Continued......
Spirit

As Spirit’s time with Tundra passed,  her
strength came back.  The swelling in her legs
diminished, and she could stand on her own. We
found her frequently opening her indoor enclosure
on her own to explore her surroundings. The most
pleasant surprise was that we found she really
would not stay confined because she just wanted
to be with the other Tundra Sibes and humans!  
Rescuers strive for that response in new dogs
and we had finally crossed that threshold!  
One morning during her fifth week with Tundra,
Spirit could not stand without
help and the swelling in both legs was
frightening.  We saw that a lymph node
in her left leg was badly swollen as well. Spirit
was rushed to Dr. Karyn Forlano
for her analysis of the situation. She took
a series of new radiographs and the
cause  for our concern became clear.  
Cancer had taken part of the bone in Spirit’s
leg. There are no words to describe the
empty feeling the recipient of such news experiences.  And sadly, many reading this story
know first hand how we felt standing in the darkened room staring at the image on the screen.
(Those radiographs also revealed many other things about Spirit’s life as well.)*  
In spite of all our efforts, we were now in a hospice situation.
In the time remaining with
little Spirit we learned many
lessons. We learned that the
other Tundra Sibes knew that
she was in poor health. They
would lie in a circle around her
as if to protect her; several
taking turns gently resting
their heads on her shoulder.
Normally rambunctious, the
Tundra team was always
subdued and quiet when Spirit
was in the room.  We also
learned that Spirit kept her
typical Sibe sense of humor
and didn’t miss an opportunity
to pull a prank.
* Spirit’s x-rays read like a
journal of suffering. They
showed numerous old
injuries, severe arthritis,
and even buckshot
imbedded deep in her
flesh.  In all our years of
rescue and dealing with
the best and worst of
humanity; we will never
understand how a
“human” could cause
pain to a gentle creature
like Spirit. But one thing
is certain in our hearts........
those who caused her
that pain will definitely
not  meet with her in her
new home. And we only
hope that we’ve earned the
privilege of having her
waiting for us at the Bridge
Even with constant care,
special meals and massage  
it became obvious that Spirit
was rapidly losing her battle
with the insidious invader of
her fragile body. The extra two
weeks we were able to share
with her were not enough, but
we knew our promise to her to
not let her suffer ever again
had to be kept.  On the sunny
afternoon of March 4, 2010, we
took our last walk together and
drove her to see her friend Dr.
Bart Forlano.  With his gentle
care, Spirit left us peacefully
while we quietly told her what
a beautiful and strong
Sibe she was. We gifted her with her medicine bundle to speed her journey to get
her harness and wept those tears of regret.
Tundra Spirits






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