This vlog tells the story of our youngest dog Izzy. He like his siblings are survivors of big Pharma lab testing animals.
When Operating A Shelter Is No Longer Fun
Whenever I would tell people how many animals we have they would always make some crack like “Old Lorenzo had a farm”. Then I would say no, a farm produces a product. What we have is more like a shelter.
The Good Son
August was a hard month. We lost both of our dogs to cancer days just apart. Last August our youngest dog Lily died so August has not been kind as of late. One good thing did happen the last week of this past August and that was us adopting an eight year old beagle named Abel.
Abel comes to us from Kindness Ranch who have many animals in their care as well as beagles that survive laboratory research. These people are truly doing the lords work. Beagles are the preferred dogs for laboratory research partly because of their mild temperament which ironically is the thing we love most about them. Abel was being fostered by a family in Redmond Washington and we found him on Petfinder.
Except for a few minor dust ups with our cat Smokey trying to be a bully, Abel’s first couple weeks with us has been pretty smooth. Janet had the brilliant idea of letting both of them sit with her in the reading room during the day. Since then Smokey has become less fearful and more accepting of Abel’s constant pacing in circles, a habit we noticed in our now angel dog Lily. They were both caged for the early years of their lives.
Wednesday we had his first vet appointment with our vet Dr. Martin who is super cool. Although she can not prescribe or recommend CBD for animals, I ran it by her and she agrees they can do no harm. Dogs have to ingest lots of toxins in their lifetime so maybe this will help even things out a bit. We want to do everything possible to make sure that Abel has a long and healthy life.
Years ago I used to keep a journal. It helped me work through a lot of things that I was going through at the time. For some reason I got away from doing that, but since nobody reads this blog I’ve decided that this is my journal now and plan to make more frequent entries. If someone reads it, no big deal. I have no secrets.
One week ago we were at a vet appointment for Herbie. We always brought Odie along for because he hates to be left alone with just the cats, plus it’s just nice to have him around supporting Herbie. We mentioned to the doctor how Odie was having some stool issues and she noticed that he had some muscle wasting in multiple areas that was an indication of a very old dog or a very sick dog. Suddenly the conversation was no longer about Herbie.
The doctor ordered a set of x-rays and they confirmed the worst. His intestines were being smashed to the back of his body by huge tumors that had been growing for some time. Some calcification of the organs had already begun. He didn’t have long.
I felt numb and heartbroken. We had just spent hundreds on expensive tests and even a dental only a few months ago where they told us he was fine. I’m still trying to not be angry about that. If they had done the x-ray when we had the senior blood panel done on him in April, maybe we could have done something to slow the process or at least make him more comfortable.
His last day was not comfortable. That was Monday. We said goodbye to him at 3:00 Monday afternoon, less than a week after the diagnosis.
The last few days have been really shitty. When you adopt older dogs you have less time with them. That’s the trade off, I get that but that doesn’t mean that you don’t feel like you just took a baseball bat to the gut every time you lose one.
And you know what, I’d do the same thing all over again.
It’s not about us it’s about the dog.
If I see another older dog in a shelter in the near future, I’m probably gonna adopt them. Especially if they’re a beagle.
Right now, little Herbie is the last man standing. I always knew he was a tough little guy but I had no idea he would outlive our other dogs.
I’ll always remember Odie as being such a diplomat. He ignored the cats even when they were acting crazy. Lily was so nervous that she would often trip over him and even lay on top of him but he never protested. And he was always careful to not trample Herbie even at dinner time.
I’m really gonna miss my buddy. He was something special. Right now I imagine him and Lily in heaven snuggling together. Saving a space for Herbie.