A Sad Story

maxwell This is Maxwell. This week, we learned about him and about another silky gentleman named Cappy. Cappy was left at a shelter by his owner, and Maxwell was turned over to another rescue group by his owner. They were each too ill to be helped, and so they were put to sleep...each one abandoned by their people when they needed them the most.

As much as I love to tell about success stories and happy dogs with their new families, I feel this story should be told as well. The letter that follows was written by Maxwell's rescuer, Cheryl Reed.

Hello.

I just wanted to let you know that your dog died today. He left for what was undoubtedly the biggest journey of his life with a stranger by his side instead of his loved one.

You brought him to us and made up an excuse about not being able to keep him. I hope it made you feel better, because it hurt him terribly and his death has hurt me even more. He was old and sick. He had been neglected in ways that were shameful. His coat was dirty and matted. Would it have taken up so much of your valuable time to have brushed him even once a week? His teeth were rotted and broken. Infection was rampant and he was in great pain. You would never neglect your own oral hygiene that way; why did you make him suffer like that? He had multiple tumors. Didn't you see or even feel the grape sized lump on his leg? Or his neck, or his back, or his stomach? Did you ever touch your dog? Did you notice the cataracts that were clouding his eyes; making seeing you more difficult? He must have been blind, or he would have seen you for what you were, and wouldn't have missed you so much as you left him.

He gave you all that he had and was for his entire life, and you cast him aside when he needed you most. You couldn't fulfill even his most basic needs during his life, but yet he loved you without measure.

We took in your "problem". I'm sure that you thought it was easy and convenient to give your family member to rescue. You wouldn't have to pay for treatment, or be ashamed when it didn't work because it was too little, too late. In your mind, it was all taken care of and he'd find a wonderful home and be whole again in body and spirit.You never gave a thought to him or to us.

Yes, I had him a very short time. I watched him suffer and struggle. I saw and felt his confusion and pain. I loved him in a way that you were never capable of. When I took him on his final journey, it was very hard for me. I held him and told him that he was loved. Your dog kissed me in his final moments and at that second, your dog became mine. Truly mine. I know that he will wait for me at the Bridge. I just wanted you to know that MY dog died today!

Cheryl Reed

4/5/00

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