Megan: a dog with the courage of a lion
I first came to know about Megan in the summer of 2021. She was around 8 or 9 years old and had lived a life of neglect. When taken in by Friends of Rescue, NI she was blind, with out of control diabetes and was battling to survive many other health problems. Schnauzerfest agreed to cover all Megan’s medical costs.
Her foster carer provided Megan’s first home and taught her what it is to know and feel love. She took her to countless vet appointments, providing round the clock care at home. This involved many setbacks and crises as her medical needs fluctuated between critical and stable. At times it loooked like Megan’s life might end.
But, throughout it all, Megan remained gentle, loving and trusting. And brave. Oh how brave Megan was as she underwent treatment, procedures, testing and surgery to stabilise her health to the point where she could live well in an adoptive home.
Which she did for the past 15 months with Jill and her family. They had followed Megan’s journey in her foster home and stayed in regular contact with her fosterer and Schnauzerfest. Jill was keen to help both the rescue and Megan, in the full knowledge that Megan’s health demands remained many. Jill devoted herself to caring for Megan. Not only with all her medical needs, but her emotional well being too.
Megan learnt the absolute joys of walking and running in the park, noisily talking her way around her house and neighbourhood. Never being shy to shout when her meals were in preparation, or, as she felt, a little light. Diabetes, Cushings and a history of pancreatitis meant Jill had to always know best, ignoring for the good of her health, Megan’s super star gourmet demands. Together, day to day, they worked out exactly what would keep Megan happy and healthy. They understood one another perfectly.
In August 2022, finally Megan’s health was stable enough to go forward for a consultation to see if cataract surgery was an option. As a charity, Schnauzerfest was determined that if it was possible for it to happen, it would. The first ophthalmologist was unsure whether to proceed, but Megan’s family and us, plus her excellent GP vet felt a second opinion was worthwhile after all she had experienced and the numerous setbacks she had successfully battled.
In November 2022, Megan’s cataract surgery went ahead. Not without its dramas, as she developed a nasty, large abscess on her back which delayed the op for a couple of weeks or so. But she got there in the end.
Megan could now see (partially) and her life was once more transformed. She fully embraced one where she could see the people she loved, and who loved her. She gained even more confidence with her new vision. Happiness shone from Megan even on days when her health took a dip. The absolute joyous nature of the life she shared with Jill and Damian has been inspirational to witness.
But, sadly it was all too short. After a brief final battle, Megan just couldn’t do it any more. Her body couldn’t get her through and on the evening of 22nd April, surrounded by her family, she died peacefully.
Megan’s life is testament to both the worst of human behaviour towards dogs, but also, and this is how we will remember her, the absolute, shining best. From the people who rescued her, to her foster mum, her wonderful GP veterinary team and eye vet and of course, most of all, to Jill and Damian.
Megan was loved like she deserved to be. Rest peacefully now dear Megan, rest peacefully.
In memory of Megan I have opened an In Memoriam fund. For all she stands for when it comes to the resilience of dogs, the devotion of humans and the generosity of charity donors who made it possible for Schnauzerfest to cover her medical costs without hesitation. All funds raised will go towards helping other dogs receive life transforming cataract surgery.
If you could possibly give something, even the smallest donation will help, it will mean the world to me, and to Megan’s family. To know that other dogs will be helped in her memory is comforting. Thank you.