2 years ago at this time we said goodbye to 1/2 of the most iconic pair to ever grace the sanctuary grounds, Shadow. Today, her brother Diesel is struggling with a large tumor around his heart and we know that Shadow is calling him home.
He is still with us but we expect to say goodbye soon. To all who gave him a belly rub or a treat or strolled down the road with him over the years, thank you for helping us make his life truly happy and fulfilled. Prayers for our big Papa D as we stand by our friend at the foot of the rainbow bridge.It has been a heartbreaking weekend here at the sanctuary. 6.5 years ago, two chunky little nuggets named Diesel and Shadow came to us. Found on a rural road, surviving on dead animals, the pair had traveled a hard road together. Their bond and dependence on one another was clear and we assumed them to be brother and sister based on their looks so it is likely they have been together since birth. Separating them was not an option.
Over time, they became sort of the mascots of the sanctuary, the first to greet new visitors or volunteers. They occupied the kitchen in our dog housing building. Their they had a cozy couch to snuggle on at night, and were given a treat or belly rub by everyone that passed in or out of the room. As the busiest room in the building, they received quite alot of attention and carved out a happy little home for themselves here at the sanctuary.
They earned lots of nicknames over the years, due to their, ahem, portly build. "The spuds", "The Bowling Balls" . . . were just a couple. And while Diesel enjoyed chasing a ball, their favorite activity was definitely the more leisurely pursuits of napping in the sun or rolling belly side up to lure some unsuspecting visitor into a 40 minute belly rub session.
If you have ever visited the sanctuary you know Diesel and Shadow. They are unforgettable in fact.
And, you know them together - as a pair - for the two were never, ever more than 10 feet apart. If you went for a walk, you had to wait for the other as one would not move far without their little black twin in sight.
Diesel and Shadow. They liked to eat, to sleep, to enjoy belly rubs and company of friends. They made you happy when you were with them and they made everyone smile. They never found a home. Or maybe they did. This was truly a home to them both and with lots of visits during the day, a sunny yard to snooze in and each other to cuddle at night, they wanted for nothing.
On Friday afternoon, they were snoozing in the sun like any other day. Shadow rolled over for her belly rub when I walked up - her standard greeting. It was a normal day. Until it wasn't. By mid-afternoon Shadow was breathing heavy. We thought it was the heat and just kept an eye on her. Volunteer Denise noted that Shadow did not enthusiastically jump up for the weekend car ride she always takes the pair on. That was odd so Denise just sat with Shadow on the couch. Her heavy breathing had escalated into a very labored breathing and her belly looked bloated. We took her to the Pet ER at that point, worried but expecting to hear some plausible explanation, receive treatment and come home.
When the vet came to the room and told us that Shadow had a large tumor on her lungs that had likely ruptured and was bleeding out, creating pressure on her lungs it felt like a punch in the belly. The next words were worse. There was nothing we could do that would not be incredibly painful, stressful, involve her last weeks being hospitalized and have a very small chance of success. In fact, the best we could do was drain some of the fluid to make her more comfortable and allow her to breathe easier so we could take her back home, to her brother and her cozy couch.
That night Cody slept with Diesel and Shadow to make sure she continued to rest comfortably and was able to breathe. But we knew that even with the fluid drain, the tumor was bleeding out and it would only be a matter of time before the fluid built back up and would restrict her breathing again. If it built up too much, it would drown her.
We reached out to all of her friends and everyone came out that next morning. We spent time doing the things she loved most and her room was filled with the people she loved most, and her brother of course. We had a painful waiting game to play of monitoring her breathing to give her as much time as we could before the fluid built up too much. Around mid-day the breathing changed again and we knew it was time to make the call.
The vet arrived shortly after 2pm. Shadow had enjoyed some turkey and roast chicken, more belly rubs than we could count, a massage from her Sunday buddy LeQuan, a car ride, time soaking up the sun in her yard and the company of her favorite people. And then, a final drink of water. She laid down on her bed, with everyone she loved around her. Two shots. First the sedative to let her drift off to a deep sleep. She saw friends and felt their hands on her until her eyes closed. Then the 2nd shot. And in a moment our friend, Diesel's other half, was gone.
