Ali came to us when he was around 5 month old. I was volunteering with Boxer Luv Rescue in the transport area and I received a call to go over to the shelter and pick up a dog suspected of having Parvo. When I got there, he was barely hanging on. In addition to being sick, it was obvious he had been starved. We raced to one of our animal hospital partners to start him on fluids and antibiotics. He had the most regal head and the rescue let me name him Alistair.|
Because the hospital was close to my home, I was able to visit him daily to let him know he was loved and would have a good life, if he would just get well. 10 days later, he came home my family to foster. First order of business was putting some weight on him. He ate every two hours for the first several weeks and wore a coat, even inside, because he could not afford to burn any extra calories shivering. Plus he didn't have any body fat to keep him warm.
Ali wasn't the smartest boxer we ever have had. But he tried really hard and once he learned something, he never forgot. He was quite the savant when it came to telling time and opening doors. He used his large 'baba-nose' to push or pull them open. He even opened our sliding door. If it wasn't latched securely, he could open it. He used his nose for everything -- you would have thought sniffing was a contact sport, the way he thrust his big nose everywhere.
He was a great foster daddy. Several times we had several rescue puppies in our home and he always was on hand to teach them proper puppy manners and get them ready to go to their forever homes.
He was also my sanity when I had to go out of state to care for a sick relative. I took him with me and many days over the 12 weeks I was there, he was the only one I talked to, except for my daily phone call home to my husband. He loved to ride in the car and was a great travel companion.
This past month we noticed something was wrong. Initial blood tests showed pretty normal blood levels for a 10 year old, but he was drinking a great deal. Next came the nystagmus (eyes flicking back and forth), the loss of balance and the lethargy. A month later the blood samples looked significantly worse and cancer was the suspected cause.
This past weekend he lost his eyesight and it was heartbreaking to see him walk into things or get stuck in a corner and not know how to get out. He tries go pee and it takes forever to dribble out. We made him as comfortable as possible, giving him all of his favorite foods -- chicken, pumpkin, and peanut butter. It's time. We can't selfish any longer keeping him with us. Dr. Mimi is on her way to the house; we will hold him tight, and send our baby to rainbow bridge.
We will see you again, Ali-baba. We love you.