Vern and Vera, and the Angel Who Loved Them

Posted on July 7th, 2010 by Anna Nirva

Early last November, I heard that Emanuel and Meko, two long-term senior coonhounds living in our nearby rural shelter, were to be adopted–together! It felt like a miracle, a blessing, a gift from heaven. These sweet old dogs had been waiting for months, and winter was coming. The shelter has heated floors and indoor-outdoor runs, but coonies have short coats and winters can be brutal in Wisconsin. “Manny” and Meko were friends, and I had often taken them together on walks. I was ecstatic and also curious about their adopter. Coonhounds are not popular dogs to say the least, and most people won’t adopt senior dogs. I heard the adopter lived in Kansas?

What can you say about a middle-aged woman who drove 1,000 miles to adopt two old coonhounds from a little country shelter in Wisconsin? In a word, wings. She was angel on earth who looked deeply at those long-eared sad old faces on Petfinder and was moved to open up her heart and home to them. (See Manny and Meko, still posted on the site). She filled out the adoption application and it passed inspection with flying colors, I heard. So she gassed up her SUV, loaded two dog crates, and headed north. And so it started. Manny and Meko became Vern and Vera, and they all became a family, along with two kitties, Bela and Shugrrr.

Image of Vern, Beth, and VeraThe angel’s name is Beth, and she sent this picture and wrote to the shelter in the words of Vern and Vera: “We love our new neighborhood. They don’t get many coondogs down here in these parts so we are somewhat of a novelty. Everyone treats us like we are part of their family. Sometimes one neighbor comes over to get us so we can ignore his cats and watch TV. Sometimes another neighbor fetches us to play with their dog in his yard. We get lots of walks but its very hard to decide on which kind we want: in the woods by the river where we pretend we are real hunting dogs; walking through the neighborhood alleys where there is a buffet of dog, wildlife and food smells; or walking downtown where everyone lines up to pet us.”

She also wrote something that gripped my heart. During her first vet exam, Vera was diagnosed with inoperable cancer and had 6 months to live.

Beth kept in touch with the shelter and Vern and Vera’s old friends, including me. She said Vera didn’t show any signs of illness yet, and she would make sure that Vera would not suffer. Beth said she loved Vera very very much and would make her last days happy. And in early June, we got the sad news that Vera had passed peacefully.

A few weeks later, the shelter got another email from Beth. Vern had died several days before. Vern lost his will to live after Vera died and he refused to eat or drink. The old dog was lost without Vera. Beth’s vet provided treatments to stimulate his appetite but Vern was inconsolable. He laid in Beth’s big bed and refused to move, pining for Vera. She sent a picture of him lying there. You can sense his deep depression in the picture. He looked so flat.

I’m going to send a sympathy card to angel Beth in Kansas, who is sorely grieving the loss of Vern and Vera.¬†Would you like to send a card too? Please leave a comment on this post by July 15, and I’ll follow get back to you via email with an address.

    7 Responses to “Vern and Vera, and the Angel Who Loved Them”

    1. Christy says:

      Bless her heart. She truly is an angel for giving these babies a home full of love.

    2. Bethany says:

      Beth is a true inspiration in adoption portion of animal welfare. It is homes such as hers that we dream about for all our residents. Thank you Beth.

    3. jill sicheneder says:

      I’m sure Beth thought she would have more time with her newly adopted seniors, but what a wonderful home for them to be in even for just a few months. Please send me her address as I want to send her a card.

    4. Kathy Pobloskie says:

      Yes, I would love to send a card. Thanks for sharing this story, Anna.

    5. Kate says:

      My heart goes out to you, Beth. Remember the joy you gave these 2 dogs if even for a short time. They will not forget.

    6. Sue Peterson says:

      Wow what a beautiful story and wonderful human being! What a world we would live in if more people were like Beth, she is a true angel on earth. These were 2 very lucky dogs and she was lucky to have found them.

    7. Nancy says:

      Bless you Beth for giving our cooners a wonderful home and the love they all deserve. A light will shine on you for the love and home you gave these wonderful dogs.

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