Recently, Patrick Stewart and his wife, Sunny Ozell, welcomed a senior foster dog into their home. On Instagram, Stewart writes:
Please meet our new foster dog, Leonard. “Lenny” for short. He is a gentle gentleman, and @madameozell and I are smitten already. At roughly ten years of age, Leonard is our first “senior” foster. We know very little about his life, except that it was one full of neglect.
Unbeknownst to Stewart and his wife, the neglect that Lenny suffered prior to being rescued had already taken a deadly toll. The senior dog developed a cough 48 hours after being taken into their home…he was taken to a veterinarian and, at their request, admitted.
What was initially believed to be kennel cough turned out to be pneumonia. And despite the best veterinary care, Lenny’s organs began to fail. Ozell shared the sad news on Friday:
It breaks my heart to have to share this news—we eased our sweet boy Lenny over the Rainbow Bridge yesterday. There’s a reason folks use this euphemism…I didn’t “put him down”. I lifted him up out of his pain, I let him go, and I’ll hold his sweet spirit in my heart.
Recounting the toll that his past had ultimately taken:
I won’t detail all we did for him medically, but know that we threw every resource and compassionate intervention his way. The oxygen he was receiving wasn’t meeting his needs, but additional concerns arose as well. There were signs of bowel obstruction, a heart murmur, and his blood pressure was haywire.
In short, he was undergoing multi-system failure. If Lenny had lived the life he deserved, he may have been strong enough to endure pneumonia. But at ten years old, after a life of neglect, his body didn’t have the resources to fight.
Unlike Lenny’s past, where it is surmised that he lived the lonely life of an outdoor dog, when it was time to say good-bye the ailing old boy was eased from his failing body with the touch of a kind hand. Ozell writes:
I got down on the floor of Lenny’s space, and met his sweet old cataracts gaze. I kissed his big gorgeous mocha noggin, scratched softly behind his ears, and stroked his velvet snoot. I told him over and over how loved he was, and I held his paw.
Rest in peace Lenny.
Thank you Sir Patrick Stewart, and Sunny Ozell, for showing this old boy what it means to be loved. To everyone who steps up to foster a homeless pet, you make a difference.
(Image via Instagram screenshot)