Snowball’s Tribute

*I have not yet been able to find the strength to create my Memorial to Snowball.*

Here is something Betty shared with me…………….

“We who choose to surround ourselves with lives even more temporary than our own life within a fragile circle, easily and often breached. Unable to accept its awful gaps, we still would live no other way. We cherish memory as the certain immortality, never fully understanding the necessary plan.”
-Irving Townsend

Here is a link to a thread that was started by Amanda who saw Snowball’s August 28th/29th health status update on our website.

Merrilee – I was TORTURED to see that Snowball passed away. I thought she was as special as you did. You know I have an extremely soft spot in my heart for deafies. Oh, my God, she was so beautiful. I am more sorry that you can imagine. I am so sad for you. I know that she was more well-care for that she would have been most other places. She was happy with you, and I’m glad she got to know such a happy life.

Simone – Gwen & Sean – just to let you know I feel your pain and are in my thoughts!

Mary – What an absolute shock to read today that Snowball has gone to the Rainbow Bridge. I can’t even begin to describe how very sad and sorry I feel for the sudden loss of your irrepressible, energizer bunny of a girl. How tragic that such a live wire could be stilled so soon. I will miss reading about Snowball and regret that I never got to meet the delightfully exquisite creature that you so lovingly describe on your site. Snowball was special enough that you and Sean wanted her to become a permanent member of your extended family family. Many a tear has been shed this afternoon for both you and Snowball. Please accept my sincere condolences on the loss of Snowball. Keeping you in my thoughts.

Nicole – Dear Gwen & Sean, I am so sorry for your loss. Snowball was a beautiful girl, who I am sure had the most wonderful life she ever could have with you. She could never have been adopted out, her heart belonged with you two. I’m sure you’re feeling very sad and depressed right now, and stressed with everything else going on, too, and I hope you try and remember why you do what you do. I wrote you a few weeks ago to tell you you were an inspiration to me……..Please, don’t let this hurt keep you from remembering that you were the best thing that ever happened to these dogs.

Maureen – Please allow me to say how sorry I am to read of Snowball’s passing. Your pain came right through your posting. This is the first I’ve read of her and the tears are simply rolling down my face. I hope you find peace soon.

Deanna – Gwen and Sean, I just read the website, and am in tears……saw the tragic news about Snowball and about all that you two are facing right now. What an awful, awful thing to happen. My heart goes out to you both. I only met Snowball the once, but the impact she had on a person sure was powerful and she certainly left her pawprints indelibly on my heart. My heartfelt sympathy is with both of you tonight. I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m glad that at least Snowball is no longer suffering, but I sure wish it didn’t have to happen to her at all. She was a very very neat dog. I’m glad she had both of you loving her right til the end – that makes all the difference for spirits like hers, and it showed. I hope her spirit shines on in your home and hearts forever.

Betty – Gwen, I was so sorry to read that Snowball has passed. You and your family have my deepest sympathy. I keep a copy of this quote at my desk to remind me that the hurt we go through when we lose a furry child is small compared to all the joy they bring us during their time with us. In time, the pain of loss will decrease and you will remember the wonderful times you shared with Snowball.You are all in my prayers.

From talking to the Vet; Snowball’s spleen was very cirrhotic and her bowels were necrotic when she was doing exploratory surgery on Snowball. Two completely unrelated serious things going on inside of her. One of the other Vets thought that this Vet was first showing her Snowball’s colon and then realized that it was her small intestine as that was how unrecognizable it looked. The Vet also described the ‘smell’ of how terrible her insides truly were and after more discussion with her and others; I feel more closure in my heart, though still deeply saddened. The mere thought of her or any animal being in pain and suffering is beyond upsetting. There really is a very large hole in our home and things are extremely quiet now without her compact little form zooming around and always thinking about what to do next.

