In Memory Of

Josie

FOR JOSIE
PASSED – 2017

A sweet girl who never had a chance. She had been hit by a car and her spine was fractured. Long before we were asked to take Josie into our program, the fracture had healed incorrectly and the consequences were devastating. It is no wonder that we were told that she cried every time she was put into her wheelchair and refused to move when she was in it. When she came to us, our veterinarian immediately began an evaluation, calling in multiple specialists all of whom came to the same conclusion. There was no way that we could care for Josie to allow her to have a happy, pain-free life. The injury was so severe and so painful that it would have required mega doses of pain medication to keep her comfortable. The problem then would be that those heavy doses of pain meds that she would require, would keep her so sedated that she would never be able to function normally.
We were heartbroken…

Our mission at Dog Lodge is to provide quality of life and here was Josie, so sweet, sensitive being who was suffering terribly and we couldn’t help her. Our veterinarian and the consulting specialists would have done anything they could to help Josie. When they told us that there was nothing that we could do to give Josie a meaningful life, the decision was made to let her pass with grace…
We had her for such a very short time. We loved her just the same. Goodbye sweet, Josie…

I held you in my arms
For such a short while
But you will forever be in my heart.

Nigel

FOR NIGEL
PASSED – 2022

Everyone is taught that
Angels have wings, but 
The lucky ones of us find
They have four paws.

Nigel was our little angel.  He had been wondering the streets in the heat of the summer of 2020 until he was found by a wonderfully compassionate gentleman who reached out to us and asked if we could help this little senior who definitely showed a lot of wear and tear.

Nigel lived life on his terms.  He settled right in at Dog Lodge but though there was never any issue with the rest of the residents accepting him, Nigel kept pretty much to himself.  He just did his own thing.  He really gave us the impression that he just tolerated being held and loved on.  A little bit of attention was ok, but if you patted him for too long, he would just get up and walk away.  Actually, he did that with everyone so no one felt slighted.  

Nigel made us laugh.  He was perky, independent, and quirky!  His front legs were stiff from arthritis – that didn’t slow him down, but he trotted around with a funny gait that made us smile.

Then, all too soon and all too quickly, Nigel’s health began to fail.  In his case, it was not a gradual decline.  The biggest problem was his loss of vision.  The problem that he developed was so severe that one eye had to be removed.  The surgery went well and he healed nicely.  All the other issues were handled with medication.  But over time, Nigel began to change.  He lost his spunk.  He lost his spark.  He just began to withdraw.

Finally, it was as though Nigel just gave up – it was though he was ready to go.  We said goodbye to our little angel with four paws.

Run fast, run far, sweet Nigel…

Be happy where you can see all, where there is no pain, where only fun and frolic await you….

Maximilian

FOR MAXIMILIAN
PASSED – 2022

When you see the sunrise, think of me.
When the cool breeze touches you, know I am free.
When you feel the sorrow of us being apart,
Know I am not lost; I am a part of your heart.

Stephanie Laird

He came to us in January of 2020.  At the time, he weighed in at 104 lbs – large soulful eyes framed by huge ears and standing on long, long legs.  From the day he arrived, there was no doubt that he was going to be a medical challenge.  There were just so many things that he was dealing with including heart failure.  Our goal was to get him to the point where he could have a good quality of life, where he could be happy and enjoy some of the simple pleasures of a dog’s life like rolling in the grass and going for walks in the pastures and getting excited when the deer passed by the yard.  And he got there!! He ate very special food and had to take a lot of medication.  He got up to a healthier 117 lbs and settled in to live life on his terms.  It took a dedicated effort on the part of our staff who loved him and attended to all of his daily needs and our wonderful veterinarians whose medical care kept him comfortable.  But truly, the rest came from him…

Maximilian was an inspiration to us all.  He just never gave up!!  It was as though, despite everything that he had to deal with, he was going to enjoy every minute that he had.  Perhaps that was a large part of why he beat all of the odds and, despite the prognosis of 6 to 8 weeks that he was given in 2020, he was with us for 2 ½ years.  

