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Legend of LeTy Lives
November 4, l985 -April 28, l997

Good Bye Dear Le-Ty
A memorial to our best friend
(A poem to Le-Ty by Darren Mann)
Le-Ty!!  is a loving caring little muffin he is so cute
and he is just a little trooper we all have cared for
Le-Ty he was sick my Mom started to have to give
him fluids every day I love my dog so much I stay
home from School I am in Grade 2 I stay home

By Lenore Mann

It all began 12 years ago when my Dad gave me my annual birthday money. Usually the money is just spent on Christmas presents as my birthday is in December.  While growing up in Vancouver, I almost always had a dog and really missed not having one.  For years I admired Shih-tzus through pet store windows, and whenever I saw them I really wanted one (no I don't suggest that you buy one from a pet store). Dad had given me enough money this birthday to make this dream a possibility.Le-Ty

I started checking out the pet sections in the newspaper and making litter inquiries.  The first litter I saw was stunning but I felt no connection to a puppy.  Then I visited a local breeder Susan Student, who had two litters with several pups to chose from.  Susan knew I had my heart set on a female before I arrived at her home.

There were other potential buyers so I held one female, and then a little male while waiting.  The little male was so unusual in his response to me compared to any of the other puppies I observed. He seemed to be so relaxed yet happy to see me as if he knew me already.  He wagged his tail, wriggled to my voice and licked my hand happily.  A few minutes later Susan exchanged him for a female pup.

It was not the same.  In no time I was asking to hold the little male pup again. Susan said "Oh, that one! Remember that one is a little male". I told her that I knew. She said, "I thought you wanted a female.?" Looking into his little face, I said, "I did want a female but he chose me and he is the one."

It was so magical. I felt something special deep inside that made me know without any doubt that this was my special puppy.  At that time he was  about 3 1/2 weeks old and by  7 weeks we were able to take him home.Tyler & Le-Ty

He showed no signs of adjustment even on the first night home with us.  I remember thinking how unusual it was. We named him Le-Ty (Le we pronounced as Lee from Lenore and Ty is from my son Tyler.) Sadly, not long after we had him he began with what seemed like a small bladder problem.  But it kept reoccurring or never clearing up.  He accidentally ingested some bad turkey a year later and he developed kidney disease.

Then every few months he would have a bad spell brought on by eating the wrong food or something.  Sometimes baby-sitters or visitors would accidentally drop or give him protein out of ignorance.  People did not realize that beans, peas, eggs or cheese were proteins, and do not realize how many foods other than meat have protein in them. Le-Ty 's kidney disease slowly became worse, and the bad spells were longer, and closer together.Tyler & Le-Ty

One crisis began after Le-Ty ate a corn husk accidentally dropped by my two year old son Darren, during a barbecue.  Recently separated from my husband, I was temporarily off work with a torn muscle in my ankle. We were in a mess financially and had to figure out a way to pay back money we borrowed for the Vet bill and for the continuing Veterinary costs. This particular episode came to approximately $1,000.00 for just the months accumulated Vet bills.

The day after the Le-Ty went to the hospital, Tyler began his lemonade stand to help pay for the rising
bills. He was seated in his small chair at a little table, with pictures of Le-Ty and copies of his current Vet bills posted on a paint easel. Tyler worked for five days, about 10 to 12 hours a day, in the hot sun without much in the way of shade. Tyler was not quite 9 years old at the time.  He soon learned  that it is not always a dog-eat-dog world, and quickly discovered that people have generous hearts when it comes to a little boy and his special buddy.  The Vancouver Province newspaper was covering a baseball tournament  across the street from Tyler's stand. When the reporter noticed Tyler's table, he came over to check it out.  The Vancouver Province ran Le-Ty's story with a picture of Tyler at his stand. Soon, readers came from near and far to meet Tyler and Le-Ty while donating to his cause. People dropped off bottles, checks, cash, lemonade, cups, cards, letters and some stayed to visit.

The Famous Lemonade Stand

 Tyler, and Lenore holding Darren

One mother brought her children for a picnic on the lawn.  She wanted her children to meet Tyler and to see what one little boy could do.  Her children were very well off and had nothing lacking.  People came from Abbotsford, North Vancouver, Richmond and some from miles away.  People began sending checks to the Vet, to us and to the Province .

