A tale of the forgotten, our beautiful Princess

At Faithful Forgotten Best Friends, we help those who can't help themselves—people and pets. One of our regular clients was walking her dog on a bitterly cold morning when she saw another dog, Princess. The big yellow lab was outside alone, distressed, with open wounds covering her rear end, her entire body caked with mud. The temperature was falling, and Princess was declining with each passing minute. Our client called us, in tears, hoping we could help.

Suffering doesn't keep to a schedule, nor does it always fit into our busy lives. But, our volunteers Ashley and Rhonda dropped everything. We scrambled to grab blankets, hot dogs, and peanut butter before heading out in search of Princess who we couldn't bear to leave out in the cold, hurting for another second. We were hopeful, determined, yet heartbroken because, even though we had an address and description of the home, we didn't know if she would still be where our client last saw her, nor if we would find her in time to give her what she deserved. It wasn't easy finding Princess, but we talked to neighbors, and we didn't give up. Princess was already in our hearts, and she needed us. Then, there she was, in the distance—fragile, injured, and in desperate need of medical care.

As we approached Princess, relief overcame the kindest, gentlest, old soul dog we've ever met. The suffering senior dog somehow knew that help had finally arrived. Princess needed immediate medical attention, but she had an owner. Though he loved her, he knew he couldn't ease her pain, so he surrendered her to us. We were elated, we were off with our big, blond dog but as we headed for help, we realized Princess was unable to walk more than a step or two at a time.

It sometimes takes a village, frantic phone calls to Connie and Dr. Kim West (who we call Dr. Kim), and continual re-assessing to save one animal. It was late, and we wanted to give Princess relief.  So, Dr. Kim welcomed us into her home. She unwrapped Princess from her cozy blanket and continued to give her hot dogs while she gently touched and examined her ragged body. Unfortunately, Princess needed a hospital, so we rushed her to The Ohio State University Veterinary Medical Center. Under the bright lights, and finally able to sit with this beautiful, neglected dog for a minute, we could see how much Princess truly needed us. In her entire 15 years on this earth, that night in the emergency room was the first night Princess had ever slept indoors. Through tears, we knew that even though Princess tried to show us her incredible spirit, she was in severe pain and was neglected for so long.  That night, under the compassionate care of OSU veterinarians and students, might be her last with us.

The next morning, another incredible volunteer of ours, Elaine, escorted Princess from OSU to Dr. Kim’s office at Health and Harmony Animal Hospital. Dr. Kim wanted to give Princess the honor of a full examination.  But with a shattered heart, she determined that the only kind, humane choice was to give Princess a peaceful goodbye. We showered Princess with chicken, pop tarts, comfort, and love while we gave her the peace she needed for far too long.

We may have only known Princess for a short time, but we did everything we could to make those hours with us, the best hours of her life. She's in our hearts now and forever. And, when we think of Princess, we'll always remember why we do what we do—provide love and care to the faithful, to the forgotten. It never gets easier helping an animal who's hurting, but we persevere because, even if we don't meet them until their final hour, knowing that we provide comfort and peace is the most incredible feeling ever. We'll never forget you, sweet Princess, rest in peace.

If you want to help us help more dogs like Princess, please donate here. We may be a mighty group, but we're small and all volunteers, so every dollar helps those we serve.


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