Neighbourhood shares love with a golden dog

“I can see the power of pets — how they add to our family, our community, our lives.

Susan and Ryan Steleaff with messages from neighbours on Leo's poster.



^

“Leo was very well-known on our street,” says Susan Streleaff of her family’s much loved golden retriever.

“Anyone who walked along Cawston, Leo would greet them. Often I would hear people call him over and they’d stop and pet Leo.

“It was interesting to see the expressions on their face change. He touched their lives on their daily walks. For 10 years he did that.”

Leo had love in his heart but it was fluid around it that brought his end at age 12.

The Streleaff family had Leo euthanized in mid-November.

At the family’s request, their veterinarian at Fairfield Animal Hospital in Kelowna sent him to Okanagan Pet Cremation in Oyama.

LeoWhen Leo came back to them in a box, inside with his ashes was letter and a print of his paw.

“It was comforting to have Leo back home with us. He was a member of our family.”

Leo was the Streleaffs first pet.

“Pet grief really hits you hard. I heard stories that pet grief hits you hard they do become family members.”

To let all of Leo’s friends know of his passing, Susan put a poster up at the edge of the yard.

“We’ve been receiving cards a four-year-old called him ‘Happy Dog.’”

As the days went by more notes appeared, along with ribbons, bells, even kisses pressed to the sign.

“People have been really kind.”

Leo loved to swim and hike on Knox Mountain.

“When we went out for a walk people would ask ‘Is that the dog on Cawston?’ It just kind of hit Cawston really hard.”

The family brought Leo into their lives when son Ryan was 9.

“Ryan was begging me to get a dog. I said, ‘We’re just going to look.’ But when 13 fluffy retrievers come at you, you know you’re going to go home with one.”

They did, picking a little girl out of the pack, but “it just didn’t fit right,” Susan said.

“We went back and I feel that Leo picked us. There was a feeling when he came up to us immediately. He had a number nine on him and the owner said ‘Oh, number nine: He’s got personality.’”

It’s too early for the Streleaffs to contemplate getting another dog.

“I can see the power of pets,” Susan says. “How they add to our family, our community, our lives.

“Leo didn’t judge you could be tall, short, young, old.

“He was loving to the end.”

 

Just Posted

Funding changes mean closure for Success By 6

B.C. making major changes to early childhood development funding

Back to work for Penticton businesses impacted by bomb threats

Multiple car dealerships were evacuated as the result of an international e-mail hoax

Okanagan College unlocks time capsule

Items placed in 1993 and kept in capsule in library opened at special ceremony

Consultations to play a critical role in shaping proposed national park reserve

Parks Canada welcomes all respectful comments on proposed South Okanagan-Similkameen National Park

Water samples good, Hedley awaits drinking water A-OK

Water woes in Hedley had some residents questioning the communication plan of the HID earlier this week

VIDEO: Royals reveal the images on their Christmas cards

Prince William and his wife Kate are shown outside in casual clothes, their three young children in tow

ICBC to apply for 6.3% hike to basic insurance rates

Crown Corporation said it will be submitting its next basic rate application to the British Columbia Utilities Commission Friday

Media, robotics, Indigenous studies coming to B.C. Grade 12 classrooms in 2019-20

Provincial tests are also being changed for students in Grade 10 to 12, the Education Ministry said

Stranded B.C. trucker writes final wishes before being rescued 3 days later

‘I was just praying someone would come along’

Canfor Corp. extending temporary curtailment of sawmills in B.C.; cutting hours

Vancouver-based company says the decision is due to declining lumber prices, high log costs and log supply constraints

Canada’s prospective world junior team members await final roster decisions

Thirty-four players were invited to the national junior selection camp

Avalanche control scheduled tomorrow on Highway 1 east of Revelstoke

Avalanche control work is scheduled along Highway 1 on Dec 15. From… Continue reading

Family searching for B.C. professor last seen at Colombian salsa club

Ramazan Gencay, a professor in economics at Simon Fraser University, was last seen in Medellin

Most Read