It’s a heartbreaking reality of dog rescue, that not every dog saved off the streets makes it.
When Janine Guido of Speranza Animal Rescue saw Watson, she could tell the dog was not only exhausted, but that he was ready to die.
Watson had been found by a Good Samaritan in a park a week earlier. The Pit Bull was emaciated, covered in sores and had a large cancerous tumor on his hind leg. Sadly, the cancer had spread and no treatment was going to cure him.
Guido, who is a fixture in the Philadelphia animal rescue community, had a feeling that Watson did not have much time left, so she made the decision to stay with him when he returned to the shelter from the emergency vet.
“I had a gut feeling that things weren’t going to be good the next day,” she told the Dodo. “I didn’t want to leave him alone. Not when he needed me the most.”
Guido knew she wanted to keep Watson company and to make him as comfortable as possible in whatever time he might have left.
Placing a bunch of blankets on the floor of the shelter, she lay down next to him and cradled him in her arms.
He fell in sleep in her arms as she cried herself to sleep. When Guido woke in the morning, it seemed Watson was ready to go and he that’s what he did, passing away shortly after.
“I’m just so thankful I was able to hold him tight for his last night,” Guido said. “I was telling him how much he was loved — and that his life mattered. My heart is breaking, but I would not change a thing.”
Watson’s passing is a reminder that not every dog can go on to a happy life, but they can be given as gentle and as peaceful goodbye as possible.
I’m comforted by the knowledge that Watson died knowing a loving touch.