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Owners, passers-by in St. Cloud mourn dog who sat in lawn chair

ST. CLOUD, Minn. -- Passers-by on Clearwater Road couldn't miss Tara. The Siberian husky would greet people by sitting in a folding chair in his owners' front yard. He rested his head on the armrest, with his legs dangling off the chair. Denise a...

Pet remembered
In this photo taken Oct, 26, 2011 a photo and collar of Denise and Thom Yaeger's dog Tara are left near a windowsill in St. Cloud, Minn. The Yaegers recently lost their dog Tara to cancer. Many people who traveled by their home would often see Tara sitting in his chair in the yard. They have received cards, notes and roses left in the chair where Tara sat. (AP Photo/St. Cloud Times, Jason Wachter)

ST. CLOUD, Minn. -- Passers-by on Clearwater Road couldn't miss Tara.

The Siberian husky would greet people by sitting in a folding chair in his owners' front yard. He rested his head on the armrest, with his legs dangling off the chair.

Denise and Thom Yaeger, Tara's owners, knew it was pretty unusual to have a dog watch the world from a lounge chair outside their St. Cloud home. The 13-year-old dog attracted some fans.

But the Yaegers didn't know the extent of Tara's popularity until he died Oct. 13 of spleen cancer. Since Tara's death, strangers have sent cards and left notes and flowers remembering him.

The condolences keep coming, and the Yaegers are touched.

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"It's been overwhelming, the compassion of strangers," Denise Yaeger said. "In this world of negativity, I didn't know this existed."

Denise Yaeger bought Tara when he was about a year old. He always preferred the comfort of a chair to lying on the ground. The two were outside one day when Tara hopped into her chair.

"And that was his chair," she said.

At the time, Denise Yaeger lived in Waite Park. The duo moved to Thom Yaeger's home on Clearwater Road more than a year ago. Tara had chairs at Denise Yaeger's home in Waite Park, at his dogsitter's house and two chairs at his new St. Cloud home.

Every day, Thom and Denise Yaeger, who married this summer, put Tara on his lead and he would curl up in that chair.

It seemed fitting that, after he died, the Yaegers displayed a RIP sign in the chair. They left for the weekend, and came back to notes, cards and flowers left by strangers.

The cards are addressed to "Family of the Special Doggie," "Husky's family" and "To the Husky owners." The cards tell how people looked for Tara on their daily commutes. The cards are signed with first names only.

Then there are those who stop. People shared stories about how Tara affected their lives, the Yaegers said.

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There's the college student who looked for Tara on the way to and from class, and the bus driver who saw him every day. An older gentleman would always hope to see Tara on his way to the grocery store.

Tara was a special dog, Tom Yaeger said.

"He just had a spirit about him," Denise Yaeger said. "He could make people light up."

The Yaegers display a picture of the dog and all the cards and notes in their home's front window.

The outpouring makes it easier to heal, they said. People need to know that their kindness is appreciated, they said.

One day, they plan on providing a home to another husky.

And don't worry, they'll teach the puppy how to sit in a chair.

Related Topics: PETSST. CLOUD
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