And now he is gone.  We will mourn his loss, each in our own way.  And as time passes, we will be able to remember his goofy antics, how he loved his walks, how he enjoyed his baths, how his idea of a fun time was to bump his 117 lbs of bulk into you and perhaps most of all the spirit and love of life he showed us every day.  We were blessed to have Maximilian in our care.  We are richer for having had him in our lives…

Missy

FOR MISSY
PASSED – 2022

I’ve grown old, my health is bad,
It is hard to walk and stand.
It’s time to go – you understand,
my life is no longer grand.
Please think of me with loving
Thoughts, and wipe away your
Tears, for God in all His wisdom
Has counted out my years.
Be assured you’ve done the right
Thing, you’ve ended all my pain.
Your heart will hurt for just a
While, then learn to love again.
Goodbye my wonderful family,
Goodbye my very best friend.
I thank you for this time we had,
You loved me to the end.

Author Unknown

Missy and her full sister Jade came to us at the end of 2019. They were already 13 years old when they arrived at Dog Lodge but they were in pretty good health. Both of them loved to play and could get pretty rambunctious.

But in the summer of 2021, Missy had to deal with a medical condition called vestibular disease. This is a disease that affects the vestibular system which is responsible for balance. Luckily, her symptoms were only moderate and within a couple of weeks, most of them had resolved. But Missy was just never the same after that. It was as if her whole personality had changed. She could no longer stay with her sister because Jade who sensed Missy’s weakness, began to pick on her. So, we accommodated the separation.

For the most part, Missy was still enjoying her walks and lying in the sun in the yard. She still ate well and liked being in the company of some of the other very quiet dogs. But, as the months passed, Missy began to enjoy all of those things less and less. She began to have difficulty walking, and then had trouble getting up. She became less interested in finishing her food and then she just wasn’t interested in her food at all.

At the end, Missy told us that she was ready to say goodbye. She was 16 years old and unlike some, she had been well-loved in her life. Her end was peaceful in my arms.

Missy was a special girl, and yes, we loved her dearly to the end….

Bella

FOR BELLA
PASSED – 2021

First came diabetes… then Cushings…and then she lost her sight.  The insulin injections controlled the diabetes but with the onset of Cushings matters became far more complicated.  This spunky little pug/schnauzer mix lived most of her senior years on her terms, enjoying life, always with her sister Mia very close.  But the last few months of her 15th year her health worsened and it seemed that she no longer enjoyed doing the things that used to bring her so much happiness.  She just got tired… the spark was gone…

We miss you, Bella.  We miss your quirky personality; we miss giving you the belly rubs you loved so much…

You will live in our hearts forever…

Over the 
“Rainbow Bridge” you went,
I always knew 
you were Heaven sent.
I cherish our time spent together
Til we meet again…I love you forever!

By Angelina LaFera

Mia

FOR MIA
PASSED – 2021

Mia and Bella were twin sisters.  But their health problems were totally different.  Mia suffered seizures, the cause of which was never determined.  She took anti-seizure medications and for the most part they significantly reduced the number of seizures and also the severity of them.  Like Bella, Mia was a happy senior who could be just a little bit stubborn but who would sit beside you to get her pats and paw you continuously if you stopped patting her before she was ready for you to stop.  But like her sister, halfway through her 15th year her health took a dramatic turn for the worse.  Her liver failed, her sight failed and she became very, very confused.  When she lost here sister, it was as if she lost all interest in living.  She told it was time to go…

I choose to believe that Mia is reunited with Bella in a wonderful place where both can run and play and always enjoy good health.  We will miss Mia as we miss her sister and never forget the joy she brought to all of us.

Your memory is a beautiful joy
That will live in our hearts
Forever…

Paolo

FOR PAOLO
PASSED – 2021

The moment that you left me
My heart split in two
One side filled with memories
The other side died with you.

I often lay awake at night when the
World is fast asleep, and take a
Walk down memory lane with
Tears upon my cheek.

Remembering you is easy,
I do it every day.
But missing you is a heartache
That never goes away.

I hold you tightly 
Within my heart
And there you will remain.
As my life goes on without you, but will
Never be the same.

Author Unknown

Paolo passed at the age of 15.  He was a Golden Retriever that gave new meaning to the description “Velcro dog”.  He made friends with everyone – the other dogs and everybody who worked at or visited Dog Lodge.  He was so clever and definitely loved to cuddle.