I will post more details of the Vet’s findings( I am in a true fog of anguish at this time) when I get a copy of her medical notes but at 10:30 AM today; we made the decision to let Snowball go and a large piece of myself and Sean has gone with her. At least 2 feet of her small intestine would have had to been removed and even her spleen was completely abnormal, though the Vet could not determine why. She was clearly suffering and her prognosis was very slim of surviving let alone having any quality of life if she did. We are just beyond devastated. She was not even three years of age and had so much life inside of her. She is an angel that has more than earned her beautiful wings even though selfishly we wanted her to so badly be still here with us. Her body shall be brought home here where she belongs to lay in eternal rest. At this time, I cannot even think of writing her memorial. I do know that we will be creating an annual Fundraiser event named in her honour. It is at these time that you feel like someone has ripped out your heart and torn it cruelly to pieces and you think that you can carry on no longer. She is already so very much missed and neither Sean nor myself really had a chance to say a proper good-bye. It is so hard to believe that her energy and zest for life is no longer with us. The world has lost another incredibly beautiful creature with her passing. When I left her last night; I hugged her, told her to have a great sleep, to not have any wild parties and how much I loved her yet I never said good-bye. I already miss her so very much. We are truly crushed by losing her and she was a deeply cherished member of our family. Kanata Animal Hospital will continue to take any funds for her Medical Bills should anyone wish to donate in her memory. I will be working extra hard to complete her CafePress store as well to immortalize her on special items to share her inside and out beauty with the rest of the world.

Snowball’s WBC is extremely high, her cholesterol is high, her kidney function not normal, her drawn blood was an extreme dark red, she has continued to vomit and her core body temperature has dropped drastically. She is on Antibiotics, IV fluids and was given meds to help with any ulceration. X-Rays did not show anything definitive as to whether or not there is something like a stuffie inside of her. It would have been much easier to have seen a marble. There is a LOT of gas showing up on the X-Rays and she is in a lot of pain the poor little thing. There is one area that the vet is wondering if there is a perforation and so Snowball will be having exploratory surgery after trying to get her more stable. There is still a very good probability that this could still be an obstruction. Keep her in your thoughts as this is one angel that is meant to stay on this earth. Donations to her Medical Bills can be paid directly to Kanata Animal Hospital or via our PayPal account. It is estimated that this could be thousands of dollars to try and get her well again. She is one very sick girl at this time and the odds were not being given in her favour. As of 9:55 PM last night, she was still alive. We had hooked her up to the heating block and had her all covered up snug and warm. Seeing her this way would reduce almost anyone who has seen how she is normally like to tears.

Kanata Animal Hospital
c/o Gwen Boers @ Birch Haven Rescue
440 Hazeldean Road
Kanata, Ontario
K2L 1Z2
(613) 836-2848

I am bringing Snowball to the Vet today. She has not eaten since late Saturday night and is now lethargic, walking very stiffly plus is vomiting. In one of her ‘pukes’ she brought up part of a stuffie and so the thought process is following the lines of an obstruction. I will update her site as I can.

We draw closer to the time that we will make the decision to keep Snowball as one of our own. Should she not be adopted by end of October, she shall be claimed as one of our own beloved family members.

Less than 24 hours after Snowball went to her new home, I got a call. Snowball and Gracie will be coming back to me on June 6th. This is a clear indication that no matter how thorough our adoption screening processes/procedures were; we failed Gracie and Snowball with this particular adoption home selection. From having had this experience, we will be reviewing and most likely tightening up our mandates / processes even more. We tried to be so careful where any one of our dogs ends up and to have this happen, especially to a dog like Snowball is positively awful. AVAILABLE AGAIN FOR ADOPTION!!!


Snowball’s potential new family are coming to visit on Sunday. If all goes well, Snowball will go home with them.

Snowball is under a PENDING ADOPTION!!!

Snowball will have her own Cafepress Online Store whereby the monies raised by your shopping will go towards helping other animals in need. We are currently working on the items. STAY TUNED!!!

We still have not received that right match application for Snowball. We have received a couple of applications that initially looked good yet upon further emailing, it became clear that these homes were not really aware of what Snowball truly needs. People need to understand that yes, she is a Great Dane but she is also very much, if not more of a Border Collie personality and is not a ‘couch’ potato and requires a home that is going to keep her stimulated mentally and physically. She is not a dog you can only walk on a leash(not that we are in agreement with those type of homes); she needs a properly fenced in yard(sizeable) and is also very sensitive to her environment and needs the ‘right’ touch in continuing her obedience and other training. She has come a long way in her ‘touch’, ‘vibration'(not shock collars or vibration collars but using floor and door banging vibrations etc.) and in learning more signs. As mentioned, we will keep her up for adoption for a few more months and then if the right home still has not come along; she will remain with us as one of our own.

