Showing posts with label animal adoption. Show all posts
Showing posts with label animal adoption. Show all posts

Monday, November 9, 2015

Every Time I Lose a Dog Quote

Decal for the Wall
I never believed I would create a dedication page for a dog; I love them of course, it's just that we've owned cats most of our life. Only cats. 

However, our life was changed in 2009 when we adopted a nine year old dog from an elderly family member. She was our first family dog.

The biggest reason we never committed to owning a dog in the past was the realization that a dog was very much like raising a child: As dog owners already know, they require a great deal of attention and of course, there's a lot of work involved. 

Having raised many kids, we knew only too well what the demands were, and until we could fully commit for the sake of the dog, we would never just casually jump into dog ownership.

Unfortunately the inspiration for this article comes from people close to me who recently lost their dog, but mostly from our own hearts ... 

Our precious dog was called to doggie heaven earlier this year (2015). She was elderly and it was her time, but that didn't make one speck of difference, the pain of losing her was fierce.

We were all present with her as she underwent the procedure to end her suffering. There were seven of us with her; my husband and I, our four sons and our second son's girlfriend. 
My second son insisted that we all be there for her, he said "she deserved that, she gave us unconditional love for five years" ... he said, "we owe her our presence during her hour of need". I'm not kidding you, that's how he put it. Although I was moved by what he said, I told him it was up to each person whether they could deal with seeing her lose her life, and in the end, everyone decided they could handle it, and everyone wanted to be there, for her.
I called the boys and my husband from the Pet Hospital to let them know it was time, and they showed up with an ice-cream from Dairy Queen for her as a final treat. Still breaks me up to think of that.

For those who've been through this, you know only too well how brutal it is. I have never seen so many grown men cry at one time. We went through two boxes of tissue. We stayed in that room with
Here She is, On One of Our Many Christmas Eve's
her for two hours, before we could all agree to let her go. We all held her, and told her how much we loved her. The boys took it so hard. In typical mom style, I kept it together for them, but later, in my own quiet and private moment at home, I wept.

Our 'girl dog' (my nickname for her sometimes), made everyone smile. As soon as the boys walked through the front door, they called her and she'd come running and barking and that tail would always be wagging. She was loving, and gentle. She was the boss. She had all the power. And everyone loved that. That little Shih-Tzu taught us what it means to love a dog.

When she passed, I couldn't sit at home and work for at least three days. She was my sidekick, and was very attached to me. Wherever I was in the house, you could pretty much count on finding her close by. She slept in her doggie bed while I worked. She was a sweet girl, I miss her. 

The day she left us, not one of us could be in the house. We all headed to the arena to watch two of the boys play hockey. Sitting in that house without her on that first day, may qualify as one of the emptiest feelings we've felt. We couldn't get out of there fast enough.

Every time I lose a Dog .... not sure we could go through that again.

This Christmas coming up will be our first in five years without our girl-dog romping through the holiday wrappings. But we know she'll be running around spreading doggie love in heaven this Christmas.

Love Barb,
Owner of

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Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Rescue Me

How does a dog like Golden Girl end up in a shelter?
Several years ago, when I had just entered an exhilarating phase of my career, the pastor of my church, who was also a member of my advisory board at work, said something I’ve never forgotten: “You are a rescuer, Diana.”

It seems this man of the cloth saw something in me that I had not yet discovered for myself.  At the time, Pastor M. was speaking about how I had this need to save everyone who was struggling in life.  So much of my creative energy was invested in finding ways to help at risk youth, the illiterate, victims of any kind of violence, or anyone who was experiencing hopelessness.  To see someone suffer split me wide open to the core.

I said back then that I never wanted to become cynical or callous in the face of need, for I saw so many individuals burn out over the years and grow hardened.  I suspect caring deeply, in the face of overwhelming odds, can lead one to grow protective layers of defense.  Each of us, in painful situations, finds our own way of coping with that which we cannot change.

Why do I share this?  I suspect it is on my mind this morning as I reflect on the kind of rescue in which I am primarily engaged in this season of life: animal rescue.  It is heart-breaking work that often crushes those who give it their all.  At the same time, there are incredibly beautiful moments of fulfillment.

In attempting to save the lives of horribly abused and neglected animals, I meet the most amazing people.  Though some of them are scarred by years of seeing things that keep them awake every single night, every rescuer, though perhaps no longer whole in terms of peace of mind, reminds me of the goodness that is an antidote to some of the horrors present in the world today.

I just published a review of Dogtripping by David Rosenfelt.  David and his wife, Debbie, have saved the lives of over 4,000 dogs.  They have opened up their home to more than 300 dogs that didn’t have a chance of survival.  The animals they rescue are headed for the kill chamber mainly because they are old or have some type of medical need.

Thank heavens for those who choose to alleviate the suffering of others.  May we appreciate the sacrifices made in the name of compassion and may we be the comfort in someone’s day today.

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