Our dear wee Etta left us on Saturday, June 20.
We were an incredibly content one dog, one cat family until she came along. Having never fostered before, but involved in other ways with HBR, when we found out Etta needed a new foster home we could not resist. She had already touched our hearts from afar and we wanted to help her in any way we could. We met her on a warm July day and when she immediately jumped at Jarrett’s beard we knew she was meant for us. Etta moved to our home on July 24, 2019. Our cat was pissed. Pierogi was interested. Etta made herself at home as the alpha dog she truly was. Etta came with many challenges, of course. She had just had her leg amputated and was healing and learning how to maneuver with fewer limbs in a new home. She also had kidney disease and required a daily injection of fluids. This scared us and it took a long time for us to finally figure out how to accomplish the injection without either her or us losing our minds! Eventually we all figured it out and got used to the daily routine. She started to accept it and would sit calmly in Jarrett’s lap as we sang to her to get us all through the process. Etta had to go the bathroom often, and every night Jarrett would get up to take her outside at least twice throughout the night – sometimes more. This warmed my heart at the level of compassion this dog brought out of both of us. Etta adjusted to our family very well. She loved sleeping on our couches more than on her many beds. She loved suntanning outside for hours either on the ground, on a lawn chair, or in a variety of shaded spots she found throughout the yard. She loved car rides and would run to the door if we were leaving. She also loved our walks with Pierogi and she in her stroller. She was the talk of the neighbourhood. Everyone was curious! Etta was in charge and not afraid to let everyone know. She loved to bark at the squirrels, chipmunks, and raccoons in our backyard. She barked at other dogs she heard barking. She barked at Pierogi to hurry up on our walks if she was going too slow. Her bark made us giggle away – it was truly adorable! Of course, we knew she was a tough one! She did not have an easy life and her health issues started to get more complicated. She never quit – she was resilient and strong and did her best to get through them all. She had so many meds and needles and eye drops and vet visits. She kept fighting, right until the very end. She loved life. She loved to be loved and to love those around her. She wanted to be near you, to cuddle with you, to sit on your lap, to just be with you. She became Pierogi’s best friend and our best friend too. We gave in to all of her whims and did our best to help her stay healthy. Eventually her body gave out on her but her heart did not want to go. Her last few days showed us again how strong she was and how much she wanted to live.
Etta was such a lucky dog – she had so many people in her corner who supported her, bought her dog food, sponsored her, donated to her medical care, asked how she was doing. She was so lucky to have HBR to help her live her best life for as long as she was able. Thank you to the incredible staff at Beaches Animal Hospital Toronto for taking amazing care of her and truly loving her. Especially Dr. Dilworth, Dr. Beck, and Dr. Koszti. Without you and your team she would not have made it this far. We were incredibly sad to see her leave this world. But we know she knows she was loved so much and has changed our lives for the better. She has made us stronger, more patient and more understanding just by the very act of being Etta. We will always have a little hole in our hearts but it is easily filled with the wonderful memories of this adorable dog and her ridiculous tongue. We love you Etta. Be free.