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4) Laddie was turned over to us by his Mom, who realized that she did not have the time to spend with him and that he deserved a better life than being left to himself all day. In the course of our usual medical workup, we discovered that Laddie was in the late stages of chronic kidney disease and had weeks — possibly only days — left. Laddie also appeared to have brain damage from some incident early in his life, before his relinquishing Mom got him.
Laddie often felt very ill and had little appetite, but he was a fantastic little soccer player! He would find his soccer ball (smaller than regulation, but still fairly large) and bring it to us with a combination of head and front leg maneuvers. What a trooper!
We are very sad to report that Laddie's condition deteriorated so much that, at the end of December, 2003, we took him to our veterinarian so that he could be relieved of his suffering while we held him in our arms. Laddie, we will miss you!
15) Laddie was the very image of the word "adorable" (just look in Webster's and you'll find his picture beside the definition — or at least you should)! He was released to us by a family with one member who had recently had some brain surgery and was having severe headaches as a result of the normal doggy noises that Laddie made throughout the day. They loved Laddie very much and turned him over to Sheltie Rescue of Utah in December, 2003, only as a last resort.
Laddie was a very small, 2.5 year old (at the time) Sheltie, about 12.5" at the shoulder, and seemed to loves everybody. He was very social and got along well with people and with other dogs. Among his more delightful characteristics was that he loved to sing! Start humming a tune, and Laddie would rush over and start singing along with you. (Of course, to human ears, it might have sounded like howling, but his intent and enthusiasm were clear.)
We were very happy to have placed Laddie into a wonderful home where he had a Sheltie-sister (who crossed the Rainbow Bridge in December, 2005) and where he had the opportunity to be a registered therapy dog. He even got to spend time up in the Uintah mountains and watch the moose wandering around! In early 2006, the same wonderful family adopted another Sheltie (Apache) from us, so Laddie had another companion to share his life.
In mid-2006, we were saddened to learn that Laddie had been diagnosed with lymph-node cancer. For a while, it seemed that his chemotherapy was working and the cancer might have been eliminated. Unfortunately, in October, the cancer came back. This very special, loving boy fought valiantly, but the cancer began causing him more and more pain and difficulty breathing. Laddie let his mommy and daddy know early on the morning of December 16 that he was ready to cross the Bridge. He was released from his pain while held in loving arms.
Laddie was one of those incredibly special dogs that come into our lives all too infrequently. We will miss him terribly.
2) Lady was a full sister (from a different litter) of another Sheltie, Annie, who had come into our lives (Annie was planned). Lady had been very badly abused (beaten, chained to a toilet) and came to us with serious emotional problems, including signs of autism or schizophrenia. She was so sensitive to certain noises, like the telephone, microwave, and even staplers, that we realized she was not adoptable, so we adopted her ourselves. She lived with us until her death in 2002 from lung cancer (ironically, her sister Annie died of lung cancer less than a year earlier).
In spite of her sometimes noisy response to the noises she didn't like, Lady was a fantastic, loving companion to us and to our other dogs (including the constant parade of rescue Shelties passing through) and to our cat. We miss her terribly.
9) Lily showed up on the doorstep of a friend of Sheltie Rescue during the great post-Christmas snowstorm of 2003, cold, hungry, exhausted, and obviously lost. No owners could be found and it was obvious that Lily was a senior. She was quickly named "Tiny Lil", in no small part because she weighed less than 12 pounds! The wonderful people who found Lily immediately gave her excellent medical care and nursed her back to health. Due to jealousy in the household (an existing dog resented having new competition), Lily's rescuers were unable to adopt her.
We took her into hospice care and had over a year and a half of her love in our lives. Lily had a tremendous personality and just adored being held and cuddled. Unfortunately, Lily lost her battle with age in the autumn of 2005 and we released her to join all of her friends at the Rainbow Bridge.
18) Lulu came to us in May 2006 at about 8 or 9 years old. She was released to us by her family of about four years (for reasons we don't fully understand). She was very intelligent and learned quickly how to please her people; she liked men and women equally, too. Lulu only wanted to bond with somebody who would give her the love that she deserves. In August, 2006, we began noticing changes in Lulu's body and learned that she had very serious heart disease and were told that she was very unlikely to live more than a few more weeks. We pampered and spoiled this lovely girl completely rotten until we learned that she also had very serious, final stage kidney failure. On January 24, 2007, we released her to cross the Rainbow Bridge and join all of her old buddies. She leaves a very huge hole in our hearts!
We miss you, Lulu! Be at peace, little girl.
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