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

Josie Hotel will be ready on opening day, says management

West Kootenay’s first ski-in, ski-out boutique hotel to open this month

Castlegar’s Waterline property purchased; owners to protect it for rock climbers

New owners plan to subdivide, sell bluffs to recreational climbing group

Rossland council’s first meeting sets appointments

Councillors assigned to sit on boards, committees on major city issues

Feds, B.C. to expand Darkwoods Conservation area

New funding allows the national land trust to add some 7,900 hectares to the Darkwoods Conservation Area

Good fencing makes good neighbours— especially when your neighbours are bears

Workshop in Pass Creek this weekend to promote benefits of proper protection for livestock

Josie Hotel will be ready on opening day, says management

West Kootenay’s first ski-in, ski-out boutique hotel to open this month

John Horgan shrugs off low turnout, change to referendum option

‘No’ proportional representation group says voting should be extended

Two more government pot shops to open in Kamloops

Two private applications are also in the queue to come before city council by the end of the year

2 B.C. men charged after allegedly stealing $1,400 worth of butter

The two men, ages 23 and 25, are facing charges of theft under $5,000, Coquitlam police said

Invasive fire ants join the tourist swarms at Hawaii Volcano National Park

Invasive species found at popular tourist destination

Ten-year sentence for man convicted of B.C. belt-strangling death

Shayne McGenn guilty of manslaughter in 2016 death of David Delaney, 63

Roy Clark, country singer, ‘Hee Haw’ star, has died

Guitar virtuoso died because of complications from pneumonia at home in Tulsa, Okla. He was 85.

Lack of funding, culture on campus biggest barriers for Indigenous students: report

Report based on nearly 300 responses found lack of support at post-secondary schools a big concern

Tinder sex assault suspect charged; additional alleged victims sought

Vincent Noseworthy of Alberta is accused of aggravated sexual assault, unlawful confinement and more

Most Read