About three months ago, a very nice lady brought in a 6 year old Labrador Retriever named Lucy to be put to sleep. The lady was agonizing over her decision to put Lucy down, because she had belonged to her best friend that had recently passed away in his sleep. The lady's friend told us that Lucy's owner had very little money, but whatever he had, he put into the care of his dog, cherishing his canine companion above everything else in life.
After he died, this friend of Lucy's deceased owner felt it was her obligation to take Lucy in both out of respect for the owner, as well as for the sake of a dog who had just lost her companion. However, once the lady's landlord caught wind of the fact that she had a dog in her home, he went ballistic, threatening to evict her on the spot due to his no dog policy. After she pleaded with him to make an exception to his rule given the special circumstances, the landlord did not budge, telling her that the eviction proceedings would begin immediately if she did not get rid of the dog.
Having no money to relocate, having no friends or family to take Lucy, and a cold hearted landlord that would not even grant her some time to seek other arrangements, the lady was left with two choices, either bring Lucy to the county shelter, or have her put to sleep. She chose the latter because of the fact that, although she was decently healthy, Lucy was middle aged, had very bad teeth, had chronic recurring allergic skin infections, and as such she felt that her chances of getting adopted were slim. She was unfortunately correct in her assumptions, and thought of her sitting in the strange setting of an animal shelter after having spent her life loved and doted on by her deceased owner, only to be put to sleep when nobody adopted Lucy was too heartbreaking for her to consider.
We were all devastated about the situation as well, and the fact that Lucy was a wonderfully sweet dog, made it all the more heart wrenching. With every one of us having reached our capacity in the number of animals we have adopted through the years, however, it did not look good for our ability to help Lucy and her new guardian. With very heavy hearts, we moved forward with getting the paperwork signed and the necessary injections drawn up.
At the last moment, one of my technicians, Melanie, overcome with tears, despite being already overburdened with rescue animals in her home, asked me if she would take the dog, would I spay her, repair her teeth, and treat her skin. To this I did not hesitate in telling her emphatically, "Absolutely!"
At this, we were overjoyed to enter the room and tell Lucy's guardian that there was a home for her, complete with a dedication to get her properly spayed and manage her ailments. The nice lady who had taken Lucy in on behalf of her deceased friend, was elated, relieved, and overjoyed. Although still grieving for the loss of her beloved friend, at least now she could engage in the grieving process without the guilt of knowing that her circumstances would not permit her to help the one thing her friend held dear in life.
Since then, Lucy has been spayed, her teeth repaired, and her skin comfortable and managed with appropriate medications. She is thriving in Melanie's home, getting on well with her assortment of rescues animals, and proving to be one of the best dogs Melanie ever had. Although Melanie's house is even more crowded than ever with rescue animals, she does not regret her decision to keep Lucy at all.
Just last week, a regular client of ours came in with his dog for a routine yearly, thanking us for helping the dog of "Sam, the one man band." As his name indicates, Sam was a one man musical act that performed some of the local pubs in the area, and was known by a select few pub goers, as a talented musician, as well as a kind and personable man who lived for his dog, Lucy. Only months after Sam's death when a few of his fans had wondered about his absence from the pubs, had they had learn of his circumstances. Their first concern being for Lucy, the one cherished treasure in Sam's life, all who knew him were relieved and moved to know that she had found a special home.
A heartwarming tale we can enjoy for the holidays.