Gus’s Legacy of Love

Sometimes we get an animal in that’s in such terrible shape we just want to cry. Gus was one of those animals. But crying doesn’t make it better so instead we roll up our sleeves and get to work. This dog came to us from a shelter as an emaciated, unwanted, abandoned dog. He was suffering from severe mange, malnutrition, parasites, open wounds, multiple infections and a spinal injury that made him weak and completely incontinent. He couldn’t even stand up on his own. Had we known of the extent of his ailments at the time, we might have said it would be kinder to let him go. But once he was in our care, we felt committed to give him every chance to thrive. 

Our amazing supporters on Facebook came up with the name Gus which we found suited this sweet soul perfectly. When Gus arrived to us in, his skin was broken, crusted, infected and bleeding. This pit bull pup had a severe case of mange, but had a super sweet personality and was worthy of our best efforts to save him. We immediately got to work to try to nurture Gus back to health, knowing that it would be a long and possibly fruitless battle.

Its always a dilemma in rescue. How far do we go to save one dog, when others, even healthy, friendly dogs die every day for lack of a foster or forever home? There are no easy answers and we constantly have to balance quality of life, availability of resources and whether the dog is likely to make a safe, loving companion. We were committed to doing our very best to try and give Gus the life every dog deserves. After assessing his condition daily for over two weeks and working with the vet, it was determined that Gus had likely been hit by a car and was suffering from a severe, irreversible spinal cord injury. After being with us for 18 days, Gus crossed the rainbow bridge.

We are so thankful for the kindness shown to Gus in his 18 days with us. During the time he was with us he touched the hearts of thousands of people. Dogs live in the moment and so many people went out of their way to make his moments special. Gus knew more love in 18 days than many know in a lifetime. He slipped away softly, held in gentle arms and gobbling cookies while warm tears bathed his sweet face.

Gus’s Legacy of Love

The support for Gus was so strong in our community that many wished to honor his memory with donations. In the days after Gus passed away, we were sent so many donations and sweet messages from people all over who had been following Gus’s journey on Facebook. As a result of the huge outpouring of support, we have created a special program called Gus’s Legacy of Love allowing us to help other animals who wouldn’t otherwise have options. We have since continued to welcome dogs (and a cat!) to the Legacy of Love program. While Gus is gone, he will continue to live on in the animals we will save in his name.

If you would like to make a donation to Gus’s Legacy of Love please visit our donations page and include “Gus’s Legacy of Love” in the special instructions. With your help we can help provide love and a future to other animals like Gus.

Gus’s Legacy of Love – 18 Days from Ron Champion on Vimeo.