Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Before You Go To Heaven: Helping Terminally Ill Dogs on Death Row

Before You Go To Heaven: Helping Terminally Ill Dogs on Death Row

We all can take a lesson from Ashley Owen Hill, of Lucky Dog Rescue. She is truly what I want to strive to become....

Annie, who finally lived

Two weeks ago we ran a poignant, inspirational guest blog by Ashley Owen Hill, of Lucky Dog Rescue. We’re back again with another powerful post from her.

Maria Goodavage

Before You Go to Heaven
By Ashley Owen Hill

I was asked to share the story about what I do for special case dogs on death row in shelters. I do realize that this might not be the most popular idea with all of you, but I’m hoping that maybe it will inspire someone to do the same. If you ever have the chance to do this, it will change your life.

When there are terminally ill dogs on death row, I’ve made the decision to do something very special for them. Because treating these dogs for their conditions would cause them immense suffering, I choose not to treat them. However, I also choose not to leave them in the shelter to be killed. In short, I bring them into my home for a few days. I adopt them into my heart. I love them with all that I have. And then I do what’s best for them, and let them go.

Annie had never known happiness. She had been beaten, neglected, and starved all of her life, and then she was dumped at a shelter to die. Annie waited on death row, terrified and lonely, crying every night for someone to help her. She was very ill, and the pound asked if I was willing to take her. Yep, I’m on my way.

When I saw Annie, it was obvious that she was very sick. She was underweight, coughing, and having trouble breathing, in addition to skin and eye issues. The vet told me that Annie had advanced heartworm disease, congestive heart failure, and several other severe medical conditions. It was highly unlikely that she would pull through any of the treatments, and she would suffer tremendously throughout the process. The vet asked me if I wanted to go ahead with euthanasia. “No. I’ll bring her back next week. Before she goes to Heaven, she needs to know love.”

That day, I brought Annie home with me. I looked at her — so broken, so sickly, so unsure of whether she could trust — and I cried. I sobbed uncontrollably for Annie. Over the sad life she had led, the abuse she had endured, and now the life she would never have, thanks to the worthless people who never cared for her. And while I was bawling like a baby, Annie walked over and licked my tears, as if to say, “Don’t be sad. It’ll be okay.” This precious, wounded soul was comforting me. This girl, who had never known compassion in her life, was consoling me.

Annie with Ashley

And so, I got up, stopped my crying, and vowed to give her the best week of her entire life. No more crying. Not around Annie. She deserves to know only happiness now.

That week, Annie slept in the bed with me. She ate the best food. She played as much as her little heart could stand. She laid next to me on the couch for belly rubs. She laughed at funny movies with me. That week, Annie was home, for the first time in her life.

Every day, Annie and I sat on my special bench by Rudy’s grave and talked to him. I told Rudy that he would have a new friend in Heaven soon, and asked him to take care of her. I told Rudy all about Annie, and Annie all about Rudy. Annie loved our talks with Rudy. She loved anything that involved love. She’d never had it before.

When Annie got so weak that it was painful for her to live, I took her to the vet to end her suffering. I stayed with her, comforted her, and Annie wasn’t afraid. She was happy because I was there with her. Her mom was by her side — the only family she had ever known. The only person who had ever truly loved her. She felt safe.

Annie knew it was time — it hurt too much to go on. And I was there to hold her, to love her, to say, “It’s okay. You can go now, baby girl.” And as they stuck her with the needle, I whispered into her ear, “Know that I loved you. Know that you mattered. Know that you finally belonged to someone — you were everything to me. You will never really be gone, because you will live forever in my heart. Thank you for sharing your last days with me. It was truly an honor to love you.”

As the drugs entered Annie’s veins, she looked up at me one last time, and her eyes said, “Thank you. I love you.” And before she closed her eyes forever, I said: “When you get to Heaven, ask for Rudy. Tell him I sent you.”

And then, she was gone. I buried Annie in my backyard next to Rudy. She died on September 14, 2010.

But the week before her death, she finally lived.

By: Maria Goodavage

Monday, March 7, 2011

Taking a little break

We will be taking a little break for a while. We have some family issues that need to be addressed.

We love you all and will miss you.
Take care!!
Buddy Wilson and Cheri

Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday Forecast - a chance of snow?!?!

Hold on one minute didn't I just post about spring beginning here in Northern California? Well yes folks I did and I may have to send out apologies to everyone for false advertising as we have been told that for the first time since 1976 it will snow down at sea level tonight.

Now Saturday morning is supposed to be sunny so I will try to get up early and catch some pictures of me in snow for the first time!!!

Sending you all joy and tons of fun this weekend.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

I smell something coming folks

On my walk this sunny Sunday afternoon I smelled something peculiar, something odd.

It took me back, somewhere a very long time ago. But I couldn't get 100% identification.

So I kept searching for it...

I knew I was close...very close....

Hmmmmmm could this be it?

Lets see.....

Yep thats right folks spring is here!! Well at least for some of us. But the good news for my friends who look around and see only white. This means spring is just around the corner for you!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Monday of Healing

I am here to say I had a fabulous weekend! My two-legger called into work and stayed with us all weekend!! This is a rare occurrence and I am so very happy she did! I love being with her she makes our live so much fun.

We didn't go anywhere or do anything special which I don't mind. So you may be asking yourself why she did this. Could it be that she loves us that much? Uh well no....she stayed with us because all the four-legger in the house was sick. She spent the entire weekend cleaning up throw-up and diarrhea from the four of us.

She kept saying we "got into something" we weren't supposed to. What ever that means! Shoot everything that is interesting and fun we are not supposed to get into so what are we supposed to do? The sights and smells are too tempting for us.

The culprit is still out there despite her attempts to comb the entire back yard for it. But whatever we "got into" is out of our systems and we are back to our ornery selves that she loves soooo much.

We hope that all the two-leggers and four-leggers out there are happy and healthy!


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