As I am typing this, Vader is taking his last breaths. Tears will fall. Hearts will break. But don’t feel sorry, at least not for too long. All his memory of a hard and unfair life in Mexico have been replaced by the warmth of unconditional love and attention poured out on him by PPBR, especially his foster mom Caylee.
Vader came to us a few months ago from a Mexico shelter, with a suspected case of kennel cough or some type of upper respiratory ailment, hence he was dubbed Vader. From the moment he landed in our door, he landed in our hearts, and gurgled, and mouth-breathed his way into our memory forever.
We treated Vader, but his symptoms changed, and worsened. He had surgery to correct a previous injury from his life on the street, and we hoped upon hope that this would remedy his condition, and he would have a chance to share his love with a forever home, and tail wag, and bum wiggle his way into their lives, as he did ours.
Vader reached a plateau, and spent many weeks recovering with his sister Domi, but soon he took another dip for the worse.
As the cancer slowly, and meticulously took over his body, it couldn’t affect his spirit, and I imagine he will wag his tail one last time, telling us humans, “Its OK to let me go, I’ve felt the love I’ve been searching for my whole life. I know your tears will fall, and your heart will break, but don’t feel sorry for me, at least not for too long.”
My head and heart goes out to those who are affected by this sad, but not uncommon occurrence in the life of a rescue volunteer. They don’t hold back any part of their life or heart in order that guys like Vader get what they so deserve, unconditional love, however brief their time together is.
It’s never easy to make the choice, to say “Its time.”, and all too often these remarkable ladies are criticized by outsiders for either making it too soon, or not soon enough. The fact is there is never a right time to say “It’s time” They can only do it when they have loved so intensely there is nothing else to give.
As rescuers we can only do so much. Victories are few and far between. Sometimes we need to take solace in knowing that he didn’t have to die alone, and that his last breath was echoed by the people who loved him so dearly, and he loved back.
We love you Vader, we were so fortunate that you were able to be a part of our lives, even for a little while.
****A very special thank you goes out to Rand for putting our hurt into words. As well as Caylee, Vaders amazing foster mom, for loving him so much. And finally to the Bridge Vet Clinic in Lethbridge for helping Vader cross the rainbow bridge peacefully as well as for their endless support****