Thursday, December 30, 2010

Letter to Animal Hoarding:

We are reprinting with permission a letter from Pat D. regarding her dog Larry. We are touched by Pat's devotion and love of the short time she and Larry had together.

In February, 2009 I went to Humane Sanctuary in Kinsman, Ohio to see a dog I saw on Petfinders. I was pretty horrified at what I saw, as was my friend Donna, who afterwards turned the place in for animal abuse and gross hoarding.

On that bitter, bitter cold day, heartbroken at what we witnessed, I took home a dog named Larry, a mutt, probably a German Shepherd, Lab and Rotty mix, about 8 years old. Although I was told he was much younger, it was clear that he was an old fella living out his life in hell.

Larry had heartworm, tapeworm, pinworms, hookworm and ear infections. He smelled terrible. Oddly enough, he also had a great sense of humor and his gratitude was palpable.

I won’t tell you how much it cost to fix Larry up medically or how confused he was (after living outside in all weather chained to a box for four years) to find himself in a warm, cozy home with good food and a mom who loved him very much. Suffice it to say I had Larry for 22 months of joy, warmth and deep affection before he died of liver cancer last week, way, way too soon for me. I’ve cried every day and wish I had even one more hour with him.

What a guy. I gave him as much freedom and love as I could pile on, and he returned it all a hundredfold. I will miss that dear sir until the day I die. He had a hard, hard life, but he was a gentle soul, strong, loyal and dear. From now on, and despite the cost and the pain of their loss, I will adopt older dogs from sorry backgrounds because Larry taught me so much about what matters in life and gave back so much more than he received...

...I hope people don’t avoid poor animals who live in hoarders’ dens. You have absolutely no idea what wonderful, grateful, beautiful friends they can be.

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