2010-01-27 / Columnists

Pets, Pets, Pets

Eulogy for “Best In Shelter” Quinn: He never met you yet he loved you. This remarkable dog embodied unconditional love and gratitude. Our English Setter profiled last week (“Pets” Post, 1/20/10) did travel to a welcoming home in Pennsylvania. Less

than two days later he

suddenly arrived at the “Rainbow Bridge” embraced by these loving guardians.

To say Quinn was an exceptional dog is an understatement. To say Eileen and Tom, his new owners, are exceptional people-an understatement also. We believe Quinn held on until he found them. Each of us who had the privilege to meet Quinn will never view a rescue dog the same again.

This magnificent Setter, turned into a bag of bones, surfaced in the Bronx the day after Christmas. Despite his weakened state, Quinn’s quiet, canine charisma-his Cupid arrows- struck all who met him. It took a Village of rescuers to bring him from a city shelter to safety in a LI kennel. Soon after we learned he wasn’t starving, but instead emaciated because his kidneys were failing due to chronic Lyme disease. Still he was a happy, tailwagging machine. Maybe Quinn understood better than us that we found him too late.

Quinn, forever in our hearts. Quinn, forever in our hearts. We pumped Quinn up with mega drugs and a special diet, and were fortunate to find an idyllic hospice home with the help of Above & Beyond English Setter Rescue (www.esrescue.org). The morning of his journey Quinn dragged me after a squirrel and wolfed down a hardboiled egg, shell and all, part of his health regimen.

He was a perfect passenger on his PA transport. Tuesday night, Eileen took him to her vet who was surprised to see the dog acting much better than he expected from the original lab reports. The next day, Quinn met a holistic vet. He trotted in his new yard overlooking the mountains. Perhaps he could defy the odds. We knew his days were still numbered, but since he was so content and animated, who would think he’d be gone so soon?

That said, here are excerpts from Eileen’s Thursday email: “God Has Another Angel Tonight-Quinn”

“Tom and I helped Quinn to the bridge today. Last night, we hand fed him ...his tail was wagging at warp speed. He had salmon, chicken, sweet potato, a bit of broccoli and a bit of rice. He had a little snack of ground meat at 9:30...I slept with him in my arms the first night here and Tom slept with him last night (we agreed to take turns). Tom checked him several times and each time Quinn was awake and looking back at him. Quinn selected the couch for his bed last night so Tom got the floor. Thismorning he did not want to walk so Tom carried him out and he did walk a little but when he came back inside he fell and cried a bit. He did not want salmon or chicken in the morning but did eat some of his little meatballs.

We went to our vet and the blood work was even worse than the already horrible blood work from the ninth. While we waited he was a bit thirsty but did not have the strength to roll up and drink....I did get him to drink a cup of water by dropping water in his mouth via a syringe. All the while he wagged his tail. The only thing that could have helped him was a transfusion which we were prepared to do. Dr. Steve wanted to take a chest x-ray to make sure his lungs were clear.

In order to try to save him, or buy him some more time, the transfusion had to work, his phosphorous come down, epogen or procrit take effect, and his appetite kept up so he would continue to eat. All big “what if ‘s” and big risks. We would have had to take Quinn to a specialty hospital and they would have had to admit him. We did not want Quinn left anywhere but with us. Steve also shared, as a friend, that if Quinn was his, he would say good-bye. Quinn had little energy....and Tom and I agreed it was the only loving thing we had left to offer him. No sooner did I say that ...Quinn looked at us with bright eyes and puffed ears as if to say “thank you.” It is almost like he waited until he finally got a family and a forever home. Then I thought...are we doing the right thing? We carried Quinn outside to our SUV. Steve’s practice is surrounded by cornfields and mountain views. We backed the SUV over to the edge of the field... There were big roosters strutting in the cut corn rows and the warm sunshine was shining on him. Quinn was watching the roosters and Tom chased them closer for Quinn. We called Bonnie and Joanne (his NY angels) and let them say their good-byes via cell. He heard their voices and perked up a bit. We then said our good-byes and helped him to the bridge.

Quinn is a very special dog who touched so many people’s lives in the short time he was with us. It was truly something you had to experience to understand. Loving, kind, gentle, and so appreciative of everything anyone did for him, even if it was just coming into a room. “Our hearts are breaking..... We had Quinn with us for 47 hours and he was family,” Eileen said.

To add to Quinn’s mystique, the x-ray taken that last day found a second microchip from a European registry that migrated to Quinn’s chest. Answers? His age; his breeder; imported as a show, pet or field dog? Was he lost, stolen, dumped, or a combo of scenarios? So far we haven’t traced the chip, but as I type this, we have guidance from a vet in Sweden and an amazing Australian woman who continues searching for her English Setter Beau (www.findingbeau.com) stolen six years ago. The chip confirms Quinn isn’t Beau. Their incomplete stories confirm they were both extraordinary Setters, dearly missed.

For Adoption at Babylon Town Shelter (643-9270) Lamar St. W. Babylon: “Alice” #93081 an older teacup Yorkie found in Copiague, smothered us with kisses as her mats were cut off. “Ralphie” in Cage 9 is a young, athletic Shepherd/Lab mix.

Male: “Bradley” Pit Cage 1; “Teddy” Retriever Cage 6; “Winston” black lobby cat.

Female: “Roxy” Cage 25; “Ginger” Cage 39-Pit mixes; “Brie”- Cage 46-American Bulldog.

*Jewelry Flea Market to benefit Last Hope’s special needs dogs and cats at Basic Pet Care 642 Rt. 109 Lindenhurst-Sat. Feb. 6th- 10 am to 2 pm. Call 631-957- 0023.

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