Princess Lea

On January 31, 2009, I met my second foster, Princess Lea, an adorable 7 year old female black and white parti-cocker who was rescued from a rural shelter in Berkeley County, West Virginia.
To my disbelief Princess Lea was filled with a lot of energy when I picked her up from an adoption show. Princess had very interesting features. Her head and her ears were black with one black spot located on her butt. The one thing that stuck out about her was that she still had a tail, unlike most cocker spaniels that have their tail docked.
At shows everyone thought she was cute, but didn’t seem very interested in her. At times Princess Lea would get a little snippy, which we worked on. At one show in Annapolis she tried so hard to get people to like her. You could tell she was a little depressed lying down on the floor with that sad look on her cute little face.
In May the rescue group was invited to an event in Bethesda, Maryland called “Strutt your Mutt” where Princess Lea got to participate in the kissing booth. Everyone who came by the rescue booth saw Princess Lea and thought she was pretty, taking pictures of her. She was a really big hit and brought in a lot of money.
In early August a family from West Virginia came to an adoption show in Columbia, Maryland to see a dog named Patches. However, Patches was too much for the kids to handle. Then the mother saw Princess Lea. I told her Princess Lea was allergic to wheat and was eating special food along with taking allergy medication.
The family had a long family discussion and decided to adopt her; however it was not meant to be because she ended up coming back to me that very same day. The family didn’t give Princess Lea time to adjust to her new home in Hedgesville, West Virginia. When the family got home the kids were excited about finally getting their dog that they wanted to play with Princess Lea. However she was tired from the drive and growled at the kids. That’s when the family made the decision to return her to the rescue.
Once Princess Lea came back to me her attitude changed especially towards children other dogs. At shows I would have to keep my distance from the other dogs. I would distract her with treats when whenever other dogs came in her vicinity. Sometimes I would keep Princess Lea in my lap; this seemed to keep her calm.
Then at the end of April of 2010 into May Princess Lea’s life began to slip away from me. She started coughing. I took to the vets and after giving her a thorough check up, the vets determined that she might have a mild case of kennel cough and put her on medication and sent her home.
Over that weekend she wasn’t getting any better so I took her back to the vets where they vet took x-rays and found that she had pneumonia. They quickly put her on fluids and medication. The vets told me that they would be forwarding her x-rays to a radiologist to get a better understanding about what was going on with Princess Lea.
Later that night the vets called to tell me that Princess Lea had mycotic pneumonia and they changed her medication. Sometime during the late hours of Monday, May 3rd Princess Lea died in her sleep. The very next morning around 8:30 am I got the painful news from the vets telling me that Princess Lea didn’t make it. This was very painful for me to hear, I loved Lea so much.
When I got to the vets to say goodbye to Princess Lea I was taken into a room where Princess Lea was laying lifeless on a towel on an examining table. As I approached her tears of my pain started to flow as I told Princess Lea how much I loved her and that I would forever miss her. I had Princess Lea cremated. Before I left that day I cut some of Princess Lea’s hair so that I could put into a baggie and attach to her favorite stuffed animal.
A week after Princess Lea passed away, her ashes were to have come but mysteriously her ashes were returned to me on my 45th birthday; I think this was God’s plan. Princess Lea’s ashes were placed in a dark brown wooden box in the shape small casket. Even know Princess Lea was never my dog. I’m happy she was a part of my life.

— Harriett from Germantown,  MD