In Memory of Dottie « Shoot Me Now

Shoot Me NowIn Memory of Dottie

In Memory of Dottie
Published on Sunday, September 12, 2010 by

dalmatian rescue

I haven’t said much over the past few weeks because I wasn’t ready to talk.  Today I need to get it out.  Because today I had to put my puppy to sleep.


Before we met her, Dottie was thrown over a pound fence in Georgia.  Half of her fur was gone and she had cuts all over her body.  When I adopted her they drove her all the way to Virginia for us.

I discovered she was allergic to chicken and fleas, resulting in the loss of fur.  Her face forever showed the scars of her past, but her life had changed from abused animal to queen of the house.

Yes, I let her sleep on the bed.  Yes, she had her own couch.  But she deserved it all.  Because after all of her abuse, she still came to us as the most amazing family dog anyone could want.

At some point in her life she had been loved.  And from the moment she came in to our lives she was loved even more.


Dottie was about five or six when we got her.  This year she probably turned 13 or 14.  A few months ago I discovered she had arthritis in her back.  I managed it with pain medication and soon turned to Class Four Laser Treatment.

But by last week, she could hardly walk.  And by today, she simply could not walk.  I had been carrying her down the stairs for weeks.  Today I carried her through the house and held her up because she wasn’t even able to stand.

Furthermore, her medication was not keeping up with her aching back and legs.  She looked at me today and told me.  I knew.  She knew.  I could not let her go on in pain and I knew her inability to walk was the final straw.dottie dalmatian

My children said goodbye and I drove her by myself to the emergency vet.  I knew my father was in the seat next to me giving strength.

The hardest part of this?  Dottie was completely herself from the belly up.  She wanted to bark at squirrels, she wanted to sit outside in the sun and she wanted to eat ice cookies in the kitchen.  It was the lower half that stopped her.  That kept her hurting.  That finally kept her from even standing up.

Putting her down while she was still “herself” was the hardest, hardest hardest thing to do.  But it would have been harder to see her in constant pain.  I rescued her from a horrible life years ago and would rescue her from a horrible (and short) life ahead.

Right now my Dottie is sitting at rainbow bridge with my other Dalmatians, Freckles and Fritzie.  My father is in a folding chair in between selling bait while tossing the occasional piece of squid to the dogs.  That is what my brother messaged me from Denver.  And it made my lips turn up, if only a little.

If you have dogs, go hug them for me.  Give them scritches, pats and of course Dottie’s favorite – belly rubs.

dalmatian picture

My heart is so broken today.

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  • I am sorry for your loss. Seeing a member of your family in pain is never easy. I'm sure your brother was pretty spot on in his assessment. She was loved and I'm sure she knew it and that is the best we can do. **HUGS** to you & your family.

  • Tina

    Hugs, going out to you, today. Dottie was indeed very special. She is running around in Doggie heaven with her legs moving quickly and painlessly chasing the squirrels, I'm sure! And, I'm expect she is enjoying loving strokes on her back from your dad. May God comfort and bless you and your family.

  • Joy

    You struggled more with the pain she endured than of your final action, which was an act of courage and mercy that had to be done. Bless you and your family as you grieve the loss of an important member. That Dottie trusted you after a prior life of abuse is testament of your good and loving care. Your tears today are a small price to pay for the gift your family, and Dottie, received over the past 8 years. Lives well-lived and loved.

  • daisythecurlycat

    I am so sorry for the loss of your beautiful and beloved Dottie. Soft purrs to you during this sad time.

  • Oh my God I am so sorry. Dottie was such a special girl and I know you gave her so much joy and love. You did the right thing for her. They trust us to do the right thing and we have to do it when the time comes. My Honey is going through the same thing. Her real legs have a hard time holding her, but at 80 pounds, I have a hard time carrying her. Some days are better than others for Honey, and as long as she seems to be enjoying life, we'll wait. But, Sweetheart, they do tell you when enough is enough. I'm so sorry for your loss, but I'm so happy you had Dottie in your your life and you had so much love and joy together.

  • I'm so sorry, it's so hard to have to make that choice, isn't it? Remember Dottie fondly!


  • I am so so sorry for your loss Katherine. No words can be said at a time like this. Time and only time, helps lessen the ache, but it is never fully gone. I have been there and to this day it still hurts, to the point of tears. Having to make that decision, and knowing it is the right decision, it is still something that you can never fully prepare yourself for and yes second guess, at least I have. It's probably human nature.

    But your so right Dottie is in heaven looking down at you and running around again, barking and without pain. As I write this my best friend, Rain, is between my legs asleep. He is my family now and yes treated like a king. To the point where he allows me in His house 🙂

    He has been with me since 3 months old and that was in 1998. I walk him twice a day and I enjoy it as much as he does. I know he is starting to decline, I see it in his jumping ability and hear it in his breathing. The lumps are starting to grow, hoping they are fatty and not cancerous. I was going to get them checked, but he is not in pain and still enjoying his food and acting crazy. I said to myself even if it is cancer, I wouldn't put him through that treatment.

