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vickyimom

Zoo Angels

81 posts in this topic

Malcatraz' Mouse Shadow on the Second Moon

August 1, 1998 ~ February 20, 2011

Rescue is never easy, most days it makes you weary down to your soul, the endless barrage of dogs in need, waiting for their second chance, a chance just to have life and be loved. Rescuers stretch the limits of their resources, and their hearts, to always make room for one more sad face, one more broken body, and bring them in, fix them up, and find them that second chance. So many dogs come through our doors, get healed, and go on.

And once in awhile, one comes and stays.

Four years ago, a sad senior boy was pulled off a chain in Missouri by a good samaritan - a chain where he he had been for his whole life, more than eight long years. His collar had never been adjusted to accomodate his growth as a pup, and was imbedded in his neck. He was heartworm positive. His untreated thyroid condition had made most of his hair fall out, and his ears were eaten away by flystrike. If ever a dog needed - deserved - a second chance, this poor fellow did. We got him to safety with IAMRA volunteers Dane & Julie. One look at his sad face, his eyes that had lost hope, and my heart broke for him, I knew he was meant to come and live with me. And so he came. He came with "papers", and a name, Sir Sky. I doubt that any human had ever spoken his name to him - he didn't know it, didn't respond. We tried a variety of names, no response, no interest. Most times it seemed as if he had given up. He was afraid of everything, likely from chained out alone, unprotected, unloved, from puppyhood to senior. The one thing he wasn't afraid of, was food. He loved dinnertime, and any kind of treats. He would get happy feet, and would wooo-woooo, which sounded like "mooo mooo".......and one day, we answered him with a mooo of our own, and he smiled! Our boy had named himself - Moo.

Moo settled in nicely with all the other furries, dogs and cats alike, I think he was happy to finally have a pack to call his own. His neck healed up after surgery to remove the collar, his heartworms died off with treatment, his coat came back with medication, and little by little, his fears subsided. He learned that if he was ever uncomfortable or afraid, he could always "put himself to bed" - his favorite spot was a small rug at the foot of our bed, and he felt safe there. As the days went on, he put himself to bed less and less frequently, and his signature moooo became synonymous for "I want". A mooo at the front door asked for a walk or a romp in the woods. A mooo in the kitchen, told us that we were behind on giving out treats or dinner. And a soft mooo at the side of the bed or couch, was asking for an invitation to come up and snuggle. Moo was there for us, we cried into his soft fur as we lost the big bad boyz of Malcatraz one by one, Finnigan, Moose, and Merlin. For the last two years, he has been the sole survivor of our big bad boy pack - tho he really wasn't ever bad - he was always very good, soft and sweet, but he was part of the pack just the same. It was as if he knew he was in charge now, with the other boys gone, and needed to step up and take care of his humans. He became more and more outgoing, and his moooo! resonated through our house more and more often. Life was good.

Last summer, just after his 12th birthday, Moo was diagnosed with lymphoma. We made the decsison to try the chemo, to buy our old man some precious time - too much of his life had already been stolen from him on that chain in Missouri. He sailed through his treatments - never missed a beat. He was amazing. His treatment gave us six more glorious months together. One of his many nicknames was Muad'deb - which is the Mouse Shadow on the Second Moon - and it also means teacher in Arabic. And Moo taught us so much - that the worst can be overcome, that every day is a precious gift, to make the most of each and every day and each and every opportunity. A few days ago, our Moo let us know that our time together was coming to an end, and on Sunday morning, he beckoned me with a last soft moo to come join him in his favorite place, the rug at the end of the bed. With his head on my lap he left us, and left a scar on our hearts that will never heal - the price of loving him so much.

Spend all your time waiting for that second chance

For the break that will make it ok

There's always some reason to feel “not good enough”

And it's hard at the end of the day

I need some distraction, oh beautiful release

Memories seep from my veins

They may be empty and weightless, and maybe

I'll find some peace tonight

In the arms of the Angels, fly away from here

From this dark, cold hotel room, and the endlessness that you fear

You are pulled from the wreckage of your silent reverie

You're in the arms of the Angels; may you find some comfort here

Godspeed my Moo, my love. I promise you will be safe in the arms of the angels, until the day comes when we can be together and you can again be safe in mine.

Vicky

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Dear Vicky. I just read this thread from the beginning. It is pure poetry. I don't understand how one person can have her heart broken so many times. I only understand that I admire you with all my heart. Peace be with you.

