Today we said goodbye to our Dogma hospice dog, Gertie. We’re not sure exactly how Gertie ended up at a high-kill shelter, but we rescued her the day she was scheduled to be euthanized. Gertie arrived from a Lake County shelter in October. We believed she was a pregnant senior dog, but after waiting a couple weeks for puppies we realized something was wrong. We took her to Northtown Animal Hospital and discovered that Gertie had cancer eating up her body. Her swollen belly wasn’t babies, she was riddled with tumors.
Even though she was sick, all of us could tell that it wasn’t Gertie’s time to go. Tori, my friend and fellow rescuer in the Central Valley, offered to provide a loving foster home for her until the time came to end her suffering. This week Gertie began having seizures that left her confused and afraid. After a series of late night phone calls with Tori discussing the progress of her disease, we decided that we didn’t want Gertie to suffer or experience unnecessary pain.
This morning someone came out to Tori’s house and ended Gertie’s suffering. She will be cremated and returned to her mourning family. In the end she had a wonderful home and was deeply loved. I received this message from Tori today, “Thank you for the immense pleasure it was to be Gertie's Mom. She just fit into our family from the moment she came home. Somehow she knew she was home and accepted the other dogs and a rambunctious toddler without question. We spent the morning together going for a ride, and doing her favorite things - exploring the flowers, eating ice cream and of course a bacon McGriddle.”
The emotional toll of caring for rescue dogs is sometimes unbearable. I am so grateful to Tori for bringing Gertie into her family and helping her live out her days with dignity. Gertie knew she was loved and spent the last six months of her life being treated like a princess. Tori changed her life and gave her the best ending a dog could ever hope for. Please hold Tori in your thoughts today as she mourns the loss of her sweet Gertie. I honestly couldn’t be more honored to call her my friend, and I will always remember her commitment to our Gertie.
Gertie's medical expense and care were sponsored by our Senior Dogma Program.
Our founder, Dogma Duane, is a passionate animal rescuer. He is now in his seventh year rescuing animals and his fourth year running Dogma Animal Rescue. Duane is a graduate of Sonoma State University, where he received a bachelor's degree in history with a minor in Latin America studies; and is a graduate of the American Bar Association-approved Paralegal Studies program at San Francisco State University.