Monday, October 20, 2008
The support of every one of our blogging friends has been astoundingly comforting. We have cried through reading your comments, which have made us feel better even though each one inspires a new flood of tears.
Thank you for caring about Booker and about us.
Thank goodness that we found the strength to make a hard decision instead of making excuses for dangerous behavior and tempting fate. That would have been a crueler ending all the way around.
Friday morning, Booker came sheepishly out of his kennel. He knew he was "in trouble" for something, because he had to spend the whole night in there. He certainly didn't remember exactly what he was "in trouble" for. H-Mom hadn't trusted his behavior overnight, and also was worried about a frozen pizza-related bowel explosion.
He ate his breakfast and then was thankful that he was invited out the door for a quick ride to the dog park.
His last morning, he chased Bella, the husky, in circles around the giant lawn and lost her in the woods, when she slipped past him and left him waiting for her in the palm fronds -- he was poised expectantly and she was already on the other side of the park. Booker trailed and treed a "raccoon" on the roof of the tiki hut shelter, barking with determination. He peed on the vending machine, more than once.
Sandy, a friend of H-Mom, who is the companion of Annie the little corgi - also a rescue dog - has volunteered for years at the Humane Society. She was very supportive and also had the advantage of knowing Booker and having watched his rehab-in-progress. Others at the park shared a story of a man who worked in Husky rescue --- a real breed pro --- had worked with a young female for over a year and then had her turn on him in a vicious attack. He was also heartbroken to decide that the best thing was to have her euthanized and released from past demons.
No one wanted anyone at the Humane Society to second-guess H-Mom. The personnel there are so used to people dropping off pets that just don't fit their lifestyle any more. This wasn't a case of a pair of chewed expensive shoes, or pee on the carpet, or barking (LOL ... absolutely not!) or of simple "pet ennui" ... so Sandy went with to the Humane Society.
All the dogs had had their hour romp together. Booker was happy, panting and tired. He hopped into the car and flopped out.
The Behaviorist at the shelter talked with H-Mom at length and concurred with every decision ... everything had been done that could be done, and Booker didn't need to head into the realm of "dangerous dog," with legal and health issues, which is the place that he had tried so hard to get out of, but just couldn't.
He was treated kindly and with compassion by everyone at the H.S., euthanised privately with H-Mom soothing him, and left for the Rainbow Bridge with nothing but dignity and hound-dog grace.
Everyone at the H.S. was crying along with H-Mom, she got hugs all around, and many soothing words. One volunteer talked about a dog she had adopted who, after many months, just snapped and almost killed her cat. Then turned on her.
There will always be glimmers of failure and guilt, but the knowledge that we did the right thing is steadfast.
Friday was rugged, fighting back tears all day and evening. Saturday morning in the wee hours, we had an overwhelming sob.
Now we are calm. There is a hole in our hearts and we know that there is the place for a new companion. Booker left us with unbounding appreciation for the sound of a tail thump on the sofa, a wet nose on your face in the morning and a sideways glance that says, "I've got your back on this one."