FOR THOU HAST BEEN MY HELP, AND IN THE SHADOW OF THY WINGS, I SHALL REJOICE.
Times are always hard when we lose our best friends. But sometimes, they are harder than others. So it was for WHSInc. Board Member Liz Sobel, pictured here with her beloved Casey. Liz suddenly lost Casey recently to an unknown heart problem, one minute he was out there in this beautiful field, and the next, he was gone. Liz is devastated, and we wanted to provide this beautiful picture of beautiful Liz and her best friend Casey. Although it only pictures them from the back, she chose this photo because as she put it: "it was so nice out and I remember standing there looking at the clouds with him. It was a good day." We honor both their spirits here today and forever. Liz is an indefatigable rescuer, and right now, her heart needs rescuing. I would like to honor Casey with this quote by Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore: "Death is not extinguishing the flame; it is putting out the lamp so that the Dawn may come". Godspeed Casey. Never forgotten, always loved.
Unfortunately for us here at WHSInc., the summer/autumn of 2011 was a very tough time. We lost many Elder residents including: Georgie, an FIV+ kittie; Mr. Bigglesworth; Giacomo, another FIV+ kittie of unknown but advanced age; Bamboo, our beloved Katrina dog, and Foxy, our darling little Pomgirl. Our hearts will grieve forever for all of our lost ANGELs.
BoBo, a purebred miniature Poodle, saw his human Mommy pass away. It fell to the woman's daughter and son-in-law to look after BoBo after that, but they lived in a NYC apartment and were not really "dog people". Further, BoBo had been a spoiled little only, had never been crated, and we believe he really had never been denied a thing in his life! Imagine his grief at losing the only human who had cared for him since puppyhood! His new human companions really tried hard to keep BoBo, but he was suffering from very serious PTSD (oh yes! it has been scientifically proven that animals can and do suffer from Post Traumatic Distress Order). Finally, after they had given it a truly wholehearted try, they asked us to take BoBo into Sanctuary. He was then 9 years old. When we first took him into Sanctuary, he was very reserved, and try as we might to get him to jump up into bed with us at night, he refused. We assumed he had been trained to stay off of furniture. Then one night in early December, he suddenly appeared by my feet, ready to dive under the covers! It was so uncharacteristic for him, I phoned his former guardian, the woman's daughter. Turns out that very week was the same week of the previous year that BoBo's human Mom had taken ill, and some days later passed on the Rainbow Bridge! Spooky...his whole personality changed then, and he has been a love and a very funny fellow ever since. That was in 2005. In 2011, BoBo will be 15 years young! ALERT: BoBo, our dearly beloved poodle-man, chose the wee hours between Feb. 20-21, 2011, when the veil between the worlds is thinnest, to leave us. He was suffering from some form of cancer, but his spirit was bright, he was eating and drinking right up to the end, and wanted only to be near me, and I him. Please pray with us as BoBo makes the next step on his journey. BOBO WE WILL MISS YOU!!
FERRON - our Angel Iggie, succumbed to breast cancer last April, 2010. She had been with us since she was 9 years old, when she entered the Sanctuary in 2002. Her fiercely joyous spirit is sorely missed. She was, and is, a truly free Spirit.
BALTHAZAR-One of our FIV+ kitties, age unknown, finally succumbed to FIV-related complications. He was always semi-feral, but we loved him so - he was sooo handsome! He is watching over the Kitties at the Sanctuary here, now. R.I.P.
CHECKERS - Our Forever Kitten. We called him that because he never lost his kittenish behaviour, and he loved to be lulled to sleep on his back and in my arms, with me singing "The Itsy Bitsy Spider". Caught during a TNR program, and saved by the vet who he was brought to, the people called Welcome Home because we were the only organization taking in FIV+ cats. There never was a sweeter, more adorable, purrable or loveable kitten. He was likely in his teens, and succumbed to FIV+ complications. Even though our Catitat still has many residents, it still feels empty without my sweet Checkers.
TUCKER - Our beautiful, loving, blind Tucker, succumbed to cancer on 9.19.10. Tucker was a very special person, and although he had only been in Sanctuary since May of 2009, it seemed like we had known him forever. A totally non-demanding, easy-going and very loving dog, his blindness did not stop him. He could navigate everywhere, even down the stairs from the deck to the backyard. Tucker came from Georgia, where he had obviously had a hard life. He turned out to be high heartworm positive, but he survived the long treatment. His heart was SO big, figuratively speaking. We miss him awfully. Hold a place there for us, Tucker. We'll be with you again soon.