    Why is it that God made it so their life span is not as long as ours? I am one, which I am sure you are also, to have always the noise of 4 paws in and around the house. We unfortunately part ways with our best of friends way to early and more than once in a lifetime.

    Dottie was a lucky dog, as were you and your family. The good times and love will always be but a thought away. I am sorry Kath, truly, Glenn

    • I'm all choked up after reading your comment on Dottie. Tears in my eyes. I DO have an answer about their shorter life span. After seeing so many amazing, scared and sad dogs in cages at the pound this week I see it is a blessing for many…. because there are people so unlike us in this world that just throw them away. 🙁

  • Brittney


    Reading posts like this makes me thankful my animals are all healthy and I don't have to face that decision. I've been there though, with animals I worked with at the zoo. I think the fact that you chose to do the right thing before she wasn't herself, as hard as it was, was the best thing to do. Having held two birds (a macaw and a flamingo) that I had worked with for years as they laid there suffering greatly before they were put to sleep I know how it feels to know that they were suffering more than they shoud for far to long before the decison was made. That was one of the major driving forces for me to go to vet school and the reason why Spinner's leg band (the flamingo) is my key chain. Dottie didn't know that kind of suffering, the kind that changes their behavior drastically and tell you it is way past time. I know that doesn't make things any eaiser. Just know you and your family gave her a great home and she knew she was loved.



    • Brittany, your comment made me feel so much better…. I had to wait a week b/4 I read these. I love the Spinner story… you are a wonderful person. What zoo did you work at?

  • Oh no. I am so so sorry for your loss. No words can be said at a time like this. Sending you virtual hugs and kisses.

  • Oh no, I am so sorry. I know how hard it is to lose a member of the family. I hope your memories are able to bring you a little peace.

  • What a beauty she is. I'm sorry to hear about your loss. Those darn animals work their way into your heart from the first minute and never let go.

    I have two cats who've moved on and I still miss them. I loved those furry friends. Sending healing vibes your way.

  • Oh Katherine. I am so sorry. I can't say anything that anyone hasn't already said. *great big mushy hugs for you*

  • Dottie is surely in great doggy heaven stirring up a storm with all 4 legs and no pain! What a brave lady you are Katharine. I dont doubt that your lives were mutually benefited by sharing in each others'.

  • heatherzilla

    I am so sorry for your loss.

  • Jeannie

    Oh Katherine, I am so very sorry! What a lucky dog and lucky family to have found each other. Isn't it funny how animals become more than just “animals”. These are wonderful pictures you have to cherish her memory.

  • Kcalabro

    What a beautiful tribute for a very special baby…..

  • From the first few words I knew this was going to be hard to read. But I plowed through it and my tears. Not much makes me cry, but dogs (and the loss of) break my heart.

    I have not gotten another since losing my Keezy 4 years ago. She was a lab mix, but the queen of the house as you stated about Dottie. My girl too suffered from degenerative hips which made it hard for her to get around, but she would not let that stop her trying to please me, soaking up the sun and trying to chase frogs.

    I had the vet come to my home where he put her down in my arms. We then buried her next to her mate in the backyard.

    I feel your loss and I am so sorry!

  • Sorry for your loss, Katherine.

  • I am so sorry for your loss. Dottie was a beautiful member of your family. I am sorry I didn't read this post sooner. Lots of love to you my friend. xoxo

    • I sure do miss her… we still call her when we walk in the house. BUT…. I'll be writing in about two weeks about someone new in the family… someone “possibly” spotted as well… someone who “perhaps” is going to be rescued to a “forever home…” in about 2 weeks….. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  • Ishouldbenapping

    We went through the same experience with our dog buddy last year – your story brought tears to my eyes – so sorry for your loss.

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  • Katherine, my heart breaks for you. I've been where you are so many times and it never, ever gets easier. No matter how long we have them, it's not long enough. I had to put my Aussie down almost two years ago. She was about 13 and she'd lost the use of her hind end about a year before. I'd had a little cart made for her which worked for a while, but you're so right. They do tell you when it's time. What a blessed little dog Dottie was to have been taken into your home and your heart. I believe all the animals we've loved will be waiting for us when it's our time to cross. Big hugs.

    • I have always told my daughter about rainbow bridge. I truly TRULY believe everyone will be met at the pearly gates by their animals. I know I'll see mine again. Three dalmatians running towards me, with my father behind. Thank you so much for your kind words. Even with Emma here now, we think of Dottie, miss and love her so much. I think she brought Emma to us – it all just “worked out” so well. But today I must have called Emma “Dottie” at least five times. You see spots walking by and it just happens…!

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