UPDATE from Dempsey's compassionate Fosters:
Randy has asked me to write a follow-up story about Dempsey, and since his story is so sad, I’ll try to make this tale a happy one.
I do think (hope!) that Dempsey’s previous owner had some love for him. A good sign was when Dempsey came home with Bill and me and headed straight for the sofa. Apparently he felt he much more belonged on the couch than on a lowly dog bed! And his favorite thing on earth was going for car rides. He must have co-piloted a hundred miles in Bill’s car. Whenever the boy started to look glum, we’d pack him in the front seat and he’d forget how poorly he was feeling.
His first day with us was a bit tough, and Donna from Stray Rescue took him on Saturday for his glamour photo shoot. But Sunday, oh, Sunday was a joy for all of us. The day was beautiful, so I took Dempsey outside. There, he turned into a “normal” dog, We played ball, he chewed on bones and sunbathed in the warm sun. In the evening he met friends who were visiting from California. Two beautiful girls who doted on him. What more could a boy want!
Dempsey never regained the same amount of energy, but we did our best to keep him happy. He got lots of car rides, was mildly entertained by our crazy dog, Lana, and enjoyed a smorgasbord of delectables we purchased and cooked in an attempt to get him to eat (his favorites were BBQ chicken and gourmet pizza). We spent night and day with him - to the point where he left the room once to have some personal space!
On Dempsey’s last day he gave us a real gift. He had been unable to eat, but Friday afternoon he devoured the cheeseburger I offered him. His eyes brightened and he was even able to go outside to ‘do his business.’ Bill and I we so happy and thought we were through the worst of it. We knew Dempsey’s prognosis was grim (cancer in ALL of his organs), but we held out hope. That night, I slept with Dempsey as I had the previous week. He shifted around several times trying to get comfortable. I put him back in his bed, put a pillow under his head and a blanket over him. He got up a few minutes later, so I gave him a drink. He started to wretch (nothing new) and I held him in my arms until he just collapsed. Two gasps and he was gone - with a little bit of all of our hearts.
Tied to the closed old pound was a depressed Spuds Mackenzie dog, a skeleton and very old. He immediately became a hit at Pine with the staff. When he smiles and wags his tail...you just melt. Yesterday we found out he has cancer throughout his body and is dying with just weeks to live but not showing outward signs of pain. Any stray dying without knowing a home of love, care and safety tortures me to my core.
When i started Stray Rescue (by accident) my goal was to give every dog i save a chance for a special moment, hour, day or years of no fear and love. That is how the Panda program was born. I hope one day it gets endowed so we have the money to keep it going. Stray Rescue's Panda Program is a Hospice program for dogs.
Because of this program, Dempsey left today to be treated like a king. Panda fosters are saints and I am forever grateful to their wonderful compassion. Thank you Bill and Terri for making sure his end of life is with love and dignity. I said good bye to him today with some tears.
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