Dolly was a very special rescue as she was the dam to my Roofus. She was born in Czechoslovakia and was sold to the US at an auction to an Amish puppy miller where she lived her entire four years having puppies for people who cared nothing about her well being. I started looking for her right after I rescued Roofus as I wanted her to know what having a family and being loved was all about.

 In March of 2007 she was sold again at a puppy auction but I wasnít fortunate enough to buy her even though I tried contacting her owner. Dolly was bought with three other Clumbers by a backyard breeder and lived there until June 2007 when the person who bought them decided breeding Clumbers was more work than she bargained for so she decided to sell them. I found out that there were four adult Clumbers for sale and after contacting the owner, found out one was Roofusís dam, a sister to her, a sire to one of the previous rescues, and a Swedish Clumber, and ended up buying all four. 

On June 29th, my husband and son arrived home with all four of them after picking them up in Oklahoma. I will never forget that day as I had such a good feeling knowing that Dolly, like Roofus, would have a chance at a ďrealĒ life. All four of them greeted me hesitantly as they werenít sure what was in store for them and all had the lost look that so many rescues have. Right away my heart went out to them as there is nothing as heartbreaking as looking into sad, empty eyes. 

The beginning of July was spent grooming them and letting them get adjusted to their new way of life and their new home. Each one was taken to the vet and given an exam and all seemed healthy with only minor problems. All were settling in and beginning to feel comfortable with me with the exception of Dolly and I noticed she was standoffish and not as friendly as the others. At the time I didnít think much of it as I assumed she just needed more time. 

By the middle of July, all four were doing well and I was happy with their progress. One evening I was combing and getting the mats out of Dollyís coat when I noticed her belly looked awfully big, more so than usual. Having had so many litters, her belly kind of drug the ground anyway but I couldnít help but notice a difference. The next day I made an appointment with the vet and took her in. Upon examining her he felt sure she was pregnant but wanted to do an x-ray. The x-ray showed without a doubt that she was pregnant and after looking at the x-ray he told me she had about a week. I asked him if we could abort the puppies as I didnít have any desire to put her through another litter but the vet said she was too far along and he wouldnít recommend it. 

The next week was spent preparing for the arrival of her puppies with us sleeping together in a kiddie pool and me reading to her every night. Iíd never been around a pregnant female and I didnít have a clue what to do or what to expect and had heard many horror stories about Clumbers that donít whelp naturally so I was a bit concerned but she had spent the last four years having puppies and having them naturally so everyone assured me all would go well. 

We bonded that week and she was like my shadow and when I couldnít be with her, my daughter Krystal or my husband would ďbabysitĒ her but according to them, she was not happy until I returned and would sit near the door waiting and watching for me. 

The last weekend of July came and Dolly seemed to be preparing to ďwhelpĒ and I thought according to what everyone had told me, it was time but the weekend came and went without any puppies. I got concerned and called the vet and he told me to bring her in. After examining her he told me if she hadnít had the puppies by the next day, he would try to induce labor and if that didnít work, he would do a c-section. 

After another night of no puppies, I had Dolly there as soon as they opened and told the vet I didnít want him to try to induce and instead go ahead with the c-section as Dolly just didnít seem herself and I was worried about her. The c-section seemed to take forever and as hard as I tried, I could not shake the terrible feeling I had. I kept telling myself that I was just getting worked up and that things would be fine but little did I know that my fears would soon become reality. 

I remember very little about what happened next but I do remember hearing that Dolly didnít make it. The vet said she made it through the c-section but then crashed during the spaying. He told me there were eleven puppies, one of which was a water puppy and was stillborn but that there were ten left. I was completely and totally in shock as I had made a promise to Dolly that I wouldnít let anything happen to her and that I would make sure she was safe, I had kept none of these promises and I felt the weight of letting her down. 

The entire staff at the vetís office was working trying to save the puppies but all I cared about was taking Dolly home. She was my main concern as she had always been, Iíd never bargained for pups and Iím ashamed to say nor did I want them. It was Dolly who Iíd rescued and had wanted to give a second chance and I failed her. The guilt was more than I can describe and it would take many months before the weight felt any less. 

Needless to say we brought Dolly home that day and buried her with the pup that didnít make it and then it was time to figure out what to do with the others. My only excuse is that I was in shock from losing Dolly that I couldnít focus on the puppies and took them to a woman in Old Fort, NC who specializes in newborns as I felt she was their only chance. During the night she lost two and I hardly slept that night as not only was I grieving for Dolly, I apparently came back to my senses and realized that Dolly would have wanted me to take care of her pups, not a stranger. 

I canít describe the closeness I felt to her and the deepness of the love that grew in such a short time. Dolly was and still is embedded in my heart. If there was one thing she knew before she left this world, it was that she was loved. I never knew that the time I spent with her or the things Iíd done for her would be the last things sheíd ever know. 

I am thankful that we had the time together that we had and that she didnít have to die alone or surrounded by people who cared nothing about her but only about the money she could make them by having puppies. She came to me with sad, dull eyes and I was happily waiting on the day that the twinkle would be rekindled as I knew from past experience that anything is possible with time, effort, patience and love. 

She was transformed the last week of her life, she was so happy and carefree and although I will never know what went wrong or was it indeed something I did or didnít do, in my heart I know that I tried my best and that no one felt or feels the loss of her like I do. Thereís not a single day that goes by that I donít think of her or miss her but I have the memories of that week, a week that was spent with a Clumber named Dolly, a true Clumber angel!

 

 

 

 

 


 

In memory of Sugar Doll (Dolly) Surama Z Rajslu 

           February 3, 2003 Ė August 1, 2007



  CLUMBERS IN NEED  
19 Trantham Creek Road - Fairview, NC 28730

Kim Smith McLendon ~ Founder of Clumbers in Need


Phone: (828) 230-2499