News

Atherton's 'best friend' touched many hearts

By Amanda Young

While some people consider dogs mere pets, Atherton resident Phoebe Rowles takes to heart the expression "a dog is man's best friend."

"Jill [my dog always kept her eyes on me," Ms. Rowles said. "She was like a person: such a companion."

And more than a companion to one woman, the 15-year-old yellow Labrador retriever became a friend to Ms. Rowles' neighbors in the Lloyden Park neighborhood and to town staff who work in the nearby administrative offices, and who saw Jill on her daily walks in the area.

"Jill and I walked every day for 15 years, through the park and to the town center," Ms. Rowles said. "Some public works fellows said that if they didn't see us, they knew that they were late to work."

An incident in 2004 especially brought Jill close to Atherton residents. While Ms. Rowles attended to a sick tree in Lloyden Park, Jill managed to escape.

"The whole town searched for Jill," Ms. Rowles said. "Everybody was so concerned about her."

A woman found Jill walking around El Camino Real, and after four hours, the dog was reunited with Ms. Rowles.

On April 25, when Jill died, many in town were saddened, among them town arborist Kathy Hughes Anderson, who suggested planting a tree in Jill's memory.

"I knew that [Rowles was having a very difficult time losing her dog," Ms. Anderson said. "Your pets become like your babies."

On June 12, many who knew Jill attended a ceremonial planting of a dogwood tree at the entrance to Lloyden Park.

Steve Tyler, Atherton's public works superintendent, read a poem titled, "The dogs who have shared our lives" by Linda Barnes.

"I still have tears in my eyes when I think about Jill, but when I see the tree, there are no tears," Ms. Rowles said. "I feel so much gratitude for this little slice of heaven where there are so many caring and loving people."

Comments

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Such a lovely story!
a resident of another community
on Jul 20, 2009 at 10:39 pm

Such a lovely tribute to a long-loved, marvelous companion. I am glad Jill was around for 15 years. I must say, though, that it never seems our dog are around long enough, however old they live to be.

I really enjoyed reading this!


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Early Decision Blues
By John Raftrey and Lori McCormick | 0 comments | 2,370 views

One night only: ‘Occupy the Farm’ screening in Palo Alto
By Elena Kadvany | 1 comment | 2,224 views

What Are Menlo Park’s Priorities?
By Erin Glanville | 37 comments | 1,542 views

Death with Dignity
By Chandrama Anderson | 3 comments | 1,412 views

Are you considering a remodel?
By Stuart Soffer | 2 comments | 285 views