Mike

Edited by Mike (Guy's person)

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Vicky, I am so sorry. The love these beautiful animals provide in our lives it was makes their parting from us (only for a while) so hard.

:five:

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Vic, I can only echo what Mike said -- "I don't understand how one person can have her heart broken so many times. I only understand that I admire you with all my heart." That was beautifully said Mike, and Vic -those words echo from my heart too.

Vic, I can't tell u how often I think of u.

Moo, I know u and the other zoo angels are watching over ur mama-it must be where she finds her strength. Can u give Merlimouse a hug from me and the boyz Moo? We love all of u "big bad boys".

Love and hugs,

Cindy

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Vic -

I am so sorry for your loss. I am not as eloquent with words as most people so I can only echo their sentiments. You are truly an angel here on earth for all

these furbabies that you help and I know each one takes a piece of our hearts when they journey to the RB. But we wouldn't have it any other way.

Fly free, sweet Moo.

((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((HUGS))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

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Thank you everyone, for your kind words for my sweet Moo.

We miss him more than words can say :(

Vicky

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Malcatraz' Margaux's Sensation 1999 - May 4th, 2011

Rescue gets pleas for help everyday, there are always more dogs in need than we can possibly help. In March of 2010, this sad plea came into my inbox, and it touched me so deeply, right down to my soul.

It’s Michelle at the Champaign County Humane Society. I have a Malamute in need and am wondering if you are able to help us. Her name is Babe and she is an old old spayed female. Babe came to us originally in 2007 because her owner was ill and could not care for her. Her owner had been temporarily placed in a nursing home but was released after a very short time. The shelter manager at the time, returned Babe to his care. She was in terrible shape then, but even worse now. Babe is covered in mats, feces and urine. Her toenails are overgrown. She has dental problems and possible Hypothyroidism or Cushings disease. Her demeanor is completely amazing despite how she has been treated her entire life. She is good with people, other dogs and loves cats. I know this is a lot to ask of any rescue. I just don’t want Babe to be euthanized before she can experience what life should be like. Please let me know if you can help us in any way.

And that is how Babe came into our lives, Mark went and picked her up the very next day. And she was in as bad shape as the shelter said she was, maybe even worse. She was also every bit as sweet as they said she was, the poor old girl. She was a sight, shaved to the skin, old and saggy and sad, her head hung low, barely able to gingerly shuffle along. A trip to the vet told us what we already knew, she was very old, in poor condition, and hypothyroid.....and she was also suffering from early stage kidney failure. And so began our journey of making Babe better, and making her ours. We got her on meds for her thyroid, special food and filtered water for her kidneys, supplements for her old achy joints, and took the excess weight off her. We soothed her itchy skin, tended to her overgrown feet, and showered her with love - and she stole our hearts so quickly - we fell in love with her, hard and fast, like an unexpected tumble down a steep slope. And she blossomed, bigtime. A month after she had been with us, she hardly seemed like the same old beat up girl....she was bouncy for walks, vocal (very vocal!) for her meals and snacks, and loved to play, she had quite the sense of humor. She liked bossing around her mostly blind and deaf rescue sister, Mercy, but also watched out for her, acting as her eyes and eers. Babe was particularly fond of our young Pyr, Ivan, and in the mornings she would bound around the house with him, play bowing and playing chase. When the morning play was over, she would seek out her Daddy, and demand he share his breakfast with her, she lectured him - loudly - on the virtues of sharing until he handed over a shredded wheat or two. She was very much a Daddy's spoiled princess. She really lit up our lives with her old lady antics, and of course we were head over heels for our funny little old girl with the big personality, and thought she would be with us for a long time to come, she had gotten so much better, healthier and stronger, and was so full of life....

This morning when I got up, Babe was curled up in her big fluffy bed as always. She looked content as if still in dream, the dreams of the happy things that our dogs must dream of on lazy sun drenched afternoons, and in the calming cover of the dark of night. But this morning there was no morning greeting, no tilt of her head, no wag of her tail. Babe was silent and still. The Angels had come and taken our girl during the night, and took our hearts right along with her.

And I have never been afraid of losing you

And I have never wanted love to be a chain

I only know that when I'm with you

You're my sunshine, you're my rain

The sweetest thing I've ever known is loving you

But I'm afraid now Babe, of having to learn to live without you, afraid of how our lives are forever changed, so very empty and quiet without you here. Please wait for Daddy and me in Heaven pretty girl. We love you, so sweetly, for always.

