We met Smitty when I went to the shelter when we had an opening in our home.
His former owners declared that he had "bathroom issues" and there he sat, abandoned at the "big shelter" which is, unfortunately and out of necessity, fairly "high kill". Being an owner surrender isn't in your favor at the shelter, because your time is kind of "up" when you walk in the door! Not only that, he was deaf and had medical issues, two major strikes against him, even if he'd been a younger dog.
With that in mind, I snatched Smitty up and brought him home. My reasoning: I did not want this dog to die a "shelter dog" death. I know the difference, as a euth. tech. myself. I'd never leave one of my dogs at the shelter and it broke my heart to see Smitty there.
Smitty never knew about biting or being nasty the way some Cockers can be. He allowed both Ashley and Tyler to tote him around and hold him, without ever a complaint; I think he secretly enjoyed it.
It turned out Smitty had a "bathroom issue" alright, he had a urinary infection, and was put on medication. After that, his "issues" were gone. However, the damage was done.
Smitty succumbed to chronic kidney disease on January 22nd, 2007.
We were able to give him an extra 4 mos. that he would not have had, had we left him there at the shelter.
We were brave enough to do what his former owners refused to, we let him go when his illness began to get the better of him.
Smitty's last day was spent like he'd prefer. He got many treats today and watched the ferrets play, and when he was not doing that, he dozed on the couch, in his favorite spot, or snuggled beside me.
Rest in Peace, Smitty. You earned it, sweetheart.