Rescue Journal

the long road

Carol  ·  Oct. 17, 2011

there is a long road in rescue that hides itself in the mist. it is a misleading, dangerous road that starts with hope and ends in helpless defeat. it tricks you into thinking the map that you carry will see you safely to the end...and the longer you travel and the further you go, you start to suspect that the road has no end.
this road holds no real answers..the answers you think you hold are all false and this road is full of suffering and eventual loss.

today my heart is broken because i put merry and i on on that long wrong road. for months now i have watched and participated in her suffering and i kept telling her to be patient because we now had the answer and soon she would be ok. and it was not we euthanized her.

her vet visit did not go well..she now had a huge bacterial overgrowth despite 3 months of daily baytril. the demodex mite load while decreasing, is not reaching a cure (she has millions of hair follicles and each follicle can hold as many as 20 demodex mites)...she is in a constant and continual torment of whole body itchiness that is driving her insane. she is again ripping her skin to the brief time that i took off her towel jacket when we left home, til we reached the vet clinic..her skin again was a bleeding mess. the vet said her chances of ever getting better were getting slim to nonexistent with each week of no improvement that passes. the weeks and months of bayril was a big gun antibiotic that was supposed to prevent this massive infection. he said she just does not have a functioning immune system anymore and without that she just was not able to fight off all of her problems, even with good and frequent medical assessment and care.

we could send off cultures to see if there were any other antibiotics that the bacteria was still sensitive to but even if there was something...eventually it too would be non effective as the bacteria became resistent.

how far down the long road of suffering with no foreseeable ending do i force sweet merry to go?

i asked the vet if i needed to let her go and he said he thought so.

and so we euth'd her. i could not stand one further moment of watching her suffer without any hope. and i still don't know if that horrible road does have a final happy ending because i just couldn't stay with her on it anymore.

merry's suffering is over....i continue to suffer with questions of going too far or not going far enough. my head is full of the memories of watching her suffering and not finding the answer for her.

and my heart is breaking because i named merry; merry, because she used to be such a merry old soul. but she has not been merry for a long time, she has been in hell with me standing helpless at her side.

i think that road has no end...i think it goes on forever, leading you forward by falsely promising to finally find that happy end. i think it is a road full of false hopes to trick you into causing more and more suffering. and that road just scares me so i ended it for both merry and me.

rest in peace now merry...i am so sorry.




super happy merry



Oh Carol, I am so, so sorry.

But remember, many times that road leads to success. Which you will never reach if you don't try. Keep trying, keep doing your best. Even if the outcome isn't what you hoped for, the animals are loved and cared for along the way. You did all you could.


Carol, you consistently go far and beyond what most of us would do for all the animals in your care. I'm always amazed and humbled by all your efforts - and for your constant unwavering commitment of love to them. Doris and Merry - both bring memories of bathing them in the kitchen sink. Ashley and I would try to time Doris' bath around the 11am tour - because her "mournful kayaying" thru out her bath (especially near the final rinsing) would be enough to scare anyone off.- and Merry's skin was such a mess. You went the extra mile for both of them - and they knew they were loved dearly. Hugs to you.


SAINTS did absolutely everything the power of veterinary medicine could do for this dog. She got the very best care any animal in the world could get. That is all you can do, until your heart tells you she cannot take it anymore and you let her go. She was a sweet little dog and she knew she was loved, and now she is waiting to see us on the other side, with a big silly grin on her face. Kisses Merry...


i am so so sorry. she sure was a tough little cookie and liked laying on your pillow and getting a pet. at least she is not suffering anymore. i saw how hard you tried for her and what you also went through trying your very best for her. how many other people would have given all that you gave carol and with so much love.

Catherine MacKinnon

Poor wee thing. You did all that you could, and knew when to let her go.


but the point is, you had to TRY. you have to give an honest best shot, which meant a lot of wait and seeing. theres no instant results, and isnt it better to be sure it isnt working rather than wonder what couldve been if just given more time? she was beautiful, in every way that matters.

Ann C

Hugs to you Carol I am so sorry....sweet dreams little Merry, you are a well loved doggy.


Oh how sad...first Doris and now little Merry. I was always interested in how Merry was managing, she was such a cute, homely little thing. She reminded me of my little senior rescue, Oliver, a mini-poo cross who coincidentally passed away exactly a year ago today. He had a grade 4 heart murmur and the worst chronic ear infections the vet had ever seen when we got him. I did everything I possibly could...but his immune system just couldn't keep up and his heart gave out. I often wondered the same, did I do enough, or did I do too much.

But I will pass on what my kids said to me, that little dog probably had the best treatment and the most love it ever had in it's entire life.

It's obvious you did everything you could for Merry.
It's still heartbreaking though, isn't it.


Off Topic:
Please keep voting for the Aviva Community Fund. We were bumped out of 10th place back into 12 place.

colleen b sweet little girlie. I didn't ever see you at the worst of your suffering, but will always remember your funny little hop, skip, hobble along.


So very sorry, Carol. It is hard to know how far to go (or not go). We can only try our best, as you did for Merry.