Your Dog

To the person who abandoned your elderly Lab in Rochester two months ago;

I wanted to let you know what happened to your dog.

Your dog was found as a stray. I can’t imagine he ran away. His hips didn’t work so well anymore.

Your dog spent two weeks at the pound, lying in his own feces on the cold concrete. He was sad, scared, and very confused.

When it became clear that you weren’t coming for him, I took your dog home. I bathed him and took him to the vet.

I gave your dog good food, clean water, and soft beds to lie on. I gave him a new name because I didn’t know what you had called him for the last 10-15 years of his life.

I walked your dog every day. He could only go to the end of the block, but it made him so happy. He danced when he saw the leash.

When the pain meds were no longer enough, I took your dog to the vet one last time.

I held your dog on my lap, all 105 pounds of him, and stroked his head. I told him that he was a good boy. I told him that he was loved. I stayed with him as he died.

To the person who abandoned your elderly Lab 2 months ago, I wanted to let you know that your dog was a good dog. Your dog missed you. Your dog forgave you for abandoning him in his final days.

I’m not as good of a person as your dog was, but I will try to forgive you too.

I wanted to let you know that your dog had 43 days of love and compassion with me.

I wish he could have been with you during those twilight days. He had a lot of lessons to teach you still. I’m so very sorry you missed out on them.

Note: thank you to Camp Companion for covering Paddy’s vet bills and helping his final days to be spent with dignity.



Filed under Rescue

27 responses to “Your Dog

  1. Oh, god, you made me cry, Sara.

  2. Katrina

    I cried as well. I can’t imagine what kind of person abandons a pet (even if you see him as “just a dog”) that’s been with them for 10+ years without so much as a second thought. I will never be as great as my dog thinks I am, but that makes me try harder every day. Paddy was so incredibly lucky to have someone like you to make his last days so much better. Thank you Sara.

  3. Sara Linker Nord

    Sara, what a touching tribute to your Paddy. I am crying- for your compassion and what you gave Paddy, for what Paddy went through when his owners abandoned him, and for all of the “Paddys” in this world that won’t have those 43 days of love at the end of their lives. Last year I held my 16 1/2 year old Cinnamon’s head in my lap as she left this world and I cannot imagine doing it any other way. Thank you, Sara.

  4. This story has really touched me. I had to put my golden retriever down last year – she was 12 and had burrowed deep into my heart over those 12 years. After our current pack of 4 goes to their great reward, I am planning to volunteer to take elderly dogs for their last days.

  5. Julie Webster

    My last boy was a wonderful 15-year-old cat that had a family for 14 years. I found him on a posting saying if they couldn’t find a home for him this way, he’s going to a shelter. They were uninterested in traveling across the country with him when they moved.

    I worked at a shelter for a year and it was rarer than a unicorn sighting to adopt out a senior animal. We had an amazing year and a half together and I still cry fresh tears when I think of him :*)

    I’m glad you’re you Sara 🙂

  6. Lisa

    What a wonderful tribute Sara. I love dogs but labs have a special place in my heart. I know it doesn’t matter to you because you love them all. It truly inspires me to do more. Thank you Sara.

  7. Valerie Close

    Seems like folks abandon these sweethearts way too often! Glad you took him in!

  8. Jim Sorum

    Sara, Thank you so much for that. Not just for Paddy but for Doc and all the other dogs who are part of a family and ones who unfortunately are not. I’m sure Paddy was a great dog and you are a great person

  9. Thank goodness there are wonderful, caring people like you in this world. Run free, Paddy.

  10. Sara, your post was very inspiring. It gives me hope and the knowledge that there are still good people around. For what it is worth:
    THANK YOU VERY VERY MUCH for taking care of “all 105 pounds of him” and all the others you may have cared for and did not mention.

  11. Sara, this story made me cry because I know there are many others
    like this. But, at the same time I’m happy for he found you. It was wonderful. Thank you very much.

