Everyone agrees that sending a beloved pet to the Bridge is the hardest thing a parent has to do. But this week, I saw people make a sacrifice that was more heartbreaking than helping their baby ascend to the next life. These dog parents had to give up their beloved pup up to save her.
The pups and parents who created the Chronicle of Woos blog, have in recent months, survived terrible blows. Lightning had an operation to remove a tumor from his back. Misty had an adverse reaction to a rabies shot. Their Dad is slowly losing his eyesight. Lightning, after suffering from several knee injuries and surgeries, cannot withstand any more operations. He will never be able to run again, and should only be taken outside via leash. He was also was diagnosed with corneal mineral dystrophy and may lose his sight in one eye. Their mom recently fractured her arm just above the elbow. The Woos had enough problems for a dozen packs never mind one.
The broken arm was not the first domino to fall, but it set off a chain reaction that will forever change the pack. The injury required a very delicate and dangerous surgery with no promise of success. Post-procedure their mom will have to undergo excruciating physical therapy. Given Lightning's mom’s broken arm and his Dad’s diminishing vision it impossible for either of his parents to walk him. When Lightning goes out, his parents watch him closely. Another knee injury would be a disaster.
Last Monday, Lightning's mom had a surgery scheduled for that afternoon. She let the Huskies out for their post-breakfast playtime. When she let them in, Misty was holding both her back legs up. Her mom had seen this before, most recently with Lightning. She contacted her daughter, who took Misty to the vet. The news was worse than she imagined.
Misty had a full ACL tear in one knee and a partial in the other. Her parents had been through this with Lightning. Misty would have to be in a crate for 12 weeks and be taken out on a leash and in a sling. Her parents would have to support her weight by lifting the sling, which is an arduous task as anyone who has done it can attest. She would often need to carried. Neither of her parents was capable of physically supporting Misty's weight until her back legs healed. Nor could they take her out on a leash. When she healed the other knee would have to be done. If everything went perfectly Misty would be back to normal by September. But, Misty could not heal properly under the care of two people suffering from
debilitating injuries. As much as her parents wanted to, they could not provide Misty the care and support she required.
They talked with the vet, and they were given a terrible choice. Misty still has her life ahead of her. No one wanted to send her to the Bridge. But she could not recover living with her parents.
Until Misty’s parents were confronted with this decision, I thought the worst choice a parent had to make was if they should send their baby to the Bridge. I was wrong. They had to let their baby go, but not to the Bridge. Misty would live with a vet tech who would see her through her surgeries and recovery, but the price was that Misty would make the tech’s house her forever home.
Two days later, Misty’s mom signed papers giving her beloved pup to the tech. Now her mom is tormenting herself, hoping that Misty knows that the baby girl did nothing wrong and that her first pack still loves her very much. Her parents feel like they let her down. The sad fact is that their souls would never let Misty down, but their bodies could not list her up.
Maybe someday, in the future, when emotions are not as raw, her folks will realize they made the most unselfish choice a parent can make. Letting someone else fully experience your dog’s love, to let them know the beauty of her eyes, her gentle ways, her humor, her love of life is more emotionally taxing then sending a dog to the Bridge.
We hope that Misty’s parents will continue to be part of her life. I know if they saw her happy and running as she did as a pup, it would do them a world of good. But that will take time. As for right now, they are filled with sorrow over their illnesses, injuries, and the hole in their pack, hearts, and lives.
I know Misty's angels, lead by Ciara, are doing everything they can to make their parents understand that all people, dogs, and angels are in are awe of their unselfishness and love. They put their baby first and crushed their hearts while doing so.
Their Angels have a lot to deal with: Mommy’s arm, Daddy’s vision, Lightning’s legs, and Misty’s operation. We have all pledged to help them.
This fantastic packs of Woos need lots of good times and sunny days.
Help us pray that these wonderful people can be made whole and happy again.