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Mabel - In Memoriam

by Carole Feeny |

  • : Almost everyone asked me why I would do such a thing; get a dog during this time. I have to tell you, when I walked in the door late every night after sitting next to my mom at the hospital, I didn’t see the boxes or the mess. I had someone that was glad to see me and someone I could help. She also saved me. As Mabel blossomed into her own, she was a confident sweet dog that never met an enemy (except maybe that squirrel). We walked everyday in my new neighborhood and she was well known. I didn’t have a name, I was known as ’Mabel’s Mom’. She was welcome in the pubs, shops and even the ice cream store. Because of her temperment, she allowed me the luxury of fostering other dogs. Even difficult ones. I don’t know how, but it was like she knew they needed our help. She also went with me to the nursing home to visit my grandfather, grandmother and my Aunt’s father. My Gran was pretty deep in dementia and one time told me in her Long Island accent, ”Now, I remember the dog but who are you again?” Today would have been Mabel’s 14th birthday, well it was the birthday I gave her. She died in February of 2012. I almost forgot was today was. I made it through work without a thought and then when I was driving to a friend’s house it hit me what day it was. I miss her everyday.
  • : The day that I took Mabel home was a memorable day, but it wasn’t a good day. It was the day that the doctor told me that my mother was probably going to die. She had a heart attack a couple of weeks before. It was a Friday night and I was at my sister’s house. She was outside on the carport smoking; she came in the side door and called me over. ”I think I’m having a heart attack.” She should know, she had one 7 years before. We called the ambulance and she was taken to the local hospital. The situation was serious, she was transferred to a specialized hospital that night. The doctor performed and angioplastly as soon as she arrived; she coded on the table. They brought her back. She was unconcious for a week and each day the staff didn’t give us much hope. They actually suggested that I call my brother and father in from New Jersey so they could say their good-byes. I did. After about a week, she started to come around. They removed the breathing tube and the heart pump. For a few days she was concious and holding her own and everyone was getting their hopes up. Then one of her valves started failing. They took her for surgery and replaced the valve. The valve replacement was a success, but her heart was very weak and wasn’t recovering. It was this day the doctor gave me the sobering news. They recommended a heart transplant and transferred her to Louisville. We went through the motions and gave it a shot against her wishes. That was probably my biggest regret during the entire tragedy; I didn’t stand up for her and let her go when she wanted. She died June 27, 2004 at the age of 56. The day before she went to Louisville, I went from the hospital down the hill to the SPCA. I walked in the door and asked the see the 5 dogs that had been there the longest. I guess I was trying to save something. I had just bought my first house. My mother had her heart attack 4 days before I had to close on my house and 7 days before I had to move. The entire place was a shambles. Full of disorganized boxes, I barely had a bed to sleep in. Mabel was the last dog that I saw and quite frankly she didn’t seem that interested. I put her back, revisited a couple of the other dogs but then decided on her. She had been at the pound 6 months. When I was at the desk paying for her, she started to perk up. The person that worked there told me, ”They always know when they are going home.”
  • : Hamilton County SPCA
  • : Shauna Kruse
  • : November 2nd

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