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How do you keep a wave upon the sand?

Sooner or later, we have to let go.

We had to let go of our Walter yesterday. Try as we might, we couldn't fix him. His heart was just too tired.

But even though the mechanics failed, there is no doubt that love healed his heart in every other way. If only we could have kept this beautiful fleeting wave upon the shore for longer than a few months. We had so much more love to share with him.

To Natasha, his devoted foster mom, and to the rest of her family, there are no words good enough to express all that we feel. You gave Walter the greatest gift any of us have to give. And he gobbled it all up, like the little love vacuum you described him to be.

We wish Walter a safe journey home. And as we stand at the shore whispering our goodbyes, we wait in anticipation of the next wave. In anticipation of Lulabelle...because the nicest thing about love is that you never run out of it.

All About Walter...
Walter is now part of our palliative care foster program. He will be staying with his foster family permanently due his heart trouble. He deserves the best and he has it with this wonderful family!
PUPDATE as of January, 2009

For the love of Walter...
It wasn't hard for us to all fall in love with this dear sweet boy. The light and love and gratitude in his eyes are undeniable. This is a dog who loves every moment of his life now. Now that he's loved back. Earlier this month, we had a scare with our Walter. He collapsed twice in one day from mild seizures. So we rushed him to our vet. Our thoughts were on his heart as we knew he had a fairly pronounced heart murmur. We were right. New xrays revealed that Walter's heart has grown in size since his rescue in October. Although there's no sign of heart failure at this time, it was enough reason to put him on heart medication now.
So far, so good! Our vet is optimistic that the treatment will maintain quality of life for a good long time. It is our hope this is true. Nobody deserves it more than Walter. But because we want to monitor his health and because of the uncertainty of his future, we've decided he should remain in our care. By we, I am happy to say, I mean all of us at BOB including his wonderful foster family who did not hesitate to offer their love to Walter for as long as he is with us, wagging that tail, smiling that smile. We couldn't be happier but I suppose we shouldn't be all that surprised either. Walter is an addiction - far better and so much sweeter than chocolate!!!!

PUPDATE as of October 20, 2008
It's been 2 weeks since rescuing a couple of the most adorable vagabond hounds we've ever met ---Walter and Vincent.
Everyday, these two teach me yet another reason why they were worth saving. Like the other afternoon, for instance. Walter gladly posed as my writing desk while I jotted down these thoughts on the couch! Walter is a charmer. Heaven knows where he called home all these years. His past as well as his age are a mystery. We can only guess about these things and I guess he's not such an old boy after all, despite those unique markings on his beautiful graying face! He's just got too much spunk! I'm thinking 8 years old - tops.
Walter is that wonderful combination of spunk and calm. One minute, he's raring to go on a walk with you and the next, he's just as raring to hop up next to you on the couch and help you write his biography! Mind you, he'll expect you to break for kisses occasionally! He loves smoochy time!
Walter is a brave boy too. He underwent his neuter operation soon after his rescue. But before surgery, a full blood profile and nose to tail examination revealed a couple concerns. First, Walter displayed a significant heart murmur. The good thing is that his heart is not enlarged so it could be that he was born with the heart murmur and will do just fine, as long as a vet listens to his heart annually and monitors any changes. The other issue was a concerning lump on his groin. Walter certainly gave us a scare with that. As it turned out, the lump was a mass cell tumour but tests after its removal indicated that it was a Grade Level One tumour which means that should be the last of it and he should be fine as a fiddle now that it's gone!
Our Walter is ready to find his forever home! What do we want for him? Someone to adore him as we do. Someone who will share with us all the, as yet, undiscovered reasons why his life was worth saving. I have a hunch the reasons are endless as I look down at him, curled up in the shape of a lima bean next to me, snoring up a storm without a care in the world...just as it should be!

And what about Vincent (see separate posting)? Well, in the last few days, I've caught a glimpse of the one-year-old pup that little Vin is SUPPOSED to be! It was heaven to watch as Vincent suddenly broke free of his fears, unable to contain himself any longer! A regular little visitor at my place since his rescue, aka Beagle Tailquarters, Vincent is learning the ropes from my guys. So there we were, door to my backyard open and beckoning, sun shining and blue skies beaming and birds singing. The opportunity for play was irresistable! Suddenly, Vincent scampered off in one direction, then the next! Before I knew it, he was involved in a game of Catch-Me-If-You-Can with my howlers!

Up until that priceless moment, I thought Vincent was an old soul in a young beagle/basset body, but I was mistaken. His puppy spirit is hiding just behind those big brown eyes and those giant droopy ears! All he needs is a loving family to bring it out for good!

October 7, 2008
For every beagle we save, how many others just outside our vision are lost? I try not to think about that. I can't bear to think about that.
Instead, I take out my beagle rescue album and look at the familiar faces looking back at me. It gets me through the rough times. In fact, my album is all the inspiration I need to carry on.
I must have kept that in mind yesterday...because yesterday, we added 2 more to our B.O.B Family Album. Cast your eyes on Walter (the name given to him by the shelter) and Vincent Priceless (we figured it a good name with Howl-o-ween just around the corner). We got a call about these two at the end of last week. They were doing time in a local shelter. But they were both deemed "Unadoptable".
Walter had come in as a stray and quickly became a staff favourite. Graying whiskers surrounding hope-filled eyes. Guessed at 8-10 yrs old, but with the tail of a puppy and the spunk to match! He's also a darn good kisser if you don't mind my saying.
Why unadoptable? Any dog past their prime has a tough time getting noticed in the adoption room for one thing. For another, Walter is sporting a chick-pea-sized lump that could be nothing or could be something. Testing it isn't within the shelter's budget, especially for an old dog like Walter.
Then there's young Vincent. A dashing mix of Beagle and Basset Hound. Originally transferred from an Ohio Pound just in the nick of time to save his tail. But his TALE since then hasn't been a happy one. He's been adopted and returned. The reason is vague. His adopter couldn't keep him from seeking out the neighbour's dog for companionship. At approximately one-year-old, young Vincent has already known enough abandonment at the hands of humans. Who can blame him for doubting the commitment of yet another stranger, choosing a fellow dog as his port in the storm of uncertainty instead?
Yesterday, we met them both...sealing the deal. They no longer were dogs just outside our field of vision. They were real to us and they were special. The problem was, we had no answers for them. Our foster homes are full. But, like I always say, where there's a will, there's a way.
We left with a promise to the staff - we'd get back to them at the end of the week and by hook or by crook, we'd land a miracle by then and take Walter and Vince with us like the rescuers we're meant to be!
But then something unexpected happened. We got back home to a phone call from the shelter. 6 new dogs were on their way. Walter and Vincent were taking up space. Their time was up unless we took them before the end of the day.
Walter on my lap in the passenger's seat, tail wagging to beat the band offering a kiss for every mile, and worried Vincent at my feet, chin resting on my knees, eyes as big as saucers looking up at me in the hopes I was his knight in shining armour --- the shelter becoming nothing but a speck behind us.
I refuse to think about a world without these 2 in it. And just how close it came to that. Instead, I print off their pictures and tuck them into the next blank page of my rescue album.
I need your help more than ever. a part in this miracle rescue story. Call me about fostering or even adopting one of these dogs. We only have until Thanksgiving Weekend to find our miracle. For now, Walter the Wonder Dog and Vincent Priceless are in the care of our vet clinic here in the Beaches - Walter will have his lump checked this week, bloodwork and his neuter operation. Vincent is fully vetted, healthy as a horse, and waiting for his dream home.
THANKSGIVING --- a time to give thanks for all that we have. What better way to do that than by giving back to one who has nothing?