It is with much heartbreak  that we announce we lost our long-time sanctuary sweetheart, Slick, to cancer yesterday.

The First Time … Ever We Saw Your Face

Slick on arrival day back in '06.

Slick on arrival day back in ’06.

Slick arrived at rescue 10 long years ago with Eli and Elanor from the same breeder who “had no use for them anymore.” They were all filthy and malnourished. Eli’s teeth were chiseled down for breeding purposes; Elanor had a heart murmur and some trust issues; and Slick was scared of everybody and anybody after being used as a stud muffin. (Yes, believe it or not, the boys have issues after they leave breeders, too.)

This little pint-sized, football-shaped JRT stayed that way for years. The rescue was much smaller back then and had fewer visitors/volunteers, so he bonded with Mama Donna and Papa Jimmy and didn’t really care for strangers.

As the rescue grew over the last five years, Slick began meeting more people and gaining more and more confidence. He even stopped running from the new volunteers when we walked into his kennel, started to love on us, and let us dress him up in ridiculous costumes to try to get him adopted.

A Man With A Plan

Slick as a football

Our little football.

Slick had his own plan, though: He wasn’t interested in being adopted. He, like Eli and Elanor, loved life at the ranch. He had room to roam (he loved playing in the field), a solid square meal a day with plenty of treats, great vet care, and a chance to just be a normal dog instead of a breeder dog.

And he liked it … a lot … In fact, he became quite comfortable where he was and just wasn’t really interested in anyone who thought they could give him a better home. As far as he was concerned, life in Mama Donna’s house with the other dogs was his home and he didn’t want to leave … and the little brat always let prospective parents know that. “I ain’t goin’ nowhere!”

Donna didn’t want to give up hope for him, though, so he became a sanctuary dog. If someone “exceptional” came along whom he decided he wanted to go home with, he would be adopted. Otherwise, he would be taken care of as one of the “house dogs.”

And that’s exactly what he chose to do, which we were quite thankful for because he went through so many health challenges in his golden years.

Journey to the Bridge

As some of you might know, Slick has been sick for a couple of months. He had dealt with various health scares in his senior years (including throat cancer), but his issues increased around Christmas. He was going through severe bouts of diarrhea and vomiting every time he ate and he spent a lot of time at different vets, going through tons of tests and receiving fluids. He needed exploratory surgery, but was simply too weak from not being able to keep food down.

On Thursday, he finally showed signs of strength after receiving fluids at the vet, who saw something strange on the x-ray. The decision was made to do the surgery: If it was a simple obstruction that could be removed, our little football would be on the mend. If it was incurable cancer, we would let him go. Unfortunately, it turned out to be the latter: He had advanced intestinal cancer. Treatment would have taken its toll on his quality of life, so we decided to say goodbye.

Although some may feel sad that he “never found a home,” he actually did. It was with us.

In Memory of Slick

Slick had some wonderful sponsors throughout the years who helped keep him healthy and happy. Many of his costs were covered, and we can’t thank you enough. His surgery was mostly covered, and the vet worked with us to keep the cost low, but, as always, there are “leftovers” to pay. We haven’t even had time to settle up yet.

If you would like to donate in his memory, you can do so by clicking the donate button below. If anything is left over, it will go to other dogs like him who need long-term care. We are working with the vet to get direct-donation information.