Snowball went to the vet today for her annual visit and she now weighs 35.4KG (77.78pounds). She had her annual vaccines and was given RABVAC#3, so her rabies is good for 3 years. Her exam showed that she is still perfectly healthy and ‘raring’ to go! 🙂

Should we not find the right home for Snowball within the next few months; we will take her off our ‘Adoption Pages’ and she will spend the rest of her life as a beloved member of our family as a lot of time has gone by since her arrival with to us and she has really settled in with us. Snowball will be going into the vet later this month to have her annual vaccines.

While small, Snowball is a DYNAMO. She has proven her smartness over and over again. Knowing that she does not have the ‘size’ and ‘weight’ behind her to take toys, stuffies etc. away from the other dogs; she ‘tricks’ them! She pretends interest in another toy or object or shows great excitement about something outside and when the others leave what she wants behind to come and investigate; she is OFF like a bullet, snatching up the desired object and running like the wind.

Snowball has become ‘Queen of the Bed’ and tends to like to sleep right across Sean’s legs! 🙂 She tends to sleep most of the night on the bed and then will go to her crate and lie in there to sleep the rest of the night away.

We can now trust Snowball with free run of the house. She has only ever destroyed items while in her crate when we arrive home and we are not fast enough to her liking to get her out of the crate! 🙂 She won’t touch anything the whole time we are gone and just times it perfectly as we are walking into the house. She has not even raided the garbage once during our absence. She is still the ‘energizer’ bunny outside and her joy of living is very obvious.

Snowball was at the vet tonight for her HW test and an exam. Her previous vet records indicate that her vaccines are up-to-date until February of 2006. The vet said that her body condition is excellent and her heart, lungs and eyes are in great shape. She weighs 31.4 KG’s at this time. She is very nicely muscled and toned. She was such a great girl at the Hospital. We also did a manicure plus pedicure while we were there and what a ‘lady’ she was. The Vet was very impressed with her amazing teeth! She is so very social and loving and just impressed everyone with her little ‘firecracker’ of a personality! I plan on taking new pictures of her to post soon.

Snowball will be going to the vet on November 1st for her annual visit, vaccines and to get a weight update. She is still what we call the ‘energizer’ bunny and it has been hard finding that ‘best’ match new home for her. We remain patient and in the meantime; she is zipping on 148 acres here with all of her friends!

We are still looking for that ‘right’ home/family match for Snowball. In the meantime, she has made Zane her new best friend for she was very sad after Henry left in June. Zane looks so much like Henry and is young, playful and perhaps reminds Snowball of her best friend Henry. These days, Snowball loves playing with Cherokee the most and now with Zane here, she seems to be really thrilled with having another playmate. Tonight, she was zooming in our rec room with Zane & Cherokee and it was great to see! She just loves people and while I am going to be just delighted when her new home comes along; I am going to miss her energy, silly ways and big heart.

‘BHRR’s Snowball’ – Female, 2 years old (Oct. 19th / 03) Harlequin GREAT DANE, Purebred, spayed, Microchipped, utd on shots, hw-, on HW preventative. She is a small (weighed 37 KGS(81.4 pounds) on Wednesday February 16th), yet a very well in proportion female, housebroken, some basic obedience, good leash manners, crate trained, rides well in vehicles, great with other dogs + cats and children and loves adult men & women. She has been owner surrendered due to a move and the new locale will not allow them to keep her. Snowball is ‘high’ energy and LOVES to play and run. She is an ‘excite barker’ and will bark to greet you when you come home. Other than that, she is very quiet. She will be placed in a home where there is at least one other dog. Snowball knows such signs as ‘good’ ‘girl’, ‘come’; ‘no’ ‘sit’ and ‘shhh’ etc. She will need someone that is going to be willing to spend the time necessary to continue to work on her basic obedience. SHE is very TREAT motivated and very very intelligent. She also loves her food so her new home will need to make sure that she retains her ‘girlish’ figure! 🙂 She will not be adopted to a home where there are children under the age of 12 for Snowball requires lots of love, attention and should be the only ‘baby’! I find Snowball to be an absolute riot to be around as her zest for life is positively contagious. NO ONE can feel down for long when being in Snowball’s presence for she will ‘clown’ you out of your sadness!