Saying good- bye is never easy. Today I had to say good-bye to my little black schnauzer. A sweet little angel dog that had spent the first 8 years of his life stuck in a crate, his owner only pulling him out to breed him. When these amazing people rescued him he was full of urine burns, tiny, frail, scared to death of everyone and everything. I found him through Pet Finder. I saw his picture and thought he was the sweetest looking little dog. I contacted the agency that had him, a rescue agency in Toledo, Ohio. I spoke with a woman named Jennifer and we started chatting via email. I filled out all the paper work and told her I would be adopting Chance at the same time I would be adopting another dog name Finnegan, I wanted them both to be in my home at the same time. I wanted them both to get acclimated at the same time. She drove to my home, and the couple who were ready to put Finnegan up for adoption also arrived. Chance was so tiny, so sweet and so scared. She told me she had adopted him out three times, no one wanted him. I said we want him. You will never have to adopt him out again. My Mom and Aunt huge dog lovers came over to be at the adoption. My Mother told Jennifer, she would not be getting Chance back, that he had found a home. She knew the minute I saw him I would fall in love with him and I did. And so did Max.
I had always wanted to adopt dogs from a shelter or rescue. I never had before although I had tried but it was hard in the past to find small dogs and I wanted dogs I could hold like babies. Finnegan and Chance would be a great asset to our home. Max was just two and a half but I had been without a dog for two years (my dog had passed shortly after Max was born) and I missed not having an animal in the house.
Max was thrilled, and Finnegan and Chance came to live with us.
Finnegan was naughty. Adorable but trouble from the start, but he was so good with Chance which just made us love him even more. Chance, was sweet, and scared and skittish. I said give me a year, he'll be fine. He won't be afraid of men anymore, he'll know he's loved, he'll feel safe. A year later he was a different dog. But still a dog that had scars. Never around people, especially kids, always stuck in crate he didn't know what it meant to go on a walk, to have a cookie, to play. He was a special needs dog. He wasn't potty trained, and that was a challenge but he eventually got there. He didn't walk as well as Finnegan, he never really romped around and he seldom barked and when he did he sounded like a big dog. You never saw him wag his tail. But he was so loved, and Max and I told him that every day of his life.
Making a decision to end your dogs life is right up there with the most difficult things you have to do in life. And yet animal lovers over and over again, get new pets to replace their lost ones, because the joy these creatures bring to us overshadows the pain of having them leave us. And so today, as I carried my little sweet angel Chance through the doors of the Harper Wood Vet Hospital, my heart was breaking, but I knew it was time. He could not walk anymore, he was blind, he still ate but with difficulty and he slept almost all the time. He had no quality of life, but what he did have was an amazing adventure with Finnegan, with Max, with me. We gave him the life he had so deserved and so even though the first part of his life was horrible, we did all we could to make up for the last part of his life.
My vet told me today that a study was done on dogs and their pain. They had video taped a group of dogs who had been spade. When the dogs did not suspect they were being watched you could tell they were uncomfortable, some cried, some shifted about trying to get comfortable. But the minute a human walked in the door they jumped up and acted as if nothing was wrong. Animals mask their pain, because they don't want to disappoint us, or make us worried or sad, or maybe they just don't want to leave us. They are truly the most selfless creatures on the planet, which is why I love them.
Chance learned to wag his tail. About a year before he passed that little tail wagged whenever I talked to him or picked him up.
We will get two more dogs, today we grieve our little Chancey or Pooey as we called him. He will be missed as much as we miss Finnegan. But we know he's up there hanging out with his buddy, and that gives us some sense of peace.