This is the story of little Spirit, who lost her life to distemper after coming into our home.
She is one of the many reasons Spirit’s Mission is dedicated to eliminating disease, neglected and unwanted litters of dogs and cats in remote, isolated communities.
The call came from a remote community just after Christmas. A pup had been immersed in gasoline and needed help. Would I take her?
Within a few shorts hours this little girl was on a plane and delivered into my open arms. A wee little face, a face filled with sadness and despair looked into my eyes. I named her “Spirit,” for I knew she was a fighter with strength deep within her soul. Her tummy rumbled from lack of food and her rear legs wobbled back and forth, no steady gait.
On this little one, no playful antics of a well-loved pup. But I knew I could change that because love can heal all wounds. The first seizure hit a few hours after little Spirit was home, but I was not concerned. I had previously been blessed with a loving companion, Goldie, who also had epilepsy and lived a wonderful and carefree life for 13 years. I knew what to do and how to handle this.
The anxious visits to the vet’s office became too numerous to remember in the few short days of Spirit’s relationship with me, and all those who met her, fell immediately in love. I knew she was a survivor with a will as strong as my own.
My heart smiled when the puppy kisses came freely; when the lanky paws stepped in overflowing bowls of food, when exploration of a warm and safe house became the day’s activity. And then, when the other four-legged family members looked at me with inquisitive faces, as if to ask, why does she tumble so much? Why does she cry in pain? Why is she so afraid? I could only answer with, she has not ever known enough love and I can change that.
Yet on New Year’s Eve, all the cuddles, warmth, love and medical miracles could not save little Spirit. She was overcome with a massive seizure; was unconscious and experienced additional seizures on the frantic five-minute drive to the vet’s office. As the vet approached with kind and reassuring words the tears flowed. I knew that my love and devotion could not restore her health. It was discovered that Spirit had distemper and not epilepsy.
Though she was a valiant fighter with the will of a warrior, she did not have a fighting chance. Spirit was wrapped in her favourite blanket, cuddled in my arms like a new-born babe. I softly told little Spirit that she was a blessing, that she had brought such joy into my life and while I was grateful for her gift, it was time for her to be at peace and move into my father’s awaiting arms because he knew this little girl was on her way to be with him, always safe, loved and cherished, as every soul should be.
My life is forever changed because of a pup named Spirit, and I will continue on with her presence beside me, as I work for those who have no voice. Thank you Spirit for your courage and love, you have touched my heart and I will remain forever changed.