One week ago, Karen Erskine rested her tear streaked cheek against her Australian shepherds' heads as both Buck and Bill were euthanized after a Manatee court judge deemed the dogs dangerous and ordered they be destroyed.
One week ago, over two years of legal battles, ended with an indescribable emotional pain and sorrow, as Karen walked down the endless hall of the building, where the dogs took their final breaths. Flanked by Karen's veterinarian and technician, the only solace she had were the few moments of time to say goodbye and the promise the dogs would suffer no pain or anxiety.
On December 24, 2012, while visiting at a friend's house, the two Australian shepherds, Buck and Bill broke through a window and bit a 13-year-old boy, Justin Curtis, who had been riding his bicycle in the middle of the street. No one knows why the dogs acted as they did, however a rash of break-ins in the neighborhood or someone trying to enter the property may have caused the out of character behavior of the dogs.
The young teen recovered .
Despite over 15,000 "likes" on the Facebook page, Save Buck & Bill From Being Killed, hundreds of emails, letters, rallies, and vigils to send Buck, 10, and Bill, 6, to a sanctuary as a last resort, no amount of compromises or arguments proving the dogs had never displayed any aggressive behavior in their lives before this incident, could convince the Manatee County officials to spare their lives.
And today, just one week after the deaths of Buck and Bill, their cremains were returned to Karen, even though a judge ruled the bodies of the dogs would be returned intact.
As the raw wounds of the loss of Buck and Bill echo through the community of animal lovers, a spark of hope emerged with the following announcement this afternoon; just one week later:
"Buck and Bill have blessed me with so many gifts, even in their leaving of this world, that I will forever be thankful that I was chosen to lead them on this life's journey.
The last 15 months was a hellish existence for us all, and I will say that they moved more gracefully through it than did I.
I will not talk business here, but major steps forward have been taken since last Thursday toward establishing a non-profit foundation in their honor. I will keep you posted, and we hope that you will remain committed as supporters. I have all the faith that you will...your loving kindness and generosity have told me nothing less than that we are a family moving through a grieving process together. For this I give thanks."
The message was signed by "Buck, Bill, Jack, Lucky, and Karen."
Rest in peace Buck and Bill.
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