Erica- You’re FIRED. Humanity- You’re FRIED

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I swerved heard to the right and slammed on my brakes. “Oh My God, did you see that?” My car skidded sideways to a screeching halt. I looked over my shoulder into the moonless Texas night. “That dog didn’t even flinch when I almost ran it over.”

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There it stood – all of twenty pounds, right in the middle of the intersection- frozen in fear. I scampered into the road where the white poodle-mix stood paralyzed in fear. “Here little guy.” I whistled, but it didn’t turn its head as if the dog had no clue I was there. When I touched its head, it reacted to my touch. I cradled it and ran back to my car as it shivered in fear- dazed and confused and very scared.

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It took a bath plus some trimming of the matted fur under its belly to even figure out that the dog was a female. The cataracts in her eyes were dense and her hearing non-existent. Her thinning coat showed the discoloration where once a collar had been firmly in place. This dog had clearly been abandoned, the collar removed and had been left one the road to be run over.

She (now named Erica) probably found shelter and in a drain but the rain in Houston last week must’ve driven her out. Unable to defend herself or find food- Erica must’ve just wandered and waited for impending doom- A.K.A her destiny- to become Texas road-kill.

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The decisions those a rescue worked makes are in play again.

-It is impossible to find an old blind and deaf dog a home.

-Is it more humane to euthanize Erica with dignity?

-Would the local Poodle rescue group take her?

-Will I end up being a dog-hoarder if I keep on saving these dogs off the street?

-How much can I afford in terms of vet bills for these abandoned dogs?

-Is my time and effort better used in rescuing more adoptable pets?

Here is my decision for today.

-Get her checked out by a vet for health issues.

-Give her one week to find a home while I foster her.

-Then shut my heart down. Don’t let her love crawl grow into my heart. Be blind to her

blindness and be ready for putting Erica down.

Am I a horrible person? Or am I better than the people who loved her when she was happy and healthy. Who made her a part of their awesome life when they needed Erica and discarded her like a used tissue when she needed them? People who couldn’t find it in their hearts to put her down humanely but to assuage their guilt would have her starve to death or be crushed by a car.

Those people are who they are. I’m not responsible for their soul. I’m responsible for mine. Truth be told- I’m just marginally better than them because although I couldn’t abandon a dog like they did- I will shut my eyes to her pain one day- maybe within a week. I will shut down my heart… Unless…

–Unless you are a bigger and better person than I am… Unless you have the heart I don’t have. Unless you can keep her or try and find her a home.

Please find it in your heart to help her and help me. Maybe someone can still treasure her as she once treasured her humans.

Erica’s old and deaf and blind- and she’s looking for a new job.

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RAMBO- The Size of the Fight in this Dog?

RAMBO- The Size of the Fight in this Dog?

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         We all fail.

I’m carrying a brown and rust Doberman into the ICU. His nose is dripping snot on the floor as his head lolls back and forth on my arms. Having rushed Rambo to the Emergency Vet at Gulf Coast for the third time in the past three weeks has drained me of all energy- but I still have the one thing that drives all of us rescue workers- Hope.

His body feels like a sack of potatoes in my arms and I lay him on the stretcher. The compassionate workers at the Houston Area Doberman Rescue (HADR) have given all of themselves into saving this 18 month old Doberman. We all stare at each other with empty eyes as the doctors take over his weak body.

We gave Rambo our heart, we gave him our love, we gave him our blessings, we gave him our hope…His health recovered briefly before failing again. The countless compassionate donators who paid a part of his staggering hospital bill and his loving foster Cindy who showered boundless love and care to Rambo all keep their hope alive for Rambo.

And he gave us his love.

Our tired, sleepless eyes and confused minds try and make sense of the doctor naming Rambo’s illness- Ligneous Conjunctivitus. A condition so rare that six cases of the disease have been reported so far, five of them Dobermen.

“His body can’t sustain life any longer.” The vet pinches his nose under his thick glasses. “This could be a Doberman relevant disease and Rambo’s body will help his fellow Dobermen. We would like to use his body to research this devastating disease. If you could–”

“Yes.” Cindy blurts out. Then she puts her soft warm hand on mine. “That’s what Rambo would want, Inder.”

My legs stagger. His body? But he’s only a puppy—He has not known life yet. At a year and half old, he just started living a few weeks ago.

At the end of the day- that is all he had; his Body. That is all we gave him- taking from him his freedom, his puppyhood, his comfort and his shot at life.

We took his life- You and me- we did. Not just the vile excuse of a man who tied him to a tire and a cage outdoors for a year and a half, starving him. The only water he got was off a drain. We shut our eyes to cruelty too often. We let the perpetrators slip through the cracks too often. The reason why that man could do this is because he knew he wouldn’t be held accountable.

When the last dog the owner had (the boxer) died, he should’ve never been allowed another dog. But he got Rambo- and we didn’t care.

So we failed Rambo. You and I did. Humanity did.

I wow today that never again will Rambo’s owner own another dog. If he gets one I’ll steal it. If he gets another one; I will steal that too. I am a thief- so let it be written- so let it be told. I have no shame.

Here lies Rambo- ready to leave this world; ready to leave this body that has tormented his soul.

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        Today Rambo was Euthanized, his favourite toy duck by his side. He had just learnt how to play with it less than two months ago. Today his Duckie held his paw as he crossed the rainbow bridge. I had failed to say goodbye to my friend Cooper a few years ago. Today I didn’t turn my back on Rambo. My heart is broken in so many pieces today that I don’t think it will mend.

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But it will have to. It must- Just like it did when my own Speedy passed, or when I couldn’t bear to see Cooper be euthanized. Or when Tina found Mi Corazon crushed and flattened on the road in Phoenix or when Sadku was euthanized for no apparent reason.  My heart must mend because like anyone in rescue it the next one you can save that drives us and not the ones we failed.

Every bit of Rambo means love. To us humans; Love is selfishness. Love has thrashed the greatest of goals and desires into the most mediocre of fights (as I found out very recently). His love means giving and strength despite what we put him through.

Today Rambo closed his eyes for the last time.

Will we open ours?

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