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This year I am participating in GreenHill Humane Society's Bark in the Park event in honor of and in loving memory of our precious Gracie-Lou Who, she came to us in December 2015. She was found wandering the streets of Los Angeles, CA. After being picked up by Animal Control and taken to the hellish San Bernadino Animal Shelter, Kelly Reedy of Last Call K-9 pulled her from the shelter.
My heart was taking longer to heal than I thought after losing our Sweet Shiloh, our blind 9 year old Beagle with Cushing's disease was also pulled from a CA shelter. I told my husband, "I don't know if I will ever be ready again." He said, “You will know when it is right.”
The next morning, Gracie-Lou Who’s story appeared on my newsfeed on Facebook. An 11 year old Pit Mix who was going blind, had Congenital Heart Failure and large tumors throughout her body. I knew, now began the hard part. I contacted Kelly and sent her references. Word came, that she was ours. It is not always easy to find transport but, I started posting that I needed help getting her to Oregon. Not long after, I received word from Kelly that a friend was coming to Oregon and could bring her as far as Roseburg. I took all of this to be a sign as it was so easy. Gracie-Lou Who was coming to Oregon!
A friend and I drove to Roseburg and there she was! Her transporters had stopped along the way and bought her the largest sweater they could as it was very cold in Oregon. It was small and snug but, her short hair was far more suited for CA than OR. The kisses and the tears were immediate. Although she was going blind, there is that look in a rescues eyes, that look when they know they have been saved and Gracie-Lou Who had it!
My husband and she bonded immediately. Miranda our Lab sensed something wrong and from the moment they met, Miranda was by her side constantly. We took her to the Vet and knew her health was bad but, we were going to give her all the love she could stand no matter how long it was. After seeing the Vet, we thought maybe 6 months.
Gracie-Lou Who crossed the Bridge on 01/19/18. She was completely blind and the tumors were suffocating her major organs, she was having difficulty breathing while lying down and choking. We had several days and then months of accidents in the house even though she was on medication for her bladder, it was no longer working and her bowels also began to fail. It was not an easy decision and we talked about it daily for months. It was time. I did not want to wake up one morning and find that she had passed alone during the night. We were only leaving her alone when necessary as we feared she would pass while we were gone. We loved her enough to let her go with dignity and not alone. We were letting her go and keeping our promise to her that she would go with dignity and in our arms. I felt her last heart beat in my hand. I felt her last breath on my cheek.
My husband has PTSD and when she passed he said to me, “while she depended on me every day, she didn’t know how much I depended on her.” I could not do any of this without his support, love & dedication.
With love, security, good nutrition and the proper medications, rescue animals like Gracie-Lou Who can live long quality filled lives. There is nothing like a rescue animal’s love.
I have continued to be active in rescue, networking, fostering, transporting and fundraising. My 2 annual events have grown each year and I have met so many wonderful people while helping animals. Suzen Tattozen of Whiteaker Tattoo Collective and I co-host Smooches for Pooches. The 2017 recipient was Many Miles Home Rescue located in Veneta, OR. All funds raised went to their Veterinary Fund. My Annual Blanket Drive surpassed anything I had hoped for. I had a goal of raising enough funds to purchase blankets for rescue animals and others in need. I set my goal at 550 blankets, enough money was raised for 1401 blankets! I have also continued with my memorial tattoo and it is about 90% complete. Suzen took my vision and ran with it. I love it and am asked constantly about it. I have to add Gracie-Lou Who’s paw print and Suzen is going to use a technique adding some of her ashes to the ink. It is a 3 day process before it is ready to use and I would not have anyone other than Suzen do it. She shares my passion for animals.
Well, this year’s goal is high but, it is because of ALL of you. Each year you hit it out of the park and make me know that your passion for animals is as strong as mine! I have vowed to be their voice for as long as I have one and with your support, I will be yours too!
About Greenhill Humane Society: Greenhill operates two animal shelters in Eugene, Oregon. Last year, Greenhill sheltered over 3,000 animals, performed over 2,700 spay/neuter and life-saving surgeries through its clinic, and reached over 13,000 children and adults through its outreach and education programs.
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