On September 10th I received a call from one of our volunteers in South Georgia about a senior bulldog being held at Gwinnett Co. Animal Control. He was a stray, in very bad physical shape. After visiting animal control and speaking with Officer Hughes, I was determined to get this sweet boy out and comfortable. With the help of Office Hughes, Petzone Rescue and a very good friend and fellow rescuer, Cheryl Ovenshire we were able spring Chaplain the next afternoon as an emergency medical foster.
Chaplain was a fantastic boy and it’s a shame that I only had him for three days before God called him home. I don’t believe he was more than 5 years old with a beautiful soft white coat and an even more beautiful disposition. His medical condition was horrendous. On intake, he had a football sized tumor protruding from his left chest wall, compessing his left lung and pushing his heart into his right chest. He was significantly short of breath and had to be helped outside to potty. He was beginning to have swelling in the left leg from the tumor compressing the vessels in his chest, along with swelling in his abdomen from the tumor invading his liver. We quickly made him comfortable with pain medication and a warm, soft bed. Happily, after a few doses of pain medication, he perked up a bit and even became curious and sought out attention. He loved his canned dog food(the only real dog food I could get him to eat) but he also loved cheese,chicken, treats, yogurt, hot dogs, steak…you name it and he got a taste or two. He even explored the backyard on one occasion!!! He was smart too…didn’t take him long to learn his new name. For three days Chaplain was loved, petted, cared for and indulged. Unfortunately, we couldn’t stop the ravages of his disease and when his suffering became too much we had to let him go. Chaplain was humanely laid to rest in my arms on September 13, 2009. The last words he heard were, “you are a good boy and I love you.” I am very glad to have had the pleasure of knowing and caring for Chaplain during his final days on earth.
It’s taken me more than 2 weeks to get past my anger at Chaplain’s former owners. Chaplain wasn’t a stray, he was dumped because they didn’t want to spend the money to treat him when it became apparent he was ill nor did they think it important to give him a humane end. He was their loyal companion for several years and he deserved better treatment than suffering out the final days of his life on a cement floor at animal control. I would love to meet his owners someday and let them know exactly what I thought of them and what they allowed to happen to Chaplain. Reality is, I will never know who his owners were and it doesn’t matter. They know who they are, they have to live with their actions everyday and in the end, they won’t be answering to me.
Rest in Peace sweet boy. We will meet you again someday.