Woman’s Dying Wish to Hold the Dog She Saved from Puerto Rico
By Twig Mowatt of All Sato Rescue
One of the women in the All Sato Rescue network received a call about a dog that was in very bad shape and had been abandoned in a very upscale part of San Juan. Unbelievably, the affluent residents of this community weren’t doing anything to help the dog. He appeared to be a Shar Pei mix, but had terrible mange, was emaciated and had all sorts of parasites and worms.
He was a sweetheart though right from the start; he had a noble air about him and was given the name Bucare. Edilia Vazquez, our Founder, took him in and had him for quite awhile and was trying to pack some meat on his bones.
Last winter, we got the idea to do a Valentine special, where people could visit our website to view a long list of dogs that needed sponsorship, and they could make a donation on behalf of their sweetheart. We had huge success with this because there were lots of traditionally cute dogs. But, Bucare didn’t get a single person to sponsor him….that is, until my dog-loving friend Lynn stepped in. I had met Lynn through her work to help ban greyhound racing in Massachusetts. In the process of falling in with the movement, she and her husband had adopted four of their own retired racers. She had a heart of gold and would never rest if she knew an animal out there needed something. When I told her about the Valentine project, she asked me to sign her up for whichever dog had not had any takers….that’s how she ended up with Bucare.
She Started Sending Money for Her Valentine Dog
Lynn started out sending money toward his skin baths and overall treatment and the longer his recovery went on, the more she wanted to know about him and the more she fell for him. Eventually, he was ready to make the flight up to New England and find his forever home. Well, of course, the plane flight is very expensive — so Lynn stepped in yet again, writing out a check for his ticket. We sent him to our partner, Puppy Angels in New Hampshire. They have found homes for many of our larger dogs and they work with a couple who foster some of the ones that need a bit more TLC. They took in Bucare and they too fell in love with him and almost kept him. At the same time, Lynn, who was battling brain cancer at the time, was trying to get to New Hampshire to meet him. But, every time she tried to go, some health issue would come up.
She just was so determined to meet the dog that she had fallen for and done so much to help. I know that she was trying to get her long-suffering husband to agree to adopt their 5th dog — nd she was also sending his photo around to all her friends in hopes that someone she knew would adopt him. But, destiny was working for Bucare. He was adopted by a guy named Jim, who is a firefighter in Worcester, MA. Jim has an elderly Shar Pei mix named Grizzly, who is 13 or 14. Jim wanted to get another dog to ease the transition. He had been looking at all sorts of candidates, but when he saw Bucare, he knew he’d found the right one.
Meanwhile, Bucare’s foster parents didn’t really want to give him up unless it was to the perfect person. They realized that Jim was that person. Jim picked up the pup and was an amazing dad from the get go. He took Buc took a natural healer/dog nutritionist, who somehow sensed that he might have a thyroid issue. Jim took him right away to the vet and asked the vet to run every test under the sun, no matter what it cost. It turned out that Buc did have a thyroid issue. Bucare got on medication and then Jim started him on a really healthy diet and his lovely coat grew back in. He also turned out to be a very gentle brother to Grizzly. Jim says that he is very calm and caring with his older sibling, but when he’s with his canine friends who are the same age, he really blows it out. He is such a cupcake — he even fell asleep and started snoring on the exam table at the vet’s.
So, as all this good stuff was unfolding for Bucare, Lynn had gotten some awful news about her disease. It had begun to spread. She was in and out of the hospital and losing a ton of weight, even though she was already tiny. I was getting increasingly upset and searching around for things to take her mind off her cancer. I called Bucare’s foster parents and they gave me Jim’s contact information. I called him up, hoping that I might be able to persuade him to send me a photo of him with Bucare that I could then get to Lynn…but he did the most amazing thing! He just immediately offered to drive Bucare from Worcester to Lynn’s house in Malden so that she could meet him. We set up a time and all met for a lovely lunch on Lynn’s deck and a chance to hang out with Bucare. Jim told us all about Bucare’s new life and Lynn got plenty of time to spend with Bucare….who is so lovely and gentle and has a beautiful thick coat now.
There on the Porch, We Surrounded Lynn With Support
It was such a nice day and it meant so much to Lynn. She kept telling me how great it was to have had something to look forward to. She also said that her own dogs were a great comfort to her during her illness and that having animals in her life had given her purpose.
Now, the hardest part. Lynn lost her battle with cancer just last week. She had been given three to six months more, so it was really a blow to have her go that soon. I think all of us who had a part in the story felt that something very special had happened — that Bucare had brought all these people together — in the midst of this fatal illness, and given everyone a shared mission.
Her Legacy Lives On
Today Lynn’s legacy of compassion lives on not only in Bucare, but in the many others she rescued as well. She was a champion for greyhounds and for the dogs of Puerto Rico. If you would like to follow in Lynn’s very grand footsteps and help provide food, shelter and veterinary care for the dogs we rescue, please consider making a donation here today. I can’t help thinking how honored Lynn would be to play a continued role in saving the lives she so valiantly fought for. To see a photo of what Bucare looked like when he first arrived, click here.