In Memoriam Linnea

As you may know, in addition to putting together the Up For Pups! humane education program, I’m the editor of Happy Tails Books. We publish books full of stories from people who have fostered and adopted, and the money we raise goes back to animal rescue and humane education efforts. One of our contributors, Jackie Gleason, sent me this short story about a Lab named Linnea, and I want to share it here because it shows the dedication of rescue volunteers. I, too, am a foster mom, and while I find fostering very rewarding, I know firsthand how heartbreaking and difficult it can be at times.

To honor the memory of Linnea and the compassion of the volunteers, here’s Linnea’s story:

Labrador Retriever Rescue Linnea came into rescue just five short weeks ago after we received an email that a Lab with a limp was dumped out of a pick-up truck on some rural property. Not knowing who she belonged to or what was causing the limp, we decided to get her to our vet to check out her leg and scan for a microchip. When we picked her up, she was clearly in pain but still wagging her tail like any true Labrador would do. Unfortunately only a couple of hours later we got the sad diagnosis that she has osteosarcoma (bone cancer) and would not be with us long. Our vet told us that her pain could be managed for a while, so we decided that we would take her into foster care and give her some time to know that she deserved far more than being shoved from a pick-up. Linnea loved playing with her foster’s dogs, who just knew they should be gentle with her. She spent many nights in front of the television getting her belly rubbed by the kids and then curling up on her foster Mom’s feet and snoring like a freight train. Linnea was a gentle soul whose only requirement was to be at your side, and despite her limp she followed her foster Mom everywhere. Linnea represents the other side of rescue–the dogs who never make the “adoptable” list. She had five happy weeks being loved by a family whose hearts she will always have a piece of. Rest in peace our sweet “Honey Girl.”

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