Vicky

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Oh Vicky, I am so very sorry for your loss. What a special girl Babe was and how lucky that you both found each other. Words really won't help heal the hurt in your heart but please know many of us know how you are feeling and hurt with you. God Speed precious Babe.

Hugs,

Pat

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Vic, we're all with you today mourning your loss of Babe. We love you. I'm so sorry. Rest peacefully Babe - too many at the bridge are there to meet you and play with you until Mama and Papa come home.

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Vic and Mark,

So sorry for your loss of Babe. She was very fortunate to have made your home the last stop on her way to the Bridge. As always, we wish it could have been longer. No doubt it will be you two that she will be waiting for at the Bridge along with so many of the Zoo that have gone before her.

Our love,

Juli and kitties

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Vicky, I pray that God will heal your heart in a way that only God can do. Moose sounded like an incredible Dog. He will always be with you inside your heart.

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Vicky,

Your writing makes these magnificent angels come alive for us. I only wish we could do the same and bring them back to this life for you. But, you understand, probably better than anyone I know, that the time for loving them is when they are put into your life, by whatever means God decides to get them there.

I am sorry for your loss of Babe, but want to thank you and Mark for answering the call, and making her twilight years the best for her.

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My heart aches for u and Mark. I'm so sorry Vic.

:animcndc_sm: Run free sweet babe.

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I am so sorry Vicky and Mark. (((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((((HUGS))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))

Run free, Babe. Let your mama and daddy know that you are ok.

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It seems like just last week that I was overwhelmed by how many times you've already suffered the loss of a furry family member. Vicky, you will surely have a huge reunion at the rainbow bridge someday. Until then, may your many pets, including Babe, have happy times at the Zoo.

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Dear Vicky,

I was crying earlier - and now I cannot stop. Your words are so eloquent and you've always brought your wonderful babies alive to us - as Paula said. Babe was indeed so very lucky to have you and Mark allow her the joy and happiness of her twilight years - as only you could. I wish I could reach through and wrap my arms around you for real ...

Please know you all are in my thoughts, heart and prayers.

God bless you sweet Babe.

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All of our love,

Always and Forever -

Donna and 'The Bandit' :wub:

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Thanks so much everyone, for your kind words of comfort and support.

It is so quiet and sad here, without our little old lady following us and bossing us (and everyone else!) around.

We miss her so much.....I am sure all the rest of the Zoo Angels have welcomed her at the Rainbow Bridge - so she is in good company.

Hugs to you all, and hug your furries tight.

Vicky

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You are always in my heart Vic...but even moreso now. I just wish I could take ur pain away.

Much love and hugs!

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Malcatraz' Mercy Mercy Me 1997 ~ July 19th, 2011

It was her smile that caught my eye.....in May of 2009, a picture of a darling little northern girl popped up on my computer. The sweet girl had a tilt to her head, and a great big smile. She was in Mercer County West Virginia, out of options, out of time......and I couldn't say no to her smile. And so Mercy came to Malcatraz. The shelter had said she was older, maybe seven or so, but when she arrived, it was clear that she was much older than that, over 10 for sure, maybe 11 or 12. The darling tilt to her head was from her ears...years and years of untreated ear infections had permanently damaged her ears :( We were able to take away her pain, but could do nothing about her hearing loss, so our little girl was pretty much deaf. And her eyes were quickly clouding over.....we knew her sight wouldn't last long either. We were concerned about her breathing too - hoping for just an upper respiratory infection - but Mercy was diagnosed with laryngeal paralysis, and for her surgery was not a viable option :(

So we knew she'd be ours forever, and that suited us just fine :)

What a little sweetheart! Always smiling, always happy, always tilting her head up for treats. Even being mostly deaf and going blind, she could always zero in on her treats. Chicken was her favorite. Mercy was good with all the other dogs, and cats too - we weren't so sure that she even knew the cats were here. She loved to go on little walks, and was quite spry for her age, had a little bounce in her step. It seemed as if no matter what life dished out to her over the years that hadn't been kind, her spirit of happiness remained intact, and was contagious - you couldn't be around her, and not smile back at her.

When Mercy had been with us almost a year, we took in another old gal, Babe. Babe and Mercy became friends...like two little old ladies bickering over a bridge game in the nursing home :) Babe bossed Mercy around, always talking to her and telling her what to do, and Mercy relied on Babe to be her eyes and ears. They were as different as night and day, but were friends just the same, growing old together. They enjoyed their old lady spa days - going to the special senior dog groomer. They came home knowing they looked mahvelous, darling. I always imagined it the doggie equivalent of two old grannies at the clip-n-curl, grey hair in rollers, gossiping with their heads under the dryers and looking at the pictures in old magazines.

