|Birth: ||Aug. 16, 2000|
|Death: ||Nov. 12, 2008|
"We derive immeasurable good, uncounted pleasures, enormous security, and many critical lessons about life by owning dogs." ~ Roger Caras, 14th president of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
Craig and I weren't able to adopt a dog until we had come back to Louisiana in 1999 due to the animal zoning laws in Pennsylvania. We had maxed out the animal limit with cats, plus our yard was just too tiny for a dog there in Catasauqua.
The first couple of years, once we were back home, was to TNR (trap, neuter, release - we also vaccinated and ear-tipped) over 250 feral kittens and cats in our immediate neighborhood. We tamed many kittens and found caring homes for them. However, Craig was getting antsy to share his life with a canine companion. We began our search in earnest late fall of 2002.
The weekend after Thanksgiving, we saw a beautiful golden retriever advertised via PetFinder by a local dog rescuer. We fell in love with her picture. She was such a lovely, lovely dog.
When we rang the door bell of the rescuer, we could hear the lively bark of a dog. Though she had told us that she had sixteen dogs at the time, only this one was barking. She said the little dog was her greeter as she laughingly introduced us, the little girl running in happy, mad circles at our feet, tossing her head excitedly like a young frisky colt.
We were deeply touched by the little dog's brief rescue story. The rescuer let us see each and every one of the sixteen dogs, telling us their stories as we met each. Four had been too traumatized to ever be adopted out; twelve were up for adoption, including Kasey, the golden retriever; Penny, a precious Beagle who we later went back and adopted the following year; and the little greeter.
Lastly we met Kasey. She shyly went up to me and I barely was able to touch her gorgeous head before she caught sight of Craig. She immediately began a shrill, heart-rending bark, pulling and lunging on the lead away from the rescuer. She believed that Kasey had a deeply rooted fear of men. That's one reason she held back on introducing us to her right away - she also was keenly observing Craig to see how he reacted to each of her precious rescue dogs.
I was so very impressed with the rescuer. She was truly the most blessed thing that those dogs had ever seen and that was immediately apparent on how they seemed to dote on every movement and word she said in their presence. And what impressed me the most was that she wasn't going to let us take a dog just because we wanted him or her. In my book, that spoke volumes. She truly had the very best interest of her rescue-es at heart.
I knew Craig really, really wanted Kasey and was deeply disappointed at her reaction to him, so I was literally shocked when he said he wanted to revisit with the little greeter. I said the first thing that popped into my mind, idiotic that it was, "But Craig, she has to be groomed very 6 weeks!" He replied, "I know, but she's just a little doll."
So the rescuer brought her back to us and went into more detail about her rescue.
The little dog was born August 16, 2000 and adopted at the age of 6 weeks by an elderly gentleman who named her Princess. Prin was a Cockapoo (half Cocker Spaniel and half Poodle - sometimes called the dingy name of Spoodle instead of Cockapoo). She was lavishly loved until a late spring day when her caregiver passed away. That very day, the wife pitched Prin into the backyard. She was forbidden to come back indoors.
Both Cockers and Poodles are indoor dogs. They cannot stand much heat, especially the high temps here of the Deep South, and are susceptible to respiratory infections and skin allergies. But Prin's woes were just beginning. She was bitten on the right foreleg by a spider shortly after being banished to the outdoors.
After weeks of infection, the wife finally took her to an emergency vet who told her that Prin was in a very serious condition. He drained the abscess, bandaged the wound, and gave her antibiotics to be applied twice daily. The bandage was to be removed that evening when the antibiotics were to be started.
Back into the backyard she went. Three months later, the woman scooped her up and hauled her to Animal Control stating that if they could save her adopt her out, but that she didn't want this darling little dog.
The then animal control vet, who was also a good friend of the animal rescuer, was horrified at the condition of Princess and pulled bit by bit Prin's history from the woman. The bandage the ER vet had placed on her months before was still in place, chewed on and filthy. The bandage had to be surgically removed in a number of places. Gangrene had set in and already eaten its way down to the bone in several areas. The vet was certain of amputation.
She called the rescuer who immediately dropped what she was doing to rush down and see Princess. She told the vet that she would pay for all the medical and hospitalization bills, but to do whatever she had to do to save Prin's leg. The vet could offer no promises due to the death of cells and tissue in the leg.
Prin was hospitalized for nearly three months. Slowly the leg began to heal, surprising the vet who was all but positive that she would have to amputate. Finally the day came that she could go home to the rescuer. She nicknamed her Boo-Boo.
In the meantime, Prin was passed over time and again for adoption. Craig and I couldn't get over how anyone wouldn't look twice at this happy, life-loving little 18 pound dog.
