The Days Of Their Lives – Owen’s Story

Late last fall, Owen’s original family lost their home in a house fire. With this tragedy and with other changes they were going through; they made a very sad decision based on a lot of love for their dog, Owen.  They chose to give Owen up for adoption, so that he could find more stability and live out the days of his life in more comfort then they felt they could provide.  Their home and their lives were not what they had been and stability was going to be a while in coming.  At Owen’s age, he needed that stable home now, not later. 

Owen came to the poodle farm, a happily gregarious ball of warm cream fur and lots of kisses and tail wags.  Despite his age, he was adopted very quickly, within just a few days. His new owner was a single woman and this was her very first dog all her own. She was so full of hope and pride when she walked out of the Poodle farm, Owen’s leash in hand, and so excited to give a dog a home that needed a home. 

But Owen had a problem. Being the very good boy that he was, uncomplaining and easy to get along with, he didn’t show his increasing problem with us.  If there had been signs in his old home, the events going on masked them.  But once he got to his new home it became apparent very quickly that there was something badly wrong. He peed way too often. He drank way too much. And despite eating everything in sight, he kept losing weight. His new owner was new to having a dog but even with only her newly acquired dog experience, she knew something was wrong.

A trip to the vet revealed the problem. Owen had diabetes. His young owner struggled for several weeks to control the condition, but Owen was rapidly declining.  Working full time and trying to manage his injections, his sub-q fluids and his overall loss of health was more than her pocket book or her heart could take.  I told her about the SOS program and how we would care for him no matter what.  In tears, she brought him back to us, knowing that while it hurt her heart, it was better for Owen.  We agreed. 

And she immediately signed up to be his first SOS sponsor. Who does this?  Who spends quite a bit of hard-earned money on a dog she only had two months and then signs up to donate more money every single month as long as he is alive?  Who continues to text asking for updates and watch our social media for posts and celebrates every Owen story?  Who does this?  A young lady named Jenny does this.  A young lady who has a huge heart. I have so much respect for Jenny. Many other people would have been screaming at me for sticking them with a sick dog.  Instead this gracious young lady accepted that life sometimes gives us lemonade and we must make the most of it. She is wise beyond her years.

Which brings us to today and back to Owen. We’re doing weekly glucose checks. We’ve increased his insulin several times. Owens appetite has stabilized with monitoring and adjusting his insulin and he is now able to keep down food and gain some weight.  It’s not much but he is no longer rail thin.  He absolutely loves his Fresh Pet meal twice a day and eats with enthusiasm – often quite messily too!  But he’s lost a lot of his hair and he has a lot of crusties on different parts of his body. We keep him clean and salved down and he is comfortable.   

The best diagnosis at this point is some sort of an auto immune disorder that caused the diabetes and is sadly breaking down other parts of his body. In short, Owen is dying.

Whether you are human or canine, I don’t think there’s really a good way to die. There’s all the fast ways but the problem with the fast ways is that we don’t have time to prepare.

And then there’s the slow ways. Owen’s path is the slow one. He may be with us for weeks or months. We’re not sure. We don’t think he’ll be with us for years so we’re making the most of the weeks and months.

Can I tell you a little about Owen?

Owen loves people and he loves being with his people. He does not complain too much about the twice daily insulin injections. He can wolf down a bowl of Fresh Pet faster than any dog alive. He loves going for walks, slow meandering junkets to sniff the air and the flowers. He loves soft beds. He spends a great deal of his time sleeping. But when he’s awake he’s looking for some human to hang out with. He’s dying…..but in his own way and in his own time.

I believe our job is to support Owen in his journey. To give him the food that he needs and the insulin that he needs. To give him the love that he needs. When he’s ready, he will let us now. In the meantime, he has this great food to eat. He has visitors come to see him and he spends time enjoying their company. He has soft beds and fancy collars and new toys.  For a dog, he’s got it all.  He is dying slowly but he’s doing it well.

There is one simple premise that CPR is built on. That life, all life, is precious. That life, all life, is to be cherished for all the days that life is given. If you also believe this, then our stories will touch your heart. You will agree with our SOS program. You will agree that every living creature should get all the days of their lives. It is not up to us to end life as long as there is joy and happiness and only a little pain (for life is about some pain.  It makes the joy feel that much better). 

Do we believe in euthanasia?  Absolutely.  There is time when life becomes a burden. When that happens, then our kindest final gift is the final peace.  But we don’t believe in giving that gift because caring for a dog that is older or has an illness like Owen does is harder than caring for a younger or healthy dog.  It is never a burden to us to care for those who are sick or not easy.  But we watch carefully and recognize the signs that it is time to go.  Then we hold them as they leave. 

If you don’t believe this premise, that all life and every moment of life is precious then our stories are not going to touch you.  You probably didn’t even get this far. And that’s OK. We wish you the best.

For those who do believe that all life is precious, we need you.  We can do the caregiving. We can give the shots and the pills and we can do the clean up.  But we need you to be able to provide all of those things.   

I invite you to join us in our mission to give them all the days of their lives.

Our goal is 12 sponsors donating $20 per month to help us be able to afford to give one dog all the days of his life. If you would like to see Owen get his time, please  become one of his sponsors and join his virtual family.  To become a sponsor,  

Text cprsos to 41444 for a smart phone link 

Or visit here for a direct credit card link – https://app.mobilecause.com/form/S9ihCQ

To learn more about our SOS program and meet more of our fabulous SOS dogs, please visit our webpage at  

http://carolinapoodlerescue.org/sanctuary-dogs/ 

Please also check out our video of Owen to experience first-hand the magic that is this gentle soul: https://youtu.be/kRPqAHwro68

Welcome to our family – thank you for giving them all the days of their lives. 

Donna Ezzell