Friday, November 16, 2007

The death of a rescue dog.

This is my first time blogging about the rescue and I'm sorry its on such a depressing topic. I've been involved with the rescue sine March of 2002 and in the past five and half years during conversations regarding the rescue work that I do, its been said to me "you can't save them all." This has always bothered me and I've shrugged it off time and time again. I understand that the work we do locally is really not saving the worlds homeless pets, but we do everything we can to save the ones that we come into contact with. This year we've been able to save 57 dogs, so far, from whatever situation they were in that deemed them unwanted. Amanda and I love our work and the amount of work that goes into each and every one of 'our' dogs, they each stay in our minds and hearts for years. Its with this devotion to our work that really made last night hard on me.

I received a call from a guy that works on the reserve doing construction, they were dumping garbage into dumpsters and in one of them, they found a litter of dead pups. Just dead, in fact there was a little boy pup that was still breathing. He took the pup out, called me and we made arrangements to get the pup to me. I met him later on at his apartment and saw this beautiful baby laying in blankets in his bathtub, my gut and heart instantly told me that he was dying and there would be nothing that I could do to stop it. I ran him to the truck, told my husband to start driving to the clinic as I started calling the clinic because it was 4 minutes to closing time. Luckily I got the vet on the phone and she graciously agreed to wait for me. My main goal in those few minutes that I was able to hold and love this pup, was to end his suffering as quickly and as painlessly as possible. Just so you understand, a dog's normal temperature is 38.5 degrees, this tiny baby weighing only 4 pounds, skin and bones full of burrs and fleas, had a temperature of 42.7 degrees! His little body was overheating due to whatever condition that was ravaging him. The vet was in complete agreement that he was going to die, it was just a question of when, where and how long it would take. So, it was here, now and one minute. I held off the vein, started crying of course, and kissed his little head telling him I was sorry and he did nothing wrong as he slipped away.

Deep breath. So it dawned on me that I'm not doing this 'to save them all', I am doing this for the dogs that need saving, saving into a new home, or saving by having someone taking them into their heart and loving them as they die. I will do that any day. I carry the rescue dogs with me in different ways, we play games like 'How many dogs can you name that came in this year?' We want to remember and I especially remember the ones that we let go, Summer, Sandy, Gem, Peko, Foxy, Dallas, Minnie, and now Halo. In regards to these eight dogs, I carry with me the way they died, with a foster home who loved them when no one else did or wanted to and in the arms of a person that cried for them. It is just as beautiful as the other countless dogs who get to go to new homes. ............Not sure how to end this topic, maybe just to say thank you to all the volunteers for caring, to Dr. Kendra for staying last night for Halo who you named (you were also there for Minnie), for Reid, who brought the pup in last night instead of just leaving him there to die beside his brothers and sisters in a cold dumpster. Thank You for saving a life.