There are many sides to rescue but the one that is hardest is heartbreak. Several weeks ago, we brought in 3 beautiful Samoyeds from a neglect case, a backyard breeder. They arrived very dirty and Lily had to be shaved due to her many mats and so she was left with a fluff top on her head and her poofy tail. The boys quickly passed their vet check and were neutered and moved on to a life with a family that loves them. Lily however, was not so fortunate. At her initial vet visit it was discovered that she was very pale and had a heart murmur and so a blood test was done and it was discovered that she was extremely anemic. The search was on for the cause of the anemia and many tests were done and treatments tried to correct the problem. Throughout all of this process, each volunteer noticed a sweetness about Lily that set her apart from so many others. When you entered her room, she was at her gate with the fluffy tail wagging her enthusiasm for having you there for a visit ,and if she was lucky there would be a treat in your hand for her. She loved her walks and was always ready to be a friend to anyone that came to take her out. Although she did not like her baths she took them in stride as something that needed to be done. Lily loved stuffed toys and anytime that she was ready to go out she would run to the toy bin and grab at least one to have with her; the stuffy critter never fared well with Lily as it was her delight to rip them to shreds, and she never gave one up without a struggle.
Lily’s blood count seemed to improve a bit and we were all hoping that perhaps this was the break she needed, however a few days ago she took a turn for the worse and it was a few more tests and an ultrasound. Her counts were down and her condition continued to worsen. As the prognosis worsened and it looked more and more like an aggressive cancer, it was decided that she should go home with a volunteer to make sure that she was not alone at any time. As tired as she was, she loved the little puff on the top of her head scratched and the fluffy tail continued to wag a greeting. She stayed close as if she knew the end was near, and late afternoon yesterday she took her last breath, no struggle but peacefully saying, “I’ve had enough.”
Lily left a paw print , maybe even two, on all of our hearts. There are so many things we could all learn from this wise little pooch; be friends with every one, eat many treats, love the person that cares for you, wag with delight when happy. We all as volunteers pour our heart and soul into what we do and 90% of it is the thrill of watching a litter of puppies grow and thrive, puppy mill dogs that have never had a life learn what it is to be a dog with freedom. An old soul that has lost their owner, get another chance at love. Ones that are abused, scared, and broken lose their past at the caring hands of the volunteers. The lost and strays that no one wants are nurtured by the hands of our volunteers. And then there is a Lily. Our hearts are broken at losing this beautiful little gal, and we will not forget her, but we will continue because there are so many others searching for the touch from a volunteer.