January 6, 2013

2012 Top Blogs: Senior Dogs: When to Say Goodbye, with Update!

My love of animals, and my desire to rescue animals, is definitely inherited.  I wrote about this similarity in DNA in a blog post last year, in which I named my parents, Bob and Betty Mednikow, Featured Activists.  That blog including a touching letter from my father about the rescue of a senior dog, Loxley.  Read it here.

Below is a post about their newest rescue dog, Hannah, so named because my father found her wandering down their street on Rosh Hashanah……she has gained 10 pounds since then and is getting stronger, but still has trouble walking and standing, and doesn’t have complete control of her systems…..still, she has the ability to love, and does that as well as she can.

Here is an email my father shared with me recently:

"Yesterday I made an appointment with our vet, Dr. Faircloth, to put Hanna to sleep this morning.  Last night I brought a big meat covered bone home from Houston’s Restaurant and gave it to her and watched her enjoy it like never before.  Perhaps she knew it was her last meal…..then mom gave her a whole handful of treats, which she gobbled down.

I got up early this morning, drove to the gym,  exercised as I always do, then came home.  Sure enough, there was a “pile” in her doggie bed because she doesn’t have control of her rear legs and couldn’t go outside like the other dogs,  but it wasn’t messy and I cleaned it up as I often do, then helped her stand so she could go outside and finish her business………

She seems to have known it was her time to go. Her hearing is gone, and  she has limited vision,  but I could feel  her love and appreciation for the good food and warm bed  for the last weeks of her difficult life we will never know about.  She stuck her head between my legs and wagged her tail.  That was unusual, because her tail has always been tucked, and  seldom moves…….but this morning she was trying to love me in the only way she knew.  She sometimes loses balance and falls, and can’t always get up, but she was standing then, ready to go with me.

I took photographs so I could remember the smile on her face, then put on a rain jacket to take her for our final ride together, remembering the old Jewish saying that when someone dies, and  it is raining, it is a sign that God is crying too. 

So I turned around, and told Hanna that I couldn’t say good-bye to her today.  I took my coat off, and called Dr. Faircloth and cancelled the appointment.  When Hannah’s time comes because she is in pain, or cannot eat, or cannot love us any longer, I will make a new appointment and let her go.  I think it will probably be raining that day too."


P.S.  The time came when my father decided that Hannah's quality of life was too poor for her to continue. He made an appointment with the Veterinarian to put her down on a Tuesday.  Miraculously, on Monday, a person spoke to my father at his place of business, and he mentioned that one of our family dogs was missing.  The woman commented that her dog had passed away.  During the conversation, they realized that her missing dog that she assumed to be dead was actually Hannah!  I'll never forget the moment when she and her husband came to our door and were reunited with their beloved Nikki.  They were incredulous that the Veterinarian had not found Nikki's micro-chip.  In a final, sad chapter, the husband accused my family of stealing their family pet and re-naming her with malicious intent.  I do not know how Hannah / Nikki is now, but I was so thrilled that she was reunited with her true family. - Molly Mednikow

1 comment:

  1. OMG what a story with such a Cornucopia of emotions. It was very unfortunate that those people accused you all of dognapping. They could have noticed how good she looked having gained a bit of weight.

    The story touched me so b/c my Reba had the very same symptoms that Hannah had when I decided to put her down. Losing sight and hearing, could not support her hind end, etc. About 10 days before her life was over I shot a video of her as I was asking her if it was time to go. I asked if she was telling me it was time. There is a look in a dog's eyes they give you when they know. I believe I captured that look in Reba's eyes that day.


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