Sometime last night, October 25, 2016, our sweet Chakra crossed the Rainbow Bridge.
We don’t know exactly how old Chakra was, but he was very, very old-likely at least 15. We were told that he arrived in 2002 at the facility he was previously interred in, presumably entering as an adult. His first fourteen years were spent in a horrifically overcrowded place, and he was not well treated. We know that he developed glaucoma and had both his eyes removed in 2006 to reduce the painful pressure from this condition, so he was completely blind for the last ten years of his life.
Chakra came to us in June of last year when volunteers Jenna, Jilli and our Dr. Jim saw him in his previous living conditions. They were shocked and heartbroken for him and another senior in particular. They asked us to take these old dogs if we could. We brought him in with the other dog, Mindy (who passed away this spring) in early August of 2015.
Chakra was in very poor condition when he arrived, toothless, parasite infested, and extremely malnourished. With good, soft food and no competition for it, parasite treatment, and lots of love he thrived.
We build separate runs and a grassy area for the two dogs as they needed to be kept apart from the main group of dogs due to their advanced age and blindness.
Chakra loved napping in the sunshine, curled up in soft green grass. He loved his cushy orthopaedic bed provided by generous donor Gina Berry Arefi. He loved his clean, dry, spacious and warm run. He danced at meal times, happily (and messily!) slurping up his soupy, soft, delicious canned food breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. Chakra loved snuffling and interacting with the puppies, and he really, really loved endless ear rubs, face massages, and body brushing and massages. Needless to say, we really, really loved providing them.
Chakra was healthy to the end. Yesterday he was up and about, behaving perfectly normally. He ate his dinner as usual, and curled up on his soft bed for the night. This morning we found him still on his bed, looking for all the world like he was happily asleep. Chakra never, ever missed his breakfast, so when he didn’t greet us anxiously pacing as we approached with his chow, Ronaldo knew something was very wrong.
Although we are terribly sad for our sweet Chakra’s passing, we are so happy that his passing was so peaceful and that he appeared not to have suffered. We are grateful that we didn’t have to make the difficult decision to end his life; one we find we have to make all too often. For us, his gentle passing was a gift.
We feel so blessed to have been able to care for Chakra for the last 15 months of his life, and we hope that the love he received from so many wonderful people during his time with us in some way made up for the many years he spent abandoned and neglected before coming to us. Although Chakra was never adopted, and never had the family we wish for all our our dogs, he had an even bigger family in all of us, our wonderful volunteers and friends. He was very, very loved, and will be missed by many. RIP sweet Chakra.

Chakra’s Story:

At the end of June, 2015 we were asked by Dr. Jim and two young volunteers, Jenna and Jillian Guffy to take in two geriatric dogs from another group. These dogs had lived their entire lives at this other site, were blind, and were in terrible condition. They lived in a pen with other dogs, and since they were blind they could not defend themselves or  their food from the other dogs.

We agreed to take them, and Chakra arrived with a female named Mindy. Both dogs had apparently been at this site since 2002. Chakra suffered from Glaucoma and had already lost vision in both eyes when we met him with Dr. Jim in 2006. Dr. Jim  removed one of Chakra’s eyes on that trip, and injected of a drug into the second eye which killed the fluid-producing cells and reduced the pressure, making the dog much more comfortable.

Chakra was terribly thin, severely infested with fleas and also had lice. In addition to being completely blind, he is also deaf. Chakra has no teeth-they have been worn to nothing, and his tongue hangs out to one side. He is sway backed and likely has arthritis.

We bathed Chakra and treated him for the parasites. he now eats softened food and we separate him from other dogs to give him time to eat his dinners in peace.

Chakra seems to be feeling pretty good these days. He is a sweet, gentle soul who is not used to attention or affection. He is happy to be petted and brushed but doesn’t seek out contact. He spends most of his days curled up in a sunny patch in the grass or sleeping on a soft bed in one of the runs. and sleep the afternoon away.

We approach him slowly and carefully, since he can neither see nor hear us. He startles easily.

Chakra and Mindy have been together for many years, but they don’t do well together at night. Chakra gets disoriented and stumbles onto Mindy. She startles and attacks him, causing him to panic. We have built the dogs a separate divided run with a fenced, flat grassy area as they also don’t navigate the play area all that well with its level changes.

We consider Chakra to be a sanctuary dog due to his advanced age, blindness and deafness. Although he could be fostered locally, it is unlikely we will find a home that would be able to accommodate him. We would love to have sponsors for sweet Chakra-please consider helping us with her expenses.

We are a small organization dedicated to helping dogs and cats in Antigua. We sterilize, rehabilite and find homes, and work with other rescue groups.