sparklesRoxie (2009 to 2012)
One Life to Live rescued Roxie (then known as Sparkles) from a high-kill shelter in Kentucky in September 2011, and shecame home with us a few weeks later. An adorable Lhasa Apso-Terrier mix, Roxie was the best fit imaginable for our “empty nest” family. She was a perfect balance of a bright, cuddly and affectionate companion for me, and an energetic and playful sidekick who enjoyed daily walks with my husband. Roxie greeted human visitors to our home, young and old, with a friendly welcome and incessantly wagging tail. With typical “lhassitude,” she reserved her unpleasantness and ear-piercing antagonism for larger dogs.

Six months ago, Roxie became sick with vomiting and lethargy, and soon was unable to stand or walk without falling. Our excellent veterinarian ran blood tests that showed severe anemia had reduced Roxie’s red blood cell concentration to a dangerous 9% (low normal level is 35-37%). She was near shock, with eye movements that showed probable neurological damage, perhaps a blood clot in her brain. I was with her when Roxie took her last breath at the emergency veterinary hospital.

Until her illness, we had never heard of Immune Mediated Hemolytic Anemia (IMHA), an autoimmune disease that caused Roxie’s immune system to attack itself, destroying red blood cells needed to transport oxygen throughout the body. Her body had likely been fighting the destructive antibodies it for some time. There is a chance that IMHA was triggered by vaccinations received the previous month. This is simply a guess, since research is inconclusive about the relationship of vaccines and this disorder, which is fatal in up to 80 percent of all cases.

While my husband and I are heartbroken to have lost her, we have no regrets about the 14 months that Roxie was part of our family. She seemed to understand intuitively that my physical energy was severely limited when my connective tissue disease was flaring, spending extra time on my lap those days, yelping melodic howls in response to my command to “sing, Roxie, sing!” She loved brisk runs on a dirt road through the farm land behind our house. Roxie loved road trips, crunching ice cubes, and perching on a sofa in front of a large bay window, watching a world of squirrels, rabbits and falling leaves.

One Life to Live’s efforts extended Roxie’s life by more than a year, and she repaid the favor with pure love. In time, we will welcome another dog to our home and our hearts. But there will never be another dog quite like Roxie.

Please accept our profound thanks to Debbie, all the foster families, and everyone involved with One Life to Live for enriching our lives with Roxie.

Rita Boyle and Howard Dowell

“Auntie” Alice

aliceI’m very sad to tell you that our beloved dog Alice was peacefully euthanized last night. She developed mega esophagus and that combined with her very bad lung disease made it too difficult for her to eat anything and she had a rapid decline. She had been through so much in her life before she came to live with us, we did not want her to suffer at the end. We have a very kind vet who came to our home and did it quietly here for her and she had her 2 “brothers” there with her as well as us.

Alice lived with us for almost 3 3/4 years, longer than we thought we would have her given all her medical problems, but it wasn’t nearly long enough. We loved her so much and miss her terribly. I know that her years with us were probably the best years of her life and we likely gave her extra time she would not otherwise have had but right now that doesn’t help at all.

I’m trying to be grateful for the time she did spend with us and think of all the good times we had together but it’s hard. She was one of the dearest, sweetest dogs I have ever known and we will always be grateful to have had the opportunity to welcome her into our family.


shermanSherman was rescued from a high-kill shelter and placed into his “forever” home on March  29, 2011. We knew that Sherman was no “spring chicken”
(estimated to be about seven years old by the sending shelter vet) but we had not idea that his time with his new mommy would be so short! Sherman passed away on March 24, 2012 – just five days short of his one year adoption anniversary. Here is what his MOM had to say about Sherman:

“This was my Sherman on the day that he arrived.  To the end he was always camera shy.  He was the best dog in the whole world.  He was a quiet gentle giant.
Everything for him was slow motion and he rarely spoke a word.  He spent his days on his couch and his nights snuggling with me.  He loved to soak in the rays on a sunny day on the back porch and he was loved by all who met him.  He left me on March 24 after a rapid decline from leukemia.  He will forever be in my heart and I miss him terribly.   No one could have known, when he arrived a year ago on the rescue transport, how close we would become.  Rest in peace Sherman.  No one will ever hurt you again.”

sherman2We are so sorry for your loss, Barb! Thank you for giving our Sherman a wonderful home, filled with love, for the short time that he had left. You showed him what it was to be loved…and that’s all he knew when he passed away……he was loved very much by you!!




daiseyI am writing this email as tears are streaming down my face. We lost a wonderful friend tonight, February 28, 2012.

As most of you know, Ed and I have been struggling with keeping Daisey well for the last few years. She became our “permanent foster dog” because of her ongoing medical issues. She came to us with a heart-worm infestation and was undergoing the slow kill method of treatment. She was a hair away from testing negative after a year and a half. Then….we had the mammary tumors. Three operations for tumors and then two more small operations because she was not healing properly. This week, our Daisey was not doing well. She was very lethargic and even wasn’t eating all that well. She seemed like she did not know where she was at times. This evening she took a seizure. Ed and I rushed her the Emergency clinic…one last time. Despite everyone’s best efforts, our Daisey passed away. Just like that. I am truly in shock and I don’t know what else to say. Our hearts are, once more, broken. We will miss her so much.

Rest in Peace my Daisey Duke, my good girl. I hope that you are running free, at the bridge, with Mitchie. I hope that you know, that even though you were not with us for very long, we loved you like one of our own….and always will. Your “forever” Mom and Dad.


baileyRest in Peace, our sweet angel. We will always remember you as our “Little Debbie”, although your new name was “Bailey” for a very short time. We know that you will be watching over our rescue from above. We look forward to meeting you again one day and we hope that you are running free with the other puppies who are waiting at the “Rainbow Bridge”.

Special thank you to Stephanie and Rich (her adopters) and everyone at VREC for your love and support during our “little one’s” last days on earth.




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JJ the American Street Dog


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