Sunday, June 10, 2007
This is Despair. I've never actually met her because she lived in Texas. She died a few days ago. For a dog that I've never skritched behind her ears, never patted her tummy, her death has left me very sad. How do you explain to a dog that they have hearts so big, they can reach right across the other side of the world? Or maybe they know.
Despair was 16 years old when she was given up to the Waco Animal Shelter. Because her people were going on a three-week vacation to Europe. Maybe they really were, maybe they weren't but thought that was a good enough excuse to tell the shelter. Along with other so-called good reasons any rescuer has heard before: new job, new house, new spouse, new baby.
And they would tell you too, it's not easy to rehome a 16-year-old dog. That's when the shelter called round and were given J's name. He has a big, soft heart. He also has like about 12 dogs (I lost count). And yes, he could make room for one more.
And so he took Despair home. He called her that until a name presented itself. And it did. Despair was named Oewyn, after the Lady of Rohan in 'The Lord of the Rings'.
The story should end there, with Despair, now Wyn, living out her days in a home full of love. It didn't. Two days after Despair came home with J, she collapsed and couldn't get up. Maybe it was a stroke. The vet would have some medical answer but J knew the real reason was that Despair was dying of a broken heart. The next day, in his truck as he was taking her on that final ride to the vet, she gave a cry, laid down her head and was gone.
At Rainbow Bridge, a sheltie now waits for her people. They wouldn't let her wait here until they came home from vacation so she has taken her waiting to another place. And when her wait is finally over, doubtless there will be faithfulness in her heart and love in her eyes. That's just the way dogs and people are. Unconditional love for undeserving humans.