In Memoriam – Snowflake

WARNING: GRAPHIC PICTURES BELOW

Snowflake under our care

Snowflake Memorial

Snowflake's Temporary Shelter in the Mountains

Snowflake's Ruptured Tumor

Snowflake Recovering from Surgery

(May 19th, 2012)

It is with a heavy heart, that I must let the Village know, SNOWFLAKE left us yesterday, in loving arms, to cross the Bridge. ♥
Here is her story…
It was a frigid, dark snowy night in the mountains when I received the disturbing call for help from one of our treasured NMDOG foster parents, Tamara. She was en route to her home tucked away in the woods of the East Mountains, when she discovered a dog, desperate for help & nearly freezing to death. She tried to approach, but the scared little Pittie girl was so afraid & alone, she could not get close enough to do anything. So, she did what she had to do to keep her safe & warm for the night, until the roads cleared up enough for me to get there to assist. She carried a dogloo & bedding down the hill to where this precious girl was fighting so hard to stay alive, in an attempt to provide her with shelter form the elements & the predators.
When Tamara returned the next day, she could not BELIEVE what she found….someone had STOLEN the dogloo 🙁 So, being the resourceful “mountain woman” that she is…Tamara made a shelter out of a rain barrel & sleeping bags….a “mountain tent” of sorts 🙂 She provided her with food, fresh water & company from afar. As she was able to get closer, she realized SNOWFLAKE had a terrible “wound” on her tummy. She also realized that someone had left her there with a worn, unfuzzed tennis ball. It appeared to Tamara that this ball was most likely her favorite toy…. left with her in some sort of skewed perception of thoughfulness.
I am assuming that her previous people decided she was too damaged to keep, that because they could not afford her medical care, they decided that DUMPING her was a vaible option. DUMPING AN INJURED DOG ALONE IN THE MOUNTAINS DURING A SNOWSTORM IS NEVER A VIABLE OPTION!!
Tamara enlisted the help of one of her few neighbors & they were able to secure SNOWFLAKE in her vehicle & get her to her house. She was set up outside in the heated doghouse/run & given small increments of food & HUGE amounts of LOVE. I arrived the next day to get her to the vet, where it was determined that SNOWFLAKE was left outdoors for the majority of her life, NOT GOOD for ANY dog, but especially DANGEROUS for a white one! She developed skin cancer from the sun, which was left untreated for SO LONG that the tumor on her tummy ruptured.
SNOWFLAKE taken in by NMDOG & given all that we had to make her whole again. She endured multiple surgical procedures to remove the ruptured tumors & repair her intensive wounds. SNOWFLAKE was given the LIFE every dog should know while on this earth! She was LOVED beyond belief by her foster family & was as HAPPY as any dog could be.
However, due to the progression of her cancer, increasing aggressive behavior & the inability to be safely seperated from the rest of the pack….we had to remove SNOWFLAKE from her foster home. In order to keep her safely boarded in a medical environment, she required sedation. Over the past months of her life, numerous attempts were made to find suitable sanctuary for her, but without success. We took into consideration every possible option for SNOWFLAKE, reasonable within our means.
Unfortunately, there are very few options available for an older Pittie with cancer, that cannot be in the sun at all, that has an increasing level of dog aggression & that cannot be crated or separated without infliciting harm upon herself. To leave her in boarding indefinatley, drugged, just in the name of keeping her alive, is not something we were willing to do. SNOWFLAKE deserved more than that!
An emergency NMDOG board meeting was held & after intense deliberation of humane options we could offer SNOWFLAKE, it was decided that we needed to let her go.
SNOWFLAKE left us yesterday with only her recent LIFE in her memory. We did not force her to remain in boarding any longer than neccessary, nor was her cancer so progressed that she felt pain. She visited with the people she loves the most in the world, she spent time with me on my route, she played in the park & she was wagging her tail when she left. We were not able to give SNOWFLAKE all that we had hoped for….a long life. But… for the last six months of her life, SNOWY knew only LOVE, health & happiness in a home.  I am convinced we were able to give her the best 6 months she has ever had. For that I am grateful & for that I feel we did right be her.
My heart goes out to her amazing foster family & the angel that found her in the first place. This was a very heartbreaking experience for us all. My gratitude lies with them, for giving her the best they had to give, & my gratitude lies with our medical team for the unwaivering support they give to me & my gratitude lies with the NMDOG board for being willing to uphold our mission….even when it means making decisions we don’t want to make.
But most of all, my gratitude lies with SNOWFLAKE, for surviving until she was found, for fighting so hard to live & for allowing me the opportunity to know her. SNOWFLAKE…you will live with us always, as do the others we have lost. Your bravery, your strength & your ability to LOVE after going through hell & back will carry me thorugh many more rescues. THANK YOU SNOWFLAKE, for allowing us to be your rescue. I know many will miss you here on earth, but I also know you are now in a better place…never to know another day of suffering.
RIP SNOWFLAKE ♥ We love you!!