I have received a few new requests to take in more dogs in need. One person is offering $500.00 if I take her now-institutionalized father's two dogs. I simply cannot take in any more dogs, despite knowing I might be their last chance, until I relocate my Sanctuary or find an Angel Investor. Certainly there is someone who believes in my work--as a rescuer, rehabilitating and rehoming, or offering true sanctuary to the Misfits.
Many times I've watched the dogs I've taken in/rescued/given sanctuary to--whatever--sleeping peacefully on cushions, covered in blankets, finally relaxed into the moment. For almost twenty years I've taken in dogs that were out of options. If they hadn't made their way to me, they were screwed. That's why I'm adding "retirement
" to my mission statement regarding animal rescue; old dogs in new digs!
It hits every
rescuer when they are faced with an old (therefore typically) unadoptable dog. He or She might be a fantastic dog but often with elderly animals we're dealing with dental/ear/heart/occular/renal issues. Often, though, all an old dog needs is caring attention. Some dogs, like "Papi", experience a rebirth of sorts:
This is my Love, Papi.
Ensconced on deep cusions, blankies and as he relishes now.
He's O-L-D but is spry, alert and engaged.
Papi has a very mysterious story which I'm writing as an essay.
Nothing fancy needed here (even in veterinary terms, Papi
proved easy to treat) but the obvious. The day he was rescued I
thought I'd be euthanizing him the next day, but I wanted him to eat,
and most especially enjoy, a last meal so I gave him 40 mg of
Prednisone. What the hell? I know it's a super-human dose
but Papi could barely stand, let alone walk
and if a non-prescribed megadose of a base
steroid boosts his blood pressure/eases his pain/increases his appetite,
well...THAT'S the way to go out, right? Feeling good, enjoing a nosh,
WALKING along a peaceful path. It's how I hope to go out.
However, 24 hours later, Papi decided he felt SOOOOOO good
(that Pred bump pumping through his system!),
he was going to stick around afterall!
Today was not a good day to die.
15 months later...
Papi is my Prince Consort, or at least my John Brown
He hates it when I leave on errands.
He waits for my return at the top of our steep drive
and as I descend, chases my truck all the way home
to our camper! When I get on the roof of the camper
(to resecure the tarp covering the holes!), he paces back and
forth at the foot of my ladder, fussing all the while.
Is he actually "grateful" to me for helping him recover, to heal?
Or does the sort of separation anxiety that Papi experiences, spur him
forward, adding an element of physicality to his neurosis,
actually keeping him healthy and moving?