Update: March 27, 2015
We can only take a guess at what year this distinguished gentleman was born, as he was always a man of mystery. He came to us with no microchip, no information on his background and no name, but to us, he'll always be our big ol' bear, Ike.
He first came to our attention last October, when there were reported sightings of a large Malamute wandering around Woody Point over the course of more than a week. A Good Samaritan took him to the kind folk at Peninsula Animal Aid, where he waited patiently for his owner to come looking for him. Alas, they did not, so we welcomed him into the SHAMROQ fold with open arms.
The most integral part of Ike's story is, without a doubt, the Butner-Johnson family. They took Ike in as a foster dog, just as they have with several other dogs. But soon after, our vet discovered a terminally cancerous growth in Ike's ear. Our Twilight Sanctuary idea was born and we approached the family to ask if they would be willing to foster Ike permanently. We were so grateful when these amazing people agreed to be there for him right 'til the end.
This morning, Ike told them that it was time, that he was ready to fly away. And they were there holding him, just as they had promised, while he drifted off. We are so proud of Nicky, Darryl and their girls for the love, care and compassion they have shown Ike over the last 5 months. With them, he was truly home. He could go peacefully this morning, safe in the knowledge that he was theirs and he was, and always will be, fiercely loved.
While we are heartbroken to say goodbye to our gentle giant, we are just so honoured to have known him. As Darryl said this morning in our tearful conversation, "he was kinda special". Darryl, he was more than 'kinda' special and so are you and your lovely family. We also thank Rhyanon & Myriam for their gifts to Ike to ensure he was pain-free in his twilight time.
Ike, wear your silver harness with pride and may you shine on forever.
Update: March 9, 2015
Ike sends a heartfelt thank you to Myriam, who recently donated some pain relief medication that she had left over after she lost her beloved companion, Ulla. It takes a special person to think of others in a time of grief and we're grateful that Myriam saw fit to honour Ulla's memory by blessing one of our Twilight Sanctuary residents, Ike. Our thoughts are with you, Myriam.
Update: February 6, 2015
Ike says a big furry thank you to guardian angel, Rhyanon, for sending some Chew Chomp and Chill goodies to his attention at the Twilight Sanctuary. His eyes and ears aren't the best, but that nose works just fine and he sniffed the yummies out all on his own. Nom nom nom! See below for pics...
Update: January 4, 2015
Christmas has come and gone at our Twilight Sanctuary and Ike had a ball. Whether this guy is dressing up like one of Santa's reindeer or just happily hanging out seaside with his foster brother and sister, he is enjoying his twilight time to the fullest. Gotta love the oldies! See below for pics...
Update: December 5, 2014
What do you imagine that a doggy hospice might be like? It's not a sad place for moping around, that's for sure. Below, Ike demonstrates some of the activities that a retired gentleman has access to as an esteemed resident of SHAMROQ's Twilight Sanctuary. There are jaunts with his furry friends (and, of course, the lovely staff who are at his beck and call), there are trips to the water where he can admire the view, and there's a comfy couch and blanky when it's time for a nanny nap. We ask you, what more could Ike want? We think he looks pretty content. See below for pics...
As you may be aware, SHAMROQ's tagline is "Where Every Story Has A Furrytail Ending". For the majority of dogs, this means matching them up with loving adopters who welcome them as an important permanent member of the family. For a small number of dogs, it means something only very slightly different.
In October 2014, we introduced you to Ike on our Facebook page. Unmicrochipped, this darling old man was sighted wandering locally before being taken to a shelter, where it was estimated that he was in the vicinity of 10-12 years old. We brought him under our wing and got him vet attention for his severely infected ears and sore eye, both of which had evidently been causing him problems for a number of years. We also put him on a joint supplement for his arthritis. Sadly, our vet found something else that we hadn't prepared ourselves for. Cancer.
We got together with his foster Mum, Nicky, to decide the best course of action for Ike. Surgery to remove the cancer down in his ear canal would be beyond invasive and recovery would be painful. It would mean the removal of not only the canal, but the entire ear, followed by radiation or chemotherapy. Together we decided that, at his age, surgery and chemo would not be the kindest decisions for Ike, especially when there could be no guarantee of success in giving him a longer life or better quality of life.
Instead, he will enjoy his retirement with Nicky and her family as a permanent foster, where we will keep him comfortable in his twilight time and cover all his medical costs. For however long Ike is happy to stay with us, he is most welcome. We believe that he came to us when he did for a reason. Now he'll be spoilt and lavished with the TLC that was sadly lacking from his life previously. It's time for Ike to be treated like a King and have everything that his heart desires. While he still has his legendary love of food and cuddles and can be kept pain-free, Ike will live out his days with dignity and love as our Twilight Sanctuary's first beloved resident.
Which brings us to, of course, also acknowledge the Sanctuary's first foster carers. We don't have the words to express our gratitude to Nicky & Darryl and their family. They loved big ol' bear Ike from the moment he arrived, but to support him through the time that he needs them most is truly admirable and we are so honoured and proud to have them as part of the SHAMROQ family.