Simcha was brought to the Nevada Humane Society (NHS) when she was confiscated from her previous owner by Washoe County Regional Animal Services (WCRAS). Simcha was a female pittie estimated to be over ten years old. She had trouble walking, but no trouble eating! Even in her geriatric years she had quite a big personality. NHS and WCRAS hoped that Simcha would eventually be a return-to-owner. However, that option was deemed an impossibility, so they decided she would benefit from being put up for adoption at the NHS facility.
She did well while in the care of NHS, though she seemed like she was uncomfortable in her kennel during the day. To make Simcha more comfortable, NHS made her an office dog for their Marketing Manager, Sassra Dobson. Simcha spent her days in Sassra’s office, lounging on a big comfy bed and being taken out for periodic potty breaks. Not every dog can be a good office dog, but Simcha was a great one. She didn’t need constant attention, but liked when someone was in the room with her. She would let out needy barks and do a few circles when she was left alone. Eventually, she would tire herself out and lay back down for another nap. After a few days of adjusting to office life, she got extra cozy and would spend her time napping. She napped so intensely that you could walk right next to her, even step on her bed, and she would just continue snoring.
Many of the NHS staff would drop in at all hours of the day to give Simcha pets and treats, just so she felt as loved as she was. Simcha made good efforts to get comfy in her bed, but often struggled due to how bad the arthritis was in her back legs. After a while, it became apparent to NHS staff how much pain Simcha was in. Her pain was partially due to the cancerous tumors on her body. NHS veterinarians tried to remove what they could, but concluded she was too old to do prolonged treatment as it would be dangerous for her deteriorating health. Simcha was on many anti-inflammatory and pain meds, but her joints were still swollen. Even the cushiest of beds couldn’t make her totally comfortable. She was beginning to walk on her knuckles just to go outside. Because of her condition, Simcha was placed into a medical foster home.
Simcha’s foster had plenty of their own pets, but still made room for one more. Simcha tried every bed in their house but decided her happy place was on a fluffy round bed by a window. For a few weeks she enjoyed dog treats and the occasional Cheez-it. She even trained her foster to give her a cookie every time they left the room, otherwise she would howl until she got her way! In Simcha’s last few good days, she had the best life a dog could ask for. However, on June 9, 2023, Simcha woke up with loss of feeling in her back legs, resulting in paralysis.
Simcha was immediately brought into the NHS clinic for a foster emergency. The veterinarians did what they could to make her life longer and more comfortable, but ultimately it was decided that adding another pain medication to the long list of meds she was already on was not going to uphold a quality of life fit for such an amazing dog. The decision was made by veterinary staff, NHS management, and Simcha’s foster parent that it was time for her to cross the rainbow bridge. Simcha was given lots of string cheese, scoops of peanut butter, and even got to try chocolate for the first (and last) time. Surrounded by those that loved her, giving her pets until the very last breath, Simcha passed away on a warm, cloudy day. She is one dog that staff at NHS will never forget. A dog that felt like family, reminding us why we work in animal welfare. Although Simcha’s story is sad, it’s also one that serves to remind us why it’s important to care for our animals to the best of our ability, as well as find the best homes for shelter pets who don’t have a family of their own.
We at NHS are dedicated to taking the best care of our animals, until their very last breath. We are happy to be a part of the shelter pets’ lives, even just for a short while. Everyone that works for our organization cares deeply about the lives they serve. We cannot thank our community, volunteers, adopters, fosters, and staff enough for all they do for those that have no voice of their own. Without them, we would not be able to make the impact we do.