Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Loving Lola

"And the tears come streaming down your face
When you lose something that you can't replace
When you love someone but it goes to waste
Could it be worse?
Lights will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will try to fix you
From High Up Above to Down Below
When you're too in love to let it go
But if you never try you'll never know
Just what you're worth
Lights Will guide you home
And ignite your bones
And I will Try To Fix You"

I fell in love with our dog, Lola,
the moment I saw her photo on the Western PA Humane Society's website, a mere two weeks ago.
A big pudgy American Bulldog with tons of little black spots all over her belly, it was hard to get her out of my mind...
so I arranged a trip to the shelter, in honor of the boys' school teachers, with donations of dog and cat toys/treats/food, last Tuesday. We brought Lola home on Wednesday, and she quickly became an integral part of our family.

Lola died tonight, by euthanasia. She was a wonderful, five year old, who had experienced a hard life before coming home to live with us. Despite our best efforts, not a day went by that we didn't have a frightening moment or two, where her hidden aggression reared its ugly head, sending me running for cover of my kids. She bit me today, in a most sudden and horrifying display of vicious force. I knew, then, that it was over and that the safety of our home had been compromised beyond repair.

As the despair of losing this magnificent spirit, washes over me in waves, I feel no regret for loving this beast who taught me more in five days than I ever learned in a classroom or from books. During her hours of life here, she showed amazing skill and intelligence, learning to "stay", lay down, roll over, and walk submissively on a leash (no small feat for a dog with almost eighty pounds of pure strength!). Some of my dearest friends stopped by yesterday and marveled, seeing her sit, frozen, with a much loved treat within inches of her body, waiting for my command before lunging and dining with fervor. Never in all my years have I witnessed a creature of such will.

The work of Humane Societies, in our country, is heart wrenching and endless, and the turmoil that lives within their walls, due to the unconscionable evil of heartless human beings- who abuse these defenseless animals, then leave them for dead, is sickening. While it is romantic to believe that the answer to our massive population of unwanted dogs and cats are "no kill" shelters, the reality is that animals, such as our Lola, would be turned away as "unadoptable" and have no haven from the streets, were it not for the "open door policy" of the facilities which often must then provide "humane" euthanasia for them. Several days ago, when it first became apparent that Lola may not be able to remain in our custody, I spent hours researching but found no rescue group who would be willing to take this animal who had instances of severe aggression. As awful as this may sound, we are thankful, tonight, not only for the priceless gift given to us, in the form of this mostly lovable dog, but for the heartfelt "welcome back" she received, when returned this evening. A testimony to her contagious energy, she had many workers, both professional and volunteer, who had fallen in love with her, since her placement there nearly forty days ago, and she displayed no anxiety at walking back through the doors to their waiting open arms.

Tom and I have always had a relationship built on love for animals,
especially of the canine species. We are devastated by this loss, as we were enriched and strengthened by the presence of Lola in ways indescribable with words.

My good buddy, Stacey, while visiting from Texas, yesterday, commented that we seem to always have such terrible luck- and she's right- its been a staggering year of loss for us, in pet terms. But as I sit here, now, wondering if we're crazy to open ourselves to such drama all the time, I am reminded of that oh-so-tried but true Bette Midler classic-"The Rose" and its ever-so-timely sentiment "its the heart afraid of breaking that never learns to dance, its the dream afraid of waking, that never takes the chance, its the one who won't be taken, who cannot seem to give, its the soul afraid of dying, who never learns to live....". And through it all, we live with great passion, sometimes leaping both feet first, thinking last, with little caution to reason or logic, but that is who we are and what keeps our love going...and, at the end of the day, I like us this way. I'll take the hours with a dog who breaks our heart but teaches us compassion and perseverance, rather than waiting for a safer, less painful route. For Lola and Belle, our furry companions who crossed over this year, we are better for your lives with us. We miss you.

Our Family Christmas Card, still waiting to be sent, from the night we adopted Lola, last week. We were so thrilled to be adding such a goofball girl to our brood!


Aaron Pavkov said...

So sorry to hear. We can totally relate with our pit... she was in the kennel for 6 months before we found her. We had a hard start with her around strangers, watched her close when we started having kids, and she's now finally started to really mellow out, around men in particular. How true, though, about their spirit - the strength, intelligence, obedience. Beautiful animals.

完蛋 said...


美麗新世界 said...


技巧 said...


傷害 said...

If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.............................................

元氣 said...


氣死我 said...

你的文章給我力量!感謝您!!! ........................................

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Forty-three year-old, mother and staunch advocate of four young children, passionate warrior of truth and self, finding the soul in each day, sharing my struggles and triumphs as I live them. Mostly I do this for me, so my thoughts don't race as much at night as they used to. But I also give this to those of you who need to know, in any or every way, that you are not alone.

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