For the Love of Pete

Pete: A Story of Love and Loss... but mostly of Love

On April 18, 2010 at a shelter 100 miles from my home, I met a little senior dog named Pete who changed my life forever. Pete was 9 years young, a survivor of abuse, sad, lonely, sick ... and perfect.

Pete made me believe in love at first sight. There are no words to describe how deeply his eyes reached into my soul and for this connection I am forever blessed. Shortly after adopting Pete he was diagnosed with a nefarious and terminal auto immune disease called Immune-Mediated Hemolytic Anemia (IMHA).

IMHA is an autommune disease wherein the body attacks its own red blood cells. The dog very quickly develops a low red blood cell count (anemia) that often requires multiple blood transfusions to correct, if at all. This condition may also predispose dogs to forming blood clots, predominantly in the lungs or brain. Treatment requires hospitalization, drugs that suppress the immune system, and often blood thinners. There have been cases where a dog does well with minimal treatment, however for the overwhelming majority the disease is unfortunately fatal.

For almost three years Pete and I fought the good fight together. Every single day I woke devout to researching, learning more about the disease. I poured over clinical research papers, committed to fundraising and participating in support groups. I gave every part of myself with enthusiasism hoping to make a difference. And Pete, he never gave up. Every single day, during treatments and the ups and downs of health he greeted you with love. 

Pete was one of the lucky ones and survived longer than most.  But eventually, on New Years Eve 2013 my husband and I knew it was time. We carried Pete to the Vet and waited in a plain white box of a room; sanitized of all feeling, making my heart feel even more hollow and every breath stick in my throat. 

We sat on the floor, Pete wrapped in a blanket on our laps. He looked up at us and licked the tears as they rolled down our cheeks. I have never felt so incredibly heartbroken and so heartwarmed at the same time.  I believe firmly that Pete was thanking us for loving him and telling us it was okay; he was ready to let go.


At that moment when I gave Pete the most selfless gift I could give, peace and rest, I promised him I would never forget and never stop fighting for him.

senior dog; pitbull love; love senior dogs; love is ageless; lexy the elderbull
And so, for my Pete, who I still hold so dear.. these pages are dedicated to you and may they help others dealing with IMHA, or loss.  

For the love of a little dog named Pete who, from the very first moment I saw him made my world a brighter, and made my heart feel deeper than I thought possible.

Forever and always…. I love you Pete.


Watch this short video tribute to Pete's life
senior dog; pitbull love; love senior dogs; love is ageless; lexy the elderbull
Please hep us spread the word and bring more awareness to the important topics.  IMHA affects so many but is not well understood.  There is no known causation and no know cure.

And Compassion Fatigue is not often talked about but the pain and sadness is very real. For some, as in my own expereince, the feelings can be devasting and dangerous is not addressed.

 
Canine IMHA:  Immune-Mediated Hemolytic Anemia

Compassion Fatigue   (COMING SOON)

Coping wtih Loss
 
If you would like to share your own stories we woud lobve to hear from you.  Please contact us .