– THANK YOU! –
24, 2005 – I
want to thank everyone who responded to Duke's
week with words of encouragement, thank-you
notes to Dr. Bartlett and her dedicated staff, and donations to
"Duke's Fund." As Duke continues to recover, I'll try to
keep you updated on his progress.
There are those among us who may object to
the idea of sinking over $3000 into a homeless dog with such extreme
injuries, especially when that same money might have accomplished much
more – and for many more dogs – had it instead been
directed to a well-established rescue organization. While I can sympathize
the underlying logic and sentiment,
I truly doubt most of the money that was contributed to "Duke's
would have otherwise gone to any rescue groups. None-the-less, I feel
Duke's story and Duke's relief fund have contributed a great deal to
the general cause of rescue. While Duke
was just one of hundreds (if not thousands) of dogs caught
in a life-threatening situation at any given moment, he has became
a tangible symbol of their suffering and need for help. Furthermore,
Dr. Barnett – who
plight and chose to treat him regardless
of his homeless status – represents
veterinarians all across the country who quietly sacrifice their time
and income to help the helpless. Duke's story, although it concerns
just one dog and
one veterinary clinic, has made us more aware of the importance of
supporting responsible people involved in legitimate rescue activities.
( See next installment. )
Update on Luna
Many of you
will remember Luna, who was
introduced right here on DaDane of DaWeek exactly a year ago. Like
Duke, Luna was one of the very lucky ones. She had been delivered – at
the very brink of death due to starvation and neglect – to
an emergency veterinary clinic in Michigan. A full-blooded, adult Great
pounds. She was unconscious and seizing. (If you have not already done
so, please read Luna's story.)
The attending veterinarian
and his devoted staff did everything possible to save Luna's life.
They were successful. As soon as Luna was well enough, she went home
with Jackie Overbeek, a vet assistant from the emergency clinic. Jackie
was determined to provide a forever home for Luna, a home where
she could feel loved, safe, and completely comfortable for the rest
of her life. She promised Luna that she would allow nobody to ever
hurt her again.
Jackie kept all her promises to Luna. Her
last loving act was to deliver Luna to everlasting peace. On December
30, 2004, I received this note from Jackie:
"Luna went to sleep
peacefully tonight, surrounded by the four people she loved the most;
my son (she was actually his first
dog), his fiance, my husband and me. She slipped away peacefully, half
in my arms and half on a blankie on the floor, with her beloved 'Baby,' a
bedraggled stuffed dinosaur.
Before we went to the clinic, we walked to the lake, where she ate
tons of snow. Then she had a Burger King cheeseburger and fries (from
the drive-through window, which she loved) and three 'people' butter
I miss her horribly, but I'm hoping she's at peace. Would you please
put an update on your web site?"
Luna was eight years old when she died. After
so many years of sadness and neglect, Luna's last year of life was
a happy one, thanks to Jackie and her family. Luna's weight literally
doubled – she
went from 65 to 130 pounds.
Her health was quite good, despite some spinal problems that
were most likely caused by neglect and abuse by her former owners.
So what killed Luna? Unfortunately, it was
the emotional damage from her past. At first this took the form of
over-protectiveness around other dogs, later around other people.
Despite Jackie's efforts to modify Luna's behavior, she eventually
became overly aggressive and unpredictable with strangers. When she
after people, Jackie knew it was time to let Luna go.
Unfortunately, what Jackie experienced
with Luna is not entirely uncommon in Danes who have survived extreme
abuse. At a later date, we will learn more about Jackie's experiences
get some insight and advice from a rescue expert about the difficult
issues Jackie faced.
Dane rescue is a broad and interesting topic,
but it isn't an easy one. It's something I'd like to explore in greater
depth this year through a series of articles. That said, I think for
now it's time to take a break and enjoy the "Lighter Side of Danedom."
Next week's feature should bring a real smile to your face.
Archived comments (18) |
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