Monday, January 12, 2009

Fifteen years old

Wait. This is admittedly a very depressing post. It's meant as a vent and a way to share a reality that we don't always talk about. Please don't don't don't read it if you don't do well with sadness. I'll post something better in a day or two.

Monday, January 12 2:30 pm. The thing that really kills us is that you didn't want to say good-bye to your dog...

... Your overweight senior who took a bullet because you thought it was just fine that she run loose in the neighborhood. The fat toothless dog who you allowed to run free: charging the garbage man, scaring the kids, evading animal control again and again. This once beautiful, cropped blue fawn who was lying in her kennel, grimacing in pain, her wrist pulverized by a bullet. Just steps away from you.

You said you'd had her her whole life; bought her "with papers" some fifteen years ago. A family pet. Whelped you many litters. Her wrist exploded when the bullet smashed through it. The cop had no choice, and we don't blame him. Twenty officers responded to the call. She was good at scaring people away from your home ... You wanted her to do that. They'd always turn and run away. Not today.

She bled like crazy in the animal control truck. Tim carried her inside: she was rattling with pain. He told her he was sorry, that she was a good girl, that she would be okay. Megan rushed to fill her with the drug that would dull the pain. Her eyes were wide with fear. She leaned back and stared Tim in the eye; she kissed him. We thought about her all night; knowing she wouldn't be able to get herself up and pee (she held it - all night, all day). We got there as you were at the counter, arguing your fines. You turned on your heels and stormed off.

She was still grimacing in pain when we saw her again; the corners of her mouth pulled back like she wanted to vomit. We coo-ed to her, tranquilized her. I held her head, rubbed the inside of her left ear while Tim held her vein. Megan slipped the needle in and her blood shot back into the blue juice as it moved into her vein, bringing an end to her fifteen years. We didn't know her name. She left this world hearing us tell her that she was a good girl.

56 comments:

Anonymous said...

Heartbreaking.....truly heartbreaking. At least the angel had angels with her when it was time to go. Thank you for being her angels.

Rinalia said...

I'm sorry. She should not have had to endure that. You should not have had to either.

Anonymous said...

Three times I've been present while an animal was helped along that journey, twice with two of my pets and once at work. All three tore me apart. You are right Donna, it's another tragic and all too common story. You, Tim and the other workers are wonderful people tasked with what can sometimes be a terrible duty. That you do it with compassion, caring and concern is truly a testiment to who you are. Always know you made her last moments peaceful.

Bob Waugh

HEATHER said...

I am so sorry. This is so tragic. At least she left this world with someone holding her and telling her she was a good girl.
Again, I am so sorry.

Nancy said...

I should have listened to your warning ... truly heartbreaking.

Thank you for being with her, good people giving a good girl peace and comfort at her end.

Anonymous said...

My equine veterinarian told my family and I when we had to make that decision with one of our horses, that it is the last and best gift you can give a cherished pet. It is wonderful that someone was there to love her through her last moments, and you are brave and caring people to be willing to give her that last bit of love. My heart goes out to her and to you.--Kristy

Kari in Redwood City said...

I was at OAS yesterday when she was brought in. I was there for my final sign off so that I could complete my next steps to be a BAD RAP volunteer. I had to wait because Megan was busy with a dog that had been shot. I didn't mind knowing that there was a job to be done. In my heart I knew that it was a pittie. I am sad to hear this story but not as sad as I could be since she was 15 and lived a long life. Thank you for what you did for her.

2beemo said...

Oh man, she was so beautiful. I know she was met by many friends in the heavenly skies at 2:31pm. Thank you for letting her know what kindness felt like.

Kirsten said...

Thanks for posting. It is sad, but it's worth shedding a light on this side of shelter and rescue work, and you do it well. Sometimes after a long day I try not to roll my eyes when people say working at the shelter looks like fun. Of course it's rewarding to be there for the animals, but picking up where negligent owners failed is a huge (and often heartbreaking) component of this work.

Kirsten said...

P.S. It always floors me when people don't want to say goodbye to their dogs, too.

Anonymous said...

May this sweet soul rest in peace now.

Oh, how I'd love to have a chat with her 'family'. How can people be so cruel and heartless? Some thanks for 15 years of love and devotion!

I'm so glad she left this world finally discovering there are people who care...

Amelia Ameliorate said...

Dammit! I see these same stories walk through the door every day but it never gets easier. The dog never knows why she is experiencing the pain she is in. She whines at the owners leaving but doesn't realize its for the best. We cousel the owners of their negligence and good pet ownership, usually to no avail.

This girl probably had her share of "fun" running the neighborhood...reacting in reinforced fear-based behaviors...

When the end is before us, the only option we have is to provide what comfort we can to those we know have never experienced anything close to it...

Leila said...

