In Loving Memory of Tonka

We don't know Tonka's whole story. In fact, we know less than a week of it. But what we do know is that he was sweet and handsome and deserved so much better. We can't change Tonka's ending, but we can make sure we never forget.

Last Thursday we found out about a Borzoi needing help in New Mexico. Since SHUG has a great group of volunteers in nearby Phoenix, we were prepared to lend a hand. After lots of text messages and phone calls, it turned out there were TEN Borzoi needing help--a little too much for our local people to handle comfortably--so we switched gears to set up a transport and bring the dogs back to our headquarters near Washington, DC.

Although we were willing to fly out there and drive them back, there were no appropriate vehicles available for one way rentals that could hold 10 dogs. The awesome ladies at the Alabama Greyhound Rescue and Adoption Center stepped up and offered to make the drive in their specially designed truck if SHUG paid their expenses. Having seen their fully enclosed and air conditioned dog transport, named Ellanore, in person, we knew the dogs would be traveling in comfort.

This past weekend, Ellanore and her crew traveled to New Mexico and picked up ten Borzoi--and two cats! At least one of the dogs, Tonka, was a senior and severely overweight. Everyone arrived back safely to their home base in Birmingham, AL late Monday evening and after a day of rest, set out for SHUG HQ early this morning.
tonka

Around 9am this morning, Tonka passed away suddenly. At this point, we believe he most likely suffered from a heart attack. This morning, Tonka showed no signs of distress and was affectionate and asking for loving--which he received. It is comforting to know that Tonka didn't suffer and seemed to be happy--but we wanted so much more for him.

Although we've lost dogs in fostercare at SHUG before, this is the first time in over 400 dogs we've lost one during transport. Luckily, Ellanore hadn't even gotten out of the city yet, so they were able to take Tonka to a known vet and didn't have to leave him with strangers. Tonka will be cremated and will have a permanent home at SHUG HQ where he will be in very good company.

Tomorrow we will tell you about the other dogs and be excited about the start of their new lives. But today is just for Tonka.

8 Responses

  1. I am so sorry – rest in peace, sweet Tonka. You are loved.

  2. Oh Michael,
    I am so sorry. I will light a candle for Tonka and have a group howl for him tonight. Thank you for doing so much for all the lovely hounds.
    Sheila

  3. Sweet Tonka. Rest in peace.

  4. Run Free Tonka, you were on your way to a better life, and now you are Home forever, you were Loved on earth and now Loved for eternally ,Run Free………. Thinking of all that were involved in helping Tonka and all the other to make this journey,the other will go on and carry her spirt with them…..

  5. This makes me incredibly sad…run free Sweet boy!

  6. I’m so sorry to see this post. Poor Tonka barely knew kindness let alone love, but I am grateful he was in the hands of rescuers that were taking him to a better place. Rest in peace Tonka, over the Rainbow Bridge, met by others who have gone before you. 😪❤️

  7. Sounds like you do good work. Would like to be informed of borzoi rescues. I am located just outside of Atlanta, GA.

  8. Tonka was such a scared but sweet boy.
    I was with him for the entire trip back and he trusted me and he knew I would give him lovings and praise.
    I was with him when he passed, talking to him, loving on him and giving him my entire attention.
    I’m glad he passed with sweet and loving words from me. I only knew him for 6 days, but it feels like an entirety.

    Godspeed my sweet new friend.

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