ISABELLA, - pictured here with the late Ferron. Isabella was a tiny chihuahua with a huge personality. She was part of an apartment breeder's stock who then got dumped at the Brooklyn shelter. She had displaced knees and elbows, and scoliosis of the spine, but if she was ever in pain, she never showed it. She bossed Joshua around, and ever other dog except her best friend, Ferron. Isabella was likely 17 when she passed from heart failure in my arms.
GUNNAR - a really old and broken down beagle from Georgia when he arrived, he passed too soon after coming into Sanctuary. We managed to get some weight on him and he had a very good time and lots of love and great natural foods, and big, comfy blankies. He was a very special soul.
SCOUT - Taken in from our vet after he was presented for euthanasia, Scout too was with us for too short a time. His former guardians couldn't deal with a "urinary problem", plus Scout had become very grumpy. Well, he was chained out for all of his ten years and he had a UTI, who wouldn't be grumpy? Well, it turns out that he actually had bladder cancer. We nursed him for as much time as he was comfortable and had quality of life, and then when he was clearly painful, and since there is no cure for this type of cancer, we held him as he crossed the Rainbow Bridge. What a great dog he was! We miss him so, and are honored and humbled that we were able to give him his last months in a warm home, with soft blankies and a nice fire in the grate.
ROSIE - came from New Jersey. Here too short a time, she at least had fun while she was here. Age, unknown.
DIAMOND - our little red-nosed Staffie girl. She came to us from Yonkers shelter at 10 years old, after having just weaned a litter of pups(!), and then being abandoned. A neighbor was in the shelter and recognized her, so that's how we knew how old she was and her name. She was a hoot of a dog and lived with us for quite a while. We just lost her this summer of 2010, when we went to give her her dinner, she had seemingly just died of a heart attack! We couldn't have been more shocked, and mourn her loss deeply. She loved to chew on anything, sheetrock, furniture, whatever. But she was a loving and giving soul.
MERRY - pulled from a kill shelter just around Christmas many years ago, she was skinny and had clearly been on her own for a bit. She had also clearly been bred every heat! She made us laugh, and loved us with such a giving heart for so long. We lost her in spring of 2009, around the same time as Scout, actually. She succumbed to an aortic tumor, which the cardiologist said she probably had from when we brought her into Sanctuary. The best girl ever! We'll see you soon, Merry! And rest assured, she lived up to her name.
Miss Ella Pitzgerald - an ancient English Staffie, came to us from a kill shelter and lived with us for a long time. We lost her the summer of 2010, after she came down with an evil form of bordetella! She was possibly 18 or more years old. Sweet, undemanding, and also deformed from poor breeding, she was a light that shone brightly in the Big Dog House.
POPPY - A wonderful purebred German Shepherd, came from Yonkers shelter. They had a tumor removed from his flank. His estimated age at the time he came here to Sanctuary was at least 15 years old. What a great boy! He was stone deaf, except if you whistled or called him in a falsetto! He was stiff with arthritis (which we treated him for with supplements), and his eyesight was not great. We think he may have been a retired and abandoned police dog. He was great with the other dogs, but he would on occasion bite and hold if you did something too fast for him. He passed away right before Christmas of 2009.
FREDDIE - came to our Sanctuary after his beloved Guardian committed suicide. She had clearly not been in a state of mind to care properly for Freddie, poor woman. He was skinny and old and very confused when he got here. It took him a while to settle in, and he became very very loving, but always had a far-away look in his eyes. Animals, like people, suffer from PTSD and actively grieve the loss of their loved ones. Freddie was 17 when he came here, and lived for another 1 1/2 years with love, comfy beds and good food. We have always felt that he couldn't wait to return to his beloved person, over the Rainbow Bridge. Godspeed, Freddie.
PUFFY - lost her human Mom, and couldn't stay with the family because she was a bit litter-box challenged. She was at least 12 when she came to live here, and what a cat! She had a purr that wouldn't quit. And love? She had an endless supply. She eventually succumbed to kidney failure. We miss you, Puffy!