He was a survivor. He had scars all over his face. You could look at him and read what pain and suffering he endured to survive the floodwaters and devastation. He was a victim of hurricane Katrina. The first time I saw him I was drawn like a moth to the flame. Even though he was hurt and in pain there was a strength and gentleness about him that you couldn’t miss. I knew he had pulled out all his last reserve of strength to make it this far and when he buried his face in my arms and allowed me and the other rescue volunteers to take care of him I knew he still had trust and faith in mankind that we would do right by him and take care of him. We tried.
He was a “scar face” pitbull that we named Al Pacino. He wasn’t the handsomest guy I ever met but there was something about him that touched me on so many different levels. I was immediately smitten. The entire time we were in
He died today….Independence Day. What is independence? Freedom! Yes he is free from want, pain and suffering but he leaves behind many broken hearts. His life was too brief and filled with much pain and loss but he touched so many people. He taught all of us a lesson. He took every moment and grabbed it and wrestled it to the ground and enjoyed it. I lost a piece of my heart today when he died. I was angry that he was gone. After all he had been through….to make it this far….how could this happen? He deserved better. He deserved more. When I thought about his life with me I realized that he took every minute that he was with me and made it count. Every romp in the yard, every treat, every kindness he relished and appreciated. He was like a sponge that soaked up everything and reveled in it. He lived a lifetime and enjoyed it for 7 months. Seven wonderful months. I hope that I can approach life with the zest and joy that he did. I hope I have the survivor’s spirit that he had. If I can look at each day as a gift like he did I know my life will be the better for it. Thanks Al for trying to teach us all that important lesson. I love you and I always will. I guess I didn’t lose part of my heart today. It was already his….he just took it with him.
I wrote to Al's human mom to say how much his story touched me and to ask how he died. This is what she wrote back: He died from a disease called myasthenia gravis. The neurologist thought it probably was a congenital disease. His muscles stopped working and when his diaphragm muscles stopped working he stopped breathing. I was on my way to the vets to see him and he died shortly before I got there. That broke my heart that I wasn't with him at the very end.
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