Babe went to the Bridge, suddenly, in May. Poor little Mercy was lost without her best friend :( We spent alot of extra time with our sweet Meezer, and Miss and Ivan hung out with her too, hoping to help fill the void left by Babe's passing. Mercy did adjust - mostly - to the loss of her best friend. But now there was a little hint of sadness in our always happy girl, and that broke our hearts. She had been declining physically as she got older, but it seemed to be accelerating now that Babe was gone. Over this past weekend, she failed quickly. By Sunday, she could not stand at all, even with help. And on Monday, she refused food...even her beloved chicken. We knew it was time, our little girl was just all tired out, with no will to go on. We held our litle Meezer princess all through the night, and told her what a loved and special girl she was, and that she would never have to be apart from Babe again, and that someday Mama and Papa would come join her too. And Tuesday morning, we held our little girl in our arms one last time, and helped her over to the Bridge.

Oh Mercy Mercy Me

Things ain't what they used to be

Where did all the blue skies go.............

No, things ain't what they used to be - our hearts are broken into a million pieces, we miss you so much little girl :(

Meezer, you can see the blue skies again, your world is no longer dark. And you can hear the birds and the squirrels, your world is no longer silent. And you're with Babe....starting out on new adventures, ones that will never have to end.

Wear your sparkly little silver princess harness with pride little Mercy Meezer. We will love you, always, for bringing so much happiness into our lives. We'll see you in heaven, sweet one.

Vicky

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Ah Vicky ;( I am so sorry for the loss of Mercy. So very very very sad. You have endured so much loss lately, this is just heart breaking. With tears I re-read abut Mercy. But I have to think that you took this beautiful senior lady in and showed her the best last years of her life ever with Babe. And that is so amazing.

Love,

Melissa

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Oh, Vic, I am just heartbroken for ur loss of Mercy. My heart aches for the void she has left along, with so many kids that are waiting for her-all from her loving Malcatraz home.

Vic, I don't know how u are still functioning-so many pieces of ur heart in the past couple of years have taken wing to the Bridge. I know all of us, ur friends, are sending love and hugs and hoping we can hold u up when u most need it.

I'm so sorry, Vic.

:animcndc_sm: fly free sweet Mercy-be with ur bestest buddy Babe, and all ur brothers and sisters-romp and play until ur mama and Papa come.

Hugs.

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Dear Vicki,

When I get deaf and nearly blind, I hope someone will give me a wonderful home like you did for Mercy. And I hope I have a best friend like Babe. Mercy sure was a lucky girl.

Best wishes,

Mike, the cutest angel Guy, and Lola

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Although it's hard to imagine after the special treatment you received the last few years...

Ah, Mercy, Mercy me life in heaven is BETTER than it used to be. You and Babe tell the angels just how you want your fur styled.

Vicky, I'm sorry. Thanks for the love you showed for this WV girl.

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Oh Vicky, I'm so sorry. You and Mark have gone through so much loss at Malcatraz, and now sweet Mercy has gone to join her BFF, Babe and all the many other Malcatraz Angels waiting for her.

Sending you many many special gentle healing HUGS and LOVE. And holding you tight in my heart, thoughts and prayers.

Oh Mercy ~ what a lucky girl. You found loving parents, a great family and a "bestie" to "see" you through. Now, you can see the colors of the flowers and the rainbow; hear the birds, your brothers and sisters and your BFF, Babe !!! And there will be a time when you will see your mama and daddy again.

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With ALL our LOVE,

Always and Forever ~

Donna and 'The Bandit' :wub:

:felineicon:

:heart: :heart:

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PICASSO April 1st. 1991 ~ April 26th, 2013

It was a day, just like any other day, take care of critters, go to work, run errands after work. We had no idea that day would forever change the rest of our lives. After work, I swung by the vet to pick up a prescription for one of our kids. While waiting in line, one of the gals at the front desk sung out “Hi Vicky, are you here to pick up your cat?”. Cat?? Huh?? Before I could say “What cat?”, Pam, who handled the strays there, grabbed me by the arm and whisked me into the back room. I couldn’t even get a question in, she was explaining as fast as she could. This wonderful, but older cat had come in as stray. He went unclaimed, and adoptors were scarce, especially for older kitties. He was also missing part of his jaw. But he was so sweet. Every time his *time* was up, she would move him to the end of the line again. But that couldn’t go on forever, and she was told his time couldn’t be extended again, as others needed their chance too. So, in a panic, she had put my name on him. “Here”, she said as she shoved him into my arms – “isn’t he sweet?”.

