Sunday, November 14, 2010

news from a compassion hold home

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. contact@badrap.org

Thank you Sara, and thank you dear, sweet Elfaba.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have always admired BadRap's compassionate spirit, but this staggers me. To say you guys are amazing doesn't begin to do this policy justice.

J.M. said...

Condolences to all who shared Elfaba`s life.Sad that she may not have had the length of time she deserved but happy that she had so much love from the time she was rescued.RIP Elfaba.

jess said...

Before Bad Rap, I hadn't heard the term Compassion Hold and now I recognize that the act of fostering/adopting a dog for a short time is one of the most powerful and brave acts a dog lover can commit.

Thank you to Sara for taking in Elphaba - she lived her last year and half in the present, with her family, in her bliss - and to Donna and Tim for encouraging us all to look deeply within ourselves to come up with the courage to love the dogs that need us most, for just a little while.

rest peacefully Ms. Elphaba Toes

Bumpers Mommy said...

Sarah- We know what the last months of life can be like for a pitter with Cancer, as our sweet girl passed n August after a 9 month battle... The love and compassion that you showed for Elphaba -so clear in your note - surely made all the difference to a special dog! Thank you for all you did for Elphaba - and thanks to Bad Rap for continuing to love and work hard for this wonderful breed!

s.m. said...

Rest in peace, pretty girl.

Motorcyclegurl said...

It is most possible to shed tears of joy and sadness at the same time. Hugs and kisses to Sara with the big heart who opened her home to the beautiful Elphaba Toes. It's always sad when we lose a friend, but to pass with dignity and surrounded by love is the greatest gift one could give. Sara and Elphaba are both angels!

Anonymous said...

That was my cry quota for the week. I'm sure Elfaba is running over rainbows and that Sara has one more great guardian angel looking over her.

Sara, BADRAP volunteers and all fosters and adopters who give their all to give their dogs the best, you are nothing short of amazing!

the hibler furkidz said...

With tears in my eyes I say... God bless you, Sara. God bless you.

Anonymous said...

"That'll do, Elphaba That'll do." You and your heroic human mom have put a tear and a smile on allot of faces.. as they say there is a special place in heaven......

Laura said...

I wish there were Bad Rap groups all over the country! I would love to do something like this and make a difference in this sometimes cruel world. God Bless you, Bad Rap! (my own red pit was found as a puppy dumped at a gas station. She is the best dog I've ever had)

Anonymous said...

Taking in a senior or ill dog with little time is one of the most heartbreaking and rewarding things one can do. I recently lost a beautiful Cane Corso to spleen cancer after taking her in as a foster home almost 2 years ago. She had been abandoned in a.foreclosed home and then overlooked due to her age once she was taken in by a rescue. She captured the hearts of all who met her and I will never forget her incredible optimism and capacity to love. I miss her terribly and am so thankful that I had the opportunity to give her loving home to live out her last years.

Anonymous said...

She was beautiful. I had a similar experience with a 16 year old Chow mix. He finally left us at 18. He is sorely missed, as I am sure she is.

My sincere condolences.

Anonymous said...

thanks for sharing sara. i have a pit who has lymphoma and is undergoing chemo now. reading your story inspires me to do the best i can for my dog. keep up the good work!

Linda said...

Anyone who has cared for a senior or terminally ill dog knows how wonderful they are. They are wise and have so much love and wisdom to give. My own dog, Jack, died on Sunday after a long battle with lymphoma. He had many ailments and wasn't expected to do terribly well on chemo, but he did and outlived the "average" life span for his illness. He was about 13 or 14 when he died. I would do it all again to have him back. His care was often hard but completely wothwhile. Old dogs really know how to live! They live in the moment and accept the reality of today, without worrying about the past. It's a good lesson to learn.

Donna said...

"That'll do, Elphaba That'll do."

That one got me. gulp.

Thanks for all your warm comments.

Brooke Elaine said...

Ok, pass the kleenex pleaae!! Thank you Sara and God Bless for your big open heart that embraced and lavished a life giving love on Elphaba!
I too rescued a senior and she was unlike any dog I ever had--I only had 2 yrs with her and still miss her terribly (it's been a year and 3 months since she crossed the Rainbow Bridge) and honestly until her dying moment she played and acted as if she was a young puppy---it was incredible!
May you play unhindered Elphaba until you see your beloved Sara once again!

Anonymous said...

with a big lump in my throat and tear(s) in my eye, I thank you from the bottom of my <3!