• Melissa Novelli

Huck's journey


It is better to have been loved and lost then to never have been loved at all...

"A pet is never truly forgotten until it is no longer remembered" Lacie Petitto

Huck will always hold a special place in my heart and I will always remember him.....

Huck was born on August 29, 2011. He was a short haired brown and white pitbull with the cutest ears and a charming personality. I'm not sure how or why he ended up at a local shelter or what life was like for him before he and I met back in 2013. All I know is that I looked forward to seeing him every week and although he was shy at first, our friendship quickly grew. In fact, Huck was loved by many volunteers who made a confusing time a little more tolerable. Days passed quickly, and it seemed that he was overlooked time and time again, perhaps because he didn't like other animals. One thing for sure, he loved walks, a dip in the kiddie pool, a roll in the grass, a refreshing bath from Sinead, and to indulge in treats. Fast forward to August of 2016, I went to his kennel for our usual walk but something was different, his balance was a little off and I made staff aware. The next week he fell over and that really scared me He saw the vet on September 1 and started on medication. He started to get a head tilt along with drooling and it was thought he had a possible ear infection. He continued to deteriorate and his symptoms became more extreme as time passed to the point where he had what seemed to be facial paralysis. Every time I saw him my heart broke more and more. By November, although still on medication, there was no significant improvement and it was suspected to be a brain tumor. I remember the call November 4, 2016.... Huck needed a hospice foster. I was in tears, devastated. It was requested that the search be done privately without social media. After the initial shock, I was hopeful perhaps further testing would reveal a different outcome. Feeling defeated that I had let my friend down, I reached out to my friend Kim, if anyone could guide me on medical, she could. She asked what was going on and shortly after called me back and said she had a medical sponsor. I will always be forever grateful. Meanwhile, I reached out to my friend Sinead with the hopes that she had a client that could foster Huck and as luck would have it, she did. Lanae, a true angel, didn't think twice and welcomed Huck into her home. Thanks to his medical sponsor, Huck had the utmost care from an amazing neurologist Dr. Gietzen. We tackled each appointment together with a village of strength from many. He ended up having to see an ophthalmologist as well, as the facial paralysis affected his ability to close his eyes creating eye ulcers. He was making improvement and with each appointment, I became more hopeful that my friend would recover. Unfortunately, Lanae became ill, and Huck had to go to boarding. I, along with, other volunteers visited him everyday taking him on outings and reassuring him that he would have his happily ever after. Dr. Gietzen gave the ok for him to go to Smarty Paws to work on his balance and coordination with Ms. Melissa. The search started for a new foster or forever home. Kim ran an ad in the paper, Jade made a video, volunteers, friends, and strangers shared his story near and far. He united many and built an army with one common goal to bring Huck home for whatever time he had left. It was January of 2017 when he would eventually find his mommy Jackie. An amazing lady with a heart of gold, Jackie spoiled Huck and gave him love and a forever home. When I met Jackie, I felt in my heart that she was the hero we searched to find. It was love at first sight for both of them. As volunteers that's all we want for all of the pups. He continued to go to Smarty Paws, and volunteer Donna would pick him up spending every Wednesday with him while Jackie worked. Huck learned what a puppacino was. He loved car rides. He loved sleeping in on Sundays with his mommy. He knew all the good treats were in the fridge. He even had his favorite spot on the bed where he could look out the window. He and Jackie would celebrate every day and cherish every moment. This pup that was overlooked for so long had finally gotten his happily ever after. The pup that I feared was gonna die in the shelter got 3 years with a Mom who loved him more then anything, knew what it was to have a home of his own and lived his very best life. When I got the message, he had passed, my heart sank and I cried for my friend and his mommy. I still do. It took me some time to find the words to honor Huck, but I felt his story was important to tell.... a dying dog that brought people together from all over the United States, all walks of life.... a young man with a neurological condition that wanted to use his birthday money to sponsor Huck because he could relate to what Huck was going through , a nurse from California who still to this day continued to follow his journey, friends that hoped for him from afar, and an amazing group of volunteers that were determined to not let him die in the shelter. I will always be forever grateful to Kim and Dr. J for saving his life, the army that never gave up on him, and the BEST Mommy that gave him the most amazing life for the last 3 years. Huck's journey brought me strength and faith. I still cry over my friends loss but knowing that this sweet little pitty changed the lives of so many, brings me comfort and reminds me why we never give up.... rest easy buddy. I hope you are smiling down on us and enjoying a puppicino.

I'll always remember ❤


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