Juno, not the news I want to share
Juno, my good friend Kathleen’s dog, survived years in the puppy farm and at rescue was morbidly overweight due to untreated Cushing’s disease. I first met her when I collected Twinkle from the Diana Brimblecombe Animal Rescue Centre; she was sat in our friend Janet’s office, so fat she couldn’t lay down, her only way of getting kind of comfortable was to prop herself up against the wall. Her face had a self-contained quality that really struck me; she also reminded me of our first schnauzer, Jasmine, there was something about her eyes. She had to spend a few months with Janet, being given treatment to get the dangerously out of control Cushing’s sorted out, but 3 months after Twinkle came to live with us, Kathleen adopted Juno.
In the time she’s been with Kathleen and her family she’s flourished like none of us could have imagined. I write about her in Saving One More:
To see her running through woods across the South Downs where she lives, foraging in the undergrowth with a spiritedness only a happy dog could display, it is hard to believe she is the same dog that I saw propped on her Buddha belly. Janet and Kathleen both suspect she may once have been someone’s pet; her familiarity with routines and behaviour in the home are atypical of dogs who have lived their entire lives in puppy farms. It is a dreadful, upsetting thought, if true, how Juno must have suffered to have been a pet one day and in a puppy farm the next. This is known to happen.
~ Chapter 14, Saving One More
Juno’s transformation from obvious ill-health caused by years in the puppy trade, to a healthy, active, much loved dog, living the life she always deserved to, won her a place in the final of the RSPCA’s annual ‘Ruffs’ competition and Kathleen appeared on TV speaking about puppy farming.
Yesterday, Kathleen got the devastating news that Juno has a massive tumour. Due to its position, nature and other clinical reasons, the decision’s been made not to attempt to remove it. Of course, we’re all terribly upset by this sad, miserable news, both for Kathleen and her family, but for Juno too. For, although she has no idea what’s happening, she’s still running about, eating the same, enjoying her days, it’s once again a dreadful reminder that these dogs suffer for years in the breeding industry, and then get so short a time to really live. To flourish, to enjoy being themselves.
It’s chokingly sad to know that another special, beautiful dog is going to leave us, and we can do nothing but love her to the end, which Kathleen will certainly do. Something that we know the poor dogs stuck in the puppy farms don’t have the dignity and comfort of ever experiencing. There’s small comfort in this, but, for Kathleen and Juno, I’m trying to see something other than utter misery in this news.
Kathleen and I share a weird history with our dogs: she adopted Darcie, her first puppy farm dog 3 months after I adopted Susie-Belle. It’s how we met, I posted details of Darcie on the UK Schnauzer Forum, she saw it, adopted Darice, we hit it off, met up, and have been great friends ever since; Susie-Belle ruptured her cruciate ligament 2 months after Darcie did the exact same thing; I adopted Twinkle, 3 months later, and Juno joined Kathleen’s home. And now this, this terrible symmetry of me losing Susie-Belle, and Kathleen facing the same heart ache and grief. We seem destined to share our dogs lives, but oh how I wish this wasn’t the case for Juno.Why does life seem so cruel at times?
But, if we believe in anything, Susie-Belle will be there, waiting for her old friend Juno and together they’ll be looking down, keeping an eye on Kathleen and I, working on in their names to end the industry that causes so much suffering.