R.I.P Big, LA Homeless

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Last Wednesday we brought you an update on Big, the 11-year-old mixed retriever/terrier from Los Angeles, who was in need of a specialist after he lost all functions on his legs.

His owner, Charles Gilliam, a former homeless man, reached out to Cause4Paws because his dog needed help.

The organization planned to have Big seen by a specialist to determine what was wrong and what could be done to help the loyal pet. A donation fund was started and $606 were collected. Unfortunately, nothing could be done to save Big.

Charles Gilliam saying goodbye to his best friend Big. Photo Credit: Charles Gilliam/submitted via Jasmin Dustin - Cause4Paws.
Charles Gilliam saying goodbye to his best friend Big.
Photo Credit: Charles Gilliam/submitted via Jasmin Dustin – Cause4Paws.

 

“[Gilliam and Big] met with the specialist this morning (Jan. 16, 2014),” said Jasmin Dustin from Cause4Paws. “We raised money for Big to go see a vet to see if anything could be done before getting his measurements for his wheelchair. Unfortunately the vet said he was in major pain. Charles made the decision to not be selfish and let him run free to the rainbow bridge.”

The pet owner asked the rescue organization to help give his dog a proper burial because he didn’t want his best friend’s body to become waste. Cause4Paws used the raised funds to pay the specialist and cover the burial costs.

Big at the specialist. Photo Credit: Charles Gilliam/submitted via Jasmin Dustin - Cause4Paws
Big at the specialist.
Photo Credit: Charles Gilliam/submitted via Jasmin Dustin – Cause4Paws

 

“We used the leftover funds raised to have [Big] cremated,” said Dustin. “We asked Charles to pick out something nice for the ashes to go on, so we can pay to have it engraved. We thank you all for traveling this journey with Big and Charles over the past year.”

We are so saddened to know that Big’s journey has ended but we are glad to know that in his last year of life Big received love, not only from his owner, but also from many strangers. When we first reported about Gilliam and Big, they were both homeless and Big was sick. Thanks to Cause4Paws and your support, the bonded pair found a room to live in South LA and Big received the medical help he needed.

Rest in peace Big.

 

4 thoughts on “R.I.P Big, LA Homeless”

  1. I am so sorry for your loss Mr. Gilliam. Big is safe now, beyond the Rainbow Bridge – you did right in helping him leave his pain and cross that bridge, but I know your heart is aching.

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  2. Sry for your loss! Goes to show Animals love you unconditionally! Wish more people had this much GRACE!

    Rest in Peace

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  3. It was so very brave of Charlie to let Big go. I know how terribly hard it is, having had to do it 3x’s in the last year alone. But when you are homeless and your one true friend, the only one you can count on to always be there for you, the one who loves you unconditionally is the one who you are making that choice for, I am sure he must have felt like he was ripping his own heart right out of his chest. I hope he has made some friends through all of this who will be there to comfort him as he struggles to live with the decision he made (although it was the kindest and best one he could) and living on his own after all these years with Big. I know many people will think this is wrong, but I honestly feel he would benefit from another dog. Yes, he is homeless, but he never let his dog go without and there are so many dogs being put to sleep that could have wonderful homes with some of the homeless, as strange as that sounds. Sometimes the only cure to a broken heart is a new love that can act as a bandage until the heart heals itself. Best of luck to you Charlie and I hope you get another dog right away. I think Big would love to know you are being taken care of and that you aren’t tooo lonely. And he is always watching over you, as he plays at the Rainbow Bridge, waiting for the day that you will one day be reunited again.

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    • It actually says “former homeless”. Sometimes the way to honor the loss of a friend is to help another but it does take time. Maybe at some point in the future he will find another companion.

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