Hi. Newt’s dad here. I have sat down to write this umpteen times, only to let myself get distracted from the reality of the circumstance. On Wednesday September 2nd just before noon, we said goodbye to our boy Newton. Newt was a staple in our rescue for six plus years. The day prior we had officially made him part of the family by adopting him, as we had discussed many times. The end came swiftly (thankfully). Enough time to give it a chance, then to accept the inevitable and ultimately give him a peaceful and dignified cross over Rainbow Bridge.
Let’s go back to the beginning, May 2014, when I met 8 year old Newt (his given name) at the local shelter. Despite being abandoned by his family and putting up with a very sore mouth due to a badly infected tooth, he was happy and goofy and playful. We agreed to pull him for rescue and my wife and I would foster him. Newt was sent over to our veterinarian for tooth extract, neuter and vaccinations. I picked him up on May 20th, 2014 and brought him into our home where he would stay.
We took photos & videos, put different spins on his bio, and answered applicants. It was always something that dissuaded them from adopting, but their loss was our gain. Not once did it get even to a meet and greet. Oddly his best applicants were his first and his last. The first had a pair of young twins and Newt’s exuberance for life prevented that union. His last…we’ll get back to that.
In Newt’s words: “I just want to play ball. I want to play ball in the morning. I want to play ball all day. I want to play ball before I go to bed. Do you want to play ball with me? Oh wait . . . breakfast and dinner are pretty important to me too. Oh and chasing birds. I like to chase birds when no one wants to play ball. I love attention and affection, but my foster parents say I am a wiggle worm. I can’t help it. It feels so good to get an ear and belly rub. My foster mom tries to get me to settle down when she pets me, but I can’t!!!”
Newt loved playing ball so much that I was forced to come up with an idea for bedtime, so we invented flashlight fetch. This has now become a tradition that will live on through his sister Sissy (who misses him terribly) and other fosters that have come and gone. Newt was also the big brother that all the foster dogs looked up to and loved. He’d show them the way and make them feel accepted.
Newton had just received a great application, but I think the applicant read between the lines. Something was wrong. He had lost interest in playing ball, was tired and was having trouble pottying. The pumpkin or rice diet was not helping as it always had in the past. We thought maybe he had a blockage, so we had X-Rays done. What an eye opener. It was found he had a mass in his chest, his spine was in rough shape, and he had been carrying around a significant amount of birdshot, no doubt from one of his adventures prior to being rescued. The mass turned out to be lymphoma. With all his troubles and symptoms, all we could do was make him as comfortable as we could. He started acupuncture and that helped but then the dreaded “won’t eat” set in and we knew it was time.
Shaded by trees on a bright blue sunshiny day, we set Newt free. With him was mom, me, his awesome veterinarian and a wonderful vet tech. Our boy was ready and went peacefully. Newton is now harassing his sister Duster, playing with sister Feather, and chasing tennis balls and birdies. Forever in our hearts, gone but never forgotten. Love you boy!