It was both sad and joyful last week on the Animal Farm. 

Those of you who know me are aware of my penchant for animal rescue; around here, it’s all rescue all the time.  Although JB thinks that he IS the wheel (and I have tried not to burst his little bubble just yet), he is in reality only one spoke on a very big wheel! 

My main rescue passion for the past few years has been for old age and hospice dogs; there is a never-ending supply of them funneled from my vet’s office, where I have become known for my work.  Sometimes I am called in when a beloved family pet needs too much intensive care . . . sometimes when someone just doesn’t want the bother of a senior pet.  They can be here for a month or a year; as long as they have a good quality of life– and want to live — I will love and care for them.  Subsequently, euthanasia has become a big part of my life as well.  When each pet’s time comes to cross the Rainbow Bridge, I am there for their journey.  It is hard to give your love unconditionally to a pet, knowing that it will soon be gone.  Many people will not get a pet because they cannot bear the thought of its death.  But I have this ability, and feel that it is my gift to these animals to give them that special time before they go.

Which brings me to the sad part of last week . . . two of my beloved old greyhounds had to be put to sleep.  Although I had only had them for a few months, they were very special and really bonded to me and to each other.  One of the dear old girls decided that her time was over on the first day of the week; by Thursday, the other one was ready to go also.  I was sad to lose them, but more touched by the devotion that they shared even after a short time.  It seems that the old dogs know about each other.  Very seldom do I have a problem introducing the next “patient”—they seem to understand that this is their last stop, and that they all should be friends.

But as each life ends, another begins . . . and JB was the joyful part of my week!  After caring for senior citizen pets for so long, it has been like a breath of fresh air to have a youngster in the house.  And trying to remember all of the ins-and-outs of baby animal care has gotten harder as the days of no sleep add up.  Although JB is generally a forgiving little donkey–he gently lets me know when his formula isn’t quite warm enough or when it’s time for a nap– he’s more like Simon Legree when I’m not on time with his meals or standing by when he’s ready to play!  So my little “spoke”, at least for now, thinks he’s the whole wheel—a shiny, new white wheel that’s  full of life and excited about the journey to come.