Rainbow Bridge

ABC's Try

Race name: Abc's Try
Born: Unknown
Passed: Wednesday December 11, 2013
Adopter: Ann & Watson Chaney


The shelter said he had no tattoos. He stood on that pink concrete floor on the other side of the chain-link fencing separating him from all the other dogs. There was an old floral comforter folded on the floor of the cell, put there because this once-beautiful boy was so thin and the technician was trying to provide some help. Those eyes. He stood at the gate, eager to be touched and loved. He smelled, needing a good meal and a bath. Those pleading eyes. He wanted help from Watson, comfort from a strong man; a man who’s heart would still break at all the bones showing. His ribs and spine and hip bones protruding to tell the story of a stray. Those beautiful dark eyes.

All around us were the barkers and whiners; the manic behavior and the panic that comes from the dogs who also want to be chosen, but we knew we would focus on these eyes.

That was Saturday morning. Between the inane policies of our humane system and some unfortunate miscommunication, it was not until Tuesday morning that we were allowed to take this fawn boy home. In his eagerness, he wanted to leap into the SUV, but his frail body wouldn’t allow that. He stood up, watching everything, alert to sounds and movement, he was mentally keen. He didn’t falter and was able to take every bump and turn. He smelled so bad and had dried feces on his tail, his rump and even behind his front legs.

Our vet came to the car because, though strong in spirit, the boy’s emaciated body didn’t need to be handled. The vet found the tattoos. Time had worn them illegible. True greyhound fashion, he stood calm while the vet took blood, stool sample and declared him salvageable.

Home, inside to a huge comfy bed that would support all those boney parts and the calm, attention, and sleep he craved. Those eyes could finally close for a few minutes and his poor fawn body could rest. Tuesday was a good day, watching TV with Watson, eating bites of yogurt, chicken and rice and medication that slowed down the tummy troubles. Potty breaks every hour to help those joints stay loose. He had beautiful manners, loved his head rubbed but groaning sometimes as his body was touched.

Tuesday was a good day. We had failed fostering once before and I knew we had failed again.

After midnight, now Wednesday morning, I heard him barking and got up to check on him.

He raised his head. I shared his comfy bed and stroked his head. If I touched his body he groaned. He wasn’t hungry but was awfully thirsty. His bowels began erupting and his hind quarters were unable to move. By morning the light in his eyes was gone. Watson and I struggled to get him up and put a coat on him. His gait was unstable as we walked through the garage to his little plot of grass. His back legs continued to fold into each other and he leaned his body into my legs for support. At his head, Watson encouraged and praised. Then he collapsed. His exhausted bones laid down, he rested his head in my arms.

Watson lifted his pitiful, smelly body into the SUV. He droopy eyes no longer made contact.

Tuesday had been a good day.

When he felt at home, he finally gave in. The power of love translated from our eyes to his and back again. Love gave him the strength to finally stop fighting for his survival. His kind and gentle soul saw love and he rested in it. Wednesday was a good day for him. Run free beautiful boy.

And so I failed fostering for the second time. I have chosen to posthumously adopt this boy and I have named him “ABC’s Try.”

My thanks to my husband, Watson, for sharing this heart journey. And to Liz, Mardy, Diane and Karen who provided so much love and support.