Uh Oh. Mark and I had recently had the talk, that it was often so hard to have mals and cats together, and our old kitty StormCat probably wouldn’t be too thrilled with any new feline additions anyway. So no more kitties right now. Yes, I had agreed. Now what? The only thing I could do, of course, take him home, and figure out an explanation. And heck, since I was already breaking the rules, I told Pam I’d take the next in line kitty too, he’d need a friend, since ol’ StormCat wasn’t going to play with him. So, in for their neuters they went, my cat and next cat, and I started thinking about how to explain 2 new kitties to Mark. I got a call from the vet, the “next cat” had an anesthesia reaction and died during his neuter, they tried to bring him back, and couldn’t. I sobbed for him, he was mine already in my heart even though I didn’t know him, and through the tears asked if *my* kitty was alright. He was.......and he would still need a friend, so pick another in need for me.....

So Picasso came to live with us, and so did Dali (who quickly told us he did not like that name, and is now known as Lloyd). We named him Picasso, because he seemed a bit like a Picasso painting, with the piece of his jaw missing. And Pam was right – he was the sweetest kitty on the planet! He was great with everything and everyone – all people (even sticky little humans, he would let kids pet him for hours), dogs, cats, you name it, Picasso was an equal opportunity lover. Even people that weren’t “cat people” would comment on what a cool cat he was. He became Mark’s kitty – sleeping on his chest every night, and following Mark around telling him “MEOW” (Picasso had the loudest meow on the planet, it could make you jump out of your skin if you weren’t expecting it). Meow, of course, meant “tend to me”, and Mark quickly learned a good variety of human tricks including feed me, pet me, and other useful things. Picasso’s favorite food was shrimp. Mark made sure there was always a bag of shrimp in the freezer for his kitty. And Mark never could fall asleep again without having Picasso on his chest, snuggled in and purring loudly. And Picasso grew old with us.

In February of 2012, he had a stroke, and we were terrified that we were going to lose him, he was almost 21 years old then. With round the clock care, and by the grace of God, he made a full recovery, and in a few weeks was back to his old self. We knew how blessed we were, and made sure that every single day, our old man kitty would get lots of extra love, and (of course) shrimp. A few weeks ago, Picasso fell ill. He had been himself for his 22nd birthday on April 1st, but a few days later, it was if all the wind was let out of his sails. His decline was fast, and our vet suspected cancer, lymphoma. We gave him meds to make him feel better, and pred to try to keep the disease at bay a bit. We coaxed him to drink, and eat small bits every few hours around the clock, and carry him around with us, and watch him sleep in his favorite place. We had to somehow come to grips, that our old sweet kitty wasn’t going to get better this time. How do you do that? How do you tell your heart that it is going to break into a million pieces? The emotion is like a runaway freight train that you cannot stop. And we couldn’t stop it. Picasso died peacefully at home, on his own, in his Daddy’s arms, at 8am.

If I could, then I would

I'll go wherever you will go

Way up high or down low

I'll go wherever you will go

Run away with my heart

Run away with my hope

Run away with my love

I know now, just quite how

My life and love might still go on

In your heart, in your mind

I'll stay with you for all of time

You’ll stay with us for all of time, our very special Casso kitty Casso kitty. You’ll never leave our hearts, and we’ll wait to be with you on the other side, wait for us there, special boy, and know we love you always.

Mom and Dad

Picasso’s post script: The night before Picasso went to the Bridge, Mark saw a cat that he thought was Picasso (black and white tuxedo type) in the woods in our backyard when he was walking one of the dogs. He of course ran back home, and Picasso was safe and sound in his bed. He then thought maybe he was imagining things, his mind playing tricks on him, being so worried about our Casso kitty. I’ve waited for that kitty every night since Picasso has gone on ahead. And he has come every night, so far – at exactly 8pm. He eats, lingers for a bit on our back stairs (if we don’t get too close) and then disappears back into the darkness.

I’ll be waiting for him again tonight, and every night to come. Just like every night I will be waiting to see Picasso again, in my dreams.

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