Rescue Journal

radar had a bad morning

Alison  ·  Nov. 28, 2006

usually when he has a BM, he moves himself away, today he didn't. and he knew that i knew he needed cleaning. that started his bad mood and it was bad. deb muzzled him and held him while i cleaned him up, he was choked. anyway, he is happier tonight, half a pack of bologna has restored his equilibrium, and he apparently quite likes cat food so he is nibbling on a bowl of crunchies and is once again letting me step over top of him (he is blocking the hallway) and pet his head while i hold a bowl of water for him.

but the bottom line, he 's not going to get any better. i can fuss back and forth, and he can occasionally get up and walk a few steps here and there and make me question if i should give him some more time or not. the vet can't come before friday so his appointment is booked for then. and i think we will keep it for him too, because radar needs to be free.

i can't say that i love radar because i don't know who radar really is. but i can say that i am truly sorry it has come to this and he won't pass gently from a life he understood, life wasn't fair to radar, he lived too long and it all fell apart.



on the Brindleweb there is one lady who has this signature : Fostering a dog.......
......the gift is in the goodbye.

Maybe your gift to Radar is that you are able to let him go and let him be free. Maybe he's with you because you have the experience and the know how to let him go.
I wouldn't be surprised if Radar doesn't want anyone to give him another chance, sounds like his quality of life is pretty much gone and that he's not willing or able to adjust mentally so that he is no longer able to enjoy some things still.
It's like Mike's grandfather, he lived to be a 102 and woke up every morning crying that he was still alive. He felt he was being punished. ( he had his mental faculties till the day he died ) All he wanted to do was just go Home, he'd done everything he set out to do, he was tired, lonely, sore, ancient and the joy had gone out of his life a long time ago.
I bet had he been able to come to SAINTS, he would have told you "let's have a pizza party, give me some of that good Bailey's and then please help me to cross over"
I can't imagine how you make the choices you have to each time, but I do believe that part of your purpose here on this earth is to assist lucky animals to the Other Side when it's time. You have the gift of knowing when the animal is within the circle of "now is ok to go"
Once they are within that circle, there is no ideal day or perfect timing,they are already there and 'packed to go home'. So any time is the perfect time,seems to me that when YOU are able to let go is the most important part then.


so how do we decide when? cuz that is the ugly side of rescue. some shelters and pounds immediately euth a dog like radar, and dogs like jack who was just as unhappy and miserable. some rescues euth. biting animals, or dangerous animals, or crippled animals, or demented animals or terminally ill animals or cardiacs or whatevers. some rescues do not euthanize ever, they wait for the natural process of death to occur.

we all have our process for deciding who and when. for animals i know, it is easier, i know them well enough to see where they have come from and where they are going and whether i want them to go there or not. i know what treatments and medications have been used and what worked and for how long. for dogs like radar, never to have had pain meds or treatment, it makes it harder because maybe if you can control the pain, his mind will come back. or maybe not, it is always a risk. if the pain and vulnerability has been for too long, there isn't anything for them to come back to even once the pain is gone. i look at dogs like francis or glory, both of whom i thought "dead dog walking" the second i saw them and both of them did in fact die. but what they had between the wires of a cage and a life of hopelessness and that moment of death was a brief time of grace and care. i think they liked that. i think of oz whose pain was so out of control that the pound staff told me she was in agony til they got her onto some meds and yet look what she was able to come back to with care. for me the biggest issue is not selling them short, being tough enough to stand by, give them the meds and watch them struggle and see where they struggle to; because if they come back like ozzie or jack, or isaac, they had that right to try. if like radar they simply can't find a way back, well, a few more days without the pain, while we wait and see is still better then what they had.

of course the problem with all of this is: once i decide for them that it is in fact hopeless, each and every time i regret giving them the chance. and that is why rescue really sucks, it is full of regret.


Poor Radar - his whole world has been turned upside down, first with his human and now without her. Add to that the loss of his own physical well being, and it is understandable that he has lost that "joie de vivre" I'm sure he once had. He reminds me of an elderly person I know who is just "waiting to die" rather than dying to live. I think he will thank you for releasing him from the mental and physical prison in which he now finds himself. Such a sad, sad story.


Radar is not a happy boy. Even Michael, the grump, has moments of joy, but Radar seems to be locked in misery with no way out.
I guess I would ask myself whether there is any hope of happiness for Radar, and what it would take to let him experience pleasure at this point. Sometimes the only humane thing to do is let a dog who is ready to go do so with as much dignity and comfort as possible.
It's only my opinion, of course, but the Radar I met today is not a dog I would force to remain alive. I wish Radar had found his second wind when he arrived at SAINTS, and there could be a happy ending here, but sadly, some stories are tragic, like this one.
Carol, you are so burdened right now, this just sucks.


I think he knows it's time Carol. It really sucks when our hearts are strong and the rest of our bodies fall apart, no fun at all. I'm glad Radar got to come in from the cold before he ended his journey. Sounds like he's making the best out of his situation,cat food and all!! A difficult decsion.