But time caught up with Paolo and his health began to decline.  Soon he let us know that it was time to go.  

He took with him a piece of my heart…

He took a piece of all of our hearts…

REMY

FOR REMY
PASSED – 2020

God saw you getting tired
When a cure was not to be.
So, he closed his arms around you
And whispered “Come to me.”

In tears we saw you sinking.
We watched you fade away.
Our hearts were truly broken,
You fought so hard to stay.
But when we saw you sleeping
Peacefully and free of pain,
We could not wish you back
To suffer that again.

So, keep your arms around him, Lord
And give him special care.
Make up for all he suffered
That seemed to be unfair.
So many times we’ve needed you,
So many times we’ve cried.
If love could have saved you,
You never would have died.

Remy….

How would I have described this wonderful old boy?  Independent, single-minded, sweet and gentle….

This was a dog that came from a loving home.  But circumstances were such that his owner had to make a brave and desperate decision.  He asked if we could take his old boy and love him the way he did and make sure that he had everything that he needed to make his very golden years special.  Remy fit right in with the rest of our residents even though he towered over most of them.  They all just accepted this new hairy guy and so…  Remy was home.

Remy lived with us for 2 years.  The time went by far too quickly.  We feel blessed to have had him with us – to be able to care for him and love him.

Thank you, Peter, for entrusting him to our care.  I know you miss him.  We will miss him too…

Keats

A loving foster by the name of Molly, was taking care of Keats while looking for a permanent home for her. Keats had been picked up by Montgomery County Animal Control. Keats is a German Shepherd. Upon admission to our Sugar Land clinic, it was determined that she is severely disabled by spinal stenosis. She has great difficulty walking and is bowel incontinent. But…. it would be hard to find a more loving dog.  Keats has fit in well with the rest of our dogs and gets lots and lots of loving from our staff and volunteers. However, even though she is living at Dog Lodge, her medical evaluation continues. It is going to take a while to get her pain permanently under control in order for her to enjoy the quality of life that we strive to achieve for each and every one of our dogs.  Thank you to Molly for reaching out to us and giving us the opportunity to bring Keats into our program.

Maxtoo

FOR MAXTOO
PASSED – 2019

I’m Free
Don’t grieve for me
For now I’m free.

I’ve left behind some misery.
My days of youthful agility
Were no longer a possibility.

My weak joints and cloudy eyes
Were longing for the heavenly skies.
Before I lost all dignity
You let me enter eternity.

Don’t grieve for me,
You’ve set me free.
Just remember how I used to be!

Maxtoo has left us. 

 I will never forget his hoarse, little bark.  I will never forget how he ate every meal as if he’d never eaten before.  I will never forget how he loved his long naps in the same place on the carpet in front of the sofa.  And I will never forget how he would bump my leg with his forehead when he wanted attention.  

Maxtoo was a sweet old dog who brought us joy every day.  We were so fortunate to be his caregivers for his last year.  Goodbye dear Maxtoo – we will miss you…. Run free, run fast, run far…

Rocky

FOR ROCKY
PASSED – 2018

I am deeply saddened to tell you that Rocky passed away in his sleep early on Sunday morning, October 21, 2018. He had been admitted to the clinic for further evaluation of his severe arthritic condition on Monday the 15th. On Friday he suddenly began suffering from syncopal episodes.  In addition, he had an increased heart rate even at rest, and increased cardiac irregularities called premature ventricular contractions.  It is believed that these changes were associated with right-sided heart disease due to his heartworm infection. Dr. Fisher, Dr. Roset and Dr. Michalec were in constant attendance but Rocky did not respond to medications.  Many thanks to the doctors who tried so hard to save Rocky’s life.

Rocky was only with us at Dog Lodge for a short time but he was dear to all of us.  Even with all of his problems, he wagged his tail and was always ready for hugs and rubs.  We will never forget how he loved his slow walks and found joy in putting his nose in the air to pick up whatever scents he could catch.  We will never forget how gentle and loving he was…

So, my heart is heavy.  Rocky’s passing is a sad reminder about how difficult our job is – trying to provide quality of life to a dog that has possibly never known a gentle touch, a kind word or enjoyed the care that each and every dog deserves.  At least Rocky had some time living with people who quickly came to love him and admire his courage….

