Our Sweet and Crazy Coonhound ...

Our Sweet and Crazy Coonhound ...
Run Free: birthdate unknown - Oct. 17 2008

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Calm

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."


Winterdark said...

I'm glad you were with him until the end. I know one of the hardest things I ever had to do was be there when our first Shar Pei crossed the bridge. Please know that we're thinking a lot about you and sending healing and supportive thoughts your way.
Bolo's Mom and Family.

Sen and Tom said...

Your tears are ours.

Sen-Chan, Tom and #1

Eduardo said...

Eduardo's Mommy Here: I can't believe that he is gone. I'm glad that you talked to everyone & he got to play & you stayed with him till the end. When I read what you wrote I truely feel like I have a hole in my heart. I don't know when I'm going to lose my Eduardo, my husband, my mom, or anyone else in my family so I'm just going to have to enjoy every second I have with them like you did with Booker. I'm so sorry for your loss & I hope you continue to blog.
Hugs & Snugs
Eduardo the Snuggle Puggle & Mommy

Mango said...

I'm so glad Booker got to have fun on his last day and that you were with him to let him know he was loved. He doesn't have to worry anymore, he'll have all the pizza he wants. He is at peace.

Mango Momma

Deetz said...

I know that calm very well...peaceful yet empty in your heart. Gizmo has left a huge whole in my heart...But, the situation is different with Booker. You tried...God Bless you for that..For giving him love, care, kindness and compassion. He had a great day at the park, something he never would have had, if you hadn't rescued him. You are a kind hearted soul and I cry with you for the pain of having to let him go. Gizmo is there and will teach him wisdom and calmness.
Atleast I like to think that way.
Deetzy's mum, Carol

BrandytheGreat said...

I am so sorry for you. WE are all very sorry, because we only came back recently to catch up with everyone. We feel bad. This is very unexpected, and there are some leaky eyes over here for your family. We are so sorry for Booker, for you and your family, but we are also glad that Booker will have a new beginning. We feel happy that at least Booker enjoyed his last morning, and will not have to be caught up in his past fear. May God bless him, and you and your family, for doing everything you have for Booker.
BrandytheGreat, and hooman.

Patience-please said...

Sending big, supportive hugs.


BenTheRotti said...

Your courage is outstanding. We know only too well the pain of a goodbye, knowing that the decision is right does not ake it any easier on your heart. You have been on our minds all weekend. You showed Booker love and freedom, things he had never been afforded before his time with you, and you showed him true love at the end. I'm sure he has found peace at the bridge.

Run free Booker, may we never forget the terrible deeds of man that tainted you or the love of a family that gave you love, security and finally peace.

Sue and Ben xxxx

FleasGang said...

Your family is our thoughts and prayers.


Amber-Mae said...

I just read about the episode that happened & just found out today that he was put to sleep. I was sooo shocked after reading your previous post. Poor Booker. I am so so sorry to hear this. I am still shocked & I am crying becoz this is just so sad. RIP my new friend.

Melissa, Amber-Mae & Family

Ferndoggle said...

We wish Booker miles and miles of fields to run and all the 'coons he can tree at the bridge. And we're so glad he spent his last day doing the things he loved...surrounded by those who loved him.

Be at peace...

Jen & the DoJA

The Devil Dog said...

We are so sorry for the big hole in your heart. We are glad the Behaviorist agreed with you, just something to lessen any guilt you may feel. You shouldn't feel any. You tried so hard and loved Booker so much, you did the only thing possible.
We will miss Booker. We hope the hole in your heart heals as much as it can.

Roxy, Lucky & Mom

Biggie-Z said...

As we've said before, our hearts are with you. Every day Booker had with you was a gift, and so much better than his past life that you should take great comfort in that.

You are so brave to write about all of this, and even braver for taking it on in the first place and making the difficult decisions.

Sniffs and sighs, Biggie

Biggie-Z said...

p.s. I think I just sent you an AIM invite because I'm trying to IM you - but if it doesn't work I will try emailing you.

