I’ve saved Pearl twice now, and this time, she isn’t going anywhere.
In July, I told you about finding Pearl in a shelter in south Louisiana and adopting her just to get her out. Even though the shelter workers were fond of Pearl, she had suffered a spinal injury that interfered with her walking. That was the kiss of death, as far as I was concerned. It’s hard enough to save perfectly healthy animals in shelters; one with a problem has little chance.
But Pearl glamoured me with those big, buggy, brown eyes; I was under her spell.
After help from friends here and relatives in Houma, Louisiana, we got Pearl to the Dallas-Fort Worth Pug Rescue. I thought she was safe. Rescue volunteers had taken her to specialists, and she seemed to be improving.
Then, about three weeks ago, I got an email from one of the rescue’s volunteers telling me that Pearl’s condition had begun to deteriorate and they were evaluating her quality of life. The medications were no longer working, and Pearl was incontinent, I was told.
Of course, I started asking questions: Can she walk? Is she in pain? Is she alert? Is she eating? I’m sure I greatly annoyed my sister-in-rescue with all my emails.
Yes, she can walk, I was told. No, she in not in pain. Yes, she is alert. Yes, she is eating.
Well, then, what’s the problem?
Her foster is a teacher, and all was well during the summer, but when school started and the foster returned to her job, she asked the rescue to send Pearl elsewhere. The foster put a diaper on Pearl, and it was soaked when she got home from school. She was afraid the wet diaper would hurt Pearl’s skin.
That’s when the rescue decided to re-evaluate Pearl.
I asked my rescue contact to please let me know before any negative decision was made. She agreed.
A few days later, Pearl was taken to a vet, who determined that she didn’t have a decent enough quality of life to live. When I got the news, I was ready. I had talked to several of my rescue friends here, and Pam Mayes of Alabama Pug Rescue said the words I had been thinking: “Veronica, you have bonded with that little girl. She needs to be here.”
I asked my Texas friend to help me arrange for transport to get her here. I knew that if I saw her, I would be able to let her go if she did not have a good quality of life.
One of the volunteers at the Texas rescue had accumulated lots of frequent flyer miles from her work, so she flew Pearl here. I met them at the airport, and, for the first time, held Pearl in my arms.
What a living doll she is.
Before I write another word, I want those of you who read this to know that I am not criticizing the Dallas-Fort Worth Pug Rescue. It is a wonderful group of people who do tons of good works. I will be forever grateful to them for helping me with Pearl.
We just disagree on the idea of what is a good quality of life.
Pearl walks with a stiff gait, but that doesn’t keep her from running or climbing the almost two dozen steps in our 1909-era house. She romps with the other four-legged residents of the Compound when the temperatures are nice enough outside. (Pugs don’t tolerate high temperatures well.) She eats like pig, er, pug. And she mostly does her potty business outside.
She has a good life. As I write this, she is sleeping right next to Sadee Lew, her friend.
I’m puzzled by the opinion of the folks in Texas, but in one of the emails I exchanged, the volunteer in Texas said she hoped I proved the doctor wrong because Pearl is such a sweet girl.
I don’t think I have to prove anyone wrong. Pearl is doing that herself.