White Dog understood; somehow she always does. My heart was broken and I cried for our little girl who never would be. Sophie tugged at my heartstrings before Benson came to be my personal therapist and gentle balm. Her human was entering nursing care and her daughter needed a safe haven for her mom's loved baby. We were a perfect match with our special knowledge of Eskies, seniors, and special needs pups...Sophie was missing a leg. And Zso did not mind us figuring out how to make her name work.
For some strange reason, the family decided to place Sophie locally saying at the time, that they really did not have confidence in their choice and that the new family had in the past adopted then returned dogs. But the hoped it would allow Sophie to visit their mom in nursing care. We told the Rescue who handled the original courtesy post that we would offer Sophie a home if the arrangements did not work out.
Months passed. Benson came to live with us. Then Pearl and Opal. I got an email from the rescue just after the new year that Sophie's adopters had surrendered her to the rescue and that she needed a home. This was the time Ferguson was so very sick. We honored our promise to give the girl a home but asked for a temporary foster until we got Ferguson's issues under control. Heidi took Sophie home to stay with her pack and to ready her for her new home with us.
She was vetted and a few problems arose so her sendoff was delayed. Heidi had a nagging worry that there was something not quite right about Sophie's health despite the tests which came back clean and the frustration of feeling a bit foolish for insisting on continuing to look (I have been in that position where spidey sense KNOWS long before there is evidence).
Last week, after getting a clean bill of health from the vet, we began to discuss Sophie flying out to us, finally. "I want them to do one last thing," Heidi told me on Monday. "I am going to drop her off Friday and the doctor will do an ultrasound, that spotting of blood in her urine REALLY bothers me."
Heidi was crying when she called late this morning. "The ultrasound showed advance bladder cancer," she said. "There is nothing they can do. The vet said to let her enjoy the few months left and live life as fully as she will."
My instinct was to insist on hospicing her these last days, but I looked at Steve and said quietly, "Heidi you have become VERY close to this little girl, how do you feel about her future?" I will do whatever you want she bravely replied. "Let me think this through and I will let you know my feeling later today," I said.
Steve was hit hard in the heart by the sudden loss of Ferguson...so soon after Taiko was stolen by pancreatic cancer. He is still healing. I am not sure how well he could handle Sophie coming in, winning his heart and then departing so quickly.
More important, I asked White Dog. What about Sophie? The poor girl had lost her hu-mom, had been adopted for a short period, surrendered to a new home and was just getting settled into Heidi's family. Was it fair to add to her physical stress the emotional trauma of again ripping away her security, flyng her across the country and expecting her to become a member of the White Dog Army? Her fight would be a huge and potentially painful one without expecting her to adapt in this way.
We could provide total hospice care...and have...and she would be loved. But she already was by Heidi, who admitted that when Sophie first came to her that she was sorely tempted to add her to her family. How fair would it be to deny Heidi the closure of completing this journey they have started together? Heidi is a seasoned and amazing rescuer who will make sure Sophie has the continuum needed for pain management, comfort, security...and her dogs already play and run in the snow with this sweet tripaw. I sense Sophie is a very special girl to her.
And yet, I have watched over and sought to bring Sophie to us because of a bond I too, somehow feel. It is that connection that leads most White Dog Army recruits to our home. I look into White Dog's eyes and know the answer is about putting aside my needs and pain for what is best for this beautiful girl with the tragic story. I emailed Heidi my feelings tonight and asked her to make sure our girl has the best of everything she needs. I hope she...and Sophie understand.