I wanted to share an update with all of you. Last week, we received a phone call from Lady’s forever fosters, Andrew & Jacqueline. The news wasn’t good. On top of her weak heart, she had injured her hip, was in a lot of pain, and the veterinarian caring for Lady gave her a 50/50 chance of surviving. With a heavy heart, and a lot of love for this senior dog, the difficult decision to “let her go” was made. You see, it was us humans who wanted Lady to stay here with us for just a little bit longer, but Lady let us know, she was ready to make her transition.
What a life she had. Adopted as a puppy at six months old in 2007, from Los Angeles Animal Services, she was caught by an officer in March 2018 in terrible shape. In fact, her overall condition was so bad that the South LA Shelter opened a neglect case against her former owner, and she was held as an evidence humane case for a year at the shelter. We rescued her from the shelter on March 3, 2019. Like most of the shelter dogs, we keep their names, but I can’t tell you how many dogs that we have had in our rescue named Lady. We decided to give her name a special touch, adding Royal to her name, as in the Barbie Princess Charm School trusted advisor – Lady Royal. With a sparkle of mischief in her eyes, she lived up to her fantasy name.
Perhaps others had been reluctant to adopt or rescue Lady because of the grapefruit size tumor that had grown on her shoulder? Surgery to remove her tumor was the first order of business for our sweet senior Lady. In addition to the large tumor, Lady also had a weak heart that required medication and many visits to our veterinarian.
Once she recovered from surgery, she came to live at our kennel, and quickly made friends with Cedric another senior dog. Nothing seemed to slow this bossy old dog down. She enjoyed her life at our kennel, but LOVED her life with her family Andrew and Jacqueline. Lady went to her forever foster home October 2019. Thinking that she had a month maybe two to live, she ended up living with them for more than a year. As with all of our forever foster families, we worked as a team, covering the cost of Lady’s prescriptions, and veterinary care, while her family provided her with all the car rides, cuddling, walks, kisses and hugs she could have ever dreamed about. We are all convinced that the last year of her life was full of joy on a daily basis. Like a lot of our former DDR dogs, we watched her life via Instagram, smiling, even crying happy tears to see her acting like a puppy in a video. I know I had a a few happy tears running down my face one sunny Saturday morning, as I was driving north on Alameda, I saw Lady taking a walk with her person, head high, almost pulling on the leash with curiosity and excitement to be out on the sidewalk in Downtown Los Angeles. Words cannot express the happiness that I feel when I see one of our rescue dogs living their best life. To be a small part of a beautiful being’s journey in life is humbling and rewarding. Special thanks need to go out to Debbie, our adoption coordinator, who prior to COVID, would spend most of her Sunday afternoons meeting shelter dogs who might fit into our adoption program. Jenny our kennel manager is also a big part of our senior dogs’ lives. Coordinating all of their medications, appointments, surgeries, and ongoing treatments.
I’m often asked how I can rescue so many old shelter dogs that only live a few months, at best a few years, and not get my heart broken, over and over? My reply is always the same, the longer that I am involved in rescue, the more I know that to help any animal leave this world in a dignified and peaceful way is more important than the amount of time I have with any one of these special senior dogs. Could you adopt a senior dog? Have you adopted a senior dog? Would you like to become a DDR Forever Foster for a senior dog? I highly recommend the experience, as a life changing one. Write to me anytime at Lori@downtowndogrescue.org
We will always love you Lady Royal
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Thank you as always for your support,