The local Television Crew showed up and the next thing we knew, Tyler's Little Lemonade Stand was the top story on the news that night and one of the top stories the following evening. A couple of days later we did a follow up story to say that the present bill had been paid and that the remainder was in an account for the dog and would be used for his special kidney diet dog food and for his ongoing Vet bills due to his Kidney and Bowel disease. Tyler had also had searched the blue boxes for a square mile for pop and beer cans to cash in for money.

The lemonade stand got a lot of media attention for several days in Vancouver.  Then we received a call from a Reporter in Florida who had read the story over their wires.  They ran the story in Florida and before you knew it we were International.  We received calls, and letters, and even cards, and presents at Christmas time a few months later.  This experience gave us back our faith in human kindness and generosity.  The money helped pay for his vet bills and special dog food he required for years.

We received mail from Germany, Hawaii, Alaska etc.  Le-Ty suffered from kidney disease for many years. It seemed not to be a big problem for him if we followed his diet, though he  had health problems at least a couple of times a year. The last 8 months  was a constant battle.Lenore. Tyler & Le-Ty

It was not until he had a total body ultrasound just 2 months before his death that we learned that he had been suffering with several other problems . We discovered that some of his previous problems were due to cysts in his bladder, a tumor in his prostate, liver problems, blood problems, heart problems, and bowel disease as well.  The Vets that discussed his case were amazed that he had done so well for so long.  They actually confessed that it was beyond science and that his love for us must have been what kept that little fellow going.

Over 2 months before Le-Ty's death I had asked a girlfriend who is also a Pastor, Sandy Sasaki,  to my home to do a blessing with me for him, and to release him with our love.  We thought he was going to die before the day was over. At this point, I realized that soon I would have to say good-bye to my closest, dearest, trusting, courageous friend. I could no stand to see him suffer and had even called a Vet one Sunday  to have him put down that day but I could not find anyone.  I had hoped he would go peacefully and quickly on his own.  I hated the thought of ending his life for him.  Sandy came to my house and we held him and cried and told him how much we loved him and to please have our blessing and go with Grandma to Jesus in Heaven.  Sandy placed her hands on Le-Ty as we prayed together.  Sandy said she sensed that he was not going to die that day or any time soon. She said she felt some change occur after we began praying.

She was right. Le-Ty and God must have known that we were not really ready to release him even though for his sake we wanted him to go if he needed to.  During those last couple of months I had enough time to accept his fate with strength as well as sadness. I realized I would lose him soon and would sometimes carry him around, or just hold him with tears streaming down my face knowing it could be the last time . He would stare at me so intently and sadly while gently licking my tears from my face.   I felt that he was hanging on because he was worried about leaving me.

Le-Ty was an inspiration. That little guy enjoyed his car rides and walks right up until five days before we gently let him go.  The week before he died he enjoyed a 2 mile walk along the Fraser River just a few blocks from our home.

When my boys were sleeping and I was alone with Le-Ty I felt he was a special gift from God.  He had been with me through many tough times and was always there to comfort me. The last couple of weeks he knew his time was very near and his eyes became overwhelmingly sad . I prayed and told him again on the Friday night that my Grandma up in heaven just loved little dogs and she would take great care of him as I was her favorite Grandchild. I told him several  times at the end that it was all right to go but that I would miss him.

Finally one Sunday he refused his food no matter what I tried and he did not want to go for his walk. I gently force fed him once that day.  I kept thinking he might snap back again as he did so often.  The next morning, Monday, I was wakened by the sounds of him throwing up on my bed. The dreaded knowledge became clear - this was the day.  My Vet. and some of my close friends had said I would know.  I had been so worried about not realizing the right time for him. I would not see him starve and I would not force him to eat now.Darren, Tyler & Le-Ty

That day I told the boys they would not be going to school that we were all going to the Vet for a serious discussion about Le-Ty.  I told them that we would talk it over with the Vet. but that we would probably say good-bye to Le-Ty at home later that day. I had been discussing and planning this day with the boys for a few week (I just did not know when the end would be). I told the Vet what had been happening and why I felt that today should be his last day of suffering.  I wanted the boys to learn as much as possible about the reasons so they would agree and feel right about this decision. They were able to get all their questions asked and answered.