Thank you for helping this beautiful girl in her last moments. For giving her the dignity she deserved.

Once more, I place my anger where it is deserved. At irresponsible owners. This girl should have died with her family surrounding her.

At least she had loving angels at her side. Thank you.

Millie Hubbard, Ft Myers, Fl said...

When, oh when, will our pitties not have to suffer anymore because of irresponsible owners who claim to "love" their dogs. How can we educate these people to understand that having a pittie carries a great weight of responsibility, to not only love and care for your dog, but the added responsibility of being an ambassador for the breed and taking extra special care to not allow your pittie to be placed in harms way. What a horrible shame that this dog had to suffer needlessly, but what a wonderful thing you did soothing her and helpin her along her journey. Thank you for all you do.

Amanda said...

Vent away, it can't all be good news after all. =( Poor girl. At least she was surrounded by true and selfless caring in her final moments; sounds better than what 15 years of being her owner's pawn got her. ={

Anonymous said...

Donna,

While this was a very sad post, it made me angry. Perhaps you should send a copy of this blog to the owner, might open his eyes, even a little bit, to what happened to his family pet and just maybe help prevent this from happening to his next dog.

Thanks Donna and Tim, for being there for this poor dog, who by no fault of her own came to such a sad ending.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Donna and Tim, for sharing this story. What you did for this beautiful girl is a testament to your commitment to our beloved breed. And, as difficult as it was for you to share these words, we in the pit bull rescue community appreciate the fact that you did. Because, as much as we love to celebrate our successes, we cannot overlook the often very sad truth. Please, let's keep this magnificent girl's memory alive and forge ahead with even greater determination than ever to change the future for our remarkable breed.

Donna said...

Wow. Thanks for all your response to this post. We're doing fine. It helps greatly to "get it out there."

So far we haven't seen this one in the papers, so we probably avoided a "pit bull shot after going on a rampage" headline. I'm sure she put on quite a show -the old toothless sentinel.

I just wish we knew her name.

Anonymous said...

I should have taken the warning too.
But I know better, you guys are taking on the good fight.

People NEED to READ this... Its food for thought...

I am glad she had some peace before she left this world... Thanks for being her angels.

Elizabeth Kennedy said...

Bless you all, especially the old fawn that deserved better.

Christine said...

I wish I could understand people that think it's okay for any breed to be outside loose. I take my pitbull running with me and probably every other time we go, we encounter a dog outside running loose. The thing that kills me is if the loose dog starts following us and my dog turns around and snaps at the dog, it will be viewed as that MY dog provoked it since she's the pitbull.

Sarah said...

As the posters before me have said Thank you Donna, Tim, & Megan for giving this old girl a death with dignity and respect surrounded by people who loved her.

Shame on her owner for being so ignorant :(

Dog bless her little pibble heart... may the Goddess hold her close to her heart.

Sarah/Lost Fantasy Rescue, VA
Molly, Ms. Annie, Tootsie Roll & Flip (my pibbles)

Melrose said...

I knew I would cry after reading your preface. . .but they are angry tears.
At least there was someone there to care about her in the very end. . .too bad it wasn't her "family". It just makes me sick.

Chelsea said...

What kills me about this post is that her fifteen years were hard ones. Yes, she had a family, but one that allowed her to be overweight, serially pregnant, and run loose.

I was napping on the couch with my two-year old pittie princess (a rescue) right before I read this. Her first year sucked, but that's as bad as it will get for her. I hope that in 13 years I can give her an ending as gentle and loving as BAD RAP did, but I hope it's more peaceful.

CJ said...

omg...GROWWWLLLL WOOF!! Oh this makes me so angry ..what that poor ole gal probably went through in her 15 years... thank god that you guys where be there in her last moments and telling her what a good girl she was..she probably never heard that except for when she was whelping and making the money... oh this makes me so sad and so ANGRY!! thank you for all that you do !!

Sarah said...

Ah, Donna, I'm so sorry. Thank you for being the last loving faces she saw in this world.

Boris said...

Donna & Tim, Whether you realize it or not, like all your rescues, you respected her with a name: "Good Girl"

Kari, Glad to hear you are helping out my godparents at the shelter. Keep comment-bloggin' with me.

Jake-Remmington, You were given a name in memory of Ol' Jake color/temperment and the 'gun label' on your used collar. At less than 2 yrs, left to run loose through a busy crossroads, you were hit at least once. Your abuse ended by our professor friend helping you hop off the road. Head-banged, inners-bounced and balls-roadrashed. Riding in the arms of my folks to the EMC. When your eyes could not keep their focus together, you needed that 'special help'.

In the moments of a night when the first hug flows into the last, you've become 'a name' and family-close fast.

Never forgetting - it could be me, Boris

Anonymous said...

