Big Joe


joe-lion

I have been struggling recently keeping up with things like Facebook, and members of our newsletter may have noticed that I’ve missed getting out a few editions recently. I’m very sorry to report that our lovely old rescue dog Big Joe has been very ill and passed away.

Two nights before he passed, Joe bounded around like a mad person, we hadn’t seen him like that for months, he had a fantastic sunset walk, with 3 digging sessions and one crab successfully caught and eaten.

Harry had been following Joe everywhere for a couple of weeks, refusing to be out of sight of him. Joe stopped eating, he didn’t want to go for walks, and he he deteriorated quite quickly at the end, and we had a local vet come put him to sleep. It was good in that we could keep him here rather than a big trip in the car, but still incredibly distressing.

Harry is a still being creepy little mess, both adorable and upsetting in his confusion. He kept looking for Joe for weeks and is continuing to act oddly, clearly suffering from separation from his big brother. He’s settled more now, but he certainly has lost his confidence, he hoots and mutters as he walks around the house, but he is a comfort to us and we grab him and hug him, which he enjoys.

Big Joe came to us entirely by mistake. We had been picking up some used books at the Grenada SPCA and they said – hey , do you want to see Big Joe, he’s just been rescued and he’s huge! So off we went to the back of the kennels, this enormous but painfully thin, sad, sticky and stinky, mangy dog with kicked-in teeth stumbles over to us, his head hanging down. I crouched down and cupped his jowls in my hands as he settled them heavily with a great, tremulous sigh… and that was it. We were lost and instantly in love with this sad, chopped up with cutlass marks, starved almost-to-death creature. We were still building and didn’t even have a gate or a fence on our property yet, but we didn’t care. We went back again and again so we could visit him regularly until he was well enough to come home with us.

Joe was a gentle giant, a true gentleman, and loved everybody (except mongoose, crabs and yellow butterflies). He was desperate to get into any car he could, despite most trips and loved to walk down the beach and dig up crabs to eat, or sit on my lap in the sea. We learned the hard way that he swam like a rock, the day he fell into the pool whilst visiting guests sunbathing, and I had to leap in fully-clothed to drag him out. He never chased cows, but the calves on the beach would follow him on evening walks, up to half a dozen little bouncy calves eager to sniff or even lick him – it was quite unnerving at times, but incredibly sweet!

He was a huge favourite of our guests. He chose us, and he will be missed.

Joe was provided long-term care for TVT (a type of tumours spread by sexual contact before he was rescued and neutered), blood parasites, erlichia (tick fever), and many other issues caused by his time on the street by the fantastic team at the St George’s University Animal Hospital (thank you).

Joe’s rescue and survival was a testament to the wonderful work done by the Grenada SPCA, and we will continue to support them in thanks for bringing our beautiful boy into our lives. You can learn more about how to help them in their work here.