This is one of the many dog stories of the several dogs I have had in my life. Believe me there will be a whole herd of dogs waiting for me when I get to that rainbow bridge. This is about my Henry, an English Bulldog we adopted when he was three years old. A friend came up to me at work and said I heard you like bulldogs, I know someone who is trying to get rid of one. I replied “like them I love them” (I had owned two previous to this). She said well he has been abused, I said “I don’t care” she said he was blind in one eye, Once again I replied that I didn’t care. We drove one state over to Nebraska to pick him up. We actually got him from the people who rescued him from his original owner who abused Henry terribly. Seems the original owner filed a lawsuit against the kennel and lost then took his frustrations out on Henry.

The original owner paid $2000.00 for Henry he was of championship bloodlines and a beautiful animal. How anyone could abuse such a docile and loving animal is beyond me! Even the people that rescued Henry had no idea of how to care for an English bulldog one of the sweethearts of the dog world, so laid back and so well behaved, he should have never been kept in a cage, but they had kept him caged most of the time, So much so that an impression the grating on the side of the cage was pressed into the fur on both sides of his hindquarters. (and stayed that way for weeks) I was told when I picked him up, that he probably wouldn’t eat or drink for a couple of days, he would just stand up in the cage, they couldn’t have been more wrong, for one thing I would never put him in a cage. He immediately made himself at home and went to sleep beside me on the couch. It was as if he was always ours, what a wonderful animal with such a gentle disposition for all the evil that had been delivered to him! You would have never known that he had been a victim of abuse, other than being a little timid, and then eventually the head tremors. I figure he sustained injuries that I could never even fathom! We enjoyed four wonderful years with Henry in our lives before he became ill. Seems he had some type of neurological ailment, probably a result of injuries sustained in the first part of his life most likely incurable and would progressively get worse. He got to the point where he couldn’t stand steady enough to eat, so I would hand feed him “dog food sandwiches”. I realized that soon I was going to have to face one of the worst decisions in my life, I realized could not allow his suffering to continue because I couldn’t cope with the loss of him in mine. For two weeks we went on this way, me crying everyday whispering in Henrys ear as I held him in my arms, that we should have had him when he was a puppy that it was so unfair that he was sick and that I loved him and was sorry for all that he had suffered through at the hands of humans that were supposed to take care of him.

Then I made the appointment to end his suffering, and my suffering became so much more intense, I found it hard not to cry 24/7 and was not looking forward to his last visit to the vets office, the last appointment on that fateful Saturday afternoon. I went in the room with him when the final shot was administered because I couldn’t bear the thought of this gentle soul spending his last moments on earth with strangers. As I held him in my arms, tears running down my face (as they are right now as I am writing this) he slipped peacefully away. The whole family was devastated and mourned for weeks. He was a wonderfully loving companion and I still miss him daily. A few months after Henry’s passing my son in law (a terrific young man, was an intern for Fred Thompson) bought me a puppy, another bulldog, we named him Elvis, and as well we have another dog Ophelia that we purchased from the local shelter as a puppy. Which only means that we will be going through this grief all over again when the time comes, but until then we will enjoy the love and companionship of these two wonderful dogs. Not only are they allowed on the furniture, they both sleep in our bed under the covers, and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Leann from TN