  12. Renny

    Glad you found him and could make his last months count. You are right, his previous owner missed out by letting him go. Just a pity that the circumstances at the shelter was so BAD. How could they let an old boy sleep on concrete and in his own feces? Either way, sorry for you only having 43 days, but just remember, the last 43 days are the memories that went with him to the Rainbow Bridge! And that’s what is most important of all! Sure he is a much happier soul now up there!

  13. kathy stork

    DOG = GOD

  14. cakie

    some people have no heart, no consciense, and sometimes no soul. I pray the owners would get fines when found out how they abandoned their pets. most people are caught up that money is more important than alife. hit them where it hurts.

  15. Shelley Sparapani

    This story is all too familiar. If there is anything that we can do, its getting involved with our local shelters and stepping in and helping these great lives. Thank you to those who give these animals the love they deserve.

  16. Carol King


    A beautiful, well thought out, touching message. I’m so glad you found and rescued Paddy and most likely gave him the best days of his life. Thank you also for being a voice for the voiceless, something more of us need to do.

  17. Laura

    You are an angel Sara and Paddy is forever thankful for the love and kindness you showed him!

  18. Betty

    This story was heartbreaking yet thank God Paddy had you for a Guardian Angel to see him through to the end of his journey.We lost our Lab/Boxer of nearly 17years last Feb 26,We were devastated,I couldn’t function or stop crying.I only lasted 10 days and rescued another Lab/Boxer from Rainbow Animal Rescue in Butler.It was hard but “Butthead” will always be in my heart and I know he would have wanted me to open my heart and my home to care for another in need.What was surprising is we were the ones rescued! God bless you for your caring heart and the love you gave paddy in those 43 days.

  19. B.Morgan

    Amazing…thank you!

  20. Misty

    YOU are a hero in my eyes.

  21. Misty

    and a warrior for animals. thank you.

  22. Cheryl

    This is so touching; I am sitting here with tears in my eyes and running down my cheeks. How anyone can abandon a pet they have had for years (or even a short time) is beyond me. I am glad you took him in and gave him 43 days with someone to love and care for him.
    But in defense of the person or people who abandoned him, we really do not know the circumstances, so it is possible it may have been legitamate. Perhaps he belonged to an elderly person who died. Perhaps he was given to another family. Perhaps he was lonely for his owner and tried to find his way home. Perhaps he was lost due to a car accident. It does happen. Perhaps his family went on vacation, and the person responsible for taking care of him was less than responsible, and he got out, went looking for his owners, and was never found. Perhaps they are still looking for him.
    I lost an old dog, my dear Baxter boy. I took him to my mom’s house because I thought he would be lonely at home when my ex-husband was not going to be there for a week. I should have remembered his nickname was Houdini, and left him in the house when we went to eat at IHOP down the street. We were only gone about an hour, definitely less than 2 hours. We missed him by mere minutes. He managed to get out of the yard. I am certain he was heading home, to all that was familiar to him, and wondering why I had taken him to another house. My Baxter was afraid of all people expect for three–my ex, myself, and our daughter. He would go to no one. I am certain he died out in the desert, alone, hungry, thirsty, and afraid. He has been gone 3 1/2 years, and I still shed tears when I think of what he probably endured in his last days. I miss him so much. He was such a gentle, loving, special oversized Beagle.
    But the message of your story of Paddy is great, and should be posted in all animal shelters, veterinary offices, pet stores, etc. for everyone who has a pet to read. There are far too many animals abandoned on purpose. The exceptions are much fewer; although, they do happen.

  23. Lee Seeling

    There is a place for his previous owners, and Paddy was so lucky to have you help him through his last days! I lost my Black Lab, Rylee, 4 years ago and I am sure he met your Paddy at the Rainbow Bridge to guide him into a better place with no more pain! Thank you for giving him the well deserved dignity of passing in your arms with so much love! All animals deserve what you so graciously gave!

  24. Debbie

    thank you for careing

  25. Corinne

    Thank God for angels like you!!!!

  26. Someone shared a link to this post on Facebook, I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciate both what you wrote and what you did for that dog!

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