In Loving Memory of Parker
The last picture taken of Parker with my Rottweiler Mason.
Parker was a puppy that I took in as a foster when he and his brother were 7 days old. Their mother was euthanized in a shelter and they were left to die with 10 other siblings. Parker had to be bottle fed every 2 hours for the first couple weeks. He and his brother continued to grow and each day was an adventure. It was amazing to watch the new things they learned each day. When the boys turned 5 weeks old, Parker started acting like he wasn't feeling very well and was walking with a limp in his left leg. Each day his condition worsened until he was screaming in pain almost constantly. I rushed him to the emergency vet where they could find nothing wrong with him and sent us home with some medicine for the pain. After a few days, the screaming stopped but he was still walking with a limp. I took him to my vet to be examined and we took x-rays of his legs. We were expecting to find a fracture but to our amazement there was nothing but some swelling. Parker had a fever so my vet sent him home with an antibiotic and asked to see him again at the end of the week. As the days went on Parker began walking again and playing with his brother, he was my happy baby boy again. We went on Saturday to see my vet and she was pleased with his progress but told me he walked as though he had a back injury. She prescribed some rimidyl and asked to see him again in a week unless he took a turn for the worse. When we woke on Sunday, Parker could not move. He was completely paralyzed in both hind legs. When I bent over to pick him up, he licked my face and was wagging his tail non stop. This is how he remained on Monday so I again contacted my vet. I brought him to her and she examined him and took x-rays of his entire body up to the neck. She called me very alarmed at what she had found. She told me that she had never seen anything like it and could not explain it. She referred me to the VSH to see s neurologist. We arrived there on Thursday and everyone immediately fell in love with Parker. We were taken into a waiting room where he and I began playing together on the floor. The doctor entered and by the look on his face I knew the news was bad. He told me that Parker was born with one vertebrae missing which left his spinal cord unprotected. As he grew, the vertebrae that usually fuse together had nothing to attach to so they began to grow around his spinal cord instead. This in time begins to constrict the spinal cord causing paralysis in the hind quarters. This condition also caused 7 of his ribs to fracture and his spine to start curving. I was then told my only option would be to humanely euthanize him as soon as possible. I was absolutely devistated, how could this be happening to a 7 week old puppy that almost died in a shelter and was nursed back to health by me? I called my vet immediately and made arrangements to bring him in the following morning to put him down. The night before I fought with myself, was I doing the right thing? Should I get a second opinion? This was my baby, I gave him my name, I bottle fed him and carried him like a baby. I was prepared to adopt him and to pay whatever money was needed to help him walk again....only to be told that was not an option. I went to bed that night and asked God to give me a sign that I was doing the right thing. When we woke, I removed Parker from his crate to find he could no longer hold himself up. This meant he would not be able to eat or drink, God had given me my sign. I packed him up and took his brother Baron with us. We got to the vet's office and laid him on the table. My vet started crying terribly and I asked her if she was ok, she replied " I have never had to put a puppy to sleep, this is going to be hard". I picked up Baron and placed him on the table with his brother and he laid down beside him and started licking his face. I held onto him as well as they did the injection, and almost istantly his eyes grew dull and my Parker was gone. As I placed Baron down on the floor he sat at the base of the table looking up and crying, I really think he understood he was gone. It has taken me several days to build up enought strength to be able to write this, and as we speak I am sitting here crying. I wanted all of you to know Parker's story and how special he was. I do not have any children but raise these dogs like they are. This was my baby. When he got sick there was no time for anything else, it was all about Parker. I know that he is in heaven now running and playing with all the other dogs and no longer suffering. I hope one day he and I will be reunited again
Treat me kindly, my beloved master, for no heart in all the world is more grateful for kindness than the loving heart of me.
Do not break my spirit with a stick for though I should lick your hand between the blows, your patience and understanding will more quickly teach me the things you would have me do.
Speak to me often, for your voice is the world's sweetest music, as you must know by the fierce wagging of my tail when your footstep falls upon my waiting ear.
When it is cold and wet, please take me inside, for I am now a domesticated animal, no longer used to bitter elements. And I ask no greater glory than the privilege of sitting at your feet beside the hearth. Though had you no home, I would rather follow you through ice and snow than rest upon the softest pillow in the warmest home in all the land, for you are my god and I am your devoted worshiper.
Keep my pan filled with fresh water, for although I should not reproach you were it dry, I cannot tell you when I suffer thirst. Feed me clean food, that I may stay well, to romp and play and do your bidding, to walk by your side, and stand ready, willing and able to protect you with my life should your life be in danger.
And, beloved master, should the great Master see fit to deprive me of my health or sight, do not turn me away from you. Rather, hold me gently in your arms as skilled hands grant me the merciful boon of eternal rest and I will leave you knowing the last breath I drew, my fate was ever safest in your hands.
Please enjoy some of the pictures taken of Parker during the time I was blessed to have with him.