Friday, October 7, 2016

Loving and Losing Stitch

I'm shattered. This morning, our beloved Stitch didn't greet me when I woke. He didn't come when he heard the can opener, and I thought that was odd. I called, and he didn't come. Evan and I found him lying still on the rug in the living room. As long as I live I will never be able to erase the heartbreaking image of Evan shaking Stitchy's lifeless body and shouting, "Stitchy! Wake up, wake up!"

Stitch was only nine years old. He wasn't sick. This was a complete shock.

Yesterday was a really good day. I was home all day. We took several walks in the field and he was happy and spry. I gave him a few treats. He ate all his dinner last night. And then, somehow, he passed away in his sleep. 

I always called Stitch my little gentleman. When we were walking through a door he'd always stop and look up at me, wait for me to pass through first. He was a gentle and considerate soul. He loved everybody. He never wanted to fight with other dogs or cats, he just wanted to be friends. I am still in disbelief that this has happened. I can't stop crying. This house doesn't feel like a home without him.
Many of you supported us when we fought for years in court to keep Stitch away from his former owner who had abused and abandoned him. You know the long journey and the struggle, how very hard we fought for him and how very very much we loved him. Stitch was no ordinary dog. He came to our lives to teach us courage, and how to stand up for something you believe in. I know that for the rest of my life I will carry the lessons I learned through loving this dog. Because of Stitch, we started the #SaveStitch campaign fighting for animal rights. After the L.A. Times, NPR and Fox News picked up the story, this case became a national conversation. In the courts we fought for pets to have the right to live in the home that is safest for them, rather than being treated as property to be returned to the owner, regardless of inhumane treatment. We lost our case and our appeal and weren't able to change the laws, but we held on to Stitch. After all that drama and 3 years of court battles, I don't know if we made a difference or not, but I do know that Stitch was able to live his life with us, in a home where he was loved beyond measure.

The short years we had him weren't nearly enough, and yet, I feel so fortunate to have had him at all. He blessed my life, and touched many others. He was my little gentleman. A piece of my heart goes with him...
(For those of you who don't know the story of Stitch, it's here. If you think I fight hard against gun violence, it's only because I learned how to stand up to bullies when I fought for Stitch;

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