Some might ask why go to such trouble to pull a sick dog from the shelter when there is a good chance that the dog will die. That is a tough question to answer knowing the younger healthier dogs are much easier to find forever homes. However, when we are notified about a GSP in the shelter, we aren’t discouraged if the dog is ill. We treat all the dogs as if we can help them and eventually find them forever homes.
Bella was no different when we were first notified about her at a shelter. She had been in the shelter after being picked up as a stray. Emaciated, the shelter was having difficulty putting weight on her and finding a rescue that would take her. When it was apparent there wasn’t another rescue that was going to be able to take her, we made the necessary plans to pull and transport her.
We knew immediately that there was something very special about Bella. She had a certain presence that people were drawn to. Complete strangers would come up and inquire about her. Whether Bella was at a cafe with her Foster Dad waiting for an appointment to see the Vet, or out on one of her few adventures, people would come up to her. Some would ask about her condition while others would pet her and give her love. Bella would respond by moving in closer to absorb all the love she was receiving.
Bella gave us hope when she successfully beat the skin infection that had been diagnosed by Dr Kang when she first arrived. She was eating and putting on weight. Her skin and coat looked great thanks to supplements and Chinese herbs provided by Dr Chou and Volunteer Mary. Everyone felt we were moving in the right direction. However, with what appears now to be an immunity disorder, things can change quickly.
A few weeks later she skipped a meal. It wasn’t unusual for her not to eat when first fed dinner. Sometimes she waited, while other times she would eat part of the meal and finish it a short time later. However, when she didn’t eat, it was an immediate concern. She didn’t weigh enough that she could afford to lose any weight. We changed up her food switching from ground turkey with greens to hand feeding her grass fed beef meatballs and continuing her on sardines. She ate but appeared to be losing weight. Dr Kang as well as Dr Halland suspected the sores in her mouth might have migrated down her esophagus and were affecting her digestive system. A little over a week later, she refused all food. It was if she knew it was time. An appointment was immediately made with Dr Kang and when he confirmed that the prognosis was dire, a difficult, but humane decision was made.
We cannot thank those enough that helped Bella. Dr Kyle, Dr Halland, Dr Chou, & Dr Kang all helped shed light on questions we had. Robin for helping make initial calls and Volunteers, Andrea and Casey that helped transport her from the shelter to California GSP Rescue. The staff at the shelter who did an amazing job until she came to us. Kerstyn for reaching out to us to offer some insight from her personal experience with her dog, and recommending where we might send blood to have it tested. To all the Rescue Volunteers that helped by giving her baths and love as well as researching illnesses and diseases online. Last and certainly not least, to those that made donations that helped us pay her medical expenses. We were able to send blood work and biopsies out in hopes we might help other dogs with Bella’s conditions.
So, for those that might ask why pull a sick dog from the shelter? Because we are fortunate to have the support of so many individuals that see the hope in that one dog. Rest in peace Bella. You were loved by many, and we will never forget you.
If you would like to help support our efforts in rescuing dogs like Bella, please, consider make a small donation below or, better yet, becoming a Rescue Hero.