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

Police investigating man’s death in Winlaw

Foul play not established, but major crimes unit is investigating

Woman raising funds to save historic Rossland piano

Rare Steinway piano was in Miners Hall for a century, but was headed to the dump

West Kootenay opinion sought on health care issues

Rural Evidence Review getting strong response to survey call-out

By-election date set for Nakusp village council

Voters will be turning out to choose a replacement for Janis Neufeld

NSS Track team members headed to provincials

Nakusp Secondary School students do well at track meet

600 new campsites coming to provincial parks and recreation sites across B.C.

Tourism Minister announced half of the new spots to 13 most popular provincial parks

Raptors beat Bucks 105-99 to move within 1 game of NBA Finals

Leonard scores 35 as Toronto takes 3-2 series lead over Milwaukee

Municipalities protest after B.C. declares marijuana crops ‘farm use’

UBCM president seeks answers in letter to John Horgan government

CMHC defends mortgage stress test changes amid calls for loosening rules

Uninsured borrowers must now show they could service their mortgage if rates rose two per cent

B.C. woman left ‘black and blue’ after being pushed off 40-foot cliff at lake

West Shore RCMP looking for witnesses as investigation continues

Kootenay youth substance use trending downward: survey

A bi-annual survey distributed to regional schools shows that youth substance use is decreasing

Thunderstorms to bring heavy rain, risk of flash floods in the southern Interior

Ten to 30 millimetres of rain to fall over the early weekend

Unbe-leaf-able: Agassiz man finds more than 200 four-leaf clovers in a month

Walt Hardinge has found more than 219 four-or-more leaf clovers this spring alone

Crews fight fire with fire to keep blaze from northern Alberta town

The wildfire now covers some 920 square kilometres

Most Read