Adelle ~ In Memoriam

Early in December 2006, NEBCR heard about a 16-year-old female Border Collie, whose owner was about to leave the country, abandoning her. He had adopted her from a shelter about four years earlier, and here is part of a report on her life with this new owner:

"...he left her in a cold basement garage with water and food for three months in the winter. It was cold enough for the pipes to burst and the cat that was left with her died. He left her other times when he went away for long periods of time. She spent all of her time in the unheated garage."

A concerned neighbor told NEBCR about Adelle, explaining the circumstances and asking if we could help since the owner was leaving the country in less than a week and Adelle "had to be gone" by that time. Within two days, thanks to NEBCR volunteer Sandy, Adelle had been rescued and was safely on her way to NEBCR.

As we didn't want Adelle to have to go through being rehomed yet again, and it was unclear at her advanced age how much time she had left, a call went out to the volunteer list for anyone willing to give Adelle a "retirement" home for whatever time she had left. Volunteers Ray and Barb considered themselves lucky to have Adelle come live with them for as long as she chose.

More from Ray...

When she arrived, her white fur was a dingy yellow, and she had skin irritations and an ear infection. Medication fixed her ears, a good bath helped her skin irritation, and an improved diet soon turned the yellow back to a bright white.

Adelle settled into our home perfectly, and very soon let both our other dogs - Tess and Jack - know who was in charge, in spite of being only half their size! She quickly became very attached to me, and for the whole time she was with us would visibly perk up whenever she saw me. If I had been away for an extended period, she would almost run over to greet me. It was very touching, considering what she had been through with her previous owner.

Not long after she arrived, Adelle developed an infection. A visit to the vet, and an ultra-sound scan, showed problems with her uterus - she had never been spayed! After much consultation we decided she should undergo surgery, since the alternative was a lifetime on medications to control the infection. She pulled through surgery just as though nothing had happened, and was soon back to chasing Jack around the living room and outside in the yard. She was a tough and spirited little girl!

During the warm months, Adelle's joy was to be outside with us, just wandering around the yard sniffing all the interesting smells and making sure everything was in order. Because she had very arthritic joints, she could not go for long walks, but she liked to follow down to the mail box and back again, and was even able to climb the few steps up to the porch - at least until most recently.

Over the past few months Adelle began really to slow down, and had great difficulty standing and walking. We had to carry her nearly everywhere, and she became more and more disoriented - she appeared to be going blind. Finally, with a very heavy heart, we decided it was time to let her go, and we said goodbye with her head resting in my hands.

We will never forget little Adelle, and I will always be proud that she attached herself to me. I'll miss the way she would run and jump in her dreams (I only wish I could have known what she was dreaming about). I'll miss the way she used to snore gently while sleeping. I'll miss the way she would love to play 'bitey-face' with my hand. I'll miss the way she would always find her way to where I was, and plonk down right beside me.

Goodbye Adelle, and thank you NEBCR for doing what you do, and for having given Adelle the chance of more than two years of happiness after all she had been through.