in memory of julius

In Memory of Julius... the dog with the bad heart that couldn't be broken

Julius had many gifts for me and much to teach me. That is why he survived and thrived in spite of having lived in hell on earth. Julius, the dog with the bad heart that couldn’t be broken. 

I loved him so much

The woman who Julius had waited 10 years for, tells AAS his story after we had rescued him one night...

Dear Julius,

When Animal Advocates told me your story, how you had lived as a junk-yard dog, isolated in a filthy pen for 10 years, how AAS had gone in one night and astonished you by taking you away from your silent misery, I knew I wanted you and you wanted me. You had spent 10 years in isolation, never been for a walk, never touched with affection, never chewed a bone, played with a ball, saw a vet or felt grass beneath your feet.

When AAS had you neutered and your dirty teeth cleaned, a bad heart was discovered. The vets couldn't understand how a boy with such a bad heart could be alive. I couldn't understand how a boy who had never been shown love could be so loving. You were the dog with the bad heart that couldn't be broken. But worse, a biopsy came back with the news that you had a very aggressive cancer, giving you 5 weeks to 5 months. I was devastated but I should have known that you had your own agenda and loved life too much to give up that soon. I knew I had to really be present every day; that each day we had together would be a gift and I wasn't going to miss any of them.

You were such an innocent babe when you arrived, you were like a puppy exploring the world for the first time. Oh – watching all your firsts brought me such joy: your first ball, your first stuffed animal – oh how you loved that little lamb. Your first bully stick – you were in heaven! Your first trip to the beach you ran so fast back and forth barking at the waves as they crashed I was afraid you would have a heart attack, but thought if you do at least you will die happy.

Oh my Jules, what a surprise our first snow fall was. You were insane with delight and I have never seen you happier. You tore across the lawn, buried your head in the snow then bounced back up and did it again and again. I tossed a snowball which you caught in your mouth then quickly dropped then said "Do it again Momma this is fun." We played in the snow for hours that day. I got to see the world through your eyes and what a wonderful world it was.



Our camping trip was awesome. We spent a week on the beach. We saw eagles, seals and whales. It was a magical place.

After beating the odds by several months you crashed and I thought I was going to lose you. After coming back from the vet with a bunch of medications and a heart full of prayers, I carried you outside for a pee and I knew when you couldn't walk I had to send you to the bridge. I cried all day; I really thought this was the end. I made a bed for myself on the floor beside you so we could spend our last night together. Later I went into the kitchen to get something to eat and the next thing I knew your nose was in the fridge, you were up and walking and you were hungry! We slept well that night and in the morning you were much better. We had turned the corner.

But you never really were your old self again and crashed again a month later. This time you were diagnosed with congestive heart failure. That was a tough diagnosis. You had so much wrong for one little boy – it wasn't fair and I was angry!

We tried our best with medications to keep you comfortable and were doing well considering... You still wanted to go for our twice daily walks; your little nub of a tail would vibrate when you saw the leash. For a boy with so much wrong with you, you still had a good quality of life. We really lived life to the fullest, everyone said you looked good, right to the end your life.

Your final crash came. As I held your broken body I knew I had to let you go. You would have fought this battle as hard as all the other ones, but in my heart I knew there was no coming back. If by some miracle you made it through the night what was the future? Your organs were shot your heart was done. Your body couldn't stay here any longer; the only thing that kept your battered heart beating was your fierce Rottie spirit and your love for me. It was the hardest decision I have ever made in my life. The vet came and we sent you to the bridge.

You spent 10 years in Hell and got 14 months of the closest I could make to Heaven. My life is changed forever and my heart is in a million pieces. My miracle boy, I don't know how I am going to live without you. I take solace knowing that you are restored to health and hanging at the bridge with your friends.

You can help to pay AAS's vet and rehab bills so that we can go on doing this for the dogs that have only us. All donations go directly to real animal welfare.

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