A tribute to the best service dog was shared to Reddit and the world is crying.
Lots of people have special connections with their dog, but there is something about the bond with a service dog that goes just a little bit deeper. For Cara, Reddit user razzled89, the bond with her service dog Stormy was special. And though it was one of the hardest days of her life, Cara opened up to Wide Open Pets with their story.
Cara adopted Stormy from a local Dalmatian rescue. Deaf since birth and with some territorial aggression, Stormy and Cara had to work together to overcome some hurdles. The aggression slowly dissipated over time and they got to work learning some basic sign commands since Stormy couldn't hear. Soon the leash was gone and Stormy started going to work at the assisted living home Cara worked at.
Stormy became a therapy dog and comforted the elderly, soon becoming a welcome part of everyone's day. Stormy loved being there too, probably because of the treats involved. Cara tells us;
"She happily greeted everyone that entered and made her rounds of the dinner table as the elders snuck food under the table."
In 2012 Cara had her first bout of myelitis; essentially her nerves were not firing properly to her brain due to lesions on her spine. Between 2012 to 2014 she suffered from paralysis from the chest down- she couldn't even dial 911. Stormy could tell something was wrong.
"She brought me water and opened the front door and stayed until help arrived."
Over the years, Cara never got her balance back and Stormy learned to help her walk by providing counterbalance and added weight by pulling her forward. One day, Cara fell in the driveway and broke her leg. Stormy again stayed over her until the neighbors arrived. Cara's faithful service dog had come to her rescue once again.
Soon it was time for Cara to return the favor. When Stormy was 10 years old, she had a dangerous tumor removed from her spine. More tumors were found on Stormy's legs but these stayed stable for years... until a few days ago, they tripled. Cara put Stormy down today.
In an effort to help ease the pain of saying goodbye to not only her best friend, but her caretaker and guardian angel, Cara posted a tribute to Reddit:
As the post quickly went viral, Cara clarified:
At 17 the cancer finally won. When I was paralyzed and had surgery, she helped me walk again. We switched places and now it's been my turn helping her get around. She was born deaf and I wish I could say in words how good she was.
Just had to tribute to the best dog ever.
Edit: Her name is Stormy, but she's deaf so I never call her that. This blew up way more than I thought and thank you all for making my despair a little less overwhelming
Reddit obviously was an outpouring of support, including a portrait artist who is giving Cara a memorial painting in honor of her very good dog. And many Redditers came with their own heartbreaking stories:
Many could relate to the heartache from the loss of a pet.
Add Reddit truly came together as a community to mourn the deaf pup with Cara.
Cara has memorialized Stormy and brought people together with Stormy's story. She will always remember the camping adventures with her special dog; sleeping in a hammock, kayaking, and long nature walks. Cara will always remember Stormy's favorite treat- canned weenies. She will never forget Stormy.
I've always considered it a tragedy to lose a pet, especially a dog or cat. This is my first experience losing a true partner, with me 24/7 for 10 years. I did not realize I was adopting a child, roommate and guardian angel all in one.
Rest easy, Stormy.
Tell us how this story affected you and your own experience losing a special pet in the comments below.
All photos courtesy of Cara.
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