Diesel. We have never said his name without "and Shadow" following. It broke our hearts as we helped our friend pass gently. Now we have to put them together to help the one left behind live greatly. Diesel will go on and start a new path without Shadow. Seems unimaginable now, but he has friends to walk that path with him. We know Shadow will be there with him too, from time to time.
We love you Shadow. You were family here and this was your home. Your sweet smile and rotund little belly will never be forgotten and our hearts will forever be connected. Until you see each other again, we will look after Diesel for you. Be free dear friend. ... See MoreSee Less
I can’t believe it’s been 2 years already since Shadow passed. I’m sad to hear about Diesel. Please give him a long distance belly rub from me. I’ll never forget sitting between those two, both of them with their paws to the sky getting after-dinner belly rubs
May there be an everlasting supply of balls for you.
We don’t deserve the love that these souls give us, unconditionally. Innocent, pure, and completely amazing hearts 💕 Prayers to you, Papa D, and all who had the pleasure of loving you back 💕
My heart goes out to all of your amazing team. I’m so sorry. Rest In Peace sweet boy.
So sad for Diesel and all.his friends. I wish I could have met them together. Thank God for your organization and all the wonderful amazing things you do for these great fur-babies. Please give Diesel a big hug from us.
Diesel is still my favorite from the dogs I met at the sanctuary. We cuddled on the couch after a very brief walk and he wanted all the belly rubs. I’m so heartbroken to hear this news. My thoughts are with all of you. He will have his sister waiting for him.
Aww Diesel❤️ I love that little lowrider❤️ Hugs to you all!
I am so sorry .... My heart aches just knowing he is going to leave us , and we are not going to see his post anymore , but in a way I’m happy because he is not going to be uncomfortable and he is going to be reunited with shadow and all of them . Dear papa D I didn’t have the pleasure of meeting you in person or give you tummy rubs but for sure I will miss you 🐾💔😓💔😓🐾.
I took this in February 2016.
Diesel you are so precious and so so loved. Whenever you choose to cross rainbow bridge give daddy and shadow one of those famous diesel hellos for me.
Thank you Jill and Cody for making his life the absolute best. Sending you all my love ❤️
My heart, thoughts and prayers are with each of you. My heart has been touched by them both just through all of your posts 🙏♥️🙏
Sending lots of love your way. So sad to hear this news. Shadow needs him back now. ❤️🥺
Saying goodbye is always so incredibly hard and heartbreaking 💔
Makes me sad and my heart hurt even though I never got to know Diesel. I know how much love has been shared and what an empty place will be left when he has gone. My friends hearts will be broken again...but maybe, like the ancient art of Kintsugi, your memories are the gold that will bring the pieces back together in the ever changing and precious work of art that is Shadow’s Fund. I love you all.
I’m crying reading this, thank you for giving him a good life, hugs❤️
I hate reading this but keep seeing Shadow who must be beside herself to see him again. Please give him a snuggle for me
Surround you all with love and peace. He will leave an irreplaceable hole, but there will be another cold nose that also needs your special brand of saving. It’s your life’s calling. ♥️
Prayers for all of you. Comfort and love most of all for Diesel. You all are amazing at giving so much of both.
So incredible sad saying goodbye to Diesel tonight. He will leave a huge void at the sanctuary. You have been reunited with Shadow again. That's the only consolation to loosing you. <3
Wrapping him in love. I have fallen hard from afar with this gentle soul. 💔🙏💔💕💕💕💕💕💕
So sad to know your hearts will miss him, but glad to know he and his sister were/are so loved! ♥️
So sad to hear this. Hugs and lots of love to all of you.
My first exposure to the Sanctuary was spending alone time with Shadow then Diesel such a imprint it left on me 🙏 Heartbreaking as it is, to know the love those two were surrounded with is Priceless ❤️
Prayers for all who cared for him. May they run together over the rainbow bridge free from any pain.
Good god you guys! My heart is full of gratitude for you. I plan on giving the little that I can, monthly, forever! My thoughts are with you.
Donation made in honor of Diesel and in memory of Shadow and my own sweet Sunny, my little sunshine who died last week and the 12 other senior "sanctuary" rescues that came to me from Second Chance Cocker Rescue since 2004. The loss is heartbreaking, but the good days we give these dogs are a joy.