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Crystal ... A Very Special Girl...

The day I was asked to go take a look at an abandoned dalmatian at the Clay County Animal Control, I had no idea what I was about to find. Susan called me hoping that I would be able to take a look at what was supposed to be a 2 year old female in pretty bad shape and told me to use my judgment as to take her home or have her put to sleep.

When she was finally brought out to me the first thing that came to mind was "this poor thing probably won't last a week". In front of me stood the remains of a once beautiful female with one blue eye and one brown eye, an arch in her back so extreme to look at it hurt me, painfully underweight, and so disoriented she didn't know which way to follow me.

I couldn't leave her there.

With my five year old daughter asking me why we were taking her home with us, the only thing I could tell her that this little girl deserved a loving home, even if only for a short time.

When my husband got home, he wanted to name her Crystal because of her one crystal blue eye. The next day at the vet's office, we found out more about Crystal. First thing the vet told me was that our 2 yr. old was actually closer to 10! She weighed about 19 pounds, had a degenerative eye disease, was partially deaf, several missing teeth due to age and malnutrition, arthritis in her spine along with other ailments. Despite all of this, the vet told me that with a little love (which she had obviously been lacking for a long time), Crystal could go for a little while longer.

Believe me, there were days that it seemed like all of our efforts were going nowhere, but to look in her eyes you could tell that Crystal knew we loved her more than she ever had been. As much as we told ourselves that she probably wouldn't be around for too long and that we shouldn't become too attached to her, it was impossible not to.

Every day we had with Crystal made it harder for us to understand how any person, whether an animal lover or not, could let such an amazing creature get so bad off and ultimately dump her off without any regard to her well-being. Unfortunately, we were forced to move out of our home a few months later, and had to ask Susan and Pat to take her in for a while. Although we knew that she would be loved and well cared for, it was hard to let her go knowing that we may miss her final days. Which is exactly what happened.

The amount of love and attention we had all given to Crystal had kept her going for several months, months that she would have otherwise not had, but the abuse she had suffered finally took its toll on her. The day I went with Susan to have Crystal put down was one of the worst in my life. The minute is saw her I knew it was time, but I still couldn't help thinking that if someone had loved her before she got to that point, she may have gone on for several more years.

As I looked into her eyes during her last few minutes, I saw something I hadn't seen when I first met her... it was a look that told me she knew she was loved, almost as if she were saying "thank you". I will never forget that look, or my little Crystal.