Loretta

Little girl
Over the Bridge
Runs safe and free
Everyone crying
Treasure above
Teaches us all
Always to love

      ~ Deirdre Bailleu

Loretta was born December, 1999. She lived her life in a puppy mill as a breeder until, June 5th, 2004, when Col. Potter was able to obtain her, along with five others at an auction. After her health vetting, she went to Lynell and Bob's awaiting transport to her foster home.

She was a gorgeous black/brindle girl with huge black eyes. She was such a little sweetheart but scared to death. She was a little "leggy" and thin...she would have filled out given time. The morning after her bed and biscuit with Bob and Lynell, they were in the backyard with her companions and transports buddies, Waylon, Patsy and Lola. Lola had experienced the freedom of running in an open area, but the three little mill survivors had not had that chance, yet.

Any of you that have had the privilege of watching a mill survivor overcome their fears and experience new things can understand the joy of watching the three babies run back and forth, around and around the yard. Little Patsy is a bit chubby and really had to work her short stubby legs to try and keep up with Waylon....he was a bit bigger and a little slower...but Loretta...she ran like the wind! Her long legs gave her the advantage and she led the others round and round....happily zooming Bob and Lynell....the tree, the swing and each of the other kids. She came to them on her belly.....fearful yet brave.....wanting their love and attention, yet unsure that their hands would be kind.

Lynell and Bob held her, as they did each of them that morning, whispering in their ears that they were safe...and they were on their way......each of them had a new life ahead of them....filled with the love of all of us and eventually their own FOREVER FAMILY.

On June 22nd, Loretta left Lynell and Bob's and was placed on a transport to her foster home. Later that evening on the road,she escaped. Loretta had become fearful and backed out of her collar while at a rest stop. Because she was a puppy mill dog, we knew that she did not have the survival skills to be out in the world alone and she needed to be found fast. We notified every shelter, Humane Society, rescue group, and vet in the area. Lynell and Susan Z. drove out to the rest stop to help search where Loretta had last been seen. She had gotten very close to the interstate, so Susan and Lynell started their searches on opposite sides of the interstate.

It wasn't long before Lynell called Susan over. The search had ended. Tragically, Loretta had gone over the bridge. They picked up all the pieces of her broken body and put them in a container and covered her with a towel. And then stood on the side of the interstate and hugged each other as they cried.

Lynell took Loretta home with her, where she will have her cremated. Loretta's ashes will receive their proper burial in the Greyfriar Cemetery in California. We have closure. Loretta is not lying somewhere hurt, hungry, or frightened. She has crossed the Bridge and is running and playing with the other Cairns who have gone ahead of her. God has a new angel tonight.

Please remember Loretta as a little girl with shiny coal black eyes, long legs racing towards her future....with the love of each of us wrapped tightly around her....keeping her safe. The broken and battered body Susan Z. and Lynell "rescued" from the side of the road was only the earthly body she needed while with us....her beautiful spirit and her soul are with the many that have gone before her...making their way so she could find hers....and be welcomed with open arms where she will forever know our boundless love.

We were not able to keep our promise to Loretta but her Legacy must be for each and every person that has a hand in the Rescue of these babies be more vigilant, hyper-vigilant if necessary, we need to learn from this tragic lesson....

Dear, sweet angel Loretta, you run and play and know freedom at the Bridge that you never got to experience here in this world!


Loretta

Loretta, you were just a babe to the world
Your journey was just beginning
We loved you and wanted so much more for you
We wanted you to have a loving home
Your very own grass to play in
Your very own mom and dad
Now you are in heaven
Running free of all confinement
Feeling love in your soul
That we were unable to give you here on earth
We cry for you
We will always remember you
Loretta, you were just a babe to the world

Sandy Allen

Fitful sleep.
Disturbing, disjointed dreams.
Dawn comes
And the awful truth crushes down on me again.
So very close to freedom and happiness
And then.....
I cannot help but feel we failed you, Little Girl.
I'm so sorry. So very very sorry.
Forgive us as we cannot forgive ourselves.
And may your tragic death save others from the same horrible fate.

Please...let Loretta's Lesson not be in vain!
Always secure your little ones when you travel.
Crate them or secure them in pet safety belts.
Never open the vehicle door until they are securely fastened and secured.
Use a harness AND a collar...and two leashes if necessary.
Especially for puppy mill survivors.
Don't allow your attention to waiver for even one second.
Because that's all it takes...one tragic, irrevocable second
For tragedy to strike.
Tragedy that cannot be undone
And anguish that cannot be endured.

Loretta's Lesson...let us all commit ourselves to it in her memory
and in her honor.

It's the least we can do for her.

I'm sorry, Little Girl...I'm so sorry.

Love,

Michele Stadnik and Max (paw raised in tribute and tail at half-mast in honor of our Little Girl, now at the Bridge)

Col. Potter Cairn Rescue Network changed their transport procedures as a result of Loretta's death. All CPCRN transported cairns now wear a collar with tags, and a harness for the leash. For particularly frightened dogs or for escape artists, a second leash can be attached to the collar.
We also suggest that dogs on transports under 6 hours not be taken out of their crates for potty breaks. Better a wet or dirty towel, than a dead dog.