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Cloud is gone. I knew it as soon as I saw that his name had been erased off the list of dogs to be walked. The ink smudge of his name was still visible on the white board but I knew he was gone.

I think it was done yesterday. His bloodwork had come back earlier in the week. There was something wrong with him. He'd been urinating large amounts of clear liquid. Every morning his bedding was soaked. So the bloodwork came back and there was something wrong with his adrenal values, something wrong with his liver. Maybe if Cloud were a younger dog, maybe if he were a dog without the issues he had, maybe if there were more people who had shown some interest in adopting him, maybe then more tests would have been done, maybe some diagnosis, some plan ...

TAS had asked around to the other shelters and rescues to see if anyone would take him but no one offered. That's understandable. He wasn't their concern. Everyone's got more than they can handle already. No one wanted the added responsibility of looking after a sick old dog who urinates in his bed every night. I can't fault others for something I didn't offer to do myself.

So, no one is to blame and everyone is to blame.

And I had just recently written someone about how Cloud would be kept in adoption until he was found a home.

The hardest part is knowing that Cloud had finally grown to trust us. That's the thing with these damned lost dogs - they always end up trusting us to do the right thing.

Goodbye Cloud. Now you are away. May you rest well.

9 Comments to “Cloud, away”

  1. NK says:

    Completely heartbroken to read this.

  2. Joanne says:

    Knowing that they trust us to do the right thing because they are so powerless, then why do we fail them?

  3. mel says:

    Oh Fred, I'm so sorry.

  4. rika says:

    So sorry to hear this. So sorry.

    May you rest well, Cloud.

  5. deva says:

    So sad to hear this. I hope someone took some time with him and gave him some love before he passed.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I hadn't checked in with your blog for a few days and now I come back to find...this. Just can't believe it... I'm crying as I'm writing this...I've been following Cloud's story since you started writing about him and I fell in love with him...I felt he was a kindred spirit. I wanted him SO bad.
    BUT (there's always a but, isn't there?)...I live in Hamilton, I live in an apartment & I just don't have the extra funds to take care of a dog...especially a sick dog with a bad liver. The last post you wrote about how someone had adopted him & brought him back because he wouldn't go to the bathroom outside & you stressed (and so did the TAS site) that he should go to a home with a backyard so I thought that's it, there's no chance they would let me adopt him anyway. It just breaks my heart...I mean, he wasn't that old (I can't really remember but I think it was 8) and his 'issues' weren't that bad (so he didn't like the outside's not like he was a dangerous or aggressive dog).
    I guess you're right one failed him & everyone failed him. The misunderstood ones like Cloud don't stand a chance. Rest in peace, sweet boy.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Sweet little Cloud. A beautifully written tribute, and a reminder to us all to step up just a little bit more.

  8. Anonymous says:

    No one is sadder than I.I am the staff member who looked so forward to walking him every day. I am completely heartbroken but we hold on for so long with no one willing to take an old sick dog. I understand that. He got ALOT of love his last night with us. I made sure to brush him and cuddle him and walk him and love him. I can say for sure that Cloud is resting in peace.

  9. siouxee says:

    I couldn't bring myself to write before, hence why it's taken me so long. These dogs aren't lost, but abandoned. People are to blame. I have little faith in humanity. It seems animals always pay the price. Imagine if hospitals turned away people because they had some sort of medical/health condition? RIP Cloud.

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A request

The reason for this blog is to help get specific dogs adopted from TAS but equally important is to try to normalize the idea of shelter dogs being just as good and just as desirable as any other dogs including those which are regularly merchandised by backyard breeders, puppy millers and those few remaining pet store owners who still feel a need to sell live animals. The single greatest stigma shelter animals still face is the belief that shelter animals are substandard animals. Anyone who has had enough experience with shelter animals knows this is untrue but the general public hasn't had the same experiences you've had. They see a nice dog photo in a glossy magazine and too many of them would never think of associating that dog with a dog from a shelter. After all, no one abandons perfectly good dogs, right? Unfortunately, as we all know, perfectly good dogs are abandoned all the time.

The public still too often associates shelter dogs with images of beat up, sick, dirty, severely traumatized animals and while we definitely sometimes see victims such as these, they are certainly not the majority and, regardless, even the most abused animals can very often be saved and made whole again.

Pound Dogs sometimes discusses the sad histories some of the dogs have suffered. For the most part, though, it tries to present the dogs not as victims but as great potential family members. The goal is to raise the profiles of animals in adoption centers so that a potential pet owner sees them as the best choice, not just as the charity choice.

So, here's the favour I'm asking. Whenever you see a dog picture on these pages you think is decent enough, I'd like you to consider sharing it on Facebook or any other social media sites you're using (I know many of you do this already and thank you for that). And when you share it, please mention that the dog in the photo is a shelter dog like so many other shelter dogs waiting for a home. If we can get even five percent of the pet buying public to see shelter dogs differently, to see how beautiful they are and how wonderful they are, and to consider shelter dogs as their first choice for a new family member, we can end the suffering of homeless pets in this country.