In spite of all of our best wishes, Ella’s story did not have the happy ending we all were hoping for. Ella’s veterinarians rushed her into surgery late yesterday, once our fundraiser looked as if it was going to raise enough to fund her surgery.
Once under anesthetic, Ella was found to be suffering from advanced carcinoma. Her veterinarians were stunned to discover that this litte dog had been suffering, likely for months, with a growth that had left her with almost no airway.
There is a chance that, if we had been allowed to help Ella sooner, her story could have had a happy ending, that Ella could have lived happily ever after. It’s easy to get bitter about things like this, and I think everyone involved in Ella’s story has had their share of deeply bitter moments when thinking about how this little dog must have been suffering, but Ella, like Ema before her, would not have understood that sentiment.
Ella, Ema, CJ and all of our other ‘last chance dogs’, never felt bitterness and resentment. Instead, in the last hours and days of their lives, they felt something that had been in short supply in their lives before we met them – they felt loved. For a brief while, these dogs who had been dying as they lived, unloved, unmourned and unknown, had a network of friends and supporters from quite literally around the world. For a few moments, they were cradled in the arms of all of us, who so desperately wanted them to survive, and to over come their odds.
It is easy to see these French Bulldogs suffering and to become overwhelmed. We can think “There are so many, that I can do nothing – I’m a drop in a bucket.” We look away, because we are afraid that their pain will overcome us, and we’ll give in to despair. But despair is not what our last chance dogs are about – they are about redemption, and love.
So, like you, I’m going to keep on reaching out when I hear about dogs like Ella, and dogs like Ema, and dogs like CJ – because I want to them to know that someone out there cares about them, and that their lives have not been lived for nothing.
Most of Ella’s donations were spent on her veterinary care, but the balance left over will be used to start a new fund for those “Last Chance Frenchies” that we sometimes encounter – the ones who we all know might not make it, the ones who require us all to take a leap of faith. I hope that some of you will be willing to take that leap with me.
Here is a link to Ella’s memorial on French Bulldog Village.