Goodbye Rocky… We will miss you…

I miss you my sweet dog.
I cry.
I look at my tears fondly though
For each tear
Represents to me
One minute of you
Loving me
And
One minute of me loving you
During the
Precious moments
We shared
While you were
Here with me.
I’ve cried an ocean.

Author Unknown

Florence
Cleo

Cleo comes to us from Irving Animal Services in Irving, TX where she was surrendered by her owner, and then via Camo Rescue in Houston.  She is a tri-color Yorkshire terrier mix, approximately 7 years old. She weighs right around 11 pounds. Cleo is diabetic and has very opaque bilateral cataracts which significantly impair her vision.  What a sweetheart this little girl is!!  She is so quiet and calm. She gets along with all of her Sanctuary mates and loves the attention of all of the volunteers.  Cleo loves her time outside in the big yard.  It is almost an acre and she loves to sniff her way around exploring everything that she can.  She also likes to follow closely on the heels of the volunteers. She may be vision impaired but she doesn’t want to miss out on any of the action.

Hedwig
Jasper
Maxx

Houston Humane Society contacted us about Maxx who was an owner surrender.  He was continually passed over by adopters, possibly because of his advanced age of 9-10 years, his really bad hips and his heartworm positive status.

We call Maxx a wooly mammoth because of all his hair and, though he is not a giant breed, he is certainly not small.  Picture a leonberger with shorter legs and that is kind of what Maxx looks like. Maxx has just had his first heartworm treatment and so we are keeping him very quiet right now.  Once we get past that, we can start working on an in-depth evaluation of his hind end. He has great difficulty walking, very little strength and intermittent pain.

Maxx, like our other residents, loves the attention he gets from the volunteers.  He likes to sniff around outside in the dog paddocks, enjoys his leashed walks and has no problem with taking regular naps.  This darling boy has won our hearts and we love having him as part of our group. Thank you to HHS for contacting us.

We’ll keep you posted….

Riley

FOR RILEY
PASSED – 2018

This is the second time in a month that I have had to say good-bye to one of our beloved Dog Lodge dogs.  When Riley came to us in the spring of this year, he was very sick.  Our wonderful veterinarians were able to get most of his problems under control but the one thing they couldn’t fix was his enlarged heart that was having to work way too hard.  He was taking a laundry list of meds to help him cope and, in fact, was stable throughout the summer and into fall.  But time was not on Riley’s side.  His heart was just too fragile.  

As is always the case, we wish we could have had Riley with us for much, much longer.  We will miss having him on our laps asking for more hugs and rubs.  We will miss his quiet tolerance during all of the many medical examinations.  We will miss how he loved his baths and especially sleeping in the dryer unit with lovely warm air gently blowing over him.  

I found a prayer that I would like to share in Riley’s name.  I don’t know who the author is, but the thought is written far more eloquently than I could have done.

Heavenly Father, Creator of all things,
Thank you for having entrusted us with such a loyal friend.
Thank you for letting this beautiful animal teach us unselfish love.
Thank you for the memories we can recall to brighten our days for the rest of our lives.
Finally, in gratitude, we return our cherished companion to you.

Goodbye Riley…. You will be missed……

Paris

FOR PARIS
PASSED – 2018

She was a very small dog and she was so sweet.  She was surrendered to a shelter and the shelter reached out to us.  We took her to our veterinary clinic for immediate evaluation.  An infection of some kind but of immediate concern was the huge mammary tumor that hung to the floor – it had to be removed.  Complications during surgery from a reaction to anesthesia.  Cerebral hypoxia… Despite the heroic efforts of the veterinary team working on Paris, she lost the battle.  

Paris never made it to Dog Lodge.  We never had the chance to care for her and love her and make up for her abandonment.  A painful reminder that life is so fragile and so very precious.  Despite our best efforts, she couldn’t come home.

Goodbye sweet Paris….  

Whenever I feel sorrow come over me,
I imagine you’re racing beyond the Rainbow Bridge
With all the beloved dogs I’ve lost in the past.
My sadness quickly turns to delight;
You deserve this joyous afterlife.

Author Unknown