All of us have seen a stroller in the park. Usually, a loving mom keeps her toddler in it and pushes it around. Both the baby and the mother love strolling around and enjoying the greenery of the park. It’s just an everyday scene. But, wouldn’t you be surprised, or rather curious, to see an elderly man push around a stroller which has no baby in it?
It so happened that Doug Delony, the digital producer at khou.com, was jogging at Discovery Green park, Houston. He came across a man pushing a stroller, but, he had no baby in it. He was quite curious about it and wanted to take a closer look. When he went closer, he saw what was really happening. He went on to take a picture of it and then, posted it on the internet.
He was really amazed by the response shown towards the picture. It was shared numerous times and took the internet by storm. Doug’s bosses at his workplace were taken aback by the response towards the picture. They asked Doug to investigate the case further as everyone on the internet wanted to know more about the man who wandered around in the park with a baby-less stroller. When he did investigate about the man, he was so surprised and felt that everyone must know his tale.
After looking deeper into what was really happening there, Doug was left speechless. He wrote on his Facebook page, “Most afternoons I take a run through Discovery Green, and most afternoons I see this guy with a stroller but no baby. He brings this beautiful… what appears to be… disabled pup to the park. He lets it sit in the grass and take in the smell and the sound. Here he is giving it water out of a small cup he brings with him. An adorable dog and a nice guy- God bless ’em.”
When most people see an elderly man take a stroller with no baby in it to the park, they may feel suspicious about the man. They would assume that he’s a weird person or someone with bad intentions. But, this was far from being the reality. His name was Troy Griffin and lived close to the park, in an apartment across the street.
Troy used to bring his dog to the park almost every day. While most dog owners bring their dogs for a walk, he used to bring his dog in a stroller, as the dog couldn’t walk on its own. The dog, Max, who was an old Sheltie, had contracted arthritis. Doug didn’t want his pet to miss out on what all other healthy dogs enjoy in the park. So he used to put his dog on a stroller, push it to the park, get him out and let him enjoy the greenery and the fresh air.
Max had been suffering from arthritis. He was about 16 years old, which is almost an equivalent to 112 years old in humans. He had been a part of Troy’s family ever since he was a little pup, who was just 3 weeks old. Both Troy and Edie love their dog and wouldn’t want to abandon him though he’s old and ill.
Edie says that Max once warned them about an incoming tornado and saved their lives. Though he’s old, he certainly hasn’t lost his edge and is pretty reliable. Troy says, “He’s part of our family. He’s my best friend. He’s taught me life lessons that I will never forget.”
Sadly, Max can’t see either. He has a cataract in one eye and is blind in the other. It makes sense for a dog who’s so old. Doug has been taking Max in a stroller to the park from the past few months now. He doesn’t want Max to always stay at home since he’s sick. He feels that taking him out to the park and letting him enjoy the cool breeze would make him feel better and rejuvenated.
Most people would rather let go of a dog that was so old and sick. However, Troy and Edie aren’t the ones who’d do that. They had their dog during a lot of ups and downs, and Max had supported them. They remember the love that they and their pet share and aren’t ready to let him go, no matter what.
They seem to be well-settled as they live in a 10th floor penthouse-like apartment. They have given a separate corner to Max and have filled it with all of Max’s favourite chew and squeaky toys. They have taken good care of him and have provided almost every bit of comfort possible to him. They have even taken their love for the canine to the next level and have bought him a stroller, as he couldn’t walk on his own. This is such a heartwarming gesture by the elderly couple and shows that they’d do anything to keep their best friend happy and comfortable.
Edie said, “But I don’t think you should just turn your back on someone just because they’re elderly. I think they deserve our love and our care and our attention. And there is so much we can learn from them even as they get older.” Max has been with them for the past 16 years and had served them as a loyal companion. They remember all the love that he had given them, or rather, is giving them! They say that though he’s an old chap, he still lives his life like every other healthy dog and isn’t one bit worried about his physical problems. He loves going outdoors and enjoying himself on the grass. He probably would’ve been as playful as all other dogs had he been able to walk.
However, the love shown by Edie and Troy towards their best friend, Max, is really heartwarming. Not every dog owner would take care of their dogs in the same way though they’re old or ill. It just shows us that we must respect our elders and appreciate the love that they had shown towards us.
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1. God is a faithful friend.
2. You are God’s creation – created in his image.
3. I pray that you are encouraged today in God’s love and care.
Share this story with your animal-loving friends to put a smile on their faces!
God bless you and your family,
Aaron Tabor, MD