A few months ago, I had the honor of meeting Razzle at a local shelter. She was supposed to be in renal failure (or have cancer) and was earning a reputation for having a bad attitude. A shelter volunteer who had bonded with Razzle wanted to make sure that she had a chance to get out of there, but based on the strikes against her that wasn’t likely to happen without a rescue stepping in.
The volunteer contacted HKRT and offered to sponsor Razzle’s veterinary care if we would pull her. Unfortunately, we were over capacity already. All we could do was try. So, we posted a request on our volunteer page and I went to meet Raz. The volunteer and I took her to the vet for a nose to tail exam.
We learned that Razzle was not in renal failure but did have a pretty nasty urinary tract infection. She also had several masses all over her body that would need to be biopsied and her back legs were extremely weak. It was obvious that she had been bred multiple times and not well cared for. This poor girl was a Hard Knocker if we’ve ever seen one. When we finished at the vet, we still didn’t have a foster for her, so she had to return to the shelter. I promised her we would get her out and told her to behave in the meantime. By the time I got home, we had a family agree to take her! I got ahold of the shelter volunteer and told her we would pull Razzle in the morning.
Raz was the first foster for the Mathias family. They agreed to bring her into their home sight unseen, and I brought them a lumpy, skinny, snotty nosed, cantankerous pit bull. They loved her immediately and gave her the best days of her life. Razzle loved them, too. When the Mathias’s found out that despite all their hard work and care, Raz had chronic pain and many medical problems that made daily life a struggle for her, they loved her harder and gracefully accepted that it was time to set her free. They fed her steak, and cheeseburgers, and made her queen of the castle for her final days. They bravely attended her final veterinary appointment with me, and we surrounded her with love as she went to sleep. Among many tears, there was BIG love in that room.
I hope that days like today never get easier and that my heart always aches when we have to say “Goodbye” rather than “See you later”. The depth of my sadness reflects the abundance of love and respect I have for the HKRT team. Razzle knew peace and happiness because a group of people pooled their talents and resources to give her a chance. Today, this group is hurting but we are lead by our hearts and will continue to do what’s right, not what’s easy.
RIP Razzle Dazzle
Lisa Maasen, Jennifer Marbrey, and Nikki Hinsdale are Partners in Hard Knocks Rescue & Training, Inc. They have years of experience within the rescue and training community, and a drive to see its teamwork bring positive changes to the dogs in most need.