Rescue Journal

caring for a dying dog

Carol  ·  Sep. 18, 2015

when you have had a dog for 10 or 15 years and suddenly life starts winding down..its heartbreaking. you see the vibrant dog so well loved fading into a shadow of their former self. but in their eyes so full of trust, so full of love, so much a mirror of what you feel inside...there you see that same old friend, the one whose love you have been the recipient of for so many years, looking at you again.

for us at saints it is different..we see the shadow of the former dog, worn away by the tides of hard living. we see the dog that never should have been, the one without a home, without a family with the years of heartache and heartbreak, pain and discomfort, a lifetime of lonely, hopeless, neglected survival strung out for years and years and miles and miles behind him.

it is sad and we have to do something about that.

when we take in dogs like black buddy, halo, Rupert and roger who only have a very few weeks left at best...we have to erase a lifetime of wanting some comfort, some kindness, just a little bit of happiness.

so we get to work right away. first off to the vets to fix what can be fixed and to discover that which is far too late. we use our knowledge and skill to minimize uncomfortable symptoms to help the body and mind find good pain or other symptomatic relief. comfort is always our very first priority. we give them good and soft beds to sink into and let their bodies relax. we put down non skid carpets so they have good traction under their feet and feel stronger and less frail and weak.

we feed them good things that they like to, donuts, spaghetti plus their more nutritional K9 foods that we have softened, slurried, made easier for them to swallow while adding the extra fluids to help them stay hydrated and feeling well.
we touch them gently, we speak to them kindly, if they like it..we kiss their beloved soft heads.

we tell them countless times through out the day that they are such good and special dogs and we are so glad they are here.

and in a day or two those years and years and miles and miles of not mattering, of not having value, start to disappear. and before us lays a frail and dying dog gazing at us with trust, with eyes full of hope and love..a shadow of that former sad and lost self.

roger is not with us for long but he is glad he is here.

love you roger, you are such a good dog and we too are so very glad you are here.



Carol Ann L

reminds me of little black Sweetie, Charley, and Eli thrown away like garbage but such sweet souls. My privilege to have known and cared for them till the end

Terry Wilkinson

I had a tour of Saints today, and met a lot of amazing animal personalities! The one little face that stood out the most not only in my eyes but in my heart was Roger! His eyes were so expressive and so full of love and you can tell that he is very appreciative of his new home and friends. His last days will be what he most deserves, being special, loved and cared for!

Carol A.

oh Carol, your words have special meaning tonight. I am glad that Roger is safe with you and that all my ancients are tucked up with me under my roof. hugs for Roger and anyone else in need.

Lenore Henry

This is such a beautiful and touching post Carol. Once again, another wrecked and homeless dog arrives in your care. You can bet Roger knows already how much he is loved and for his remaining time at Saints he will know a gentle hand and a caring voice and he will never be alone again. I also remember Black Buddy and what an impact he had on both Owen and myself - to see that old boy struggling to get up in his frail body with such determination brought tears to my eyes also - he just wanted to be loved and in the end I think he knew how much people cared.


Thank you, Carol. This brings Black Buddy, and tears, back to me.. He was such a loving gentle dog.