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The petite black and tan cocker spaniel had no name, only a number - 1818. She lay in the crate at the shelter, matted, dirty and depressed. Despite obvious cataracts and having no idea of her age, Cocker Spaniel Rescue of East Texas decided to pull her.
Her eye infections were so significant the volunteers pulling her decided to take her to the vet for evaluation. What we would find both saddened and disgusted us. In addition to the cataracts and eye infection she had a painful ulcer on one eye. The ear canal in one ear was closed due to infection and oozing pus both from the inside and the outside. She was underweight and dehydrated. A back leg was so matted she could not put it on the ground and had been bound for some time since the muscles were atrophied. It would have to be amputated. The absolute worst was a gaping wound on her chest so large and deep it could accommodate a small orange.
All we could do for Dixie, as we named her, was to give her a dignified death. She was gently euthanized with two volunteers by her side, both shedding tears for a dog we had only known an hour.
Animal rescue is rewarding work. But it's not without pain. Sometimes the rewards are joyful, sometimes you have to rationalize a reward out of knowing the best you can do is help a suffering creature reach the Rainbow Bridge, not alone, but in the presence of people who care. Rest in peace, Dixie. We didn't get a chance to really know you, but you were loved just the same.