Rescue Journal

When life becomes a burden to them....

Carol  ·  Jun. 4, 2019

it is time to let them go.

Today both Caishen and Keats were assisted to gently and peacefully pass from the comfort of their favorite couch and bed.

Caishen came to us a few years ago, she was a semi feral sharpei who lived a very difficult and unstable life. By the time she came to SAINTS, she was about sixteen years old and she was distrustful of humans. Over the years we worked hard to ensure that we respected her boundaries while providing her with the opportunities to feel safe, comfortable and well cared for. We surgically removed her chronically scarred, inflamed, infected and painful ear canals to once and for all save her from painful ongoing ear infections that were so stressful for her. We met our goals for Caishen, we were able to provide her with a warm, dry, very comfortable home. We were able to meet her medical needs in a way that respected her fearful nature and made every attempt to minimize her trauma while still ensuring we met her medical needs. We were able to provide her with a compatible K9 family who became her friends and with whom she felt safe. Caring for unsocialized and feral animals is difficult, it takes a great deal of effort and thought to view the world from their eyes when attempting to meet their needs. Caishen has been slipping further and further into canine cognitive dysfunction over the past year, adding confusion to her fearfullness made her doubly challenging to care for. In the past few months, Caishen has become increasingly difficult to feed, she finally stopped eating altogether last week. It was also now impossible to give her pain or anti anxiety meds without forcing her during physical restraining since she would no longer take any food or treats, there was no way we were going to do this to her. We recently discovered a very large, fast growing mass on her hip, the vet felt it was probably cancerous but given her age and her increasing dementia, there was no point in confirming because we were not able to treat it. Life was becoming a burden for Caishen, there was no good outcome waiting around the corner, the challenges that she face were multiple and just too great. Today we decided to give her a quick injection sedation and let Caishen fall asleep on her favorite couch and then eventually assist her to gently pass away. Caishen passed from this life to the next without any fear.
I wish the world had been different for her...a kinder and more gentle life. But I am glad that in her twilight years, SAINTS was here to hold her safely and carefully in our minds and hearts and let her find comfort as best as she could with us and her good dog friends. Rest in peace sweet girl. You will be greatly missed but we are glad you are finally free.

It is doubly hard to lose 2 of our friends on the very same day but it was far more important that Keats and Caishen were able to pass from this world in the most comfortable and fear free way.

We have been living on tender hooks regarding Keats for several months now. His end of life was coming but Keats was terrified of being taken away from SAINTS. We absolutely could not risk a crises with hauling him out to the vets and risking that his last hours of his life were filled with terror and fear. We had to be able to pre-book his euthanization to ensure the vets could come here and help him to pass from home. We have booked several home euth. appointments for him during the past few months, canceling each one when the day arrived and we knew that at that moment Keats was not yet done. Keats was an amazing dog with a massive determination to get past any obstacle to do what he wanted which was to continue to live. It broke all of our hearts to see how crippled he was as he pushed past us and all of our fears to get out to the barn and eat horse poop, his most favorite thing of all! Keats thought we were all weanies as we cringed when he laid himself down on rocks and gravel while we tried to coax him to lay on the soft green grass..he had his own mind and made his own decisions. We have been upping and adding to his medication pain regime, achieving some success but were not able to halt the deterioration happening in his spine and hips. This past week has been very difficult for him sometimes getting stuck in odd places and at other times unable to untwist his legs as he tried to force them to cooperate and stand once again. The struggles were happening several times a day, he was now totally dependent upon us to ensure that he safely got from point A to B and back again when he chose. He was getting frustrated, he was getting tired and worst of all he was beginning to feel vulnerable, not like his strong willed determinedly independent self at all.
Keats passed gently from his bed today, he was not afraid.
it was your strength that we loved Keats, and it was your kind and gentle heart that we adored too. We are all going to so miss you, you were our hero in fur.


Lenore Henry

Thank you Carol for giving both Keats and Caishen a peaceful passing at their home, Saints. I believe Caishen was very content and felt secure among her furry friends in the sitting room and knew that she was loved. Keats was a very special dog to many of us. I remember so well when he arrived at Saints and his hesitation to come into the computer room that first night….that didn’t last for long once he discovered warmth, kindness and a comfortable bed (and of course a few treats). He LOVED Saints - whether it was lounging in the pond, laying in one of his many shady spots or being in the barn area it was easy to see Saints was where he belonged. I will miss those beautiful, soulful eyes of his ❤️❤️ Rest in peace now Keats and Caishen.


Thank you Carol for posting these 2 beautiful tributes...for Caishen and Keats.❤❤
It was a privilege to know and care for these 2 very special dogs whenever I was at Saints.
I will especially miss Keats...such a gorgeous boy.💓


I am sure going to miss Keats and his toddling out to the barn. He would just lay by the gate until it was his turn to go out. That was his joy and his life. Such a good boy. And Caishen will be greatly missed too. The sitting room is very empty without her presence but she’s free now and she has no fear now rip Keats and Caishen