Bon Voyage, May!


April 11th 2018 I walked into a dark room at PCAS looking for one of my dogs and saw bones and eyes looking back at me.

When I first saw May.

The second I saw her, I knew she was my kind of dog. She needed fixed and I would fix her.

I wasn’t allowed to take May home with me that day because of formalities so I worried about her the entire night. I didn’t know if she would survive and I didn’t want her to die alone. I made it to the shelter the next morning before it opened and May has been with me ever since. A month short of a year together.

May had a grade 4 heart murmur, she was less than half of her normal body weight, both eyes ulcerated, pressure ulcers draining and almost to the bone, skin infected, knees shot, and no teeth.

She’s not that dog anymore- physically or emotionally. She whole now. Bossy. Pushy. Loving. Motherly. Dogs are resilient.

I always knew May would be hard to let go of.

They come so broken and you put them back together. You mend their pieces back together and when you find a piece missing, you give them a piece of your heart to fill the gaps. Their bodies are so fragile so you take extra special care to always handle them like fine china. Fur is missing, there are scars, and scrapes, and wounds, so you cover them in linens for warmth & dignity but metaphorically its another piece of protection you want to give them. A layer between them and anything bad. “ I can’t hold and touch you right now but I want you to have this with you so you know I care.”

I can’t tell you how many hours I held May‘s little body to my chest, willing her to heal and it must have worked because she did. Now she’ll leave me tomorrow because I did what I do and because she wanted to get better.
It’s bittersweet .

There’s always going to be another “May” in what I do. There was a “May” before her. My brain knows I’m making the right decision. It’s my heart that’s having the trouble. Damn thing.

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