They say that when one door closes, another one will open. Perhaps the same can be said of the animals who come into our lives and touch our hearts. For ASPCA Medical Director Jill Pomrantz, the passing of her senior dog, Romeo, paved the way for the adoption of a special needs pup named Morena. Morena and Jill helped each other heal through a difficult time, and now they’re both living a very happy life together. Here is their story.
In 2006, Morena was purchased from a pet store. The Shih Tzu puppy spent eight years with her first family until, in December 2014, they surrendered her to the ASPCA for financial reasons. As is typical of pet store puppies, Morena suffers from a number of chronic health issues that require regular treatment, including dry eyes, for which she needs twice-daily eye drops, and diabetes, for which she needs twice-daily insulin shots. Despite these difficulties, Morena is a love-bug who is fond of everyone she meets. All she needed was an adopter willing to see beyond her special needs to give her a happy home.
In early May, Jill met Morena at the ASPCA Animal Hospital, where she was consulting on her case. “I fell in love with her,” she says. “The vets and I spoke about trying to get her into a foster home to help with the treatment of her diabetes, and I actually made an offhanded comment that I would love to take her but had too many pets.” Jill and her partner, Britta, were already pet-parents three dogs and two cats, all rescues.
But the very next day, something sad happened. Jill and Britta’s dog, Romeo, who was blind and had heart disease, passed away. It was a difficult time. Jill recalls, “A few days after that, still devastated by the loss of Romeo, I was talking to Britta about Morena and her diabetes and the need for a foster home. We already had a diabetic cat, so we knew that it wouldn’t be a big deal to have another diabetic pet.” They decided to foster Morena to help get her diabetes under control so that she could be adopted.
But things don’t always go as planned, and the foster pup quickly became a permanent family member. “From the minute Morena came home, she fit right in with the rest of the crew and made herself at home,” Jill says. She even slept on the couple’s bed the very first night. “After having her for a day, we knew we were likely never going to give her back, and we didn’t.” In June, they made the adoption official.
Jill and Britta kept Morena’s name but also call her “Mo,” and in the months since her adoption, the senior dog has only grown stronger and happier. “She’s so loving and follows us around the apartment,” Jill says. “She’s blind in one eye, but you’d never know it.” And although she will always feel the sadness of her loss, Jill is grateful to Mo’ for helping her heal. “We still miss Romeo very much, but Mo’ has eased the pain.” We’re sure that for this sweet, special Shih Tzu, Jill and Britta have eased the pain, too.
Britta with Mo’, Nilla (Yellow Lab) and Mattie (Chocolate Lab)