Hannah Belle and Jewel

Published 10:34 am Friday, July 8, 2011

Hannah Belle (photo submitted)

I just returned from a very difficult shift at Foothills Humane Society (FHS); we are literally swamped with cats, dogs, puppies and kittens.
It seems like no matter how many programs we set up for spay and neutering, the battle goes on. It’s not only our shelter but the fosters, rescues and our vets that are also crammed.
Tomorrow is our annual adopt-a-thon and I pray many of these sweet kids will find a home.
There are three other cases of dogs that I’m trying to find homes for and I wish to apologize to those people for not getting back to them yet, but I’m working on it.
Jewel is the little Shepherd-Cattle dog mix I had spoke of in “Fighting for life.” When you look at her you see all the attributes of a happy and healthy puppy, playful, loving and hungry for attention.
I had received some bad news about her and I was going to see Dr. Raines. It seems little Jewel’s problems are incurable and even with the best of care, has a year to live, at best. I have seen the x-rays as Donna and I were both in tears while things were being explained to me.
The hardest part is that I cannot afford to fund her cause any longer. It wouldn’t be fair to deplete my funds for a lost cause and deprive other animals of a chance. Those who know me understand that I would move heaven and earth if there was hope. I can fight against ignorance and cruelty, but I cannot battle fate. Sad as it seems, there is beauty and love in this tale also.
Gabby, one of the many great staff members at Landrum vet, has agreed to take Jewel home where she will be loved and her play monitored. I will assist in those expenses now and then when needed from my private funds. Thanks to Gabby and all the others involved, Jewel will not be discarded like a piece of trash; she’ll live a happy life (what’s left of it) and depart this world with dignity.
I take a quick shower then check messages as I fix myself a sandwich. Two messages from cases I’m working on, I’ll be met at the adopt-a-thon tomorrow with a rundown.
“Good,” I think to myself, “that will ease my schedule.”
The last two messages are from Landrum vet and the shelter. An emaciated hound was sent to Landrum that was found lying in gravel on the side of the road. I call FHS and receive as many particulars as I can.
I learn she was brought in by one of our very reliable foster moms. A quick change of clothing and I head out to Landrum. I arrive and check on Shasta and Jewel before seeing Gabby and thanking her.
“She’s a sweet girl,” Gabby said tearfully, “We’ll work something out.”
We hug and then head over to look at the hound that was brought in. My heart sinks as I gaze into her cage, at first I thought she was a puppy. Every bone is protruding as she looks up with sad and confused eyes. I open her cage and her tail thumps, she is happy and grateful for the attention. There’s plenty of food and a soft blanket in her cage.
“She’s eating up a storm,” Gabby said.
She’s definitely a hound but I can’t determine her breed until another staff member tells me, she’s a black and tan. Underneath it all I can see it and I am amazed. I take her in my arms and she is as light as a feather. We bring her to the scale and she stands for a few seconds, tries to take a step and falls down.
“That’s the first time she’s even stood up,” Gabby tells me.
Dr. Donna Raines, who had been busy with another patient, joins us.
“God Donna, she’s only 19 ½ pounds,” I said, shaking with rage and emotion.
I fight hard to hold back my tears because I have a way of setting this group off. We estimate her age to be around 3 years old and we all agree she is less than half the weight she should be.
“First of all,” I said to Donna, “you run whatever tests she needs and do for her whatever you deem necessary. You send the bills to Lennie’s Fund at the shelter, okay?”
Donna just nods, fighting back tears, she’s been around this block with me before. I decide to give her a name. A few are bantered about and then Gabby comes up with Hannah.
“That’s a very special name for me,” I tell her. “I intend to turn her back into a find southern lady.”
We all agreed on Hannah Belle. I open her cage back up, “What do you think Hannah Belle?” She looks up at me with loving eyes and I place a kiss right between them. “You are now one of Uncle Lennie’s Kids, sweetheart, I and all these wonderful people will see to it that no harm will come to you ever again.”
By now I’ve lost the battle and I tearfully leave the vets office.
Outside I look up to the heavens, “I don’t know what your plan is Lord, but I trust in you.”
As I drive away, it dawns on me, because of Jewel, one that I must eventually lose, He has sent me Hannah Belle, one that I can eventually save.
Thanks for listening.

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