Everyone should get ‘Pinked’
By Daisy Mae Delray
Oct 15, 2013, 20:30
I’ve been Pinked! I’m totally in awe of an albino Doberman Pincer named Pink, and the people who share her life. I think you will be too when you hear their story.
My friend Kate Zapf who lives in Alexandria is the Director of the Foster and Rescue Program at the Washington D.C Humane Society. She and her husband had two cats, a full schedule and no desire to have a dog… until they were “pinked.”
“A little over a year ago a man surrendered Pink to the shelter.” Kate told me. “She was a 7 year old albino Doberman who had at least a couple of litters in her time, and she had a huge, ulcerated tumor on her stomach. We really wanted to give her a chance, so we spayed her and removed the tumor.”
Unfortunately for Pink, a biopsy showed that the tumor was cancer and it had metastasized so there was nothing that could be done to cure Pink. “I hated the thought of her ending her life in the shelter, “Kate said. She told me that she and her husband decided to take Pink to their home to spend her last few months in a loving environment.
After a few slight altercations with the family cats, Pink settled right in. “Within a few days she settled into our lives like she’d been there for years. She’s wonderful with the cats, loves to cuddle up on the couch, and because she is an older dog , she doesn’t need a whole lot of exercise.” Kate said.
“One amazing thing about Pink is how much everyone that meets her loves her.”
Kate told me. “Our vet, the trainer we worked with, every one at the shelter, all of our friends and family-all it takes is one meeting and they’re all smitten.” You could say they too had been Pinked.
The vet had told the Zapf’s to expect Pink to last only about three months, that was one year and three months ago. I asked Kate how Pink is doing now.
“In the last few months, Pink has started losing weight,” Kate said. “She tires easily and we go for a few very short walks a day instead of our long one. Her tumors have grown and she occasionally has some pain that we manage with mild pain medication. She is definitely slowing down, but she still has a great appetite and still wants to go out and play and go on walks.”
When you take a special needs animal into your home, especially one that you know is dying, it must be a day to day effort to keep from crying. I asked Kate about the experience of having Pink in their lives.
“Having Pink in our lives has been a million time easier than we ever thought it would be. She has some special dietary needs and does have medication, but other than that it hasn’t been that much extra work.” Kate told me that knowing there was a time limit on their time together and that she had special needs “has really forged such a strong bond”.
I wanted to know if there was anything else to tell my gentle readers. Kate wants you to know this about Pink and her impact on their lives.
”The fact that we brought her home just so she could have a happy, dignified end to her life has made us appreciate every day with her and we really feel good about what we’ve done. We know she’s had a good life with us and I’m so glad we could give that to her, because she’s brought us so much love and fun and joy and devoted, unconditional love. We know we are going to lose her, and it will be devastating, but at the same time every day with her has been a gift. We just have no regrets about bringing her home.”
My thanks to Kate and Pink for sharing this beautiful story of the bond we pets have with our owners. Our own Hancock County Animal Shelter gets some special needs animals in from time to time. Go to their website at www.hcasm.org to see if there is a special needs pet that needs your help.
On a different issue, my boss Geoff is getting my columns on the Sea Coast Echo web site so you can see all my articles and email them to other people. We will be able to do surveys and twitter and connect a little better. What I want to do is start a Bay-Waveland Dog Group. We need to have a dog park around here and I would love your ideas and suggestions.
We had a Del Ray Dog Group in Alexandria, VA and we were instrumental in getting a dog park at the Simpson Stadium Park. What fun! they just had a clean up day that was supported by a local landscaper who delivered and planted some willow trees. City staff brought in truckloads of gravel and assisted the volunteers. A memorial bench was dedicated and just about all the Del Ray merchants contributed.
Please let me know if you want to help organize a Bay-Waveland Dog Owners Group and to see where we could put some dog parks, Check out the New Orleans dog park at www.nolacitybark.org to see a terrific park in action.
My time is up for this week. Let me know how you like my column, send me story ideas and keep in touch by e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Keep your feet dry and your tail high
Love, Daisy Mae
Daisy Mae Delray, a certified seizure alert dog, began writing for the Delray Sun Newspaper in 2004. From 2005 to 2011 she was on staff for the two Alexandria Virginia newspapers, The Alexandria Gazette and the Alexandria Times. She has also written for the Washington Post, Her focus is on the human pet companion bond. Among her most impressive stories was an interview with Congressman Jim Moran who quoted her on the floor of the House of Representatives in support of animal anti-cruelty legislation.
Christina Richardson, Daisy Mae’s human companion, is a management consultant who moved to Bay Saint Louis in September 2011. She began covering news for the Delray Sun shortly after Daisy Mae wrote her first column. She subsequently wrote for the Alexandria Gazette and then the Alexandria Times. She was a staff reporter specializing in business news and general interest stories.