Run Free Vader, Run Free!


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 All his memory of a hard and unfair life in Mexico have been replaced by the warmth of unconditional love and attention poured out on him by PPBR, especially his foster mom Caylee.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****

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6 Comments to “Run Free Vader, Run Free!”

  1. Anne Clayton says:

    Thanks so much for loving Vader. We said goodbye to our two pits, Xena and Ziggy, in the last few years. Now we have two amazing Prairie Pitbulls, Yager & Prada. You do an amazing job loving these guys. I just wish all of them could have a loving forever home.

  2. Laila Abderrahman says:

    I’m so deeply touched by your story on Vader…. that just about make’s things right for him, he got to be loved finaaly even if only for the tirst time. it was the best time….. go easy my friend n find yourself a big tree, n say piss on it…… you’ve made it…….all my love n respect to all the great men n women that look beyond themselves everyday n reach out to the helpless, n give them life, how ever brief……. HERO’S!!!!!! Love Laila ;)

  3. Marie-Claire Hackemann says:

    I am so touched by all that you do…no matter the heartbreak & sadness that often accompanies rescuing these precious animals. I became the lucky mom of Katie; although not a pittie (I have had 3 and intend to have many more), the joy, slobber, gas & bum wiggles could never be duplicated.
    My heart goes out to the PPR family and finally, to Vadar, who is now enjoying life across the Rainbow Bridge, with all his buddies, enjoying life and smiling that goofy pittie smile :)

  4. Racheal says:

    My heart goes out to those affected. It is not easy losing a pet, even a foster pet. When you have given so much love, and have nothing else to give, its heartbreaking to watch the subject of that love suffer.
    But Vader passes on happy and peacefully. He was loved like never before. He had a wonderful family surrounding him.
    Keep up the great work PPR. You guys are amazing for all that you do for this very misunderstood, but wonderful breed.

  5. Phil Smela says:

    I’m very touched by vaders last days. I also had to make that terrible division with my 11 1/2 yr old amstaff, Danu. She was also affected by cancer worst feeling in my life to have to say good bye. I hope her and Vader have the most competitive competition in who has the best nummy wiggle. I never met Vader, but you make me feel like I known him all my life. Thank you for letting him know what love is. Best wishes. Phil

  6. Eric Johnson says:

    I agree! I’m so deeply touched by your story on Vader…. that just about make’s things right for him, he got to be loved finaaly even if only for the tirst time. it was the best time….. go easy my friend n find yourself a big tree, n say piss on it…… you’ve made it

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