During the last year, among other dogs and cats, caring volunteers pulled 2 senior dogs from the Regional Center for Animal Control and Protection in Roanoke. The RCACP is basically a long way of saying "pound", and this is where strays/no longer wanted/can't care for animals end up. I'm not sure the definition of "shelter" (something that covers or affords protection) is something we as a community can claim about our RCACP, since over 4800 animals never left the facility alive last year alone.
Eunice was a small, 11 year old dog with a most unusual underbite. Not only her mother, but others were able to love the little face anyhow, and she was adopted by a wonderful family. Despite her age, despite her less than perfect behavior, despite the fact that she had a limited time on this earth, she had a home, a soft bed, and lots of love. She was a big part of a family.
Smiley was a senior Golden Retriever. He basically named himself, because he seemed to have a perpetual smile on his face, and you could almost see his heart busting at the seams wanting to love someone. Golden Retriever Rescue took him in a busting out heartbeat, and he also went to a loving home.
We got word today that both of these dogs passed away. Eunice's family wrote this message:
I just want to let everyone know that my precious friend Eunice is no longer in pain. She passed away last night in my arms with her family around her. I want to thank you all for your hard work. And even though we only had her for a short time my family and i loved her more than I could ever say. She was a part of our family and my friend. Thank you Angels of Assisi and everyone that helped Eunice find her way home.
Smiley's family sent us a note, with photos, and said what joy he brought them and how much they loved and cherished him.
These 2 senior dogs did find shelter and protection, not to mention a whole lotta love, in their final days. Some people say it cannot be done, you can't save them all. I bet Eunice and Smiley are glad someone tried. I bet their families, although sad and hurting at their loss, would not have had it any other way.
If you are considering adopting, please check out the RCACP. We also have several families that pick out a dog or cat from this facility and foster under Angels of Assisi, and they have made a huge difference for countless dogs and cats.