When I got the message from Ottawa Dog Rescue, in November 2018, to ask if we could foster an old Basset Hound named Birdie, it was a no-brainer. I saw a photo of her and fell in love immediately. How does that happen? All it took was a photo! I picked her up the next day and obviously fell even more in love, but there was something wrong. She coughed and I instinctively knew that it was lung cancer. Same cancer that took my boy Fred, just 7 months before. The sound of that cough will forever be engraved in my mind. Tests administered by a veterinarian a few days later confirmed my fears. From that moment, I vowed to give Birdie her best life ever for however long she had left, no matter how painful it was for me. (My wounds from the loss of my Barney, Betty and Fred, and my Grandmother within an 8 month period were still so fresh, I honestly didn’t know how I was going to be able to handle this, especially as someone who already has depression and anxiety).
Unbeknownst to me, the owner of the animal hospital, that Birdie was diagnosed at, had met her when she went to get her x-rays and he fell in love with her too! I got the call from Ottawa Dog Rescue on a Thursday evening and was told that Marc Glavin wanted to adopt Birdie and give her a forever home. To be honest, I was torn. I didn’t want Birdie thinking that I didn’t love her anymore (goodness, I’m even crying as I write this), but ODR was adamant that they couldn’t do this to me. They couldn’t have me go through another loss as I had already. (Luckily, these women know me quite well and relate to how attached I get). Deep down, I knew that this was Birdie’s best option. So, we coordinated the drop off for the following Sunday. Birdie got so much spooning over those last few days together, I’m not sure who was in heaven more her or me.
Birdie could care less about toys, but she knew a good pillow opportunity when she saw one
Sunday drop-off. I’m a basket case, but we do what needs to be done. It really should be an exciting and happy time because this rescue girl is adopted and going to her forever home! I’m really trying to make it that way for Birdie’s sake. Mike and I get Birdie and her belongings into the car and make our way to Marc’s house. He and his family are so inviting and wonderful. I could feel that Birdie would be so happy here and this would not be the last time we would see Birdie or visit Marc’s home. We were invited back to visit over the Christmas holidays as I had knit Birdie a blanket and wanted to give it to her. We got there and Birdie greeted us with butt wiggles, happy eyes and droopy jowls (so happy Basset). She looked amazing! She had come to us very overweight amongst other problems, but now she was easily walking up and down the stairs, her coat was shiny, she just looked so happy and content that it made my heart burst. We sat down to have tea, with me on the floor to cuddle with Birdie and Marc (without knowing) was playing the music of one of my favorite artists, Harry Belafonte.
Soaking up the love
Marc continued to keep me updated on Birdie’s health along with sweet photos for the following months, which I shared with pretty much everyone I knew.
Unfortunately, the day came when she passed peacefully with her loving family surrounding her. I really think that Birdie knew how much she was loved and by so many people.
Her happy place
Back in November, Birdie was taken from an awfully neglectful home and given a chance to have a wonderful life for the time she had left. This is what Ottawa Dog Rescue does. They give chances to dogs who would otherwise be neglected, abused or euthanized. They save lives.
I wrote this song for Birdie, but also in the hopes that you would consider donating to ODR. They have a lot of dogs and puppies coming in lately and the vet bills are starting to pile up.
With her new handmade blanket her Christmas collar, loving life
The only way that ODR can exist is to have public donations and foster families for the dogs to live in until they’re adopted to go to their final home. If you can’t donate, please consider fostering. If you can’t do either, please share this song and story because Birdie’s story deserves support.
Thank you to Marc for this photo
If you’ve read this far – wow, thank you! Thank you to the entire team of Ottawa Dog Rescue for saving lives and to Marc and Susanna Glavin and his family for giving Birdie the loving home that every animal deserves.
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