? – Friday July 31st, 2020
I am not new to Rescue – almost 25 years with BHRR. I am not new to medicine – I was a Paramedic for 16 years and now am working in animal medicine for the past 16+ years.
I am not new to working with Danes or Giants – tens of thousands over the past almost 30 years between rescuing, owning, training, doing behavioural modification, rehabilitation etc.
I am not new to working with the special needs. That is our focus, our strength, our mandate.
I am not new to loss, the painful devastating painfilled loss that comes with having to let go or say good-bye to an animal in need.
We are here for the behavioural and/or medical dogs that others cannot or will not take on and as such, our devastating losses are higher than most other groups.
I am not stupid, dumb or uneducated. I even have a Masters and a PhD…. and I have NEVER experienced such a knife stabbing loss like yours BHRR’s Valour.
What I am new to is the not being able to explain nor understand why a dog died less than three hours after we got her home.
I think back to the time of her rescue, the findings I had, the taking her into the Vet the very next day, the emergency surgeries she had the day after that, her post op recovery, how she was when I took her home; how she was when Sean helped me bring her in – she was sluggish – she had a very long day/night; how she was when we settled her into our custom renovated recovery suite, how she was when I took her vitals after she arrived home…making the comment to Sean that she was a bit ‘off’ (we may not have had her long, yet we already were getting to know her); and we knew that she had gone through so much and it really was a really long day/night for her. We knew that she was not 100% well heading into her surgeries.
We got her settled in; I hunkered down in the same room with her ~600 square feet that has been put aside a dogs’ recovery oasis and monitored her closely. Her vitals were good at that time and the plan/recommendation – as it is with all of the dogs recovering; was to see her get settled in, rest and then offer her a bit of food/water and to take her next round of meds. We never got that far.
Shortly; her tongue came out, she turned purple, then blue, panted, flopped over and then died within mere minutes…from the first moment she turned purple, I was calling loudly for Sean and dialing Alta Vista with the other hand, to advise them that we were bringing her in.
We never got to bring her in….she died…..right then and there. It was surreal, it was shocking; it was horrifying.
Guelph college campus was not open for us to drop her off to have a necropsy done as we wanted one done for after she died so fast, she also then had bloody tinged fluid draining rapidly from her nose.
I am shocked, I am stunned….this girl was not just beautiful on the outside; she was beautiful all around.
Truly sweet and after fighting for well over a month to get her to safety in our rescue; she is now dead….
I have questions that I have nor shall ever receive the right answers for; I have regrets, I have doubts and I remain feeling like I have been hit with a ton of bricks….
YOU deserved so much better in your life prior to rescue and I wanted so badly to help you feel better and get the life of kindness, happiness and health that you deeply were so worthy of BHRR’s Valour.
I am still trying to figure out what the lessons are to be had in this tragedy….yet, I do know that when the time comes to help another in need; I will be an even stronger voice…I will work even harder to get the next one into rescue sooner and I will be a much stronger advocate. I will not take a backseat at any point and I am determined to remain front and centre for what is in the best interest of our dogs in need.
I have not slept since Wednesday night…..I am haunted….I am very sorry….just very very very sorry Miss Valour.
You will be remembered as the Dane who was beyond precious, sweet, gentle, wanting so desperately to trust, who began to lean into me with said trust beginning to show. I will always smile when you did a bit of a bounce outside enjoying the grass and sand in early morning sunshine.
Who did what was asked of her, despite her fear/worry….due to that trust and will always forever feel that I did not deserve said precious fragile trust in the end as you died….you died…just saying it, is still brutally difficult.
I am hurting hard and we shall plant a Bleeding Heart bush in your place of eternal rest for my heart shall forever be bleeding and you will forever be in my heart.
We shall not be collecting any more donations for they were to be lifesaving ones….
I will work to pay off her remaining thousands in bills out of my own pocket….
I wish I could understand the ‘why’ of her life, how awful it was prior to rescue……and then extremely short after her arrival into rescue. I wish many more people could have been touched by your incredible beauty and soft spirit……even with you feeling just poorly, being sick, having been horribly treated, it radiated from you…..you were a one in a million special girl…..one in a million….
RIP stunning gorgeous BBBBB Valour…..sorry, is just not enough to say to you with how I feel right now.
*picture is credit to Rachel Ng*