This blog reinforces how uguly and cruel mankind has become.....

Thank you for continuing to educate and fight for this wonderful breed. Rest in peace sweet senior, and run free.

W-

Anonymous said...

Heartbreaking.................she deserved a peaceful end. Thank you for your compassion toward her.

She was a good girl, she did everything she was asked to do. Her gentle contact with humans in her last minutes will send her "flying" to a better place where she can be the pup she deserves to be.

Riddick said...

3 years ago I held and stroked our 14 year old dog's head as her spirit left this world. I thanked her for doing such a fine dog job. It was sad and spiritual. Thank you for doing the same for this little girl.

Majorlady said...

You guys are soldiers. You are heroes. I can't tell you how much I have admired your work over the years, and how much I respect your dedication. You honor life. Thank you.

Leila said...

I have to disagree with anonymous who said, "This blog reinforces how uguly and cruel mankind has become". This blog is a community of people who give a damn. We then reach out and educate those around us and create more people who care.

This community that has been created, thanks to the time,effort and sheer huztpah of Donna, Tim and all the other people of Bad Rap and other Pit Bull lovers out there is showing the beauty of mankind.

Yes, there are blights out there but through education and exposure the blights go away.

Anonymous said...

Donna:

Her name is "Legion" for she represents many....many whose stories we don't hear about....many who die in pain, alone.

She touched those around her, and those of us who read about her through your good works.

She did not die in vain for she opens eyes and hearts....and we make just a little more progress every day... to assure our dogs have a better life.

She is an angel.

Anonymous said...

Once again, when faced with even more evidence of the depths of human cruelty, you guys step in and do the brave, kind, loving thing. Thank you. A terribly sad life at least had some love at the end.
I'll be bothered by this heartbreaking story for a long time, but it's important that people know this type of thing happens all too frequently.

Thank you for all you do, as always, you guys are my heroes.

love,
catherine, hattie & zeus

Donna said...

> This blog is a community of people who give a damn. We then reach out and educate those around us and create more people who care.

Thank you for using the blog this way. I agree, we really are all in this together and will collectively make or break the breed's future based on how we all to respond to the challenges these dogs face out in the world.

I know there are many shelter workers who visit here who experience these kinds of things an almost weekly basis. Some of the strongest breed advocates I've met are these same people who don't* get any recognition, but who show up at work every day to do what they can for the dogs that end up in these exact same situations. The country is full of these people and they really are an inspiration for moving forward despite the blight.

Anonymous said...

Right before I read this story, I received an email from my mother, who said "Also, we had a 4 year old toddler mauled to death in his home yesterday by the dogs you think are so gentle." (Putting aside the mother/daughter relationship reflected by this statement,) I sent her some links to articles that explain that all breeds bite and that the media often misidentifies (as a bully) the breed of dog involved in these incidents, but her mind is made up, as are many other minds, unswayed by facts and only believing what they are fed by the media. (I later found an article about the incident that my mother referred to, and the dog was a rottie according to that article so who knows what breed it really was and why should it matter what breed it was anyhow.) A few months ago I took a shelter dog (id'ed as a pit mix) to a fundraiser and a woman on the elevator with me was loving up the dog, until she asked about the breed of the dog. When I answered, she immediately jumped back and was practically cowering in the corner of the elevator. Given her question, she apparently didn't even know what a pit bull looks like, but suddenly the dog she thought was so sweet a second before had become a menace in her mind. I had hoped that all this nonsense would stop once people saw and read about the Bad Newz dogs and, seeing something with their own eyes, realized that they had been misinformed. I see progress, of course, and probably shouldn't expect an epiphany, but it makes me sad that these prejudices are still out there and that people use the prejudices to excuse despicable behavior such as what happened in this story.

who wouda thunk it?? said...

I do not understand why people cannot give their pets a dignified, loving farewell, It is healing in itself. I have always treated my dogs last day as a special tribute to them. They get a walk, or swim, or ride; they get anything they want to eat. MY Amer bulldog "Byrnie" had a walk,wade... half an italian hoagie, ice cream, and plenty of hugs and kisses. he was spent and that his last-best day. He feel away in my home, in his bed, as his vet injected him, I held him, and kissed him. I loved that dog, and I was not going to throw his lifelong commitment to me away.
I dont understand how people only think of themselves at a time when their dog deserves their devotion the most

R3K9S said...

Tim, Donna, Megan, all of Bad Rap,
Thank you for helping this girl to the bridge. You all are angels....

Anonymous said...

I just want to clarify that my quote about the ugliness and cruelty of mankind was directed more to the owners of this sweet senior,and so many other negligent owners who tether and abuse their dogs.

W-

Heather said...

Thankfully there are good caring people such as you guys who helped her cross the rainbow bridge with ease and hopefully with a enternal smile. I hope her F******* owner pays for this one way or another. Karma sux.

