In Memory of Our Dogs

Archie: “Little Man,” you spent less than a month with us, but touched us all in a short amount of time. I knew you didn’t have long when you came here. I only wish it could have been longer … I wish we could have turned back time for you.  We welcomed 19-year-old, Little Man Archie (formerly Flash) into Leashes End on October 25th and said goodbye on November 21st. He was completely blind in one eye and partially blind in the other. He also had terrible arthritis, a grade 3 heart murmur, and significant renal failure. Because of his renal failure, Little Man had a hard time digesting food and was, consequently, way too skinny. We did our best to fatten him up a bit.  In spite of all his ailments, Archie had an outsized spirit. He loved to get around and learned the lay of the house in no time. He hung out with the pack and had had a pretty good final month, sleeping in soft warm beds (and my embrace), eating chicken and pretty much anything else he wanted, and enjoying a peaceful home life.  Sadly, his body couldn’t keep up with his spirit. It failed him on the night of 20/21 November. We had to let him go. And he went peacefully. Find the Leashes End folks on the other side, Little Man!

Buster: It was with the heaviest of hearts that we made the painful decision to help Buster across the Rainbow Bridge on August 3rd, 2018. He and Kelley had forged the closest and most loving of bonds since his joining us in December, 2016. Although only 8 years old, Buster suffered from severe cardiac disease, a crippled back leg, and an emotional disorder akin to PTSD, after having been mauled by a larger dog. In spite of his health issues, Buster was content at Leashes End and most importantly he knew he was loved.  He hung out in the kitchen awaiting all kinds of delicious treats; napped under the coffee table; kept Kelley company in the garden while she tended her flowers; and never ever let a sneeze or toilet flush go by without giving the hapless maker of those noises a good scolding. Sweet Buster, RIP.  We’ll miss your feisty antics.

Ceci:   Ceci passed away suddenly in late July 2019, following a week of abnormally intense and frequent seizures.  She was a tiny, toothless 14-year-old Maltese with a tremendous heart. The last of a line, Ceci was Kitty’s granddaughter and Soofi’s daughter. Ceci came to us in April, 2015 after her owner (my Aunt Haydee Geyer) passed away from cancer. It wasn’t long before we realized that Ceci had serious health issues of her own: congestive heart failure brought on by pulmonary hypertension put Ceci in the animal Critical Care Unit for a week! Through medication, diet, and exercise, Ceci beat the odds and went on to live 5+ fabulous years at Leashes End… years of romping through bushes and rolling in dirt, Ceci’s favorites! Ceci firmly believed that pretty top knots look best adorned with brush, brambles, and grass stains! RIP, Ceci My Love!  We will miss you forever!

China:  19-year-old China joined the Leashes End family on January 5th, 2020.  She’s wa a super sweet spaniel/terrier mix.  She was so laid back … and had a novel way of sitting up like a person!  Poor China came to us emaciated but had put on 4lbs before she passed away unexpectedly.  She suffered from bronchitis (cough); kidney and liver disease; rotten teeth, and some damage to her lower spine, which caused lameness in her back legs and sadly incontinence. But China had a good appetite and a great attitude! She enjoyed running around the grounds, sniffing all the smells, exploring the bushes, and just LOVING life. China got sick very suddenly at the end of February 2020, with multiple organ failure and sepsis. She was suffering and her odds of recovery were very low. We decided the most humane course of action was to help her across the bridge.  RIP, Sweet China.  May your memory be a blessing.

Dixie: We lost sweet Dixie to a massive seizure on the night of April 21st, 2020.  Poor 15-year-old Dixie was a 7-pound Chihuahua who came to us in August 2016 on death’s door. She had belonged to a back yard breeder. When she became too old to produce any more litters, her owners squeezed a last $50 out of her by selling her on Craig’s List! Dixie was so ill she could scarcely stand, let alone walk. Her teeth were rotten; she had a large mammary tumor; she suffered from the worst case of endometriosis our vet had ever seen; her uterus was mangled from over-breeding; and her ears bore the holes and scars of a lifetime of fly bites from living outdoors. But following her surgeries and treatments, Dixie went on to live nearly four wonderful years at Leashes End. She loved to run around the grounds, hang out with the other dogs on plush beds, snuggle with her humans, and dine on excellent food and treats! Her coat filled in, she gained weight, and even the fur on her ears grew back! Dixie was the sweetest girl; she knew she was loved and treasured. RIP, Sweet Dixie. May your memory be a blessing.

Dudley:  Dudley joined the Leashes End family is November, 2018 and passed away unexpectedly on the night of December 20, 2019 at the age of 14.  Caring Hearts Rescue in Fairfax, VA had pulled Dudley from a hoarding situation. Doe-eyed, gentle, & sweet, Dudley always sported a shy, friendly smile. Dudley would shuffle from paw to paw like a little kid whenever he was excited with anticipation for a walk or a treat.  He’d rub his head in his pillow each night before bed, offer me kisses, and revel in a short belly rub. He had the most boisterous bark, which was always comically out of synch with whatever the rest of the pack would be going on about.  He was the model for every lovable cartoon dog: fluffy, adorable, perfect. The void Dudley leaves in our home and hearts is enormous.  RIP, Duds, may your memory be a blessing.

