Pinked

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Ive been Pinked! Im totally in awe of an albino Doberman Pincer named Pink, and the people who share her life.  

 My friend Kate Zapf, who lives in Alexandria, is the director of the Foster and Rescue Program at the Washington Humane Society in Washington, D.C.  She and her husband had two cats, a full schedule and no desire to have a dog until they were Pinked.

At the end of May 2007, a man surrendered Pink to the shelter, Kate told me. She was a 7-year-old albino Doberman who had at least a couple of litters in her time, and she had a huge, ulcerated tumor on her stomach. We really wanted to give her a chance, so we spayed her and removed the tumor.

Unfortunately for Pink, a biopsy showed that the tumor was cancer and it had metastasized, so there was nothing that could be done to cure her. I hated the thought of her ending her life in the shelter, Kate said.  She and her husband decided to take Pink into their home to spend her last few months in a loving environment.

After a few slight altercations with the family cats, Pink settled right in. Within a few days, she settled into our lives like shed been there for years.  Shes wonderful with the cats, loves to cuddle up on the couch, and because she is an older dog, she doesnt need a whole lot of exercise. Kate said.

One amazing thing about Pink is how much everyone that meets her loves her, Kate said.  Our vet, the trainer we worked with, everyone at the shelter, all of our friends and family all it takes is one meeting and theyre all smitten.  You could say they too had been Pinked.

The vet had told the Zapfs to expect Pink to last only about three months. That was one year and three months ago.

In the last few months, Pink has started losing weight, Kate said.  She tires easily and we go for a few very short walks a day instead of one long one.  Her tumors have grown and she occasionally has some pain that we manage with mild pain medication.  She is definitely slowing down, but she still has a great appetite and still wants to go out and play and go on walks.

Having Pink in our lives has been a million times easier than we ever thought it would be.  She has some special dietary needs and does have medication, but other than that, it hasnt been that much extra work. Kate said that knowing there was a time limit on their time together and that she had special needs has really forged such a strong bond.

The fact that we brought her home just so she could have a happy, dignified end to her life has made us appreciate every day with her, and we really feel good about what weve done.  We know shes had a good life with us and Im so glad we could give that to her, because shes brought us so much love and fun and joy and devoted, unconditional love. We know we are going to lose her, and it will be devastating, but at the same time, every day with her has been a gift. We just have no regrets about bringing her home.

My thanks to Kate and Pink for sharing this beautiful story of the bond we pets have with our owners. The love is mutual and so fulfilling.

My time is up for this week.  Send me story ideas and keep in touch by e-mailing me at letters@AlexTimes.com

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