Biggie's Momma


We are thinking of you. Hope you get a new dog soon and return to blogging. We could continue on, but it would get to wordy.

Dog Speed Booker may you find many friends across the rainbow bridge.

Essex, Deacon and Dog Dad too

Rambo said...

You're amazing and strong humans! We wish all humans were like you!
G-Mom said her thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time and may your tears soon be replaced with happy memories of your time with Booker.
Rambo & MM, G-Mom too!

River said...

My mom started to read this at work but decided she didn't want everyone seeing her crying. It's so sad but it's the most loving story. My mom has an obsession with 'one more day in the sun' for a dog that must be put to sleep--one more day in the sun on this Earth. Giving Booker his favorite things to do and lots of love was the best and most wonderful thing you could do. It's so interesting that you had a chance to speak with a behaviorist and wonderful that she could reassure you that this was the right thing to do.

May you continue to find peace, knowing that Booker is happy and free from whatever demons drove him. What depth of love you have! We so admire you!

River & mom

The Three Musketeers said...

Sorry to hear about Booker . Even though he is gone , but he will forever be in our heart (:

Penny, Poppy & Patches said...

We know, all too well, the pain of having to make that decision and having to say goodbye. Stay strong and we hope that someday, you can rescue another homeless doggie.

Poppy, Penny & Patches

Jake of Florida said...

We've been off-line for quite some time and so just discovered what happened with Booker when we checked in at the Bone Zone. I'm not sure what other words can help comfort. I had enjoyed your tales of Booker since he first came into our virtual lives, and was even looking forward to meeting him (and you) when we finally made that short trip to Las Olas.

But now I share your broken heart and feel the tears as I think of the conflicting emotions you've had to experience and the sobs that can't be controlled.

But you did the right thing -- no doubt in my mind. I was thinking about some scenes in Marley and Me, and how some personality traits -- whether inherited or trained in by abuse and life experience -- can never be overcome.

So here are the only words we can think of: you gave your sweet and crazed coonhound wonderful moments that he would never had had otherwise and now he is running free and sharing his extraordinary tales with all his new pals.

With love -- and concern,

Joan and the Barkalots

AB clan said...

support and thoughts from all of us.
ViVi & AB

Maggie and Mitch said...

Mom is crying all over again!

Love ya lots,
Maggie, Mitch and Sue

Marmalade said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. I enjoyed reading about Booker's adventures over the last few months. You gave him a wonderful life and made the right decision for everyone. Howls and hugs.

Moco said...

Never second guess your decision. He had a wonderful life with you and that is what you must remember. Abuse survivors can suffer severe PTSD. It is difficulty to understand the any reasoning for the way humans treat each other and other animals.
May he run free and no longer suffer the emotional scars of his past life.

Kathryn and Ari said...

How awful!

Lacy said...

w00f's, u gave him the best u could...i have no idea what to say to u...and how to ease the pain...but u gave him the dignity that any pup deserves...and u tried sooo hard...as much compassion u gave him, u have sooo much more love to give...take time, start the healing process now...RIP Booker, run free and without the demons that had u...

b safe,
~rocky and company~

Rowena said...

It can never be an easy or simple decision when a loved pet needs to be put down for actions that he had no control of. I am so sorry to hear of your loss. :-(

Sending you virtual hugs and flowers leis from the islands. And the song "Over the Rainbow" sung by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole!

Sen and Tom said...

I just re-read your beautiful posting about Booker's last day. The last time led too quickly to tears. I am so glad he got to have those last minutes of golden joy, and he and you could say goodbye with that in your hearts, rather than the previous night's episode.

You did everything you could for a very damaged creature whose life you filled with love. It is not for us to know what drives another creature to madness. The greatest gift you can give Booker is to remember him with a smile, and to give that love again to another dog.

Bon Courage.

Sen-Chan and Tom's #1

Jan's Funny Farm said...

It's nice to know Booker's last morning was a fun one and he got to leave with dignity. And he wasn't alone.

Jake of Florida said...

