Vicktory Dog, Handsome Dan, Has Crossed The Rainbow Bridge | Pit Bull Press | Positive Pit Bull News
Published On: Sun, Jul 8th, 2018

Vicktory Dog, Handsome Dan, Has Crossed The Rainbow Bridge

Another Vicktory Dog has crossed the rainbow bridge, Our hearts are with Handsome Dan’s family.

Handsome Dan was one of the 22 dogs who came to Best Friends Animal Society from the estate of NFL quarterback, Michael Vick after he was arrested and charged with, “conspiracy to engage in dog fighting in violation of the animal welfare act.”

For the first time in history, these dogs were allowed to be evaluated as individuals! They were the victims of cruelty, and deserved to be treated as such! While Dan was extremely fearful of people, he was great with other dogs and not dangerous at all. Dan was given a second chance at life and became a legendary pit bull advocate.

Rest in peace, sweet Danimal.

From Heather, Dan’s Mom, and Founder of Handsome Dan’s Rescue

By the time you are reading this, Dan will be gone. He suffered another stroke two weeks ago, this one worse than the last. By last week, he had stopped eating regularly and had lost weight and muscle mass, had no use of his back half of his body. When he was not sedated he was panting from stress, unable to settle. In his final days Dan was no longer responding to his human friends. He was defeated. Though this was one of the most difficult choices I have ever had to make, with his entourage of closest humans, we left his beloved vet on Tuesday evening. We left with the plan to have Dr. Lester come to our home and help Dan go to sleep on Friday morning. But after sitting with him Tuesday evening and Wednesday morning, I came to the realization that those extra days would have only been for my benefit. On his last day, Dan was allowed to drag himself around the house and yard (something he had wanted, but had been not allowed to do due to risk of further spinal injury), he went for a car ride, sat in the grass at the park he loved near his wooded trail, he ate three scrambled eggs, and settled softly on his spot on the couch. I sat with him, loving him with every cell in my body and every ounce of emotion in my soul, seeing it was time, sobbing, but knowing the best way to love him is to let him go. Dan left us peacefully on Wednesday afternoon.

To My Dearest One,
Handsome, your presence in my life, the gift of your companionship, has been my privilege, my honor, an absolute blessing, every second. You have guided me, kept my heart safe. You have had a profound impact on how I chose to spend my time on this planet. In your name, over 300 dogs with medical/behavioral issues, and survivors of dogfighting, have found their place in this world which previously was a cold and lonely. Your needs guided me. Your spirit inspired me. You gave me purpose.

As you know, Handsome, I am not the strongest of humans. I feel things deeply, I break easily, and I generally choose a to spend my time quietly with you in our home. Thank you for being my One. Thank you for letting me snuggle you, for making me smile countless times. Thank you for the silliness that others rarely saw. Thank you for helping me be better for you, making me better for other dogs.

I will keep going. I promise. I pondered stepping away from rescue when this time came. Would I ever want to see another homeless dog? But I will, in your name the organization will continue. I will wipe my tears, walk back into shelters, find the most broken-down pathetic ones way in the back, smile, and remember you as I enter their cage. I will take you with me every step. Though I know the steps will be heavy and difficult. I will carry with me for the rest of time.

You have helped to change the landscape for dogs who suffered similar trauma. Thank you for the privilege of having been your person, and to sharing you through photos with the world, showing how far you have come from that initial dark place,

I hope I have done you justice, My Love. You have been more forgiving of our species than we could have ever been of yours. You trusted us when you had no reason to trust when all that came before told you to run and hide. But you found courage, even if only inside of our fence, our home, with your small circle of friends.
I don’t know how tomorrow will look. I have no idea how to recover from this profound loss. What I know is that this is not about me, it’s about you. So I will smile, hold you dear, continue to send you love to remind you what you have meant to me and my family.

Now I have let you go. You don’t need your body anymore, your work here is done. Be free from pain, and fear, and know I am forever grateful for every moment.
All My Love,

For those of you who may be wondering, Josephine will be OK. Mark and I have made sure she understands. We will shield her, talk to her, listen, reference Tillie when needed to be sure she understands the finality. It will be difficult for her, as she does not know life without Dan, but we will do the best we can to ensure life goes on as normally as possible.

Cam, as usual, is a rock. He is stationed in Florida right now. He is in Air Force, and working hard to become a canine officer. We are in close communication during this difficult time.

I ask that you all continue to keep Dan alive. Talk about him. Tell his story. Let his life inspire you. Dan had the most horrific of beginnings. Yet he chose to forgive. He mustered courage when he had so very little. Dan trusted, and saw the good that could be.

Heartfelt thanks to:
The Special Investigators, local law enforcement, the vets, techs, and other veterinary professionals
His initial evaluation team, Tim, Donna, John
His Court Appointed Special Advocate, Rebecca
The attorneys, organizations, and law enforcement who advocated for this group of dogs
His caregivers, including Betsy, Damien, Carissa, and many others
His trainers, John, Ann, Sherry, Michelle
His vets, Dr. Patty, Dr. Mike, Dr. Sam Lester, Dr. Carrie Lester, Melissa and everyone at Coventry Animal Hospital and Ocean State Vet Specialists

The staff and volunteers of Best Friends Animal Society
Mark, Cam, Josephine. My family and friends especially, Susan, Traci, Kim, Trisha, Amanda, Liz, Delores, Patrick, Connie, Aleksandra, and Kate

The Victory Dog Family
The volunteers of Handsome Dan’s Rescue, past and present

Everyone who has loved Dan from afar. You have no idea the impact you have made. Your well wishes, support, and love, over these years has driven those of us at Handsome Dan’s Rescue to do more, save more, fight harder, both in front of, and behind the scenes.

HSUS, ARC, ASPCA, BFAS, and everyone on the ground who now sees dogs rescued from similar situations as the individuals they are.

Lee Greenwood, Joe Warzycha, and everyone who fights the good fight legislatively; locally, nationally, internationally.

Source: Handsome Dan’s Rescue

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