A wonderfully sad and horrible story came to an end the other day. A little dog I name Rig came down from Attawapiskat about a year ago. He was sent to us because he was having violent seizures several times a day and was suffering terribly from the confusion of it all. His symptoms came on suddenly and in his second year of life. From what I was told, I suspected them to be caused by a neurological problem that was most likely due to a kick in the head or a two by four blow. Floyd sent the little boy down to us and with all the hope I hold for all the dogs, I intended to fix him.
Rig was vetted, tested and monitored but nothing could be determined with certainly. On his best days Rig seemed lost and a fog engulfed his brain. He had a faraway look in his eyes but also the stare of despair. He wasn't able to connect so our presence wasn't comforting to him. Nothing was. Medication reduced the frequency and violence of his seizures but they still haunted him by lurking nearby always.
I would sit with Rig and stroke his face. I hoped the tenderness of the gesture made some kind of difference. If nothing else, he wasn't alone. I spoke gently to him and told him he mattered. He mightn't be perfect but, if tried, we would too.
Rig's days improved slightly and as much as I wanted to see him through till the end of his days I knew he wasn't where he belonged. The number of dogs in our house unnerved him at times and it wasn't fair to make him just one of so many. he deserved more. I learned long ago in rescue that there is a home for every dog so I told his story online and waited. The family that contacted us was interested and understandably wary. I did my best to interpret Rig and speak for him. The family had concerns but were drawn to the little boy in need. So much was unknown but I had great faith in Rig and they had great hope.
There are rare and wonderful people in this world and I have met many of them. You may not know of them because they are busy accomplishing what others fear and coping with constantly challenged emotion. They don't sing their own praises. The family that gave Rig a loving home were such people.
They had many days of dread and doubt over what to do for Rig but they also knew times of acceptance and gratitude. We stayed in touch and discussed new developments and possibilities. Few decisions were simple and dilemmas rarely were resolved. Caring for Rig was done through mere feel and intuition. Rig was loved and appreciated by this family though and he knew it.
The family never gave up on Rig. They gave until giving was not enough. Rig chose his own time to depart in a way. His condition worsened and his suffering simply became too much. Perhaps he only asked for or expected one good year. I do know, that for Rig, it was enough. One rare and caring family took the time to make the difference in one special dog's life and for that, I cry, laugh and ache with gratitude. Goodnight sweet soul.