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November 11, 2015:


There is no deeper pain than the loss of someone you love. And in our work, we've loved so many. When they leave us, there's much more left behind than just a collar and a leash. There are the memories that linger within our hearts. Moments that will never be forgotten. Their trusting faces that we held in our hands the day they were rescued. The fur that we've stroked and eventually dampened with our tears. Their stories that we continue to share well after they're gone. Because they mattered and they always will.


I had to say goodbye to Hope yesterday. We knew the day was coming but you always think you'll have more time. We've had since the end of April 2014. Not much time and yet more than enough time to hurt beyond words now. She was such a fighter, a gentle fighter. She fought mammary cancer with courage, stubborn determination and eternal optimism. She fought Cushing's the same way. She even fought old age. Just this past weekend, she insisted on going for a walk with the rest of the beags. She would always start out a bundle of excitement and energy, tail bobbin' and a skip to her step, but after a few yards, she'd be wiped out and yet you'd never hear a complaint out of her. She'd keep going, at least until her "daddy" rescued her in the car.


She never howled or barked or cried in all the time I knew her. But that doesn't mean she was without emotion. There was such gratitude in her eyes when I'd bend down to kiss her. Those are the moments I will miss the most.


In her rescue video below, I hadn't quite figured out a name for her yet. But it came to me shortly after in our first of many car rides together on the way to the vet's. I think I got it right.


Hope may be gone from sight, but I haven't lost her. I will never lose Hope. She's in my heart. She's in all our hearts.


October 29, 2015:


Last week, I wrote to you about Mya. I explained how she stood out for me and how she had a way of making everyone that met her feel warm and happy inside.

That was our Mya. She will be missed.


Hope is different. She's not one to make a lasting impression. She stays in the shadows. She's okay with being invisible. Maybe that's all she's known. But boy, if you show her even the slightest kindness, she melts like icecream on a summer day. Not that she starts singing from the rooftops or anything. Her joy is subtle. I don't even know for sure how I know how much a soft-spoken word means to her, or a passing kiss on the bridge of her nose. She doesn't kiss back, unless by accident. But there's something in her eyes that tells me these moments mean the world to her.


So I'm going to keep up with the moments. That's my promise to Hope. Because moments are really all we have left.


Hope came to us last year with a mammary mass that proved malignant. She had a double mastectomy. A breast cancer survivor! We thought we had it licked. But then she was diagnosed with Adrenal Cushing's. And so she had surgery to remove a rather large adrenal tumour. We thought we'd licked it for good. But recently, the symptoms for Cushing's returned. We went back to the compassionate specialist at VEC for another ultrasound. A tumour was detected on her remaining adrenal gland. But that wasn't the worst of it. A small mass was also detected on her stomach wall. The specialist had his concerns but it could just be a cyst. He recommended we begin treatment for Cushing's and come back for another ultrasound in a couple weeks. She had that ultrasound last week - the same day I wrote to you about Mya. Not only was the mass still there, but it had grown, and 3 to 4 other similar masses were detected in the same area. These are not cysts, but Carcinomas. Hope is expected to have no more than one to six months left to live. The specialist looked about as sad as I did that day. After all she's been through, this is how it ends.


But here's the thing about Hope. She lives in those moments I was telling you about. That's what matters to her. Hope for the future isn't important. Hope for right now. That's important. How she lives and how she is loved right now.


Maybe Hope isn't so different from Mya after all. Making her happy definitely makes me feel warm and happy inside.


My sincere thanks to you for supporting our work and attending momentous events like our BEAGLE BASH FOR CASH every year. The moments we share together make the magical moments shared with our beagles - those who stand out, those who stand back and all those in between - possible.


There may be sadness to Hope's story but only if you overlook TODAY. Hope is happy right here - right now. Nothing else matters.


June 4, 2014 pupdate:

Dear sweet Hope has now had her 2nd mastectomy and after almost an entire week in hospital post-surgery, she's home and recovering nicely so far. Sadly, more malignancies were detected in the right mammary chain. One in particular has our vets concerned as it has a high risk of spreading vascularly. But with any luck, the mastectomies have rid her of the cancer. Only time will tell. Please keep her in your thoughts as she continues to recover from these massive operations. She's quite resilient, our little girl! Still has the spunk to her spirit and eating like a true beagle!!!


May 2, 2014 pupdate:

Hope is now recovering from major surgery. The visible tumour on her chest was unfortunately not the only one. Our vets detected many nodules along both mammary chains. Thankfully, x-rays of her chest proved that no tumours had spread to her lungs so we opted to remove the masses immediately, starting with the left mammary chain (she'll need to undergo surgery to remove the right mammary chain in a few weeks). Mammary tumours have a 50/50 chance of being malignant and we want to give this little dumpling as much of a chance at a happy life ahead as we can!

Hope is yet another reason why our BEAGLE WIGGLE WALKATHON at Woofstock is so important to us. Please support us in any way you can. On behalf of Dukey, Pencil, Hope and all the rest of our deserving beagles, thank you for your support! 



 Excerpt from April 30, 2014 eblast:




How could we possibly say "no" to this face?

On Monday, we received an email from our friends at the Uxbridge-Scugog Animal Control shelter. They took in a lovely stray female beagle, approx 12+ years old, together with a young yellow lab. They'd been found together on a sideroad on April 14th. Try as they might, they've been unable to track down their owner. Very social with people and other dogs, the shelter staff was instantly smitten over the angel with the graying face. But, sadly, there are health concerns (a golf ball size tumour behind her left elbow and a possible cataract in her left eye). Besides, a dog that age doesn't get much attention in the adoption room.


Our funding has been stretched to the limit. We were planning to hold off on any new rescue cases until after WOOFSTOCK. But Hope couldn't wait that long. And really, how could we ever say "no" to a face like that?

That's why we decided to call her "Hope". You can see the hope in her eyes. I've gotta hunch she sees it in our eyes too. After all, we're filled with hope every time we reach out to a beagle in need.