Saturday, 30 September 2017 19:01
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Cougar

Just over two years ago, after a very chequered past involving two previous families and two protracted stays in the kennels of German Shepherd Rescue Scotland in Midlothian, five year old Cougar came to live with us.

I am, and will remain, convinced that, on the day we (me, Sylvie and our youngest son Robbie) collected him, he KNEW he was finally coming to his "forever" home: after an hour's car journey spent licking every face within reach, he strolled into our house, took a quick look around, took a long slobbery drink from his new shiny bowl in the kitchen, lay down in his new shiny basket by the fire in the lounge, gave a huge sigh and proceeded to solemnly inspect each of us in turn. When our eldest son Joe and his wife Jenny arrived to see the new boy, he greeted them as if he'd known and loved them all his life - as he did with everybody he ever met.

Just over a month ago, he was diagnosed with an insulinoma - an insulin-producing tumour on the pancreas - which caused his blood sugar level to drop to the extent that normal neurological, metabolic and physiological function was seriously compromised without intervention. After initial treatment, and blood sugar stabilisation, at the wonderful Small Animal Hospital in Glasgow, he came back home. He was on steroids and a four-hourly feeding regime (he and I slept together on an airbed in the lounge) to get his strength back up to the level required for surgery to excise the tumour.

Surgery was carried out at the SAH on Tuesday and the tumour (fortunately small and with no sign of having spread) was successfully excised. His blood sugar levels stabilised and everything was tickety-boo, with discharge anticipated on this Friday just past. To cut a long story short, that was when things started to go wrong: pancreatitis, laryngeal paralysis, an auto-immune disorder which caused awful ulcers on his tongue, and nerve damage which disrupted communications between his brain and legs. Individually, each of these could be treated with a reasonable probability of success but, collectively, he was faced with a long and hard mountain to climb with virtually no prospect of subsequently having what either we, or he, would regard as an acceptable quality of life.

The decision was made and, with a little help, and with his Mum and Dad by his side, he slipped quietly away just before lunch yesterday.

There were tears, and doubtless there will be the odd occasion in the future when a sudden memory triggers a few more, but I've had my catharsis (I went up to Kippen Muir at sunset yesterday evening and shouted profanities at the sky for half an hour or so - and felt very much better for it!) and life goes on.

My closest friends (you know who you are), and the wonderful volunteers at GSRS, have been kept in touch from the beginning and have been unbelievably supportive throughout. Thanks, guys - it means more to me than I could put into words. To Eilidh Gunn, the Vet at the SAH who looked after him, kept us fully in touch and advised on a regular basis, and was there at the end: you're an absolute star!

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Rainbow Bridge

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.

There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.

There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.

The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; his eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

 

Contact Details

Need to re-home your dog?
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german shepherd rescue dogsWe have lots of gorgeous German Shepherds waiting to be adopted.

Complete our Adoption Form if you would like to adopt one of the dogs on our site.

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If you can offer a warm, loving foster home please get in touch.

German Shepherds don't do well in kennels, we would love to have warm foster homes to offer instead of cold concrete kennels. ALL food and expenses will be covered by the rescue.

Success Stories

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You can see some of our adopted German Shepherds on our Success Stories page.