Chance Shelter Thank You Letter…
Just recently, my family was faced with probably the hardest decision we have ever had to make. My husband, our 20 year old son, and I had to make the decision to euthanize our 13 year old Schnoodle named Sonic. Sonic first came to our family when he was only 6 weeks old and fit in the palm of our hand. He was the first dog our young son ever had. For the next 13 years Sonic was a member of our family and gave us so much joy with his playing and silly antics.
My husband was in complete agreement that it was the right and humane thing to do for Sonic who had had chronic medical problems for much of his life and all of a sudden recently went into acute kidney failure and could barely pick his head up off the ground and couldn’t eat, however my husband sobbed and pleaded that he just didn’t feel he could physically and emotionally be present for it, which as a registered nurse I completely understood and in no way faulted him for it. Our 20 year old son didn’t ask to go with me, which I was extremely relieved by since I did not want him to have to be involved in that type of a procedure. Although technically he is an adult, at only 20 years old I felt he was too young still emotionally to have to endure the process.
I had steeled myself that I could handle the responsibility of seeing this through alone for the overall benefit of Sonic, and my family and that I could be strong enough to do it alone. The three of us spent the morning and afternoon spending quiet time with Sonic knowing that this was our last time with him. I had grown up with dogs all of my life, and many of them had to be eventually euthanized but my mother was always the one to arrange it, so this would be my first time. I spent a lot of time pulling up information on the internet of what to expect so that I could be prepared. I was just absolutely numb and in shock.
I don’t know what made me do it, but I had heard through the past few months of the up and coming Chance Shelter that was based in our city of Surprise. For whatever reason, I reached out by telephone and ended up speaking directly with Audra Colson, CEO of Chance Shelter. I told her the story and she was immediately adamant that I would not go through this alone without anyone there to support me! She was temporarily out of the city in meetings but advised that she would let me know the minute she was back in town and we would arrange to meet at my veterinarian office. Throughout the afternoon I kept thinking that I should just go ahead and take care of this and I felt guilty for coming to her last second and inconveniencing her but each time that I would text her this, she would respond firmly that she would be there as soon as she possibly could and reinforced that she would not allow me under any circumstance to do this alone.
Audra met me in front of the veterinarian office at 4:00pm that afternoon. All afternoon I had really convinced myself that I could get through it alone, but the moment I pulled up to the vet office, I completely broke down and realized in reality there was no way I could have done this myself! I got out of my car and she ran over to give me a hug and be introduced to Sonic for the first time ever. We walked into the vet office and I burst into tears letting them know I had called ahead and they immediately took us to a room where we could be with Sonic privately. The technician had to ask me questions about how I wanted things handled and Audra was attentive and stopped to make sure I understood what I was being asked and that I was thinking my choices through thoroughly. During the procedure, I held Sonic in my arms and Audra held me in her arms. She supported me all the way through this very emotional event. After it was finished, the vet left the room and Audra proceeded to spend another 20 minutes with me and Sonic speaking to me in a very soothing tone and saying all the right words. She was an amazing support and because of what she did for me that day I know absolutely with all of my heart that she personally affected the start of the healing process for me in a positive way.
I cannot say enough about Chance Shelter and Audra Colson as CEO of the organization. The compassion, empathy, and heartfelt support that I received that day will forever remain with me. When we think of animal shelters, we tend to think of run down buildings overfilled with animals needing homes, but Chance Shelter is so much more. Chance Shelter wants to be involved in the entire scope of animal companionship. While their primary concern is saving animals in need and placing them in loving homes, they equally are concerned about providing support to owners and their animals in other times of need such as this. Audra and Chance Shelter asked for absolutely nothing for providing this amazing service, but my husband and I plan to make a donation to the organization right away to show our gratitude and by doing that we hope it helps to support the company enough to continue to have the ability to help out others as they helped us.
Audra, and Chance Shelter, we will never forget what you did for us and because of this experience I am excited about looking into the possibility of volunteering my time in the future to go be a support system for others that have to go through this so that they too will not be alone.
Brian, Rebecca, and Jarrin Nelson