We've been thinking about you and so decided to come back and give you a few more loving woofs. We hope you and David are doing as well as possible.

xx Jake and Just Harry

Saint Lover said...

I am so glad you were able to have a wonderful last day with him. He was able to do the things he enjoyed one last time and had you by his side to help him to the bridge. I am sorry for your loss and for what you have had to endear. Wishing you comfort and solace in this difficult time.

Anonymous said...

My thoughts are with you and your family during this time. I have been doing dog rescue for over 10 years. I adopted a dog for my own family about 4 years ago who had been left tied up when her family moved. She obviously came to me with anxiety issues, but we worked through them with success. Then one day she attacked one of my dogs to the point of having to take him to the emergency vet to save his eye. I too took her to the humane society to have her cross the bridge, but I was a sobbing mess because I felt as though I saved her life, and now I was taking it, me.. the rescuer.. the one who takes those that others don't want... but in this case I could't trust her to be alone with my dogs and my child. There are times when we must give the greatest gift of all which is what's best for them and not for us. We are left behind to feel the pain of their absence while they romp and play free with their friends. You did the right thing. I have enjoyed your blog. God Bless you.

Joe Stains said...

We are thinking of you in this hard time. We are sending hugs and strength.

Mr. T-Bone Beasley said...

I'm so sorry to hear this very unfortunate news. I just got caught up on your page and I'm so sorry for your loss.

It sounds as if Booker had some stuff happen to him that you all couldn't prevent. You gave him a forever home and love when he was in need.

If there is anything you need please don't hesitate to contact my human. She's a good listener...

Mr. T-Bone Beasley

Eduardo said...

I miss you! I know you need time but if you need anything you can contact my mommy! My Mommy misses reading your bloggie too! We are not going anywhere if you need us...here we are. This is my Mommy's e-mail address sweedy@comcast.net remember we loves you!
Hugs & Snugs
Eduardo the Snuggle Puggle

Deetz said...

I wanted to come and check on you and let you know I think about you everyday...I am very furry and kind and I really want you to know that we know Booker has gone on to the bridge. I just know Gizmo is there with him and Angel Lacy. I still miss Gizmo terribly, but he is better off in heaven, so he is not sick anymore. Anywaz, I am rambling only because...well I miss you! We all do.


Momma's heart and thoughts are with you. Before she had all of us doggies, she had her 1st dog Sandy.

Momma had to make a similar decision with Sandy because of similar circumstances. It was painful and very sad but it was the right thing to do.

Your story of Booker has finally inspired Momma to write up a tribute to Sandy on our blog.You may want to read it or maybe not as it is very sad.

We just want to thank you for all the good times that you gave Booker. You did your best. You gave more to him than many people would have and you made the hard decision that had to be made too.

Peace and love to you

from Casper, Buddy, Nikki, foster dog Meeko and our Momma Gwyn

Lorenza said...

Our thoughts are with you.
I am sure you will keep the good memories of him.
Kisses and hugs

Dannan and The Girl said...

My heart is just hurting so much for you all. It is good that Booker had such a great last day, and I am glad that the Humane Society behaviorist agreed with your decision and didn't make it harder than it already was. You gave Booker love and happiness for the short time he was with you, and he knew that life could be good. Now that he is at the bridge, he is free and his issues from the past no longer hurt him. I wish I could have known Booker. Please don't have regrets; the last decision you made for Booker was the loving one.

Lindsay (Dannan's Girl)

Opy - the Original GruffPuppy said...

Run free sweet Booker - you have earned your angel wings.

Hug hugs to your mum - we are thinking of her.


Opy, Charlie, Greg & Brooke

Shmoo said...

Run free of the demons that controlled you in this life. Know that you were loved, and the next reunion will be sweet, free of demons and pain, and loving... across the Rainbow Bridge.

We do what we can until we can do no more, then the greatest gift left is peace.


Bentley said...

I am so sorry. I have read your comments on Wimsey's blog and had not realized until I saw Madison's comment.

There are just not words good enough for this - please know we'll think of you.

Bentley, and his human guardians