Smokey at his favorite park in March, 2012

August 8, 2008 – August 4, 2012

Joe and I adopted Smokey from the Chester County SPCA in July, 2010. He was an owner “surrender” that was being used as a stud in a “kennel type” situation.

Smokey set the tone for our future. He was everything you could want in a dog and more, or at least, he came to be. He wasn’t always like that, as many people tend to forget. I try not to though, because I loved him just as much when he was dog aggressive and all the more after he was rehabilitated.

Smokey taught me more about dogs and life than I ever thought possible. He taught me to question and trust my instincts. He was my training “crossover” dog, and he took my missteps with grace and forgiveness. There will never be another dog like Smokey.

You’ll see Smokey pop up a lot on this blog, especially in reference to our current rescue, Panzer. In some ways, I compare them, even though I don’t want to. I don’t expect Panzer to turn out like Smokey and honestly, I wouldn’t want him to, but Smokey is my guiding star when it comes to Panzer. He’s my hope for better days and happy outcomes, however fleeting.

Smokey died on August 4, 2012, on a cold, metal table in an emergency hospital. I didn’t want him to die there, but then, I didn’t want him to die at all. At least I know he was surrounded by his family when he went.

I believe he was killed by a process that began with a rabies vaccine. In that way, he lost his life to teach me a lesson that I’ll share with everyone I can. Do your research, come to an informed decision on vaccines and preventatives and food and spaying and neutering. Learn everything you can, because our dogs’ lives are already too short.

Quick stats on Smokey to help you navigate this blog:

1. Born on 8/8/08

2. Our first dog together

3. Rescued from the Chester County SPCA 12 hours before euthanasia was scheduled

4. Dog aggressive (at first)

5. Suspected stud dog at a puppy mill

6. “Crossover dog” (i.e. when a choke chain didn’t help his aggression we swapped it out for a harness, clicker and treats)

7. Trained by Sandy Wishnick

8. Successful rehabilitation

9. Was in training to become a therapy dog

10. June 6, 2012, administered a rabies vaccine and got sick

11. July 30, 2012, diagnosed with IMHA/ITP

12. August 4, 2012, threw a clot and passed away


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