Goldie: Formerly “Pippa,” passed away rather abruptly and unexpectedly in early March 2021 … about one year after joining our family at the outset of the global pandemic. Goldie’s prior owners surrendered her to the Montgomery County Shelter after what appears to have been a lifetime of neglect and probable abuse. But day by day she blossomed and grew at Leashes End. This happy, scrappy, free-spirited, 15-year-old wiggle butt loved good food, belly rubs, running around off leash, and barking her head off at the neighbors, deer, geese, and things we could only guess about… at all hours of the day and night.  Goldie enjoyed napping in the foyer and at night she always preferred sleeping in her own bed at the base of my nightstand. Timid and reluctant at first, by the end of her year with us, Goldie had gained confidence & trust. She would join me in bed for 20 minutes of belly rubs before heading back to her own bed for the night.  Goldie succumbed to renal failure, pancreatitis, and a tumor at the base of her heart … that we had no idea about. Goldie, my wiggly happy girl, I will miss you so much.

Jerry:   In late July, 2014, I learned of a frail senior Maltese in the Tampa area in desperate need of rescue.  Problem was, the good Samaritans who wanted to rescue him, couldn’t do so without a forever home lined up.  Asher just happened to be driving through that area at the time, so we volunteered. Within days Jerry had Asher (the cat person) wrapped around his little paw!  Poor Jerry was senile and skinny.  We fixed the latter soon enough, but Jerry remained endearingly mad as a hatter to the end.  We got to love Jerry for 13 months before he passed peacefully in his sleep.  He touched all our hearts with his antics and we will miss him forever! 

Kitty:  Kitty is the inspiration who started it all!  Our first dog, Kitty was a 14-year-old blind Maltese with advanced diabetes and anorexia when she joined us in September of 2013.  She was also Soofi’s mother and Ceci’s grandmother.  It breaks my heart that we didn’t get Kitty sooner.  Her diabetes was so far advanced, we were unable to stabilize her glucose arc.  She passed away from complications, three months after coming home with us.  Right to the end, Kitty maintained her impish sense of humor…even during her insulin injections.  She has also been our only Maltese to play with toys.  She left us far too soon, but she left us with a mission.  If it hadn’t been for Kitty, there would be no Leashes End.

Mac:  18-year-old Mac passed away in early February 2021, shattering my heart into 1000 pieces in the process.  He was the last of the old guard having come to me just over seven years prior.  At the time, I thought Mac was a senior a senior at 11-years-old. Maccabee, my Hanukkah dog.  Mac survived 10 years as a stud dog in a puppy mill prior to being rescued. He was a real cuddler and my constant companion at night … read “bed hog.” Every night without fail, I’d feel the press of his paws against my side, pushing me ever closer to the edge of the mattress as he stretched out carefree.  And oh how he loved to run. Mac ran around the grounds off leash like the wind. A true free spirit, making up for all those years of having been locked in a cage.  He welcomed me home from deployments. He got along with cats & dogs. He visited art galleries. He cruised the Potomac. He ran a 5K with me; ok, he rode the doggie stroller and I ran. He attended black tie galas. He really, really LIVED. At nearly 19, he defied so many obstacles: dementia, congestive heart failure, kidney disease, toothlessness, deafness, losing your eyesight along with too much weight. Ultimately, it all proved too much for his frail, little body.  Life without Mac is so much emptier. So much duller. I miss him now and forever.

Pappy: At nearly 19-years-old, Pappy had the honor of being the oldest canine member of the Leashes End family. Pappy’s family surrendered him along with two other senior dogs to Montgomery County Animal Services prior to moving to Florida in late 2017. Pappy fit right in at Leashes End and formed an instant bond with Asher. He enjoyed sleeping in high places such as the back cushions of the couch or atop a pillow above our heads in bed.  He had the sweetest disposition and cuddled right up to everyone he met! Pappy developed severe glaucoma and subsequent blindness early in 2018 but kept trucking along with the pack. In November, 2018, however, Pappy stopped eating. It turns out he had developed a bleeding ulcer, possibly as a result of cancer. We decided to help him cross the bridge, rather than allow him to suffer.  Pappy spent his final days, hours, and minutes surrounded by friends and family who loved him very, very much.  RIP, Sweet Pappy. 

Sheldon: Devoted is the first word that comes to mind when I think of “My Dope,” as we affectionately called Sheldon. He was so lovingly devoted to me from the first day he set foot in this home. Sheldon was a pushy 16-year-old Westie and just as cute as they come! He joined the Leashes End family in early December 2018 when his aging humans could no longer take care of him. Sheldon was the most straight-shooting dog you could ever meet. Whatever he was thinking he let you know with intense facial expressions and a booming bark. He followed me around during the day, slept on my feet at night, and simply would never take no for an answer about sharing my pizza. He LOVED gnawing on squeaky toys, giving the cats a hard time, and having his belly rubbed.  Sheldon passed away on 1 September 2020 from complications associated with his renal failure. He remained pretty active right up to his passing. And I stayed right by his side, holding him close to the very end.  Sheldon leaves an outsized void in this home and in our hearts. Oh, Sheldon, we miss you so much and always will. RIP, Dope. May your memory be a blessing. Z”L.

