Friday, March 26, 2010

dearest Maude

The bully gods have seen fit to challenge us with some real heartaches this year. Maybe they want to see if we're still up for the job of advocating for these dogs. (Answer: Yes, yes, and yes.)

I'm sorry to report that we lost the most wonderful Maude this week to a disease we've never experienced before: Distemper! It's been a shock to all of us, especially to Maude's foster mom Katie Moyer, who fell deep into those big brown eyes from day one.

Maude came from Sacramento, where somebody bred her before she landed in the city shelter. Her badly sunburned ears told us that she was most likely a backyard dog. Distemper is very rare in adult dogs, but unfortunately Sacramento is experiencing a frightening situation with what is being called a distemper epidemic in their wild raccoon population. The same strain of distemper that the raccoons are carrying can easily transfer to dogs (but not to people). We're surmising that Maude's former owner never took her to the vet for shots, and that the virus caught her when she was most vulnerable.

Distemper is a multi-systemic viral disease that produces excruciatingly painful symptoms that are often fatal. It's a horrible experience for any animal to endure. The disease has been nearly wiped out thanks to the DHPP vaccine, but will crop up in some areas to show us where dog owners are not taking care of their pets.

We loved this dog and wish we could go back in time and find a way to vaccinate her as a pup and let her live the life she was meant to live. The best we can do is to get out to Sacramento and do a Free Shots Fair for low-income dog owners in memory of Maude. We'll let our readers know when that event goes down.

Til then, we salute the most beautiful brown eyed girl who charged into our lives with a smile as wide as Texas, and stole our hearts solid before slipping back to her Maker.

Our hearts are wrapped around foster mom Katie today, who spent every waking moment this past week caring for Maude before saying a painful good-bye. And to Deassa, who helped enormously with vet care and TLC to the very end. Katie wrote this tribute, no doubt through a lot of tears. We're all humbled by her compassion and courage.

27 comments:

Diane said...

So sorry! You have certainly experienced more than your fair share of loss recently. Hoping this is it for BAD RAP for a while. Meanwhile, take inventory of the positive outcomes you have helped to create. Kiss Pinky or watch a Binky video.

Dianne said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Have you read Dean Koontz "Watchers"? His unvaccinated miracle dog gets distemper... very nasty disease. A shot clinic in her memory is the perfect tribute.

Pibble said...

I'm so sorry about Maude. It's been a tough year for all of you. Hang in there; better days are ahead. You were still able to offer Maude love and tenderness that she probably never had in the past. And I'm sure she appreciated it very, very much.

pamipoo said...

Just heartbreaking..sigh. Hugs to Fostermom

Nancy said...

Deepest sympathies to Katie and everyone else that loved and cared for beautiful Maude.

J.M. said...

Condolences to all.
Another Angel to watch over the Rescue Barn and the future residents.

mary francis said...

Maude looks like my baby boy i got from my neighbors(who tossed him out one winter night) He lived his last few years with me with love nothin but love - Maude got love too. What a beautiful girl. Much sympathy for your loss.

Lisa said...

I am so very sorry about the loss of Maude. It just seems so unfair to every one. I'm glad she at least got a little bit of love and comfort in her short life. My best wishes to all, but especially her foster Mom, Katie.

Maureen said...

I'm heartbroken for Katie. What a beautiful tribute she wrote for her little friend.

Why is it that the angels take our beloved so quickly, while the devils turn their backs and let cruelty run free among us.

This is so unfair.

Shanda said...

We are having the very same issue with distemper in North Central Florida right now. I found the first reported raccoon, I thought it was rabid. The PSAs started two weeks later. Very frightening!

My deepest condolences on the loss of that beautiful girl. Gut wrenching that there has been so much loss lately, I just can't understand...

Tunamarie said...

Rest and romp in peace dear Maude...hugs and gratitude to all who made your way in the end so much easier...

steph said...

My thoughts and love to Katie and everyone who knew and gave Maude a second chance- she knew she was loved and she'll always love you for it.

Laine Bauer said...

I am so, so sorry to hear of Maude's passing. My love and thoughts, too, are to everyone who knew this beautiful soul. Thank you for giving her the love she so rightfully deserved!

Gosh it's been a tough year...

Anonymous said...

So sorry for your loss. It's terrible to lose a furkid, especially early. Distemper is an awful disease. I nursed my Border Collie Daphne through it 13 years ago. Daph was one of the lucky ones: she survived it with no after effects, but it was touch-and-go there for 3 weeks. It's so hard imagining someone who won't vaccinate a puppy to keep them safe from a preventable disease.

dilonsmom said...

My sincerest condolences to all in Maude's family. Thank you beyond words for giving that sweet girl the love she deserved. Run free sweet Maude.

tiffany said...

I am so sorry! As a shelter tech I have seen distemper far more than I would like. I an glad that at the end she was in a home and loved. My thoughts are with you.

Amanda said...

I'm sorry to hear about Maude. Losing a pet is so hard - it's really no different than losing a family member. Her foster mom will be in my prayers.

NYCKitten said...

Oh I am sorry to hear this Maude. Shine on sweet thing. Another foster Tobias was lost this weekend over here on the east coast. It broke all our hearts - his aggression towards humans just could not be overcome. And also dear Mack at the shelter - he hit the euth list immediately due to his size/fear. Rest in happiness Maude, Tobias and Mack. 3 Musketeers in Pit Bull heaven.

Anonymous said...

Such a senseless loss. People who allow this should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Our hearts go out to all who knew and loved her. Rest in peace, sweet Maude, and doG bless.

Cornelia & Jim
PB's Misty & Buddy

Samantha Laine said...

Ohhh. MAUDE. Lighing candle and juniper incense for her foster Mom.
MAUDE is so beautiful. Know she is in arms of Grandmother Earth and Grandfather Sky. And I'm thinking OTIS and SIMON are waiting in line to play with her.

Anonymous said...

Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo. i fell hard for Maude too...i can't believe it. She just got NAMED, and now she's gone. It is a very sad sad SAD thing. So heartbroken to hear this.....

Pam said...

I am so sorry to hear of yet another loss in your lives. I love the picture of Maude, her brown eyes sparkling with joy in the presence, perhaps for the first time, of love. At least she left this earth knowing what it felt like to be cherished, albeit for a much shorter time than the sweet girl deserved. You enabled her to know that feeling; try to hold onto that knowledge to lessen the pain, if just a bit.

Anonymous said...

I am so very sorry for your loss. Like so many shelters, Sac City Shelter is overcrowded with abused,undersocialized and unwanted Pit Bulls. As a longtime volunteer, I was so proud and honored that you had chosen a dog from our shelter for your program and looked forward to following her journey to her forever home. What a tragic loss!!

Donna, a group of us would love to assist when you come for the Free Shot Fair. Please let us know how we can help.

Wambui Prouty

Anonymous said...

Awwww Maude...we hardly got to know you when you were called away too soon. You will always be loved and remembered, by those close to you in life and those who only read great stories about you, but loved you just the same. Our hearts are heavy.

s&b/mty

havetailwillwag said...

rest in peace beautiful maude

Agil said...

As a person who routinely took dogs from the central valley shelters, we started seeing distemper in our shelter pulls almost ten years ago. It's gotten really bad, I'd estimate that about 25% of the dogs we pulled had it. Most of our dogs came from south of Sac. It's a horrible disease, easily prevented, with agonizing symptoms. So sorry you lost this sweet dog :(

Jen Clarke said...

What an absolute shame. So happy that she was loved at the end, and kudos to her care givers.