Saturday, October 27, 2007

My sister's letter to Rottweiler Rescue, Stanley's first rescuers, and Arlene's response

I tried to write what I felt about Stanley, but nobody does him justice like my sister did in this letter. You can find the rescue at Rottweiler Rescue of Michigan

Hi Arlene -

It's been a few years since we've contacted you, so I'm sorry that this contact bears such sorrowful news. Seven years ago, you gifted us with a wonderful little spirit named Stanley. Stanley died on Monday, we think of dilated cardiomyopathy. He had developed a little cough, wasn't eating well and had lost weight. When he finally showed the symptoms he really went down hill, and it probably was too late. We are heartbroken at our loss of Stanley that has come too soon.

He was such a lovable goof, a total marshmallow inside. Whenever new neighbors or friends would see Stanley, they were afraid, because he looked so tough with that terrible scar and his dobie markings. But after getting to meet him, they loved him. He totally blew the Doberman image. Six years ago (a little over a year after we adopted Stanley), our son was born. Stanley adored our son, Cameron, and was his brother and protector.

Three years ago, we adopted a rat terrier (we named her Tinkerbell) from Petfinder. We were careful to reinforce Stanley's "top dog" position in the household, but to no avail. Stanley fell hopelessly in love with Tink and she with him. They were best friends and playmates, but she wore the pants. But Stanley didn't care. He was a somewhat nervous guy before Tink came, but after she came along, he felt better. Our local kennel was kind enough to kennel them side-by-side whenever we had to leave them there, because, they said, "Stan just does better with Tink."

Arlene, we can't thank you enough for letting us love and care for Stanley. He was our child and our companion. He was even Eric's co-worker (he used to go to work with Eric). Eric is at the head office in Philly this week and he told his boss that they have lost a dear employee.
I am particularly having a difficult time, because I wish that I had recognized how serious things were before he got so bad. I miss him so much. He deserved a longer life and I feel angry that he didn't get it.

We want to make a donation to your rescue in honor of Stanley. We will also be asking our friends and family to make donations as well. Is there a way we can establish a lasting monetary memorial in his honor? Please email your thoughts on this, because we want to make sure that people who didn't get to meet Stanley know what a wonderful, strong, forgiving, loving spirit he was.

He loved life Arlene. And we will love him, always.

Arlene's response

Emily and Eric,

I am so, so very sorry to hear about Stanley's passing. You put it perfectly, he was a wonderful little spirit. And no puppy ever had such a rags to riches story of coming from one of the worst hoarder/backyardbreeder situations Ingham County has ever had and then finding a family of his very own where he was treasured and cherished and received the deepest love. A dream few puppies ever have come true.

I'm not sure knowing sooner would have been of any merit for anyone. Dilated cardiomyopathy is a relentless foe of Dobermans and had you known earlier there's no guarantees you could have extended his time here or not. But what knowing earlier would have done is made you sick with grief, and in turn Stanley, as sensitive and intuitive as he was, would have been sick with grief over your's and Eric's sadness. No matter how hard you tried to conceal it from him, he would have felt it deep in his heart and soul. This way everyone got to live cheerfully and to the fullest right up until the end. And Stanley never had to have a moment of anguish wondering what was wrong with his beloved family.

I would be honored to set up a Stanley Memorial Fund. I still have his baby pictures and I can put them up as well as the super photos you just sent me. If you have other's you'd like showcased, please send them.

Stanley will never be forgotten by anyone whose path he crossed, even for the briefest of moments. His tender heart touched everyone and brought out the best in them.

with deepest sympathy,


Diane said...

I'm so sorry about your sister's loss. I know how much it hurts to lose a canine member of the family.

Warm thoughts,

Diane at Sand to Glass
& Dogs Naturally

Anonymous said...

My goodness. It seems I've visited here before but this has truly grabbed my heart. Bless your cottin' pickin' soul!

Diane Dogs Naturally