Letting go isn't always about letting a dog die with dignity.
Sometimes it's about understanding what you can and can not do
and, in tenderness and love, letting the dog go to someone else.
Donna Ezzell ©
TheDogPlace / December 2009 -
Several weeks ago, I was
contacted by volunteer Cheryl Sandifer. A local poodle owning
couple had lost their home to foreclosure and they were moving
in with their in-laws. The In-laws would not allow dogs and the
couple had two standard poodles, both white, litter sisters,
about 3 years old, no vet work in several years. I said we
would take them but the poodles never came. The couple put off
bringing the girls in, continuing to search for other options,
any option that would allow them to at least see them from time
to time. It is understandable. I would have done the same.
week, the family contacted us again. Did we still have room? I
reviewed the girl’s history and said yes, can you bring them to
us? The owner was willing but at the last minute, she called
me, euphoric. They had found a local home and the two poodles
would be close and could stay together. I let them know we were
here if things did not work out.
morning I received a frantic call from the wife. The home for
the poodle sisters had not worked out. Desperate, the young
couple had taken the dogs to their in-laws anyway. The in-laws
would not allow the dogs inside. The litter sisters were
staying outside, on a farm with no fenced in area. Worst of all,
Lily was not eating, was not interacting, was lethargic, and had
begun gasping for breath.
couple had no home, a young child, no jobs, and no money for vet
bills. Would I take the girls now, even though Lily was sick?
Yes, I said, trying not to sound alarmed. But do not bring Lily
to me. Take her straight to our vet. Wife said they would be
on the way in 20 minutes. She had no car but her mother could
take off work to drive her.
got to the vet at about 10:30 A.M. and left Lily. While they
were en route to our farm to bring me Lily's sister, I got a
call from the vet's office. Lily was hemorrhaging. As fast as
they drew blood off the chest cavity, it filled up again. Dr.
Hill could not even hear Lily's heart. She was drowning in her
own blood. I asked Dr. Hill to give me an honest assessment of
Lily's chances. Dr. Hill paused and then said, "if it were my
dog, I would not make her suffer." I asked her to keep Lily
comfortable but that I wanted to talk to the owner as soon as
she got here and give her the chance to be with Lily when we
ended her pain.
owner arrived with a matted and filthy white standard poodle.
Obviously the cost of grooming had gone by the wayside a long
time ago. We quickly exchanged paperwork and info about Darla,
and then I told her what we were facing with Lily.
Dr. Hill's best assessment was that Lily had been hit by a car
sometime over the weekend. Lily was going to die. Did the
owner want to be with her or want me to go to be with her? I
did not want Lily to die alone.
The owner chose to go. I was proud of her for that. It is hard
to do, especially in these circumstances. Sadly, I got one more
call from the vet’s office and had to call the owner while she
was on the way to tell her that Lily had passed away. She was
heartbroken and when I asked about Lily's body, she does
not even have a spot of land to bury her in. That’s okay I
said. We will do that. Lily will call Dreamweaver Farms her
not write this to encourage anyone to run out and give up their
poodle if they are going through a rough patch. I write it
because times are tough. Because re-homing adult dogs is harder
than it looks. Because Lily deserves to be remembered.
want to say that when you are scraping bottom and will be for a
time, do what’s really right for your beloved dog. If you have
a young, healthy pet we can find a home. Don't keep a dog with
you at whatever costs if that cost is too high for the dog.
Reach out, find a rescue, and let your beloved pet go.
lives are short. A few months to us is a few years to them.
Don't let your pride stand in the way of helping your dog into a
is for Lily, who I never met but will always remember.
home of Carolina Poodle Rescue
cell # 864-580-0639
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