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© Douglas Rosen 2006

We will miss you Blizzard….

© Douglas Rosen 2006

Sitting on the ground, I cried. The decision was made and I’d been the one to make it. There was no other choice, no other option. Blood testing and many long talks with the veterinarian had confirmed it. As the finality sunk in, the cool drizzle continued as it had most of the day.

As the cold mist continues, warm tears fill my eyes until they reach the brim and flow down my cheeks, falling like the rain into the damp soil beneath me.
”But he’s still alive, he must be ok” is all I can think, and I feel ashamed to cry in front of him.
The facts are right in front of me but are so hard to look at. At least it is dark and there is no unnecessary audience to see my tears. It’s late, we waited until everyone else had gone.

He greets me with a friendly greeting – “chuff” – appearing content, but I know his kidneys have failed completely and he will never eat enough to regain the massive amount of weight he has lost.
He now feels so poorly that he won’t even eat enough to take his medicine; he’s getting weaker. He quietly listens to me as I talk to him, thanking him for accepting our loving care for so many years and allowing us to do the best we could for him. He started out life being so severely mistreated by humans it’s a wonder that he was able to have faith in humans at all.

I was the first person he learned to trust when he was only a few months old and now I will be one of the last faces he sees. Although I give him the distance and respect he deserves, he has been my friend for 16 years. Why, after all of these years of rescuing animals is this still so hard?

The drizzle continues as we proceed with the grim task at hand.
As the injections are given the reality hits and the illogical questions of doubt arise and are dismissed internally. Respirations are counted…waiting… until they finally stop.
Unbraced for another surge of reality I’m once again overwhelmed, I sit on the wet ground and cry. Slowly, I attempt to say my goodbyes and collect myself.

Now you are reunited with your best friend Zulu.

Kurt and I both have tear-stained faces by the time we are finished burying him, but he was laid to rest by people who loved him – people he knew almost his entire life.

To Blizzard, our final goodbye. You are sorely missed and will never be forgotten. You were with us when we first started the sanctuary and gave us the inspiration to always try our best. You taught us that with enough time and nurturing, even the most traumatized animals can once again learn to trust and thrive.

Thank you to all of the hard-working volunteers and supporters who have helped care for Blizzard and his friends over the years.
 We could never rescue and provide lifetime care for so many animals in need without you.


Lisa Stoner, VP
Forest Animal Rescue
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13 thoughts on “We will miss you Blizzard….”

  1. I cry for you and I cry for him, but most of all I cry for myself for the number of times I have had to make the same difficult decisions regarding an animal’s life and death. I know when I make the choice to have a friend euthanized , it is MY decision which I choose, reluctantly, to make. Because there really IS no choice. The obligation to do what I can is what forces me to do what I’d rather not do. At times I resent the obligation and I wish someone else would make the decision. But I know in my heart that should they not make the right decision I would never forgive myself for not stepping up and doing what i had the entrusted power to have done.
    In the next few days please remember as many of the good times as you can; force yourself to do so. Soon it will be the only ones you have and the deliberate forced happiness will be natural.
    And you will remember the joy again.

  2. Whenever I made my visit to see my friend Lisa I always looked forward to the walks to visit with the cats. Blizzard would greet us with his welcoming chuffs and he always had a story to tell. He was not only a beautiful majestic creature. ..he was a sweetheart. I will miss him dearly.

  3. Oh my gosh. That is so sad. And I know exactly how you feel, I felt the same in the last year when I had to put down my 19 year old cat. I just overwhelmed myself with guilt but I knew I had to do it. I am so sorry and will always carry his memory with me. I have always loved white tigers (before I knew about the in breeding) and actually when I found your sanctuary and saw you had a white tiger that is what drew me to you. I am now so thankful to be there as a volunteer and we can thank Blizzard. He was so beautiful and his chuff’s touch my heart.

  4. Dear all,
    What terrible news! My heart goes out to all of you. It’s a few years since I was with you but now to see both of your gorgeous tigers, Blizzard and Zulu gone, is terrible. I remember with so much joy my happy time with you and all the animals.
    You can be happy you all gave them a great life after a bad start.
    Carry on with the great work! A sad day but a happy life x x

  5. I am so very sorry for your loss. I had to have my loving dog Lily put down last week. She was 16 years old. She was hurting and would never get better. At least I know she is no longer in pain and I will see her again at the Rainbow Bridge. Thank you Lisa for all you and your organization do for the animals. God Bless You all.

  6. Lisa and Kurt,
    I am so very sorry. Blizzard will be dearly missed.
    I was just telling my neighbor about him and the inked paw print I have from him.
    We from VMAT-1 will always remember him.

  7. HI Lisa and Kurt, I am so sorry to hear about Blizzard and I am sure that must have been so tough to do. I know he had an amazing life with you and I am sure it comforted him to have you guys there at the end!He will be missed and Mike and I thoughts are with you both. Thanks for all you do ! Heather

  8. I’m so sorry that you had to say goodbye to Blizzard (for now). He sure loved you and sure knew he was loved in return. It takes a huge heart to do what you guys do. We love you.

  9. I am sorry to here about Blizzard. I am telling you now that after 39 yearsa it never gets easier. I think it is harder because we kn ow the people so well and the animals as well. Richard had to put a horse down a few months ago that he had delivered as a foal 34 years ago. The owner had become a close friend over the last 39 years. He was one of our first clients when we started. He got the tractor out and began to pull Kathryn out of the barn for burial, got off looked at Richard with tears in his eyes and said I can’t do it. Richard got on the tractor and took her back, he said as he looked back at Tucker as he pulled her away made it one of the hardest things he had to do Tucker had become a very close friend and to see a once robust, strong, caring man that had so much feeling for a horse was heart wrenching. I just stood there hugging him and telling him he had done her a favor, and she was no longer laying there suffering unable to get up. He was one of our very first clients.

  10. Please don’t let this last act of true love detract from the last 16 years of devotion. May your God bless your hardest of duties.

  11. Lisa and Kurt.
    Joe and I were just talking about you guys on Sunday.
    I said I had not read the latest newsletter…now I wish I didn’t.
    At work is Not the place for my tears to flow!
    It NEVER gets easy to say goodbye.
    It NEVER will be ‘the best time’ or ‘the right time’ or the…….. Well you know what I mean.
    Blessings and Paws.
    We hope to volunteer again soon.

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