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The story of Roo

It's been a few weeks since I lost my Roo. How can this be? I still can't believe it.

Her story means so much to me that it's hard to know where to start explaining it. But I want to honor her memory and keep it alive, so I must try. If you have a few minutes to join me on this little walk through my time with Roo, it would mean the world to me.

Friends found Roo in a ditch in rural Alabama back in May 2010. She was barely moving. They called me, and by that night I was driving with another friend to the local animal control shelter to pick her up. The shelter worker handed me a bag of fluids and wished me the best of luck.

With another friend's help I gave her subcutaneous fluids throughout the night, and she made it through to the next morning, when she had a transfusion. This improved her condition somewhat, but there was still an underlying problem we had to figure out. Finally two rescue friends figured it out - she had a dead puppy stuck inside her! We got it out thanks to one of my vets going way above and beyond to do emergency surgery. And somehow she survived that surgery, even though her blood was so thin. My girl was tough and she had a will to survive.

Fast forward a couple of months, and it was time for the next critical step in her treatment...yep, you guessed it...she had heartworms, and an advanced case at that. Again she powered through and survived the immiticide injections.

She also had a leg deformity where her bones would bend, so we made the necessary accommodations with food and water bowls, etc. She continued to grow stronger and gain weight. Did I mention she was also full of BB pellets? Yep, someone used her as target practice, or shot at her to chase her away. My vet used to say that "Southern dogs light up like a Christmas tree under x-ray" because so many are full of BB pellets. Sad but true statement. These were the conditions I rescued in for eight years, and these were the conditions my Roo was born into...

When I took Roo in I always expected to get her well and then find her an awesome home. But once her medical treatments were completed it became evident that she would still always be a special needs dog. She was semi-incontinent due to the damage she sustained from the pyometra. She was also extremely skittish with people she didn't know, and she was especially afraid of men. Her bone deformity also meant making ongoing special accommodations for her. It became apparent over time, and after exhausting all appropriate options, that she would remain with me for the rest of her life.

Roo was blessed with a literal village that came around us over the years. From friends helping me fund her initial medical expenses, to those who have taught me to care for her special needs...from pet sitters who have gone the extra mile, to kind veterinary teams who carried her in her crate from car to clinic because she was too scared to walk on a leash...from the friend who helped me drive her halfway across the country in our latest move, to all those who have helped me battle her lick granulomas over the years...I thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you for helping us walk every step of this journey.

It hasn't been an easy path. Far from it. But then the most meaningful ones never are. And at the end of the day, I kept my word to her.

Goodbye, my little Rooster. Enjoy the sunshine.

Until we meet again.