Sare Bear was initially the easiest of the “pass through’ dogs we have ever had. I brought her home on a Monday. The very next day she was rehomed to a friend with 3 children. Lucky for us, and for Sarah, she was returned to us a day or 2 later. It never occurred to me that the adoptive family would bring home a pit bull without checking with their landlord first.
So, the cat is out of the bag: Our Sarah is a Red Nose Pit bull, brought into our home with other dogs. We knew nothing about her before then other than she needed help.
Psssst! Little known secret: Pittys aren’t the problem. People are, whether they feel the need to force a pit to make them feel more manly or they are just prejudiced based on the selective press that appears on our television screens.
I mentioned that it was lucky for us that Sarah was returned. This is why: She is an absolute angel, adored especially by the little dogs, appreciated by Maude, our old lady (for the ability to hold intelligent conversation), and best girlfriend to Emmi. She was about 2 years old when she came through our door and in the nearly 2 years she has been with us, she has never made a mess in the house, listens the first time, and offers us a lot of comic relief. She is an absolute love, loved not just by us, but by several of my landscape clients that borrow her from time to time.
Sarah is one of the 3 stars in the following Public Service Message:
Sare Bear is a beauty, isn’t she?
I also said coming back to us was lucky for Sarah. This reason is heartbreaking to us: Sarah is a Hospice dog. She will never get old. There are old neck injuries that didn’t heal right. There is a surgical option, but the cost is prohibitive, even if she was our only kid. If we had the money, it is only 50/50 that the surgery would save her. To us, it is quality and not quantity that is important.
Under the direction of our veterinarian, we are managing Sarah for pain, when it occurs. A pre-set threshold has been set on her medications, and once that threshold has been reached, we will let her go, her Mom and Dad holding her as she leaves, and she will be buried with the brothers and sisters she didn’t know, as well as one she did, another little one that adored her.
It took us almost a year to find out what was wrong with Sare Bear, mostly due to the fact her condition was blamed on Valley Fever. At the time we got the devastating diagnosis, January 2012, we were given maybe 2 years at most. Though there have been some bad days, Sarah has not needed full medication since March. We have not even gotten through the first filling of pills! Initially, the full script, with 2 refills was *hopefully* to get us through the first 6 months. In the time since January, despite tripping more, she is actually scores better in all other respects. While that is good news, accredited to the treating of the Valley Fever, the underlying problem won’t go away.
The number of people out there that would keep Sarah, knowing that she would be leaving too soon, are few. The number of people who would have put her down immediately given her diagnosis are far too many. I personally only know of one family other than us that would have. The family that adopted her; they would have put her down immediately.
It doesn’t matter if it is a day, a week, a month, any day spent with Sarah is a treasure. Many tears will be shed for her when the inevitable happens, but when it does, we don’t need sympathy for our ‘loss’. Not at all. We are the luckiest people on earth that the stars aligned to bring this beautiful and loving soul to us, no matter how long we can have her.
We promised Sarah that we would never let her get to the point of suffering. But we also promised her we wouldn’t let her go until it was time. It’s about her life, not our emotions. Until then, there will be stories to be told, of a wonderful girl who is loved by many people. I am sure you will grow to love her as much as we do.
If I do this right, at least one reader that follows Sarah’s progress will offer themselves as a family and home for a hospice dog in need. One reader who otherwise wouldn’t have.