Latti's Story 2006-2019


People involved in rescue, whether through saving a life from homelessness, cruelty or adoption have the gift of a special heart. This story should warm anyone’s heart, even though it involves the best and the hardest parts of rescue.

Lab/Hound mixes Brandy and Latti were littermates in 2006 and remained in foster care with us until Brandy died of cancer in 2018. They were so bonded that I had promised that they would never be separated; that dreadful disease defied my promise – but not for long. In August of that same year the Cazaux family in Augusta, Georgia called and wanted to meet Latti. I immediately liked the lady because she said that she had looked on line for the oldest black dog she could find. That was a clue that she knew what so many black dogs and cats are up against in rescue and adoption. To me this was a very good first impression.

Latti was timid when they came to meet her, but the couple understood. One of Ms. Cazaux’s comments to me was, “Have you ever looked into a dog’s eyes and just knew?” My answer was “Yes, I have.” Latti was adopted by the family on August 10 and with all the TLC they gave her, she adapted very quickly. Keeping my promise as much as I could, I asked if they would “adopt” Brandy’s cremated remains, so the two could still be together – sort of – and they did.

The pictures and texts of how well she was doing were so welcomed. Just one month after the adoption, I got a call that Latti had been diagnosed with degenerative myelopathy and the prognosis was that she had about three months to live. I offered an adoption fee refund and to take her into my home, but the family refused. She was their dog and she would remain on THEIR sofa and enjoy whatever quality of life she had left. Then came the Christmas card, the picture of the Christmas ornament they made for her, pictures of her with the handsome Cazaux twin boys and with her other companion dogs. Of course, there were the pictures of her lying on, now, HER sofa.

One year later, with her annual physical in August, I got the news that it was better than the previous check-ups! I believe in my heart that Latti’s will to live was enhanced by the great love she received from her family. She didn’t want to leave them. One month later, however, on September 9, I got the call that Latti had suffered three seizures over several hours the night before, and was going to the vet that morning for an evaluation. According to the text later that day, it was determined that Latti likely had a brain tumor and her overall condition had worsened. The family said farewell to Latti that visit, but they loved on her and told her how much they loved her as she drifted off to Heaven. “…we owed it to her to let her be at peace” was part of the message. The end of her text said, “Thank you so much for allowing us to be her family. She will forever be missed.” Wow!

I wonder, every time I hear of a pet’s death, or experience the loss myself, how many times a heart can break before it just shatters into pieces. Now I realize that every time a new hole is placed there by a loss, a large paw-shaped patch is placed over that hole. The patch contains the love and happy memories that will hold it together and help it heal.

Rest in Peace, Latti, and God Bless you, Cazaux Family.

Terri Williams


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