The Vet gently and patiently explained everything about his condition, his bleak future, the pain  he must now be suffering, his depression, and all about the grieving process.  It was a long healthy detailed discussion.  I was surprised by all their excellent questions, their concern for their little buddy, and the mature although sad way the handled the situation.

Their questions  included one that I had not expressed.  My eldest son asked, "Isn't it wrong to end any living creature's life?" The Vet said something I too needed to hear and had not realized. He said that in the Bible, God clearly states that he has given Man dominion over the animals. That it is not wrong for us chose to end an animal's suffering.  Hearing that was such a relief for me.

We took Le-Ty to a local fast food drive in and offered him his hearts desire but he was not hungry.  I now wish over his last few weeks I had let him eat any of his favorite foods. Later, we took him for a last walk which was more like taking turns carrying the poor little sweetie. ( I found out weeks later that my boys went back to the tree where he did his last pee and marked it - how very sweet.)

A friend came over and took a few minutes of video of us all together visiting one last time.  In the video we held, kissed, stroked and talked to Le-Ty and each shared special memories we had of  him. We told cute stories about him running in circles around the living room to entertain us, and of how he knew which stocking was his at Christmas etc. We talked about our favorite times and put his hat on so we would have one final shot of him in his baseball cap. We sat together on the couch while my girlfriend taped us and we just forgot she was taping or that he would soon be gone, for a few more treasured last moments together. I am so glad we have these moments on video.Darren, Tyler & Le-Ty

The Vet soon arrived and we began by praying together. Le-Ty was given a relaxant shot first, and then one to gently release him from his tired and worn out little body. We kissed and stroked him and softly said we loved him and to go to Grandma. I am crying again as I relive these final moments. I told Le-Ty that it was all right to go now. We love you. Don't worry. Please go to with Grandma and be with God in heaven and we will see you again one day.  We told him how much we loved him and wanted him to not suffer anymore.

...one last hold and then it's over.
Watching me, you know I cry,
you wave a kiss to say goodbye...

Enya

I wailed out loud as soon as he died and I have never cried like this before. The pain was incredible although I felt his peace. It was the most horrible painful sounds of crying I can ever remember  making. The sounds of extreme pain and loss were horrible. But he was not there to lick Tyler & Le-Tythe most tears I ever cried the days following his death. He died in my arms as ever, looking into my eyes and never looking away. Darren, my youngest carefully cuddled his own first baby sleeping bag around Le-Ty as he was dying. We held him for awhile and then the Vet gently carried him away in the little sleeping bag.

I suggested to the boys that we pack up a few things and go away for a few days. My best friend had been waiting for my call, as we had already discussed the possible plans a few days earlier. We packed up and left almost immediately and picked her up on the way.  This was an excellent thing to do because it gave us something to do and other things to think about. The  job of packing was suddenly enjoyable as it was a diversion. The boys love to stay in motels with pools and hot tubs.

I am sure God had a great deal to do with our plans that day. We had such a good change of scenery with our close friend and her toddler. I am sure God put several more deer and wild life in our view along the highway as we drove to Princeton, B.C. I have never seen more than two deer on that route and this time we counted more than 25. It was miraculous. It was as if God were trying to let us know he cared. These times are never enjoyable but this day was so well planned and felt so right that it made it so much easier to accept. I felt that God was with us and that Le-Ty although sad also would be relieved of his pain.

Le-Ty 

We spent two sunny days in Princeton and kept busy all the time. It was great to be in different surroundings with my best friend and children. When we returned home the first thing we did before we unpacked was to watch our video of the last treasure moments with Le-Ty. These times are never easy but we felt really at peace with the way we conducted the entire ordeal.  I am so proud of my two sons. A few weeks later I produced a memorial video with music which included shots of Le-Ty as a puppy and other special times with us over the years. Our friends and family have enjoyed watching it many times.

I have aged 3 years easily as a result of losing Le-Ty and I still miss him and grieve for him terribly.  It seems so incredible how much his death has effected me.  I cried several times a day at first and now a little almost weekly.

