It is with a heavy heart I tell you all that our cocker spaniel son Banjo Madaras has died. He had a seizure (which lasted about a minute or so) and then died in my husband's arms.
I want to thank the many kind people who wished Banjo well and those who contributed towards his well-being these past few weeks. Your caring allowed him to be much more comfortable.
Banjo was the first animal I got from a kill shelter to start rescue work. He came into the shelter on a pole stick and was skin and bones. I kept him when it was very obvious that he had fear aggression.
This gorgeous animal, who looked and acted more like a baby lion, was stubborn and not very affectionate. As a matter of fact, the only time he kissed anybody was the minute I met and rescued him; when he met my husband the next day after his neutering; and when my mother visited and she said good night to everyone, with Banjo leaning up to kiss her. He tried to bite all other visitors, including my previous boss, his daughter and a reporter who came to the house to write an article about my cocker rescue work many years ago.
My husband came up with the saying that Banjo was "his own man" and he certainly lived up to that. He became panicked many years before when he went totally blind from cataracts. I had a very expensive surgery done to replace both lenses and he was able to see for about another 5 years. I was very happy that I did that, even though I still have the debt - LOL.
I really enjoyed his howling at the fire sirens and that's when we realized that he most likely had some hound doggie in him. I wanted to have the DNA test performed, but he would never let anybody into his mouth for more than a few seconds. I realized when he stopped howling at those sirens that he went deaf several years ago.
Banjo was most likely very close to 17 years old! What animal lives that long? He was turned into the shelter when he was 5 and we had him since 2004. I was honored to have been his Mom and feel a huge gap in my heart and soul without him physically being here. I know that he lasted way longer than so many other animals and feel joy that he was my son for such a very long time.
On a personal note, I wish to thank the thousands of "Friends" on my list for their daily efforts to "Share" pictures and postings of poor animals who've wound up in kill shelters through no fault of their own. Once someone is exposed to the horrors of what goes on with animals in shelters, they unfortunately can't ever get the pictures of the ones who didn't make it out of their minds, souls and hearts.
I don't regret the billions of hours I spent promoting and marketing the Moreno Valley Animal Shelter in Southern California and its thousands of pets, but the sadness and injustice of unnecessary deaths due to the shelter's actions and non-actions won't unfortunately ever go away.
I had to stop the rescue and networking of shelter animals completely several weeks ago so I can focus on obtaining a paying job. I unfortunately haven't had any luck so far. I've stopped updating all of my Facebook pages with shelter-related postings and asked that nobody tag, comment, send items to "Share" or add me to new groups. I hope that you understand.
I have left my petition open though at:
I've also left the PayPal account open, should anyone feel that they'd like to help us at: email@example.com
Your compassion and kind actions have meant the world to me, as I go through this current most difficult time of my life.