Soofi: Soofi, My Beloved, I will never cease grieving your loss. Soofi was sweet to the core. She never growled, bit, or even barked in anger. She had no concept of malice.  She was a treat hound for sure, but she was a pure soul.  Loving, jovial, plump, perfect! Soofi was also one of the last living links to my Aunt Haydee. Haydee asked me to take care of Soofi on November 10, 2013 as she battled an aggressive cancer that would eventually take her life. It was Haydee who charged me with establishing a Rescue. Soofi lived a full life, first with my aunt and later with me. She was 15-years-old and had recently been diagnosed with Cushing’s Disease. Cushing’s is treatable, so Soofi’s rapid deterioration and untimely passing caught us off guard. But Soofi had an adverse reaction to the Vetoryl prescribed to treat her Cushing’s, resulting in an Addisonian crisis, for which she received treatment at the pet ER. Sadly, and contrary to all expectations, Soofi expired mere hours after her discharge. Our Internist suspects a blood clot in her lungs (a common side effect of all this) was the culprit. Poor Soofi passed while napping on my chest in front of our fire place. She was one of a kind and I will miss her forever. RIP, Sweet Soofi.

Stella:  Our feisty 16-year-old Stella had an apparent stroke during the night of 20-21 September 2020. Her passing took us by surprise and we are just grateful that it was quick and peaceful.  Stella joined the Leashes End family in March 2019. Her mouth had been neglected for so long, her teeth were so rotten, that the vet feared some extractions would cause her jaw to deteriorate! She came to us nearly blind with nuclear sclerosis and limping from a luxating patella. And she was so matted from head-to-toe, it took three days to clear them. But none of that slowed her down.  Stella bounced back quickly from her surgery and acclimated to life at Leashes End in no time. She was such a spitfire, always the first to run barking out the door at neighbors walking down the street.  She was a perfect fit with the rest of our high-energy Chihuahua hooligans!  Yet for all that, if you could catch up to her, she’d reward you with sweet nose kisses. But just for a minute! Then she’d squirm to be put down so she could run off and chase someone!  RIP, Sweet Stella. I will miss your sweet, tiny furor. May your memory be a blessing for this house and all who knew and loved you. Z”L.

Tessa:  Wait! Don’t cry! 14-year-old Tessa is still very much alive!She is living out her Happily-Ever-After with the nicest family in Beltsville, MD. Tessa came to live at Leashes End in November 2017! She ended up at the Montgomery County Shelter for a second time in eight years a hot mess! Poor Tessa was emaciated, matted, and severely anemic. Her original adopters from eight years ago could not be found, which is good in a way, since it’s obvious that Tessa had been abused. After nearly three months, it became clear that Tessa needed a home where she could be an only dog. And boy oh boy did she luck out! Two retired sisters took her into their hearts and home … Beckie and Sherri are the loveliest people and the best part is now Tessa has two moms and and no canine competitors!Tessa loves walking with Beckie, and using their doggie door to access their gorgeous yard on her own … but never before noon. Apparently, our diva Tessa likes to sleep in.

Toby:  On March 7, 2020,  I bid farewell to a cherished family member. I helped an ailing companion cross the bridge to eternal peace. Toby came to us on Christmas Eve 2018, after his family refused to pick him up from the shelter where he had been turned in as a stray. I think we all figured this would be a hospice case. A 21-year-old dog?! That’s ancient by any standard! And Toby wasn’t just ancient, he was a hot mess! House with a Heart‘s K9 Medical Miracle Fund helped cover his vet bills, including cardiology for an enlarged heart, dental surgery, and senior panel. And Lori Whitehurst visited him often. We will always be beyond grateful!!! Toby surprised us all when he kept on living! Past 6 months, past a year … incredible! He had a fiercely independent spirit and was happiest when left to pace around the front yard on his own. Boy did he give Kelley hell on grooming days! He could make a colossal mess out of a food bowl in seconds flat! And cuddles? Not so fast! Hands off!! But he loved a good game of tag or just following me around. Toby developed a small growth on his neck, which turned out to be a mast cell tumor; it rapidly grew and spread. Because of his age and underlying health conditions, Toby was not a good candidate for surgery. Slowly, he began to fade. He lost his energy and began sleeping a lot. He lost his eyesight, but could still navigate fairly well using his other senses. But then he started losing his balance, and finally his appetite… even for fish sticks, his favorite. It was getting hard to discern any joy for living in this once vibrant pup. I decided it was time to let him go. He had made it well into his 22nd year!  RIP, Toby.  We will always miss your spirit.