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A Tribute to Rosie

Rosie’s Story ~ A tribute to euthanized shelter animals

Anyone who looked into Rosie’s eyes would have seen a whirlpool of different emotions. There was intense fear caused by a lifetime of abuse, sadness and heart wrenching hopelessness, wariness from continuously betrayed trust, and a crushed spirit extinguished by a broken heart. But if you looked deep into those light-hazel beagle eyes you would have seen something else shining out as well. Underneath the scars and bruises, inside the wasted body with protruding ribs was a soul that could not be conquered by pain and cruelty, a tender hear that would not be destroyed by hatred and suffering. Despite years of endless abuse and neglect, Rosie had not given up on humans. She was willing to give us one more chance, willing to trust again. She stole all our hearts, this gentle and innocent creature who truly believed in the goodness of mankind, and she taught us how powerful that belief could be. We wanted so badly to prove to her that she was right. We wanted to make her dream come true.

We wanted her to have a second chance at the life that had treated her so badly the first time around.
But mostly we just wanted to show this loving dog what it felt like to be loved in return.

Day after day Rosie waited, ever hopeful, in her kennel for the person she was certain would come. But the visitors passed by her cage, barely glancing in at the expectant creature staring out. “Too old,” “looks sick,” “abused,” she heard as they walked by. When adopters looked in, all they saw was the beaten body, they were blind to the indomitable spirit that resided inside that worn exterior. We watched with breaking hearts as the days went by, but her confidence never wavered, and her hope never died. She was a symbol of strength to all who met her. If any dog deserved a second chance, she did. If any story deserved a happy ending, hers did. She deserved to be saved. She deserved to spend the rest of her life safe and happy with someone who looked at her with as much love in their eyes as we saw radiating out of her eyes everyday.

Rosie was euthanized on December 6th, 2004.

This dog that had given us so much had asked for only one thing in return, and we had failed, we couldn’t save her. She was the happy ending that never happened. It must have broken her heart when she realized that her trust was being betrayed again, but this time it was for the last time.

And I just hope she knew that we were sorry.

The ending of Rosie’s story is the ending of the stories of countless other animals across the country every year. Each one of these animals is special and unique, each one has a past, a story to tell, every single one of them deserves a second chance, but their lives are ended for no other reason than the fact that there simply are not enough homes for them all.

These are the untold stories. The forgotten ones. The ones that society doesn’t want to hear about. These animals, all individuals with unique personalities become mere statistics, just numbers on a euthanasia list. They leave nothing behind. No loving owner to put their pictures on the mantelpiece and recount happy stories from their puppy hood or kitten hood, only a fading memory in a world of cement cages and cinderblock walls, and holes in the hearts of the people whose lives they briefly touched. It is important that the stories of these animals not be forgotten. Only by remembering can we understand, only by understanding can we change, and only by changing can we end the unnecessary suffering of animals like Rosie everyday. These are the true heroes in the fight against animal overpopulation, the ones who made the ultimate sacrifice.

This page is dedicated to the memory of all the homeless animals euthanized in animal shelters worldwide.

You are not forgotten.

– Allie Mayer