaying and Lobo tail wagging. As mis-matched as they were they were a perfect pair. Lobo had been starved and then dumped at the shelter to be put down. He hated almost everyone but he followed Tyler without reserve or hesitation.

Tyler was killed in his car, which he loved as much as his dogs, on Saturday evening.

It has been a devastating blow to us all. We are in disbelief that tragedy can strike so fast and hurt so much.

No comments:

Post a Comment