Notes from Bettye

  • I met Bettye and her husband many years ago when their senior Westie became too grouchy for their regular groomer. He was at the point to be too grouchy for any groomer really....... I believe I was safely able to groom him one time before he passed.


    They soon welcomed another Westie and chose me as his groomer. I always looked forward to his appointment days. Not only is he a great little dog, but I loved visiting with Bettye. She's tiny is size but mighty in person. She was always active and on the go. In her late 70's or early 80's she was in a car accident that broke both of her legs. It didn't keep her down for long. I don't think it was a full year later when she was back out, independent and driving again. Sadly, another car accident later, kept her from driving again. That is when the notes started.


    A helper brought Robbie in for his 3 week appointments and he always brought in a note from Bettye. I always sent one home in return. Through them we discussed important things, and just life things. We got to talk about the weather, Robbie's medical issues, vacations, and her health. She was pretty straight forward when she told me her cancer had returned. It was mingled in with an update on Robbie's arthritis and comments on the weather. I could tell when she was going through a rough spell, as she would apologize for her handwriting.


    I talked with her daughter awhile back, maybe a year ago. She told me Bettye was dying. The doctors thought maybe weeks or a couple months. They were officially doing hospice care. It appeared they were a bit off as she was going strong for a long time after. I spoke with her on the phone a couple of times and she sounded pretty good. Her notes kept coming with Robbie. They brightened my day every time I opened one up to read it.


    I opened yesterday's note and immediately saw it was typed instead of hand written. It was from her daughter. Bettye had to be moved to the city to a hospice home to help with pain management. She won't be coming home. They are thinking it's just a matter of days before she passes.


    Yesterday, I sent 2 notes back with Robbie. One for Bettye and one for her daughter.


    What do you say when you know it's the last note you will get to write to someone? I spent most of the morning trying to figure that out. I opted to let her know how Robbie was doing, thanking her for trusting me with him all these years, and thanking her for being a bright spot in my life.


    I am going to miss her.