John Stewert holds Crystal.
Subj: The Johnson City, Tn. Bichon Mixes: The Rest of the Story
Date: 6/1/2002
June 1, 2002
Hi you guys,
You normally don't hear from me on a Saturday night, but I have something to tell you.
Yesterday, when we sent out the S.O.S. about 2 Bichon mixes in the Johnson City, Tennessee shelter, so many of you offered to let us fly the babies to you for fostering. I would say we had over 30 offers of foster homes.
The folks we chose were within driving distance....sort of. They drove 3 1/2 hours starting early this morning.
It was John and Linda Stewert in South Carolina. You know the Stewerts...
Small Paws® Rescue: The Wall of Fame
I have to tell you guys this. I do not know why...or how...or where we find these dedicated rescuers like John and Linda, who gave up their whole day, going after two Bichon mixes, 10 years old...3 1/2 hours away. They are a blessing from God above. Of this I am certain beyond a shadow of a doubt.
Another of our volunteers. Michelle at who volunteers at the Johnson City shelter, pulled these two babies for us this morning, and called me immediately, very concerned about little Crystal, the little female. She was skin and bones, a literal skeleton, and she could not swallow food or water. We had an emergency on our hands.
John and Linda rushed Crystal to an emergency hospital where the most unbelievable thing happened. Though they had on their SPR Tee Shirts, SPR bumper stickers and a license tag that says BICHON1...they were still suspected, by the hospital, of inflicting this neglect on this baby, themselves.
I called the hospital to give the," don't understand...we are the RESCUERS of this baby...we didn't DO this"...
But I have to tell you. This hospital was the most rude place I have ever spoken my whole life. They told me this was an EMERGENCY clinic...and this dog was stable..and did not even need to be in an EMERGENCY clinic. They almost acted like I myself had done this to this poor little dog.
I called John and Linda on their cell phone to tell them to pay the bill so far and LEAVE...go somewhere else. Linda answered the phone telling me she had just walked out with Crystal in her arms. GOOD for her!
Linda and John were trying to reach medical help for this little girl who was very, very ill.
They went on home, forced some Gatorade, and called their own personal vet who was so very lovely. He came right on up and met them.
I just got the phone call. John was crying. I knew it was bad.
He handed the phone to the vet, who told me that this baby had mammary cancer, which in itself would not have been that bad. We have saved one with mammary cancer before...
Small Paws® Rescue: Sandy, Breast Cancer Survivor
In fact, the lady who adopted Sandy, is Michelle...the volunteer I just told you about who volunteers at the Johnson City, shelter.
The vet told me that an x-ray had shown...the cancer had metastasized to the lungs...and that was why she is so thin. He said she had two days at best...and she would be in agony, she would have suffocated. Of course we opted to let her go on to God. I am certain that John and Linda held her as she crossed over.
John told me...and yes, this big strapping, strong man was crying..."She is so sweet..she did not deserve this....she is so sweet...and she can see we are trying to help her."
"Crystal" had been brought to the shelter by her owner who was going through a divorce. Crystal never had a chance as she was so very sick with cancer.
But because of the very special love of this man and his wife...this couple who before today did not even know this little dog, this baby will not die on a hard, cold piece of concrete in a shelter.
Instead her last hours were spent in a beautiful home, knowing that she was loved. No, she was not a pure breed, but she was a dog who had once known a Bichon...and tonight...she knew two Bichon parents who loved her as their very own.
John and Linda...we love you. We thank you. We appreciate you more than words can say.
They don't come along often like you two. We are so very blessed to know you both.
And to all of the rest of you, thank you all for supporting this rescue effort. We love you all very much. Godspeed little Crystal! Godspeed! Robin

Sparkey's Story
A few years ago a friend of ours, a really wonderful lady named Lou, was diagnosed with terminal breast cancer. At the time of this sad diagnosis, it was to late for the doctors to do much to help Lou. A mutual friend of ours, named Jan, was Lou's very best friend in the whole world. Jan was also a registered nurse and had experienced being with many people, at the end of life.

Over the years, and on many occasions, Jan and I would have "discussions" about whether or not animals would be waiting for us when we die. I always contended that they would be, because the Bible says that there are white horses at the right hand of God, so it always seemed to me that if there were white horses, there would be other animals waiting for us as well. Jan firm stance was that animals did not have souls, therefore they could not go to heaven and they would not be there waiting to greet us.
(Her strict religious upbringing was coming through)

As Lou became more and more ill, and grew even closer to death, Jan stayed with her day and night. Lou finally sank into a deep coma and stayed there for three solid weeks. When she died, Jan was there with her, by her side.
Jan called me the next morning to tell me that Lou had passed way the night before. But Jan didn't tell me the rest of the story for several weeks to come.
You see, it seems that on the night that Lou died, she awoke suddenly from her coma. Her eyes opened and she said one single, solitary word. Lou exclaimed in a quiet, weakened whisper, "SPARKY!" And then just as suddenly as she had awakened, she died.
None of Lou's family knew who "Sparky" was. Not her husband of 45 years, not her grown children, not Jan, no one.
A couple of weeks later, Jan got a call from Lou's family, asking her to please come to their home as soon as possible. It seemed they had something of great importance to show to her. When Jan arrived, Lou's family greeted her with a smile, and then put something in Jan's hand.
It was an old black and white picture.... of a little girl, and a German Shepherd. On the back it was hand written in faded ink...Lou...age 10...and Sparky.

I believe you'll see your baby again! And know this! Your fur baby is having the time of their life! And they knew how deeply you loved, and that you always will. I think they would want us to be happy for the time we shared together. Hugs, and prayers to you. I want you to know, you are not alone in loving an animal so very much! Robin Pressnall

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% Robin Pressnall
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