The rescuer is very thorough in her adoption screening. The week after we'd signed the paperwork, she called to let us know that she'd done the background check and would like to set up a home visit. We were just too excited. She let us know that she'd checked our employment, our banking establishment, and our local and Pennsylvania vets had spoken extremely highly of us. We figured on getting Prin the week of Christmas and were barely able to get through each day.
I couldn't get home fast enough the day of the home visit. It was pouring down rain and I was so worried that she would cancel. Ten minutes after the time that she said she'd be at our home, the phone rang. We didn't want to pick up the phone, fearing she couldn't make it. No, she was en route, but traffic and weather were bad. I could have sworn that I heard a dog bark once as we talked.
She arrived an hour and fifteen minutes later than the appointment. We were standing by the gate in the rain and she asked if she could pull into the carport because she had decided that Prin could come home - I KNEW I'd heard a dog bark over the phone. It was December 12, 2002. We were so thrilled, but then it dawned on me that she had crate trained Princess and that we had no crate yet. We had bought food, dishes, treats, toys, grooming tools, doggie bed and blankets, heartworm and flea preventives, but not a dog crate.
No problem. She started pulling out boxes and bags and a medium sized crate - part of the adoption package, she said. And some adoption package - dry food, bags of Greenies, biscuits, bones and chews, a large shopping bag full of toys, a doggie bed, doggie blankets, food dishes, a water bowl, a water and food bowl to attach to the crate, a deluxe bumper pad for her crate, a year's supply each of Interceptor and Frontline, a doggie Christmas stocking filled with even more toys and treats, collars with matching leads with Princess embroidered on them, several doggie sweaters, shampoo, cologne, doggie nail clippers, doggie brushes ... I can't recall what else - there was just so much.
She took the lead off Prin and I let Craig greet her first. The first thing he did was stoop to give her ear scritches. She fell in love with him immediately because she dearly loved those ear and neck scritches.
Princess was the only name she'd ever known in her short, tragic life, so we kept it.
How that little girl loved her Daddy. Next to him, her next love was Greenies, then Penny who we adopted in March of the following year. Prin and Penny got along wonderfully at the rescuer's and Penny had slipped into a slight depression after Prin came home to us, so we HAD to bring Penny home, too.
Prin loved kittens and cats. She accepted every kitten and cat we brought in. She oftentimes had to give up her crate for new arrivals, but never complained. Of course, she didn't mind sleeping in our bed when her crate was used for kitty housing, either.
When I dragged home our little rescued Pug, Puglena, she took her in stride, too. She never met a stranger, animal or human.
Her favorite seat in the entire house was her Daddy CraigCat's recliner. She would readily give it up for ear combings, though. She would just melt into the brush and comb. Somewhere way down the line, I came into Prin's affections. I'd often tease Craig that she loved me only because I fed, bathed, and groomed her when he wasn't around.
She loved to be clean, though she would hit every mud hole and body of water around. She'd jump into ditches of water, ponds, lakes, swimming pools, even hot tubs. On the other paw, how she would preen and prance after coming home from the groomer's.
Her last two winters, Prin's right foreleg which had been so gangrenous was beginning to bother her. At her last vet trip shortly after a cool snap, she was diagnosed with arthritis. She was to start her arthritic meds the next time cooler weather came, expected to move in the night we lost her. Dr Steve wanted to get the drug into her system before she developed any pain and limping.
I'd been very ill with pneumonia for almost three weeks beginning the last weekend of October, 2008. Craig was working, plus trying to keep all our many cats and dogs fed and clean while I was down. On Monday morning, November 12, he jumped in the truck to head for work. Thinking he had all three inside dogs in their crates and the five large dogs in their kennels, he started backing down our long driveway. Out of nowhere Princess came and darted beneath the truck. She had never attempted to run toward the truck before. It was too late for an emergency run to the vet. She took her last breath in his arms. My Craig was totally devastated. This tragic incident had broken his heart. He never forgave himself for her death.
He buried her beneath our old pin oak where our ferals RedBoy, Samson, and wee babies Skeeter and Rebel rest. This is the same tree that she'd chase and tree squirrels. She would lay there in wait for hours on pretty days, thinking they would eventually come down the same way they went up, never realizing they'd long ago scampered from its treetop to another. They were probably already back into the woods beyond our house. But no matter to Prin; she was on a quest - to catch a squirrel who would forever outrun her.
She graced our lives five years and eleven months to the day of her loss. We had always said this about every animal we've ever lost, but there will never be another pet like Princess. She had such a strong, distinct and unique little personality. Always happy and adventurous. Always our beloved little Princess - so true to her name.
Specifically: Princess is buried beneath the old pin oak in the back yard where she'd treed so many squirrels. Next to her are four beloved kittens and cats.
Created by: sniksnak
Record added: Sep 15, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 97100400