Afterward and Thanks.....

One of Le-Ty's special treats he enjoyed was being snuggled up in my jacket and going for a bike ride through Central Park or along the Pitt River dyke.

Le-Ty's death was one of the hardest experiences I have ever lived through.  He had been on a roller coasterLenore & Le-Tyride for the last 8 months of his life and during the last few I had to keep a medical chart to insure I gave him all his medications and treatments correctly.  In the last month it was practically a full time job.  I was fortunate to be working out of my home. We spent a fortune on Vet. bills but we felt he wanted to live and that we had generated at least half of the money for his Vet bills with Tyler's lemonade stand. Our Vet helped us out with a special discount as well.  She even took Le-Ty to her home at night when he was critically ill a few times.  Dr. Leslie Ross and her staff were very kind to all of us.

I have been taking my pets to Dr. Ross for over l8 years. The clinic operates now is about one hours drive east of us but I still take my pets to her when possible. One night her assistant Shelaigh offered to have me stay overnight at her place in case Le-Ty began to pass away in the night.  Her home was only a block from the clinic.  Dr. Ross and her staff were unbelievably, special and kind to us as well as to Le-Ty.  They showed me how to do Subdural Fluid Therapy at home and this gave Le-Ty a few more enjoyable months of life. It took me awhile to become an expert at giving Le-Ty his subdural fluids. He always understood that I was doing my best, and never tried to bite me if I accidentally hurt him. At times, despite my efforts the needle would still hurt him. He always let me know by his eyes, that he understood and knew I was only trying to help him. He always enjoyed going to see Dr. Leslie Ross at her clinic, and happily greeted them all every time. Eventually, she felt it necessary to refer us to a closer specialist, but they still worked together on his case.

After his death we placed an obituary notice in the Vancouver Province Paper in the Pet section. It read MANN - Le-Ty a male Shih-Tzu passed away peacefully at home...... it also included a special thank you to Dr. Leslie Ross of Sardis and her staff. We thanked our past lemonade stand supporters and expressed our gratitude for its continued help to enable Le-Ty to live well beyond all expectations. Le-Ty had many friends and admirers nationally.  He was the world's greatest Shih-Tzu ambassador.

My son, Tyler's lemonade stand generated over $7,000.00 over the years for Le-Ty's ongoing Vet bills. A few weeks after his death we began plans for his memorial fund. A memorial fund now exists for needy animals at our Veterinarians in Le-Ty's name.  His legacy is passed along with every animal the fund aids.

Dr. Ross sent me a fax stating:
"As his veterinarian for many years, I will never forget a little tan and white Shih-Tzu named Le-Ty. He would have been twelve years old this month. Afflicted with chronic kidney, prostrate and in his later years heart problems, he was a very regular patient of mine.  Throughout all of his various, at times complicated and stressful treatments, his eyes always remained bright and trusting, even until the day of his death, where at home he was gently released from his suffering. I felt a personal loss when this small dog died, a small dog with a very big heart. In a fitting memorial to his fighting spirit, his owner's on the anniversary of his birth donated a fund to our clinic in Le-Ty's name to help support a needy ailing pet.  It both humbles and makes our clinic feel proud to be a part of a process that allows little Le-Ty's spirit to live on."

We really missed Le-Ty and really noticed the loss whenever we arrived home to an empty house.  Just a few weeks after Le-Ty's death I was picking the boys up from their school when I noticed another Mom with a Shih-tzu puppy.  I asked if I could hold her puppy.  It had very similar markings to Le-Ty.  Shortly after holding it, I began to cry as if a flood gate had just opened.  The poor woman had never experienced this with anyone else that had held her dog and she looked very puzzled.  My two sons wandered over and explained the situation. Later, when I gave her the puppy back I felt this strange tug inside.  It was difficult to give the puppy back.  This started an emotional upheaval in me which made me realize that I needed another Shih-tzu, but not right away. I also felt a desire to have a link to Le-Ty, so I began the search for his roots and possible relatives.

