In Memory of Julio
Julio came to Southern Hope as a puppy. He had be rescued from a local animal control shelter. From the beginning his foster mom knew he was special. After being up on the website for weeks, waiting for his ideal home, the application finally came in. For some reason his foster mom knew this was the home for him, despite it being in Nice, France.
It did not take long for his new mom Susan to learn how special he was as well. He continued to show her each day. Julio became used to traveling, living in France, NYC and LA. He loved the time he spent living in France where he was told over and over "Il est magnifique" - he is magnificent! He knew it and so did most people in France.
Julio will be sorely missed by those of loved him and took the time to understand him.
In Julio's memory, we have decided to repost some of his Happy Tails from many years ago. We hope you enjoy reading about his adventures in France!
- When Love Is Destiny -- Don't Fight It!
- Randy and Julio on the Cote D'Azur
- It's all about the grass
- Quick Note From the Cote D'Azur
- Julio on the Riviera
4/16/94 – 5/1/08
On April 16, 1994 I walked into my local Pet Smart on Barrett Parkway in Kennesaw looking for a rescue dog. Southern Hope had a dog for adoption named Witney, she was two years old. I walked her around the store and was just about to say no when a woman said to me “if you don’t want her I’ll take her”. At that moment I became very protective and told her “no, she is going home with me”. It was the best decision I ever made in my life. For the last 14 years she has provided unconditional love and support. I spoiled her like one does their own child since I have no children. She and I have gone through good and bad times together. Over the years she’s slowed down quite a bit. We managed through two knee surgeries but she always had a bad liver. Working with my vet we had her on a great diet and she did well until recently when a tumor on her liver forced me to make a very tough decision. The doctors said the tumor was progressive and in a matter of days or a week it would begin to impact her vital organs. She had essentially stopped eating and had difficulty walking. Given her age and other ailments surgery wasn’t an option. I simply couldn’t put her through that just because I could not say good bye. Her last days she manage to muster up enough energy to begin walking around, wagging her tail and licking my face. Her way of saying thank you and I’m ready. I held her in my arms wrapped in a blanket made by my mother pictures inside reminding her she’d never be alone and how much I loved her. I said my goodbyes as she slowly drifted off to a better place free of tumors where she could run in the wild flowers and have endless energy. My heart is shattered but the amazing memories I have of her will help it heal. I wanted to send you this note and a donation to say THANK YOU for the work you do and for allowing me to adopt one of the most amazing creatures God placed on this earth. My life was different because of her and all of you. THANK YOU AGAIN FOR WITNEY….I WILL MISS HER GREATLY BUT KNOW I’M A BETTER PERSON BECAUSE OF HER.
It seems like only a short time ago a tiny, scared puppy came home with me. When I sat her on the floor, she ran to the nearest corner and quivered with fear. But within a short time of hugs and kisses she was full of spunk and playing with all her toys. She stole my heart from the moment that I set eyes on her. She had a personality that engulfed all of her love ones. The last two years she has been fighting a courageous battle against kidney disease that turned into kidney failure. We kissed her goodbye and told her it was ok to cross over to the Rainbow Bridge. I look around the house and see reminders of her everywhere. You would never guess a little doggie girl that was under 3 lbs could have such a presence! I long to hold her, just one last time, but I know she is in a much better place. She fought her battle long and hard and the time came to help her end her battle. She was one of the loves of my life and my heart will never be the same without her. She will forever hold a huge part of my heart and I will always miss her. I pray with time that I will only look back and remember the sweet, loving, spunky little girl with the large gleaming eyes. The only thing I know to do is honor her memory by remembering the good days and loving her canine sisters she left behind. And the ones that I hope will be in our future. I have been blessed to have had her from the time she was 16 weeks and 5 days. She was just 17 days shy of her 15th birthday. Little Bit, run and play at the Rainbow Bridge, my precious little angel and I will pick you up on my way to heaven. You will forever be in my heart and I will miss you forever.
Mommy, Poppy, Chica and Misty
I have fostered hundreds of dogs over the years, but Cricket was the first. Her owner ran a puppymill and was convicted of 32 counts of animal cruelty, one for each dog that he had. Cricket got her name because when she first came to our home, she was completely unsocialized and jumped up on things, like a cricket, in order to get away from people. She had previously been kept only in a small, filthy outdoor pen and was scared of every little indoor noise -- she was scared of the phone ringing, a doorbell and even the sound of an envelope being opened. She would hide in the far back portion of a crate or under a table and would cringe, as if in pain, if anyone tried to touch her. We didn't know if she would ever get over her fear of all people and all things.
And so, because we thought that no one else would want to adopt an unsocialized sheltie that was scared of everyone and everything, we decided to keep her ourselves. Dealing with Cricket's fearfulness no matter how much love we provided proved to be frustrating at times and there were even times when I questioned our decision to keep her. But after about a year, she actually became friendly to the members of my family. And finally, after 2 more years, she became as friendly as any other "normal" dog.
She greeted me with enthusiasm every time she saw me, whether I had been at work a full day or just gone out to the grocery store. She was very affectionate and loved to be patted, loved to have her belly scratched and she even loved it when I sang to her. Among other things, she learned to "dance" and "speak" on command, she enjoyed prancing around the yard with her 2 sheltie brothers, she snorted with glee when happiest and she loved our 3 children. In her 10 years with our family she never once showed any aggression to any living thing, even the baby squirrels we bottlefed. She would bark with enthusiasm when the doorbell rang and then would act as friendly as a labrador when people came in. However, she never completely lost her fear of the outside world and didn't enjoy leaving the house. When taken for walks, even late in life, she would hold her head and tail down and look around nervously as if she was imagining her former owner might be lurking around any corner.
I found out Cricket had cancer while I was a guest speaker at an animal welfare conference. During a break from one of the seminars, I called my veterinarian to check on her test results. I burst out crying in the hotel hallway and my veterinarian cried on the phone along with me. My sweet little Cricket died at age 13 after a short battle with brain cancer. She gave us more love than we could have originally imagined. Cricket was much loved and will be greatly missed by our entire family.