This is right up there with the most heartwarming happy endings we've ever had -- and we've had a lot over the years. Actually, other than Charlie, the blind Beagle whose vision we restored through surgery and then adopted out last year, it has to be the most heartwarming happy ending for us.
Blind and deaf Gabe, who underwent lifesaving surgery at Washington State University's veterinary teaching hospital to remove a horrific tumor and then three weeks of follow-up radiation last year, was just adopted by a wonderful couple from Napa, California. Paul M. and Jenny J. had contacted us several months ago about adopting this special boy, but Gabe was still recovering from the radiation side-effects at that point and we wanted to hold on to him in case of complications.
Then, in late March, they asked again, and by this time Gabe had fully recovered and was in great condition. So after some emails and phone calls, it took a while to work out the travel arrangements, but Paul and Jenny flew out to Montana this week to pick up Gabe and bring him home. Nothing could have made us happier. Gabe had gone through so much in his life ... losing his sight, then his hearing, being abandoned in a farm field, and then getting a tumor that not only threatened his life but also eliminated his sense of smell. How much can one animal endure? A lot, it turns out.
And it was Gabe's good fortune to end up at the ranch, where our incredibly generous supporters made it possible for us to afford the thousands of dollars his cancer treatment cost. After all he had been through, we felt we owed it to him to do everything we could for him.
Now he will have a family of his own, with two loving people who will dote on him.
Paul and Jenny provide a scholarship for 4th-year vet students at UC Davis College of Veterinary Medicine -- one of the very best in the world -- so if Gabe ever needs any more state-of-the-art medical care, we know he will get it.
Paul emailed yesterday to say they had arrived safely at home and Gabe was doing great. Paul wrote, "He is an absolute sweetheart, and I now know what Steve meant when he said, 'He will just melt into you.'"
Here's Gabe in Paul and Jenny's rented SUV just before leaving the ranch for Missoula:
Thank you, Paul and Jenny!