Please keep Delores’ foster/furever family in your thoughts and prayers. Delores now has her wings, but remains forever in our hearts.

The momma writes: I expected my next post to be one of joy, a formal adoption announcement instead it is one of deep sorrow. It truly breaks my heart to tell you otherwise because I know it will break your heart too.

Saint Delores entered heaven on December 6, the feast day of Saint Nicholas. Some of you may know this is where the legend of Santa Claus originated and the origin of many of our Christmas traditions, most importantly that of giving gifts. How poignant that such a beautiful gift from God went home on such a special day.

This little saint came into rescue on her 10th birthday and was with us about a month. Her fragile little body was very ill with advanced cancer, parasites, rotted teeth, ear infections, ruptured ear hematomas, cataracts and arthritis. She had so much against her, so much pain upon her, but that didn’t stop her light from shining. She still had joy in her eyes, a wiggle in her nubbins and love in her heart when she came to all of us in rescue.

Dr. Larsen and her compassionate staff at Bright Star Veterinary Clinic took her in with loving arms and gave her much needed medical care and most importantly the gifts of love and healing. We all learned in a short time she had advanced cancer everywhere. Medical healing had done all it could do, but spiritual and emotional healing we still had time for and that gave us hope… Hope for time and a miracle, perhaps.

Delores was ready to come home with us the week of Thanksgiving. I prayed for time, time to give her all she deserved but deep in my heart, I feared she wouldn’t make it until Christmas, so time was of the essence.

We celebrated Thanksgiving tasting roasted turkey! Those little toofers really smiled that day! She was truly happy prancing all about the kitchen. She enjoyed being in a home where her place was at the table. We had home cooked food with homemade chicken stock every day! Bacon, eggs and cheese were part of every breakfast with a few donut holes. We had treats like vanilla pudding, fig newtons and her favorite, peanut butter! At night, she took comfort in a cozy bed and family time. She slept in peace and felt safe.

We learned how to put up a Christmas tree, outside lights and started taking trips Thanksgiving weekend. Her first trip out was to see Santa Claus and tour Hollywood Feed, not once but twice! The second time she went with her big brother Great Dane, Otis! She was full of joy! So happy to tell Santa all her wishes and Santa said, “Yes, my little one, but if not here, in your next life very soon, all of that you wish for will be yours.”

That was a very poignant happy trip in deed because it was her last. She became very ill after that with hemorrhagic gastritis and quit eating. She only drank water and occasionally chicken broth. Our trips after that were to veterinary clinics and the emergency clinic. We prayed and kept hope she could heal and come back home for a few more special meals, adventures and professional pictures, but time was slipping through our hands. The joy was leaving her eyes and her nubbins had quit wiggling. We were losing hope.

We returned to Dr. Larsen’s clinic for more medical care and TLC. She took her home at night tending to her every need, but to no avail. She started coughing and still found no joy in eating. Repeat X-rays revealed a large cancerous abdominal mass and worsening cancer in her lungs. God’s plan was taking over and it was time to let go. She was suffering and all that was left now was the kind mercy of a peaceful death.

Little Delores said her goodbyes to her parents and rescue family, even to her love, rescue dog, Gravy. The dogs in the clinic all said goodbye, they all seemed to know – they had low mournful cries as she drifted off to sleep surrounded by love as she entered heaven into the arms of God.

Once asleep in heavenly peace, Kayla, Bright Star veterinary technician wrapped her in a white blanket saying “She’s pure so she will be wrapped in white.” I don’t think a truer statement could’ve been said at that moment, she was indeed pure, a saint, Saint Delores… and that comment couldn’t have come from a more compassionate young lady. Kayla proceeded to carry her in her arms while Taylor helped to tuck her in just so. Kayla brought her to my car and laid her gently on a soft bed where she rested her head on Frannie’s blanket.

Our final journey took us to McKinney, Texas, to The Pet Loss Center, where Justin, Brian and Sherilyn were there to greet us with open arms. I can’t say enough about The Pet Loss Center. They truly care and honor your pets on their final journey home. They offered a viewing for Delores so we could see her once more. Rescue volunteer Stacy drove two hours to say goodbye to her and give her a very special handmade gift. Stacy made her a beautiful personalized quilt and bandanna. She finished it the night before she died. We both wanted her to have it before her body returned to the earth, so she brought it to her and laid it over her, so to cover her with a true and beautiful love one last time.

As this holy season continues, regardless of what faith you celebrate, I hope the spirit of Saint Delores fills your heart with a special purity and kindness, to love one another, help each other and give to each other so that others may see the light of God within you. I hope you do this always in memory of her. Amen.

Thank you to each and everyone of you who helped and prayed for her, from her rescue to her medical care to her final journey home and to those who followed her story. You made a meaningful difference and your hearts were in deed touched by a pure light.

On Nov. 6, 2019, I turned 10 years old. I’m told these are “My Golden Years” ~ a time in my life where I could sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. And I did take a ride… a ride that ended up at a local animal shelter. What was I supposed to do there, I wondered?

My previous family was having health issues themselves and decided they could not physically take care of me any longer. And at age 10, I really wondered: would anyone value me and come to save me?

I have a huge ear hematoma and I shake my head a lot. If you’ve never seen one, it’s actually a pool of blood that collects between the skin and the cartilage of the ear flap. It can be caused by excessive scratching, shaking your head for a long period of time or a dog fight injury. I think I have had mine for a long time. It’s really big.

I know there’s only a slim chance I will find another family at the age I am. But whatever medical things I need done, will happen, now that I’m in rescue. I am going to have a photo shoot and wear some great Christmas clothes. I’ll talk to Santa and ask him to PLEASE bring me a family for Christmas because even though I am old, the rescue people think I am solid gold.