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

Rockets shut out by Giants

It was Kelowna’s second game in as many days against a top team in the West

Kelowna athletes kick off Canada Winter Games

Saturday is day one of the Games in Red Deer

UBC Okanagan Heat men get first win of season, women fall to Wolfpack

Both the men’s and women’s volleyball squads will finish their season Saturday night against TRU.

Women charged in Central Okanagan Hospice Association theft scheduled to plead guilty

Susan Steen has been charged with theft over $5,000 and fraud over $5,000 relating to missing money.

Expand your knowledge of history during Heritage Week in Kelowna

This year’s theme is “The Tie that Binds.”

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

Ammonia leak shuts down curling club in Nelson

It’s not yet clear when the leak was detected

Pavelski’s 31st goal helps Sharks top Canucks 3-2

Vancouver one point out of second NHL wild-card spot

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

B.C. couple attacked with acid, slashed with knife in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Drive BC warning slippery conditions for Okanagan main highways

The region is forecasted to see flurries and snow for the first half of the weekend

Most Read