The handsome 15 year old, long term foster that we took in in March, passed peacefully over to Rainbow Bridge on Tuesday.
Michelle and her husband, Mark, took him on for us, and you may remember we wrote a blog all about him. (You can read his blog here.) He came to them in a bit of a state, with long nails and poor skin and coat. He didn't like being touched, was stressed, grumpy and aggressive at times, especially, it turns out, to poor Mark, who has had the patience of a saint! We found out he was deaf and pretty much blind and suffered with painful arthritis, but Michelle continued to work with him, and made wonderful progress.
Things started to go downhill a few weeks ago, when Dylan was becoming very nippy around Mark. We spent a long time in discussion with Michelle about his future, and Michelle was adamant that she wasn't giving up on him! We spoke to Joy, from the Birkett-Smith Animal Sanctuary about his behaviour, and asked if she could pass on any tips. Joy very kindly offered to have him at the Sanctuary for a few weeks, working with him on his stress factors, and getting him comfortable with having a muzzle being put on and off for when he became a bit grumpy! After two weeks or so, Michelle was speeding her way to the Sanctuary to collect her boy, she was so happy to have him home!
Dylan had a quiet few weeks, and then last week, Michelle told us that things weren't going well. Dylan had started to be a bit grumpy with her, which was something he'd not done before, and had a seizure. He was getting quite stressed, and the vet was concerned there were neurological changes. We were all concerned about him, and discussed the awful inevitable...we knew what was coming. Michelle told us that she would know when the time was right, and we all supported her completely.
So, on Tuesday, we had the message that we all dreaded, that the time had come. Michelle told us: "I'm gutted he's going so quickly, but he's very confused and panics if I am not there now, and I can't bear to see him stressed." Michelle's vet came to the house, and Dylan passed away peacefully in Michelle's arms, smothered in kisses. As sad as we all were, we knew that he was now at peace, and out of pain and stress.
Michelle wrote these words about Dylan, that she shared with the Foster Team in our foster forum:
"We opened the car, and there you were, sat all frightened and giving me that stare
I knew it would take some time but thought to myself 'Oh dear, he's mine'
But you were not long in my home, but you certainly made it our own
With those big white teeth and soulful eyes, you liked to give that gleaming smile
Hubby was the best and admired your teeth, although maybe at times a bit too close to see
You liked to cry through the night, maybe the dark gave you a fright,
The sofa became my bed, and you soon rested your head
You stuck by me as I stuck by you, as we both wanted to be like glue
You opened your heart, as I opened mine, and soon we were both entwined.
Now you're gone, and all pain free, run my baby and be set free
I will miss you, everyday,
But go and make sure you play, as another day we will see each other again."
We cannot say how much we admire Michelle and Mark, and thank them from the bottom of our hearts for doing such a marvellous job for Dylan. He was so lucky to have found his angel here on earth. We'd also like to thank our incredible foster team, who followed his ups and downs with us through Michelle's posts on the forum, and were always on hand day or night to support Michelle. You are all amazing people, and we are so grateful you are part of our team.
Run free, Dylan, until we meet you again.