Even though poor Penelope was down on her luck, she had the good fortune to encounter some amazing guardian angels along the way. This approximately 15-year-old Pekingese arrived as a stray at the Tucker County Animal Shelter in West Virginia on September 9th. Penelope was found abandoned and tied to a fence with a neck tie outside a local satellite vet office that is only open twice a month. She was covered in fleas, her eyes were matted shut and she was very underweight.
The shelter was able to track down Penelope’s owners. The owners said that “with 5 kids and a puppy, we have a hard time keeping Penelope in the house.” They also stated that she’d been “missing for quite a while”, and “she’s old.” They were supposed to pick her up the next day, but never showed up. While this was going on, a true miracle was in the works for this sweet, neglected senior.
Penelope’s first guardian angel was Cathy Parsons, who manages the local shelter. Cathy immediately took Penelope to the vet. The diagnosis included the early stages of heart disease, eye infections and dehydration. Cathy wanted this “very humble and sweet” dog to receive lots of TLC for what little time was left. That same day, September 9th, Cathy contacted RADAR for help with Penelope’s vet care, and we agreed to assist. In the meantime, Cathy kept Penelope in the relative quite and comfort of the shelter’s cat facility.
Cindy Olweiler of Angels Among Us Animal Sanctuary in Pennsylvania was Penelope’s second guardian angel. Her rescue specializes in senior dogs, and even provides hospice care. Despite being already filled to capacity, with RADAR’s financial assistance, Cindy agreed to take Penelope. However, Penelope would have to be quarantined for two weeks. A temporary foster home was urgently needed.
And that brings us to Penelope’s third guardian angel, Amy Riley. Amy, with the help of her husband Jim, graciously agreed to temporarily foster Penelope! The first available transport was on September 28th. Once she was safely settled in at the Riley’s house, it became clear that Penelope’s condition had taken a turn for the worse. She was taken to the vet for urgent treatment. It was decided that Penelope would need to be treated by the Angels Among Us vet, who determined that she was in the advanced stages of heart disease. Penelope went into immediate hospice care with Cindy. Click here for additional photos of Penelope.
UPDATE On the morning of October 10th, 2013, Cindy Olweiler let us know that Penelope crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Cindy wrote, “So sad to let you know that Penelope went to the Rainbow Bridge early this morning. I slept on the sofa with her on my chest all night since that seemed to calm her. This morning I had to feed all of our Angel dogs and give meds, so I asked my husband to hold her for me. Penelope passed away a few minutes later in his arms. It was very peaceful. Her heart condition was too advanced by the time that she came to us, and the meds just couldn’t help at this point. She was feeling no pain. Penelope was hugged, petted and told that she was loved so many times for the short time that we had her… just wish that it could have been longer.” Rest in peace, Penelope.
Since RADAR had committed to assisting with Penelope’s vet costs, RADAR’s co-founders, Rick Thompson and Ken Siegert, donated all of the $271 RADAR paid towards Penelope’s vet care. They made this donation in memory of Penelope and in honor of Cathy Parsons, Amy & Jim Riley and Cindy Olweiler, who provided Penelope with loving care in the brief time she was with each of them.
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Added on October 10, 2013.