CATS/DOGS and Spay/Neuter Clinic: - 124 Marina Drive, Montour Falls, NY 14865
HSSC Phone: (607) 594-2255 - Fax: 845-501-3211 Email: email@example.com
US Mail: PO Box 427 Montour Falls, New York 14865
Wags to Riches Store: 607.210.4263
Our beloved Jade went to Rainbow Bridge on April 5th. She was 17 years, 3 months and 9 days young.
Jade was a Siberian Husky rescued with her brother from a puppy mill in Bloomfield, NY on March 23, 1994. Jade & Ted were the last two of 13 puppies and the “breeder?” agreed to a buy-one-get-one-free offer because the Martin’s couldn’t stand to leave one behind. They were playing with tin cans, pieces of plastic and wood. They were 10 week old red and white balls of fur.
Throughout Jade’s long life - she passed on April 5, 2011 – she acquired many nicknames. Jaaaaaaadeeee – when she escaped & we were trying to find her. Stinker – when she was found usually covered in mud or manure. Girlie – cause she was her daddy’s little girl.
She was an expert escape artist – creating the necessity to build a huge 6ft fenced in yard and consequently burying concrete 2 ft. deep around the perimeter.
She loved to walk. She loved to hunt. She was not afraid of skunks. She loved her pet bed on the back porch in the middle of winter with her nose in the air – taking a good long sniff - then curling up in a tight ball of white fur with a few red tinges.
Most pictures her momma took showed Jade with strange looking eyes – even without a flash. The “red eye correct” button often failed to work. She had the bluest eyes. Piercing. Eery. Full of life.
Is there Room in Your Heart for an Old Dog?
One year a rescue I worked with asked me to go to Rochester and pick up a pair of dogs that they had rescued from shelters. My friend and I went up and met the dogs at the thruway exit. One was a sad looking, very large, very "poor" specimen of an English Springer, with fumes emanating from a neglected skin condition, and overgrown toe nails. He was skin and bones, a discharge emanated from both ears, he had red skin and little hair, but he had a heart of pure gold. We rode home with windows wide open to keep the air moving to try and keep his stench manageable.
As soon as I got the old dog home I shuffled through a ton of old vet records to see what his skin problem was, then plopped him in the grooming tub for a medicated bath, nail trim and to clip off what little hair remained so that we could begin to treat it. His rheumy eyes showed nothing but patience and a long suffering expression settled in on his face. He was obviously a good natured old guy. After living with him several days and seeing his absolute joy at being one of the gang, his joy at living in the house, and in going for the daily runs with the rest of the dogs, we decided he would stay with us. He was too old to keep shuffling on through an overcrowded system. It was pretty obvious from his records that his old family was tired of dealing with his severe allergies, and apparent he had been resigned to live outdoors until they couldn't stand him there either so he was dropped off at a shelter. With frequent baths, and treatment for his ears etc. he soon blossomed into a rather large, still homely, very speckled, gentleman. He loved carrying tennis balls with him everywhere. One day on his outing by one of the ponds he put up a pheasant and until the week before he died, he never failed to check the spot where he had his first taste of what he was bred for.
We built a new chicken coop and after putting in the straw etc. we were surprised to see Corky settled in the corner of it like it was his new home...and he was content with it. He couldn't believe his good fortune that day when work was done and he headed back to the house once more. Guess he thought he was going to be relegated to the outdoors again. Instead he found a home where he was welcome.
For the next year he was a great source of entertainment to all of us. He greeted my customers and friends as if he were the king of the place. When he was groomed I always left a brush cut on the top of his head and moussed it so it would stand up, it just seemed to go with him. I will never forget the day he got his collar with its ID tags. He showed it off to everyone who came.
Clients would come and look at new litters and always inquire about the large old dog whose head they would be petting. When I related how he had been given up when he got old, they all felt it was terrible. I prayed it was a lesson for them and that they would remember it as they took the new puppy home with them. In part, because of the lessons I learned from Corky, we no longer breed dogs.
One day I found Corky in a pen from which we had recently released pheasants. He was going round and round the perimeter of the pen. I watched in amusement as a pheasant which hadn't left the pen for some reason, kept about 3 feet in front of him. Round and round they went, him with his nose to the ground never seeing her, and her keeping up the lead by a small margin. They'd probably still be circling but at some point she squawked and he looked up and saw her and then snatched her in mid-air. He brought her out to show me then headed straight for the house. He stood proudly on the front steps and I went in and called my husband to see what he had. Corky stood there proud as punch, then handed Verne the pheasant he had so carefully carried.
One day after I got home from running errands I began to hear Corky coughing a harsh cough followed by wheezes and obvious difficulty getting air. I had the sinking feeling it was a bad sign. When my husband arrived we took Corky to the vet. He only had one lung partially functioning. His heart was weak. He was facing a long downhill slide, and there was no way he deserved to suffer like that. We took him for a short ride and got him his favorite Bow-Wow sundae. Then with tears streaming down our faces I held him as the vet put him to sleep. He was buried out where he put up his first pheasant.
He has gone to his final home. We are thankful we had him for the time we did. He was a pretty special guy. Too bad his first home couldn't find room in their hearts for him when he needed them most...there is a big hole in my heart right now. Corky will always have a home there.
Is there room in your home, and heart for an older dog? They all deserve someone to love them, enjoy them for what they have left to offer, and hold them when its time for them to go. Don’t be afraid of the tears you will shed, they will be worth it, believe me.
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