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Rescuer Pens Devastating Letter To Dying Dog’s Former Owner

Rescuer Pens Devastating Letter To Dying Dog’s Former Owner

Hope went through hell before coming to live with Danielle Perez-Cannon.

The Pit Bull was thrown from a moving car, in July 2014. She suffered broken bones — a lot of them — from that incident, which likely wasn’t an isolated instance of abuse.

X-rays showed “remodeled” broken bones and fractures all over her body, including her spine, wrists, and legs. All of this indicates violence that began when Hope was just a puppy.

Hope also had a large tumor on her mouth, another on her leg. Despite all of this, says Danielle, “she has always had such a will to live and a will to love.”

A teenage girl and her father saw what happened to Hope being thrown from the car. They brought her to the local animal control — which did not have the resources to treat the pup, and so reached out to Perez-Cannon, a long-time animal rescuer.

Danielle took Hope home to her house in South Florida and helped her to get healthy. Hope became a peanut butter-loving foodie. She also bonded with Danielle’s husband and their five other rescue dogs.

Danielle fell in love with the pup. And now she once again has to reckon with Hope’s terrible past.

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Recently, Hope has begun showing signs of dementia. Sometimes she doesn’t seem to know where she is, or who she is with. She startles easily.

Danielle worries that Hope may think she is still in the place where she was beaten and abused, and then discarded, instead of home with people who treasure her.

Hope’s also started to experience “intermittent lameness,” where she’s sometimes unable to use her legs. Hope’s humans have to carry the pup around. That’s not easy because Hope weighs 55 pounds.

The family brought Hope to a neurologist, where they were dealt another devastating blow.

“We were told that she is exhibiting signs of a brain tumor,” says Danielle.

There are more tests to be done, and then some punishingly hard decisions to make. (There’s a YouCaring set up to help with Hope’s large medical expenses.)

While Danielle was processing her dog’s troubles, and uncertainties, she found herself writing a letter to Hope’s old owner.

She posted to Craigslist, not knowing if it would be read by its intended recipient, but hoping it might be — hoping it might convince that person not to own another animal, but also to show how strong and loving and forgiving and resilient a dog can be.

 

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Here’s how it starts:

I’m watching your dog die. The one you decided to throw out of your truck at a red light. The one you must have watched get hit by the car behind you and limp off the side of the road. She was the dog that had a massive tumor in her mouth that had ruptured. Did she get blood on your seats or clothes and become just enough of a nuisance to be deserving of your final blow?

The letter — published in full below — goes on to detail the ways in which Hope’s original owner hurt this dog, and how these hurts have defined Hope’s existence.

It ends by describing how much Hope’s hurts have become Danielle’s own:

I’m watching your dog die, but I’m not JUST watching your dog die. I’m watching my best friend die. I’m watching my confidant die. I’m watching the only soul on this planet who can make my heart both swell and break with just one look. I’m watching my good feeling die, my piece of heaven and tranquility.

 

And I’m watching my heart break over and over in a kind of outer body experience because I can’t fix all the damage you have done. Tens of thousands of dollars later and I don’t think there is anything else I can do to attempt to undo your actions. So I sit here, watching MY dog die. Her head resting on my chest, her perfect nose pressed up against my cheek. And I find myself wondering which dog you will break next and if anyone will even know when they’ve died.

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Danielle hasn’t heard from Hope’s former owner, since the post went up, earlier this week. She has heard from friends and strangers who’ve been moved by her words.

That’s some comfort.

But mainly, Danielle just wants her dog to be happy. To be comfortable and safe.

She wants Hope to know, now, how much she is loved, and that

No matter when she needs to leave me, I feel so insanely lucky to have had the privilege of being her mommy.

Danielle obviously can’t tell Hope this in a letter.

But maybe, she thinks — she hopes — it’s getting through.

 

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Here’s the full essay:

I’m watching your dog die. The one you decided to throw out of your truck at a red light. The one you must have watched get hit by the car behind you and limp off the side of the road. She was the dog that had a massive tumor in her mouth that had ruptured. Did she get blood on your seats or clothes and become just enough of a nuisance to be deserving of your final blow?

I’m watching your dog die. The one you subjected to a life of abuse, the one you used for breeding over and over. She has more fractures, breaks and damage to her body than we could even count, some dating as far back as just 6 months of age. You could have disposed of her back then but you chose to force her to bear the weight of your fist for 10 long years before throwing her away like the butt to a cigarette.

I’m watching your dog die. The one who is now suffering from aggressive dementia. Some days she doesn’t know where she is, other days she looks at me with confusion and fear. I pray constantly that she doesn’t see your face in her head, that her lifetime of neglect and abuse aren’t playing in her mind like a horror film.

I’m watching your dog die. The one who just lost her ability to walk. The irreparable damage done to her spine has finally caught up to her. Because you not only chose to break her but to deny her proper care, her body had to figure out a way to survive. This included extra bone growths to stabilize her after the damage you inflicted, bone growths that are now putting too much pressure on her delicate nerves.

I’m watching your dog die, but I’m not JUST watching your dog die. I’m watching my best friend die. I’m watching my confidant die. I’m watching the only soul on this planet who can make my heart both swell and break with just one look. I’m watching my good feeling die, my piece of heaven and tranquility.

And I’m watching my heart break over and over in a kind of outer body experience because I can’t fix all the damage you have done. Tens of thousands of dollars later and I don’t think there is anything else I can do to attempt to undo your actions. So I sit here, watching MY dog die. Her head resting on my chest, her perfect nose pressed up against my cheek. And I find myself wondering which dog you will break next and if anyone will even know when they’ve died.

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