It really doesn’t get any easier. I wrote in the last blog post how I never thought we would be fostering again. After Luka, Mika and Little Sophia passed my husband and I were pretty much done with Vets, Poms dying and getting one more “Rainbow Bridge” Card. Three Pomeranians in a three months time is a little too much for anyone… but when it comes to saving Pomeranians from certain death, abuse or neglect it’s very hard to turn my head. My husband is the same way… so when a friend of his called to see if we could find a home for two Poms who’s former owner recently died. It wasn’t hard for us to say yes. Saying yes was the easy part, knowing that they would have been brought to the NSPCA a no-kill shelter but still a shelter… and no dog should be in a shelter. Or at least that’s my opinion. My husband calls it the orphanage whenever he passes it by and Niko hides his head.
So they weren’t going to the orphanage… and more than me… my husband was adamant about it. As you may have read (Click here to read my story about Duke & Duchess) they came to us is pretty bad shape and we thought that Duke was the really bad one with Cushing’s Disease, a cyst the size of a super ball, teeth literally rotting out of his mouth and 11 lbs over weight. Literally thousands of dollars of tests, surgeries and more tests thrown in our lap. We took Duchess in for the initial exam and she seemed the same as Duke, neglected, fed garbage food, thinning hair and in need of a dental… yesterday but felt thin at 12lbs which was a little odd.
Not a week later, Rocco picked up Duchess and she seemed much lighter than he remembered. He went out to the garage (that’s where we keep the scale) to weigh her… what? 9.2 lbs… a “hon, I think this scale needs to be recalibrated” came bellowing through the house. He was pretty shocked, so he weighed himself, a 10lbs weight, a 45lb weight and weighed himself again… then weighed Duchess again. No… the scale doesn’t need to be recalibrated, she lost nearly 3 lbs in a week. At first guess, my husband thought Cancer… that’s what happened to Maggie.
So we went back to the Vet… another blood test. The next day… he took the phone call and the voice on the phone said… nope, not Cancer… but don’t breeze easy yet… her kidneys are failing and there’s nothing we can do with the numbers as high as they are. The same thing Mika went through… we were not looking forward to this one. I don’t how my husband does it but when it comes to crisis, death or comforting a Pomeranian that he knows will die in a couple of days… he becomes Mother Teresa.
Duchess went from jumping around and playing with Niko to barely moving from her blanket in a matter of days. It was so heart breaking to see her decline so fast. We held her in our arms for most of the five days before she eventually succumbed to her organs failing. I don’t think the smell of death ever really leaves your nostrils… and it never fails, even though she wasn’t ours for that long, I bursted into tears. I stroked her lifeless body, tears falling down my face and as I raised my head to look for my husband I could see tears falling from his eyes… “it never gets (add expletive) easier, does it?” his gruff voice spoke… more as a statement than a question. I shyly answered, “No, not ever… we have to stop doing this to ourselves”, his reply was as real as it gets… “I’d love to, if we could… there aren’t many that would do what we do. I’m just glad she was here with us and not some (add expletive that begins with an “F”) shelter. When people stop neglecting dogs and leaving them on our doorstep then we can stop, until then, this is our responsibility.”
I really wish we would have got to know Duchess better. She really had a funny little personality and just wanted to snuggle, play and be part of the Pommy pack. I always wonder why God gave her to us and then took her away so quickly… but it really isn’t mine to question. I’m just glad I was able to have her in my life for as long as she was. Thank you, Duchess… for showing us such courage and helping us understand the life is just a glimpse and we need to appreciate every minute of it.
So, now our little Polar Bear of a foster, Duke, is on the mend and will most likely be with us until I have my little boy. He has another Cushing’s test coming up, a dental, another cytology test for his foot (because the first one was inconclusive) and most likely surgery to remove it. Then he will be ready for a forever home.
In the mean time… it’s been an insane ride and I want to thank everyone for helping Duke & Duchess in their time of need. Although Duchess isn’t with us, Duke is going to be having at least another couple of thousand dollars of Vet bill’s. If you feel you’d like to pitch in a help Duke through the rest of his healing process you can donate to Duke’s Vet Bill Fund by clicking here.