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In Memoriam: Julius


On May 2, 2008, our beloved Julius passed away. Julius came to us in the fall of 2007, nearly dead from heartworms and pneumonia. He was a German Short Haired Pointer and appeared to be pure-bred. The lady who brought him to us said he just wandered onto her property and she had been feeding him but realized he needed more than she could provide. We got emergency treatment for the pneumonia, and began the long struggle to help Julius regain enough strength to undergo heartworm treatment.

When he made it through the first part of his treatment, we thought he had a good chance at a long and healthy life. But he developed severe pneumonia again and despite aggressive treatment, our sweet boy was just too worn out from his long struggle.  

Julius was always a free spirit. Instead of living in a kennel, he had the run of the fenced area of the shelter.

He followed us as we worked, visiting (and teasing) the other dogs. When he felt well enough, he played with the other dogs in the play yards.

It was his shelter and we were humans. But Juliusí favorite thing to do was hang out with the shelter cats who shared sleeping space in the shed with him. On cold nights they slept together in a ball. On warm sunny days they lay in the grass and groomed each other.

Julius loved every human or animal he met. He was unfailingly sweet tempered and gentle.
The last time I saw Julius, the vet was carrying him into the ICU. He lifted his head and made eye contact briefly. He looked so peaceful and trusting. He had been through so much, and always bounced back. I thought it would be that way again.

Cleaning kennels and feeding dogs will never be quite the same without Julius there to keep me company. And the cats surely wonder where their buddy has gone.

But although his tired body is now at rest, I can feel Juliusí spirit watching over the home he loved. And I can imagine that if he had a message for me, he would tell me not to weep for him; that he knew love and happiness in life if only for a few months. He would tell me to honor his memory by helping other dogs who have never known a loving touch or safe place to call home.


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