My search took weeks and many long distance phone calls. It seemed impossible because his parents and all his litter mates had all passed away.  His whole line seemed to have died out after one of the last had been hit by a car.  I would not give up and kept making calls.  I finally struck a lead in Calgary where his Father had been born.  I miraculously found a woman, Donna MacQueen of Coralie's Kennel in Calgary, who was expecting puppies out of Le-Ty's nephew.  We finally made contact and this big hearted woman and I talked for about an hour.  She planned with me that I could have one of her puppies and would arrange something later.

In the meantime, my boys and I decided we needed two dogs to help us all get over our loss.  We decided to find a male and a female so that we might later breed, and they would be company for each other as well. We never wanted to be without a link to our pals again.  I then found another woman, Kathy Lorenscheit of Tochi's Kennel, who was expecting a litter with cousins to Le-Ty and Dar Len. It was so exciting. Kathy sent us a video of the puppies. The boys and I unknowingly picked the same little boy out of several litters she had at the time. Coincidentally it was the closest male relative who turned out to look the most like Le-Ty. We found out several months later that he was also related to Le-Ty's mother's line a little further back on at least one side. These dogs go back to some of the famous first champion dogs brought into North America. Donna phoned us on June 14,1997 to tell us that our little girl (a great niece to Le-Ty) was born.  We already had both their names picked out.  Dar-Len for the girl, after Darren and Lenore, and Ty for the boy pup, after Le-Ty and Tyler my eldest son.

Their full registered names are now Tochi's Ty to Heavenly Le-Ty and Coralie's Dar Len Kin of Le-Ty. The little girl is a miracle great niece to our Le-Ty and the little boy is a cousin to Le-Ty and to her as well. These two puppies have helped us a lot and they have given us a connection we wanted to still feel to Le-Ty.  They both have Nanking Kim Su in their pedigrees several times. This Nanking line went back to the famous Yingsu's Lucky Lindy which was on Le-Ty's mother and father's side. In a year we may have puppies and we will keep one boy that looks the most like Le-Ty and call him Le-Ty's TREASURE from Heaven. (and Treasure for short) Dar-Len is in her first Dog show this Feb. with handler Bonnie Hubert.

Coralie's "Dar-Len" Kin to Le-TyTochi's Ty to Heavenly Le-Ty

Thank you to Susan Student for letting us choose Le-Ty years ago and going with me to Calgary the first time.  Thank you to Dr. Leslie Ross, and her staff for her continuing support to all our family. Thank you to CKVU for the wonderful touching story about our lemonade stand and to the Province Newspaper for several stories  written about as well.

A special thank you to my best friend, Lynda Roche for her love, support and for always being there for us during sad and stressful times. I really appreciated the kind words, phone calls, hugs and cups of tea  that I received from Maureen, Dr. Ross's assistant. It was also very kind of her other assistant Shelaigh to open up her home for me and have me spend the night when Le-Ty was close to death one evening. Another assistant Cheryl wrote up a lovely little story about Le-Ty to go out with every animal that his memorial fund helps.  We did not have a lot of friends who understood but the ones we did have around us had such beautiful caring souls. It was beautiful to experience such genuine kindness and generosity of heart. On behalf of Le-Ty and our family I want to thank all those who cared for Le-Ty and gave us the support we needed so badly.

Le-Ty gave us so much love and life experience from one little dog.  His ashes have been carefully placed in a specially made wooden planter on our patio. In the planter we have an evergreen dwarf spruce with little flowers planted around it. In front of the planter we have placed a specially made bronze plaque which includes Tyler's poem. We will cherish our memories and love you forever Le-Ty.  I hope our Dar-Len, your little niece makes you proud. Love never ending, and your family will continue ..Lenore, Tyler, Darren, Dar-Len, and your namesake Ty. See you on the Bridge little cuddler.

   

  In Memory Of Our Treasured "LE-TY"
By Tyler Mann
When You Choose A Dog
A Certain Space Opens Up In Your Heart For Him
When He Is Gone The Space Is Not Gone
But Simply Full Of The Memories Shared
The Special Memories would not have grown
If he had not been there,
But they are.
Tyler & Le-Ty

Interesting Links

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Dedicated to My Mom / Tyler and Darren's Grandmother:
Moira (Mann) Reid nee Drysdale


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Updated May 07, 2022


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