Cappuccino (AKA “Cap”) – a paralyzed pit bull-beagle cross – was placed with his forever human this morning. His new mama is Rita Benavidez, founder of a special needs/senior sanctuary, called Hank’s Hostel Fur Hounds, in Englewood, Colorado. This was not a rescue-to-rescue transfer – from Crossing Guardians to Hank’s Hostel. This was an official adoption. Cap has a forever home.
Cap, a nearly newborn puppy when he was found crying on the streets for his deceased mama, was later discovered to have also suffered serious injuries.
As he grew in size and weight, his disabilities worsened significantly. He essentially lost the use of his hind end and remained totally incontinent. His bladder needed to be manually emptied every few hours, or he risked a UTI. This sweet, innocent boy got a bum rap. Life’s not fair. We get it. But, when it affects a helpless creature who suffered injuries to this extent likely at the hands of humans, one can’t help but say, “this just sucks, big time!”
Cap would need a place where he could receive round-the-clock care; but, what family or rescue could take on such a huge task? Beth Gruff, Founder of It’s The Pits Rescue, contacted every special needs rescue in her Rolodex. All special needs rescues were full; and the reality is that virtually no family in this day and age could take on this kind of responsibility.
In fact, at such a young age, Cap had already gone through so many fosters – even one in Las Vegas; but that one lasted for only a little over a week. It’s The Pits and Crossing Guardians didn’t like the direction of opinions made and drama created on Facebook about Cap’s best interests from people who neither took any part in his veterinary care, nor were privy to test results and prognoses made by specialists in the U.S.
It became imperative that Cap be transported back to San Diego, Calif., where he would be under the watchful control of Crossing Guardians and fostered by Stella, one of its board members, until he could be placed in a home best suited to tend to his extensive and time-consuming needs, including recurring infections. Indeed, when Cap arrived back in San Diego from Las Vegas, he was battling infections and severe diarrhea – all of which required immediate treatment.
Stella said that caring for Cap was akin to a mother caring for a baby. Wherever she went, Cap and a diaper bag filled diapers, meds, wet wipes, and Desitin were also in tow. Although Stella took the brunt of the duties over Cap’s care, they were shared to some extent by all of Crossing Guardians‘s board members – all of whom have professional and personal obligations that allowed them to provide this level of care for only a limited period of time. This experience solidified their resolve to stick with the original plan.
Rita – the patient and wonderful woman who first agreed to take Cap into her care – is in the best position to devote the enormous amount of time, commitment and resources needed to care for this uber-special-needs boy for the next 14 to 15 years. She loves all of her animals and has devoted her life to rescuing and caring for the seniors, the ones who need hospice care, and the special needs critters.
Cap will be greatly missed. Stella and all the fosters who were part of his life fell deeply in love with him. It wasn’t hard. You see, despite his serious disabilities, Cap is the epitome of innocence and sweetness. He is an inherently loving and devoted puppy with a huge personality. He loves people and other animals. He trusts people and other animals. He bonds quickly and he bonds hard. He is super affectionate and craves the warmth of his human.
Cap is in the best place he could be, but the grief of not having him near is profound. The care and concern about his future will never dissipate. He was loved by each and every person whose lives he touched.
Stella, holding Linda (Mara’s foster), and Matt with Cap in his cart, at Rita’s vet’s office in Colorado.
Enjoy the video, “Cap – A Love Story.”
Featured photo: After a walk, in a blink of an eye, Cap fell fast asleep while in his cart. Don’t worry. Stella took him out of his cart and placed him in his crib.