Cy came to us an emaciated 15 year old lab mix, who was rescued after falling through the ice. He arrived at Bob’s House closed off to everyone, broken from years of neglect. He paced the house, his focus always away from us; not because of his bad eye sight, but because he didn’t want to let us into his shattered world. I had to wonder…. when was the last time anyone loved or cared for him? Our hearts broke for this poor old man who would need to join our “Dying with Dignity” program. There were concerning symptoms Cy was showing us: over drinking, constantly urinating, dementia, laryngeal problems, emaciated body, and ravenous for food. I’d love to tell you he is a rare case here at Bob’s House, but truthfully, we get a lot of dogs like Cy. My heart aches to think of the loneliness this boy must have felt for some time. Was he kicked out of his house into the cold winter because of the urinating issue? The dementia symptoms? Was no one looking for him? I just hope he wasn’t suffering out there long and that we can get through to him to make him know he was loved and wanted in his last days.

We started Cy’s medical evaluation immediately. We did bloodwork, urinalysis, tick borne diseases screening, and an overall physical exam. I put him in our grooming tub and started the spa routine. Black gunk (I don’t know what else to call what I saw) came in gobs out of his ears. I’d stop to kiss his hairless snout in the hope he would take a glance at me, but it was too soon and I knew I had to earn it. He fought the whole process, but I was hopeful his walls would break down soon with my caring touch and love for him. Sometimes I wish so badly I could speak with these old souls and explain what we are doing for them, but our actions get the message through better than words.

When I went to the office to do paperwork, I took Cy with me. At first he paced around unsure what was happening, but over a few days of shared lunches, treats (which he never argued about), and quiet cuddle time, I felt Cy’s guard lowering.

Cy enjoying a special treat in the office with me

I fell so in love with this boy as he lowered his protective wall to me every day. He started seeking kisses and snuggles along with following me to the office every day and napping.

Before too long the most beautiful thing of all happened. I looked over and his eyes met mine.

Cy giving me eye contact once he trusted me

Nikki Heck, Bob’s House for Dogs Adoption Coordinator