|Death: ||Aug. 17, 2009|
In early March of 2005, I went to look at an English Springer Spaniel that was scraped off the roadside and brought to Orange County, FL animal control after seeing him posted online. The original intent was to evaluate, rehab, and foster him until a permanent home could be found. When I looked into the kennel run, there was a filthy old pathetic liver and white skeletal creature lying against the wall. I couldn't believe anything could look that wasted and still be alive. He was nearly starved to death and had open lacerations from being hit by a car and left for dead. He only had the strength to give me a pleading look and feebly wag his tail. Those eyes reached deep into my soul and there was no escape. There was no way I was leaving that shelter without him. He was so weak he had to be helped to his feet and then carried. The shelter staff doubted he would survive the next two days until his hold time was up, so they mercifully let me start trying to save him early. He was advanced heartworm positive, loaded with ticks, fleas, internal parasites, filthy, had untreated lacerations, bite wounds, and ear infections. My vet and I had to fight the Grim Reaper to bring him back and he was most grateful. I named him "Jerry".
He was open and friendly to all and forgave both mankind and canine for his past experiences with the worst of both. He also knew who gave him love and stability for probably the first time in his tragic life and he was the most grateful dog I've ever been blessed with. Whatever I was doing, he would follow me when he could. If he couldn't, he would let the world know about it with his barking and howling. He couldn't stand being without me. He had a comical bright-eyed expression. My mom called him her "cartoon" dog. He was such a happy and loving dog. I can't understand how somebody could just throw him away. In a way I'm glad he was. He got to experience being loved and cared for his last 4 1/2 years in this world, so his last experiences on this earth would have been pleasant ones.
With no previous warning other than a slowed appetite which was unusual for such a chow hound, he started urinating blood. Rushed him to the Emergency clinic and it was guestimated he had bladder cancer and x-rays showed heavy nodules in both lungs. Nothing conclusive other than the ominous x-rays, very anemic, thin, and difficulty breathing.
He started showing signs of improvement and would crash again off and on all during his last week and was in obvious discomfort. Before making that awful decision of mercy, I scheduled an ultrasound and confirmed it was absolutely hopeless for a 12 year old dog. Masses in and around most of the abdominal organs and lungs. I found myself collapsing in a bawling heap in the vet's lobby over this beautiful little soul who didn't deserve to face such a cruel fate. I did everything I could for Jerry and this time I couldn't save him. All I was able to do was try to take comfort in that I made up for his past life by giving him the best 4 1/2 year extention I could. Lots of love, attention, and cookies. On August 17, 2009 he was freed of his ravaged body. A grown man was brought to his knees by thirty-seven pounds of unconditional love. It seems that terrible pain is the end reward of love, but for some reason we keep going back for another helping of it knowing that terrible price.
Cremated, Ashes given to family or friend.
Specifically: Ashes kept in their cedar box at home
Created by: John Barry
Record added: Oct 11, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 42954986