Our Angel Gabriel

How do I thank you for caring enough to support us in our endeavor to rescue Gabriel? From the moment I saw her picture on Facebook at the Greenville animal control page, I knew we were supposed to rescue her. Being a Pomeranian rescue, I also knew I needed to find out how our supporters felt about this – as all our rescues are a team effort. I made the post asking what you all thought, and immediately the donations starting coming in. She was in need and our supporters were ready to stand with us in getting her to safety! So, I sent the email to GAC and told them we would pull her and then made the drive to Greenville SC. I will never forget when they came bringing her out. She looked so defeated and like she could barely walk. They handed me a leash, a bag of meds and I paid her fee.  Poor girl. She had everything going against her. She had been a stray and was so thin. She had heart worms. She was in heat and to top it off she had a huge infected tumor on her belly that smelled, leaked and looked so bad. Despite being so neglected and mistreated she showed only gentleness. I stopped and got her some chicken and we bonded on the way home. Her liquid brown eyes showed her gratitude. From that day on, the only time we were apart was when she had her surgery to remove the tumor. I called her Gabriel. It was a ‘God thing’. I have a friend that messaged me with only the word ‘Gabriel’ and I have another friend that has a grandson who is a cancer survivor and his name is Gabriel. We had just had a conversation about him.

When my friend Jill, looked up the name, this is what she found: ‘Archangel Gabriel’s name means ‘God is my strength’. One of the two archangels specifically named in the Bible in both the Old and New Testament, SHE is often portrayed holding a trumpet and as the only FEMALE archangel. As the patron of communications, Archangel Gabriel is the messenger angel, acting as a messenger of God. She helps writers, teachers, journalists and artists to convey their message, to find motivation and confidence, and to market their skills. She also assists in overcoming issues of fear and procrastination in communication as well as in all areas related to children, helping during conception, pregnancy, childbirth and child rearing.’ All this spoke to my heart and where I am right now. Even our daughter had our latest granddaughter this past Sunday morning.

After we pulled Gabriel, we were home only 45 minutes while I gave her a bath and called my vet and told them we had an emergency. I offered her food and water and then loaded her back up and we headed up to Landrum SC to our veterinary hospital.

At that first appointment, they did x-rays and tried so hard to get blood from her, but she was so dehydrated they only got a few drops. Then they sent us home with the hopes that we could get some weight on her, so she could have the surgery to remove the tumor. She ate pretty good those first few days, but by the fifth day she had stopped eating and the tumor was even angrier looking.

I called the vet hospital again and asked my vet to see us and schedule the surgery. I did not want to lose the weight she had gained, and I was afraid she would turn septic, despite the two antibiotics she was on. Our vet was realistic about the surgery- there was a big chance that she might not make it, but I knew she would die by the weekend if we didn’t go ahead. Dr. Lara Anderson-Bailey did the surgery on her lunch ‘hour’. One hour turned to more than two as she tried getting all the bits of the tumor extracted. When weighed, the tumor was 2.7 lbs. Gabriel had more than 30 staples to put her back together. It was late when we carried her on a stretcher to the ‘Great Pumpkin’ turned animal ambulance. We were all praying that she would make it through the night and she did!

I took her back to the vet the next morning for a re-check and she was doing very well. We had a ‘honeymoon’ period with Gabriel then. Each day she seemed to improve. She seemed to like having all the little dogs around and had decided she was the boss of Guardian! Gabriel knew nothing about living in a house and almost nothing about playing in a yard. It only took her a couple of days and she was potty trained and enjoyed her time in the yard and sun as well. Then one day she surprised me by going after a ball that I had thrown for Guardian. I was ecstatic! The honey moon was short though and she began to eat less again and have periods when she did not want to get up.

10 days after the surgery we went to have her staples removed and find out the results of the biopsy. It was bad news. She had the worst, most invasive-aggressive cancer a dog can have. I was advised that it would probably only be about two months before it claimed her. Usually it spreads to the lungs, so we were to watch her breathing. I was not ready to give up, so I told them I would like to fight it. I wanted to try some alternative Chinese medicine that Dr. Osborne had been studying. They said they would put their heads together to come up with a plan. And they did.

Monday the office called and asked if I would like to come up for a consult. However, Gabriel had gotten worse over the weekend.  I fed her home cooked roasted chicken on Friday, but she did not want it or much of anything Saturday or Sunday. Her breathing had become more rapid and labored. Sunday evening, I hand fed her more chicken, but all she wanted was just a few ounces. It was a beautiful warm day and she lay all evening on the screened porch on a new fleece bed, that my friend June had just brought her. But she could not get up so I ended up dragging the bed and all in to the house.

Monday morning, I took her in to the vet and we re-x-rayed her. It was bad. Her chest had filled with fluid.  We might could have pulled the fluid off by putting a hole in her chest and draining it, but that is a painful procedure and it would not have stopped the inevitable. Her lungs were only working at about 1/3 of their capacity, her heart was weak from having heart worms as well as the aggressive cancer that had so weakened her body. Because she was already so malnourished- diuretics would have just taken what nourishment we had gotten in to her – out.

So, with my head on her head petting her sweet, soft, velvet ears, and Dr. Lara Anderson-Bailey petting and loving on her, Dr. Osborne gently gave Gabriel her wings. She flew fast and easy. Now more than ever we have an Angel Gabriel. I can’t even tell you how much my heart hurts. You would have thought I had had her 13 years rather than 3 weeks. We had bonded so fast. But I am better for having known her. Thank you for all who have prayed, supported us, and donated. None of the last three weeks would have been possible without you. This was truly a team effort.  Gabriel would have died in animal control, alone, never knowing what it felt like to be loved and part of a family.

Sometimes we cannot save the ones we rescue. But even as hard as it was, I would do it all over again. So, thank you – thank you! I am sorry that this letter is just now getting written, but I have been so busy. Now that she is gone, the other dogs, especially Guardian are doing their best to lift my spirits. I have learned so much through all of this. Rescues are sent to us for a season. Some seasons are shorter than others. We are so blessed to have friends that are part of this PomRescue.com team effort!  May you have a wonderful Spring and Summer season!        Big furry hugs-

Elaine and the dogs of PomRescue.com

This are photos of our journey with Gabriel, the German Shepherd we pulled from Greenville County Animal Control. Pls be advised that some are graphic in nature and may not be suitable for those that might be a bit squeamish.

Link to pics    https://photos.app.goo.gl/TJGudZgvfNg8p8vH3

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