Anonymous said...

RIP good girl. you did nothing wrong and may you find your way to rainbow bridge.

this is truly heartbreaking. at least she had you guys there to let her hear some kind words before she left this world.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Tim and Donna. Just... thank you.

(tears)

Windy and the Pittie Girls

Jennifer said...

RIP Sweet girl, may you run free and happy at the Bridge. I'm sorry your humans failed you miserably :(

Horatio - the story of a 4th of july bully said...

Oh man this is so sad, my heart aches for Good Girl!
Tim & Donna & all the shelter workers who are there for the animals on a daily basis, THANK YOU!!! a million times for giving LOVE to the animals on a daily basis and especially on their last minutes on Earth.
RIP beautiful Good Girl run free of pain in Heaven with all the bullies, I hope to meet you one day, to give you a big hug!

HugABull Group said...

Bless your hearts for making sure this girl was surrounded by love when she said goodbye to this often cruel world. RIP sweet one....

Anonymous said...

What a jerk!

Jennifer Garvey said...

One day, may she be reborn to someone worthy of her love and devotion. Bless you all truly for all you do.

jonesey Harp said...

This week I had to take my recently adopted second dog (from the overcroweded shelter) to my moms because my neighbor kept calling my landlord that I was harboring a vicious dog and he was not on the lease. I cried for 2000 miles one way. My sweet bulldog pittie mix who has so helped my " firecracker" fearful staffie become much more balanced had to leave just because my neighbor complained "he looks just like a dog that attacked on this block four years ago" Of course Dewey is livin in up right now on Grammies couch but in Southern Ill we saw ten yes TEN dogs on chains in backyards just waiting for any type of attention. We also met a sweet husky mix at an Indian trading post somewhere on rt 40 on the way back to la... he had a huge collar mark, skinny as hell and flinched when we went to pet him. we could not take him.. all we could do is feed him all of beef jerky we had in the car. his owner, oh yeah he tried to kick the dog when he saw him begging from us. Our hearts become more raw every day knowing that there is SO much education needs to be done - cruelty is too common here to the innocent who count on us to keep them safe.

Dewey will be back as soon as we can buy our own place but God love that sweet pittie she just tried to please her owners... how could they not hold her just for one moment...

you are so brave Donna....we said a prayer for you when we went by norman ok...


these dogs and all of us who are lucky to know a pittie need you and Tim to be so strong .. although I do not know how you find the strength...

Dianne said...

Thanks Donna
I did not read it in detail because I am at work and don't want to cry. The shelter where I volunteer has a top notch medical facility, so we often get the cases that other DC area shelters deem hopeless. Many times we are able to save them and adopt them out. We try to be breed blind, but in fact of the four dogs PTS in the last 6 months, two were chows.

Simply Eva said...

Finding this blog last week was a miracle for me because I am still seriously grieving the hit-and-run murder of my beloved pit bull nearly 10 months ago. It's helped me and given me some ideas on how I can memorialize her and maybe do other pit bulls some good in her name. I want to thank you for the work you do--"thanks" doesnt even begin to cover how I feel about you and your efforts--I pray that God rewards you in this life and the next for all the wonderful work you do on behalf of this most misunderstood and tortured breed.

All I want to say in response to this sad, sad post is how I wish I could have said goodbye to my baby. I can not even conceive of anyone being so heartless as to walk out on a pet they owned for 15 years! I pray every day that I'll one day see her again and be able to tell her how sorry I am I wasnt there to have held her in my arms and say goodbye. I cant imagine voluntarily giving up that chance. How heartless.

Katie said...

At least somebody cared enough to sit with her and tell her she was a good dog and see her through to the other side. Maybe not who *should* have, but somebody. RIP old girl. You deserved better from your owner.

Anonymous said...

It isn't all happy endings in animal rescue. People need to hear these very real stories that are happening every day. Honestly, the angels on earth are people like you who are willing to feel the pain, anger and anguish to help alleviate some of the suffering, fear and loneliness of the animals. I can't thank you enough. I do my part in animal rescue in MN -- to alleviate just a bit of suffering here. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Thoughts said...

So sad. At least she had people who cared there with her on this heartbreaking journey. That is the best we can do in cases like this, dont make them go it alone, scared and confused. She is in heaven now, healed and happy and with a million friends.

jaime

Donna said...

I wanted to thank EVERYone for acknowledging this post and this old dog. I had no idea my little vent would get this much response and am truly grateful that her end story made some ripples. She certainly made a lasting impact on all of us.

Pam said...

Thank you for being strong when it counts most . . . and tender when it is needed most.

Princess said...

Thank you for being there for her and giving her some comfort from truly loving humans in her final moments. There aren't enough people like you in this world.