Animals Without Limits

American Swedish non profit organisation



I think it was one year ago we went out on a mission to Rossella’s shelter with food and some medicine. We were many volunteers, and it was a warm lovely day. We washed some dogs, brushed and walked as many shelter dogs as we could. In one small kind of dark box laid a very sick dog, just skin and bones. He looked very old, black and white short hair with gray around his mouth. His tail thumped, it never wagged, when he saw you in your eyes, the tail went ”thump, thump, thump”
I opened the cage door and his front legs were kind of crooked, he couldn’t walk hardly at all, he was in big pain. His legs were covered with deep wounds, and I could understand he had leishmaniosi and ehrlichia (tick disease). There was something about Dicky, his sad eyes filled with love! Thump, thump, thump” the tail said.

He had been found on the street badly hurt by a car and left to die. His broken front leg had to heal by itself. He was an easy target for the cruelty and diseases. A girl name Paola found him and another girl Giula brought him to this shelter.
I carried him outside the shelter and laid him down in the grass. I sat next to him and we talked; ”thump, thump, thump”

I made a promise to him when AWL would get the hospice, he would be picked up out of this shelter and would join us.
”thump, thump, thump”

I went out there again, and my heart ached from seeing him in pain laying in the dark on a concrete floor.

My heart warmed up when I heard

”thump, thump, thump.”

Finally in September 2010 we signed the contract for the hospice, and my husband drove out and picked him up. We were so happy to bring him into our warm, open, big doghouse, it was were the dogs who were sick, wounded or old would have their retreat before heading to the rainbow bridge.

A safe loving place, where they never have to be afraid of being hit, starved or mistreated or abandoned.

”Thump, thump, thump.”

Dicky slept outside in his new big bed with warm covers, he was very insecure to go in the house. We gave him his time. When food was being served Dicky was first, crooked legs but now being able to walk.

”Thump, thump, thump” said the tail, ”give me my food quick!”

When we volunteers came, Dicky was first by the gate, always and always,

”thump, thump, thump”

Everyone loved Dicky! One of our old clients, Tigro 15 years old, came with her long term spouse on the street, Angelo 18 years old. Tigro showed blind Angelo around the house, divorced him and moved out in the bed with Dicky.

”Thump, thump, thump”

Later, after a couple of months, Dicky he moved in the house, up on the couches… where he found he loved to sleep on the soft cushions. Two weeks ago it was time for the health test for the oldies, and blood was drawn for the test. Dicky who was only 8-9 years old was considered happy and young, but I told Dr Damiani to take a test anyway. We got the results and many of the oldies had something going on that we have to treat. But the devastating news was that Dicky had severe kidney failure and Dr Daminia was concerned. It was probably from being so sick a long time ago.

We started to treat him and after three days I felt something was not correct, his energy was off and his spirit seemed defeated. I texted my volunteer Marty, telling her what I felt, and that I would bring him in to Dr Damiani for observation. An answer came back, she had felt the same. The next day he didn’t greet by the gate, he didn’t lay in the couch—he laid in the corner in the garden looking at me,

”thump, thump, thump.”

I went in and took out the the pate’ that he loves. He didn’t want it.
Lynn and Trine drove him in to Dr Damiani, I called in and gave the rapport. He needed an IV.
The next day he became a little worse, we visited him, he didn’t look happy but still

”thump, thump, thump.”

I texted Martina I didn’t think he would make it much longer. Beautiful Martina, Pio and Angelina drove to Dr Damiani’s clinic and stayed for one hour with Dicky, the dog they loved so much,

”thump, thump, thump.”

The next day, Dr Fransesco called and told me it was time, Dicky was getting worse. My family and I dropped what we were doing on a very busy day, and drove quickly to the clinic. I texted all Dicky’s friends what was going to happen. I received so many beautiful messages back to tell him.
Dr Fransesco had carried him onto to a green nice stretcher inside but the door open for the sun to peek in, the birds singing. He had a hard time breathing and fluid came out from his nose, his eyes were closed. My 6 year old Olivia whispered ”Dicky don’t leave us”
”Thump, thump, thump.”

We held his paw, we kissed his face, we cried and whispered…”Dicky we love you, so many of us.”

Friday 22 July at 12.43, his tail stopped it’s friendly ”thump, thump, thump” forever more.

We miss you so much, small messages are laying to you in the hospice journal, on FB, Dicky you are remembered and Rossella wanted until the end what was best for you.
Our pain is so enormous and our hearts are in pieces, we miss hearing your ”thump, thump, thump” — doggy Morse Code for ”Amore.”


  1. Jonnie

    I know you miss Dicky terribly, but reading his story, I can't be too sad because YOU found him and HE found you, and his last months of life were filled with so much love. He is indeed at peace now, but he knew he had finally found his forever home with you at the hospice. Don't grieve too much, my dear friend. Your loved washed away all the bad memories of Dicky's former life. Hugs to you and Olivia and all there.


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