This article was submitted to the Club in December 2018:
I just wanted to send a note to let you know that I had a great Scottie girl, best friend of my life for the last 10 years. I was ready to add a Scottie and reached out to the Rescue person of the club, Caroline Borcsok, about two years ago, to check availability and let her know a bit about our household.
A year ago on December 21, 2017, Caroline called to tell me that there were two senior, closely-bonded sisters that had been rescued due to owners having to go into nursing home care. She was trying to get them placed together and due to the time of year and their age (approximately 12 years old), it was not easy. I let her know that I would take them to see if they would get along with my ‘only’ who had well-managed canine Addison’s Disease, but that I would have to monitor her stress level for a few weeks after introduction.
Caroline and her husband drove them to me in London Ontario on a VERY snowy day last December 23rd. We met at a park down my street for the dogs to meet and for my Roxy to lead the way back to her home. The two sisters, Maddy & Lucy came in and settled in like they had always been with us. It was an absolute Christmas miracle! My ‘only’ thrives being part of a pack for the first time in her life and actually allowed the smallest, Lucy, to become pack leader/matriarch naturally.
Caroline was ALWAYS available to me if I had any general questions and offered both her telephone number and email address if I needed anything – TREMENDOUS support! The three dogs had a wonderful spring and summer romping together in my big backyard, chasing squirrels up trees and doing a little digging! We went for walks and they became ‘The Golden Girls’ who were the celebrities of my area on our walks. Unfortunately, Maddy started getting really tired in late August, and her appetite waned and she was not very excitable. She developed a few bumps and, in my concern, I took her immediately to the vet when she lost interest in treats or food. Caroline was amazing support through this tremendously sad time. Maddy has developed liver cancer and kidney disease and there was no treatment. The vet indicated that her liver was in failure and to just love her into her passing by giving her whatever she wanted (if anything). I was beside myself as I had easily grown to love her, as had my daughter, and I didn’t know how her bonded sister would be without Maddy, her littermate/sister. I reached out to Caroline who coached me and helped me know what to do with Lucy (and Roxy). Fortunately, she was able to take her last breath at home on the night of September 12th while being pet on my daughter’s lap, with me kneeling and speaking softly and looking into her eyes telling her how special she was. I was able to call Caroline that evening and she helped me know what to do for Lucy and Roxy so that they could say goodbye and understand that she had died before I took her to the vet in the morning. Caroline was in constant contact and so full of compassion and support. And although the other two dogs had a period of adjustment, especially Lucy who always slept back to back with her sister, they managed and moved on. Two weeks after Maddy died, my best friend and the best dog I have ever had, Roxy woke up and when I was scratching her under the chin, I noticed a very large lump that literally came over night… and she had one on the opposite side. Needless to say, I freaked out and got her right to the vet even though I was pretty sure I was not going to like the appointment. Lymphoma. I asked the vet to aspirate and sent samples to the vet oncologist in Guelph Ontario in case I could do something to save her and I was devastated! I well up writing this note still as I am heartsick still.
I called Caroline to tell her and ask her if she knew of anything I could do, to save her or help her. She was just as devastated and Maddy had only just died two weeks prior. Roxy wasn’t even part of any rescue, but she went over and above for me in ways that were incredibly special and personal. She also checked in with me often to see how ‘I’ was doing in my grief from losing Maddy and the confirmation that I was losing Roxy quickly. Again, she supported me, shared knowledge, got information for me from other sources, helped me understand the disease and decisions that I may have to make of she became too uncomfortable or unable to breathe. She is such a giving heart and wonderful support. Roxy died four weeks to the day after Maddy died. I am still beyond heartbroken in that profound loss. But Caroline has helped me and helped me help Lucy, the matriarch to adjust to being an ‘only’. It is a very quiet household now, but being left with Lucy was a true blessing. I call her the ‘shameless lover’ as she is the most sweet, cheerful dog. Very different than Scotties I have known in that she doesn’t shirk away from contact, like many Scotties do after a few minutes. She loves being held and petted and is a real lap dog. I think she has enjoyed a period of being spoiled as an ‘only’ which she had never been.
A few days ago, Lucy started drinking excessively, licking my skin excessively (which are both uncommon for her) and urinating more. She has become quiet and tired and has a pot/baby belly. I was unable to reach my vet three mornings ago when these symptoms started, but Caroline was able to reach out to some of her vet contacts to confirm that along as she was eating, to just book her into the vet as soon as possible, but that it was not an ‘emergency’. Lucy will see the vet tomorrow morning and I pray that she will be okay despite my seeing her wind down. Caroline asked me to stay in touch after the appointment and let her know how Lucy makes out. My fear is great, but I know Caroline will support me no matter what.
I guess the purpose of this letter is to say that although my adoption experience has not been lengthy, the fact that you have such an amazing rescue support person would make me rescue/adopt again in a heartbeat when my heart heals from the tremendous losses, I have had this year. I am not sure where you found Caroline, but her passion for getting these sweet animals to the homes they are meant to be in, and her care and concern for each one of them even AFTER they are placed is second to none. She has found her true calling despite also working a full-time job and having a family. Thanks for all that you do for Scottish Terriers in Canada, and thank you for having such a great support in rescue as you do with Caroline Borcsok. I have only met her once, but I feel like I have known her forever.
I just wanted to share my experience of her and the awesome job she does for the Canadian Scottish Terrier Club.