April 14th 2008 2:45 pm
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On Saturday, a tragedy occurred. My husband and I are volunteer chaplains, as was Agape'. I dispatched Max to a call at the Childrens' Receiving Home, where Agape' would have been very effective, so he took her with him. Usually the three of us go out together, so this was an exception. When he got home, he came in the house, forgetting that Agape' was still in the car. It happened to be the first hot day of the year in Sacramento, and it was two hours later, after I asked him where she was, that he remembered.
When we got to her, she was struggling for every breath. We hosed her down in the car, and mom drove Code 3 to the vet. She was a very sick doggy, and had to stay there. Yesterday (Sunday), we went to see her and she recognized us and was up and walking, so we brought her home. We were encouraged during the afternoon, giving her Gatorade and water to try to hydrate her again. We sat up with her all night, and as the night progressed, she regressed. Soon she was vomiting and defecating blood. This morning she laid down on the patio and wouldn't move. We had to carry her to the car to take her back to the vet. He wanted another try to bring her back, so told us to return about 4 p.m. At 10:15 he called and told us to come over, that we needed to talk. We knew then we had lost her.
She recognized us, as her heart rate spiked when we walked in. We spent some time with her and were with her when she was euthanized. Our very special dog -- service dog, therapy dog, chaplaincy dog -- is gone. Our hearts are heavy -- no broken. There is no blame. I know Max feels guilty, but if I had gotten up earlier it wouldn't have happened. But "if's" and blame don't change reality. The reality is that a precious piece of God's creation is gone. She touched so many lives as a therapy and chaplaincy dog that we can't even imagine how many people smiled because they met her.
We covet the thoughts and prayers of other pet owners who know the grief of losing a beloved pet. Please tell every pet owner you know to be sure to check the car when they get out. Agape' never barked or "spoke" to us, so we had no way of knowing she was still there. Not all dogs are barkers. We so regret what she had to go through, but we know that she's now rolling in the thick, green grass of heaven because of the ministry she had on this earth.
June 12th 2007 12:50 pm
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As many of you know, I already serve a purpose. I'm mom's service dog, since she has four artificial knees and her balance (physical, that is) isn't real good. I also work as a therapy dog with Lend-A-Heart Therapy. And I'm a chaplaincy dog , cause mom and dad are volunteer chaplains with local law enforcement agencies in the greater Sacramento area.
But last weekend, mom and dad took me to Napa, CA to test to become a Delta Pet Partner therapy dog -- the ultimate in therapy dogs! It was a long ride and the motel was not that great, according to mom and dad, although I slept pretty well. Anyway, Saturday they took me to the place where the test was being held. Mom was a basket case waiting for our turn to come up. As mom and dad do a lot, they even prayed that we would pass! That's either a lot of faith or pretty desperate, I'm not sure which. They finally called my name, and mom and I entered this huge place. Mom said it was like a "gym", whatever that is. It was so hot and stuffy in there; I just wanted to lie down. But mom kept making me get up to do the exercises. When all was said and done, I had passed. I tried this test once before, but took too much of an interest in a "foo foo" black poodle, so mom got our trainer, Alan, to help me not be distracted by such foolishness. And it worked.
It's kinda embarassing when I'm with mom and she's bragging on me all the time, cause I already knew I was special. But now I know I have a new purpose. I can't wait for the chance to go see people who are in some kind of pain, let them pet me, smile at them, give them a kiss, and make their day a little better. And doing that will just help me to know that I AM EVEN MORE SPECIAL THAN BEFORE!
June 6th 2007 3:53 pm
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Well, it's been a few weeks since I wrote, but for good reason. On May 12, 2007, my mom married my new dad. He's so cool! I really like him. At night, he takes off his shoes and socks and plays this game where he kicks his toes out and I chase them. Every so often, I get one good -- real good!
Anyway, there was SO much preparation for the wedding, especially for me. Mom called my trainer and had him work with me and mom's grandson, Michael. I was to wear the ring bearer pillow, and Michael was to walk me down the aisle. Everything went perfectly. Michael walked me down and I sat for a while, especially when mom walked down the aisle to dad. I was so touched I had eye boogers!!!! Then my hips started bothering me, so I laid down for the rest of the wedding. People were taking pictures of me left and right, and I was downright proud. Proud that mom included me in the wedding because she told me right off that I was part of the family. Proud of my mom and how nice she looked, and proud of my new dad and how handsome he looked. It was just an awesome evening.
The addition to the house is almost finished. Yesterday mom and dad moved their chairs (mom got a new automatic lift chair because of her knees) into the den, then she put my doggie pillow in there. Once again, I know I'm part of the family. Gosh, that feels good.
And they're making me feel so important. This Saturday I'm going for my Delta Pet Partners test. I took it once before, but I took an interest in another male dog there, so didn't pass. This time, mom is determined to keep my mind on what I'm supposed to do, so I can get this certification.
I'll try to upload a picture of me at the wedding so you all can see how special I am to mom and dad and how pretty they made me look. (Mom even painted my nails lavender!)