From Sara Woods, BR volunteer and big hearted foster home:
I wanted to share that Elphaba passed on few weeks ago. She was rescued from the shelter after being diagnosed with pancreatic tumors. I volunteered to foster her as a compassion hold. While I expected to provide her some peace and TLC for a few weeks, Elphaba made other plans. Some people may have known her as Toes but she came to me soon after I read Wicked. Elphaba was named for the heroine who popular culture also knows as the Wicked Witch of the West. Elphaba shares with her namesake an experience of being misunderstood and fated for a tragic end, but also a triumph of spirit and a tender soul. Elphaba was a wonderful and loving pet. We shared a home for a year and half, which surpassed all expectations and is reminder that with love and grace that unexpected miracles are possible.
Elphaba loved everything about life even if her health presented challenges. She taught me a lot about how to live. She loved to play like a puppy even though she was a senior. She enjoyed her daily activities with enthusiasm and never met a food she did not relish. She was mild and well mannered by nature with few vices, except squirrels. Squirrels really got her heart pumping. So now she is in doggie heaven free to chase squirrels and eat as much cheese as she likes. Rest in peace, my pretty.
I want to thank on behalf of myself and my beloved pet, Elphaba, all the people who heard her story and sent us such positive vibes. I truly believed those vibes strengthened her. In particular, thank you to respite providers - Sara, Jarrod, Peg, Claudia, Pat, and Bob. Thanks to Donna and Tim for choosing her, allowing her to be part of my family and for all the countless ways you provided support.
Sincerely, Sara Woods
We're so grateful to Sara for opening her heart to dog that wasn't slated to get that long term happy ending we all work for. It seems likely that Elfaba hung on much longer than anticipated because of Sara's care and companionship, and we're all the better for it.
Compassion Holds are a worthy way to give comfort to an old or sick dog that would normally be destroyed in crowded shelters - pit bulls especially. Unfortunately many busy shelters still see an old or ailing pit bull as an opportunity to open kennel space via euthanasia. We commend those that rebel against old-world shelter tradition and are willing to contact local resources for special case like these ... We know you're swimming upstream, especially in places where pit bull type dogs are plentiful.
If you work in a shelter and would like to learn more about developing a program for cases like Elfaba, or if you have candidate dogs that come up and want to know if BADRAP can help, or, find someone local who can, please contact us and post "Compassion Hold" in the headline of your email. firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you Sara, and thank you dear, sweet Elfaba.