UPDATE: After a long life of neglect, Lenny the sweet pit bull recently adopted by Sir Patrick Stewart and his wife, Sunny Ozell, has crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. A few days ago, this beautiful little pit began showing signs of what was believed to be kennel cough. Like any loving parents would do, Leonard (affectionately called Lenny) was rushed to one of Los Angeles’ top veterinary clinics.
While the doctor wasn’t sure Lenny’s condition was serious, Sunny insisted that pup be monitored and treated with IV fluids because he hadn’t been eating or drinking.
Our sweet senior foster gentleman Leonard is in hospital, getting IV fluids and all the things he needs to support him through his illness…which we haven’t quite figured out yet.
Lenny was soon diagnosed with pneumonia. The situation only got worse as Lenny’s systems began shutting down. Lenny was transferred to an intensive care unit, and every means available was used to restore him to health. Normally treatable, Lenny’s prognosis was worsened by the fact that he had led such a difficult life prior to coming to his new loving forever home.
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Our sweet senior foster gentleman Leonard is in hospital, getting IV fluids and all the things he needs to support him through his illness…which we haven’t quite figured out yet. Please don’t volunteer advice or suggestions…he’s getting the best professional medical care possible. He’ll be back lounging on our couch as soon as he’s ready…know we’re doing everything for him! ❤️ (I’m going to visit Lenny tomorrow and kiss his noggin so so much.) #fosteringsaveslives #adoptdontshop #pitbullsarefamily #pitbullsarelove
Sadly, within a few days it was apparent that sweet, sweet Lenny was suffering and would not recover. The difficult decision was made to simply keep him comfortable as he quietly passed.
Sunny said, “It breaks my heart to have to share this news—we eased our sweet boy Lenny over the Rainbow Bridge yesterday. There’s a reason folks use this euphemism…I didn’t ‘put him down’. I lifted him up out of his pain, I let him go, and I’ll hold his sweet spirit in my heart.”
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Stewart family in this difficult time. While it is a time of great sadness, our hearts are comforted knowing that Lenny’s final days were filled with so much love and kindness. You can rest easy now, Sweet Prince.
Lenny finally knew love.
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It breaks my heart to have to share this news—we eased our sweet boy Lenny over the Rainbow Bridge yesterday. There’s a reason folks use this euphemism…I didn’t “put him down”. I lifted him up out of his pain, I let him go, and I’ll hold his sweet spirit in my heart. The angels at @wagsandwalks had only *just rescued Lenny from a high kill shelter about 8 days ago, and after having Lenny in our home for only 48hrs, Monday morning came and what everyone thought was just kennel cough was clearly something more serious. I rushed him to an excellent vet, who wasn’t certain he needed to be hospitalized, but as Lenny hadn’t eaten or drunk water that morning, I insisted on him being admitted and given IV fluids. Come Tuesday, pneumonia was diagnosed. Yesterday, his condition worsened, and he was transferred to what is essentially a doggie intensive care unit. I won’t detail all we did for him medically, but know that we threw every resource and compassionate intervention his way. The oxygen he was receiving wasn’t meeting his needs, but additional concerns arose as well. There were signs of bowel obstruction, a heart murmur, and his blood pressure was haywire. In short, he was undergoing multi-system failure. If Lenny had lived the life he deserved, he may have been strong enough to endure pneumonia. But at ten years old, after a life of neglect, his body didn’t have the resources to fight. Covered in thick callouses, and repeat fly strikes on his mutilated ears, it was clear Lenny had lived outside, probably on concrete…which would explain why he was so clearly delighted by anything soft. He was particularly partial to naps in Patrick’s favorite chair, and I’ll always remember him trotting happily towards it after his breakfast. At about 4:30pm yesterday, Lenny’s doctor called me to let me know he believed it was time to let our sweet pup go. Thanks to LA traffic, I arrived at the hospital at about 5:10. I got down on the floor of Lenny’s space, and met his sweet old cataracts gaze. I kissed his big gorgeous mocha noggin, scratched softly behind his ears, and stroked his velvet snoot. I told him over and over how loved he was, and I held his paw. (continued)
Sir Patrick Stewart has accomplished a lot in his life. He has over 150 acting credits to his name. He was granted a knighthood by Queen Elizabeth II. He carried the torch as part of the opening ceremony of the Olympics in 2012. But of all his accomplishments and honors, he says that fostering Pit Bulls has been one of the best things he’s ever done.
Stewart and wife, singer Sunny Ozell, welcomed their newest foster, Lenny, into their home just this weekend! He posted this adorable photo of the three of them together Sunday afternoon. They look so happy to have him, and he looks just thrilled to be there!
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Please meet our new foster dog, Leonard. “Lenny” for short. He is a gentle gentleman, and @madameozell and I are smitten already. At roughly ten years of age, Leonard is our first “senior” foster. We know very little about his life, except that it was one full of neglect. To be able to give this handsome fellow a soft bed, and all the cuddles and kisses he asks for…well, it’s just such a privilege. Thank you as always to @wagsandwalks for bringing another angel into our lives. #adoptdontshop #fosteringsaveslives #pitbullsarefamily #pitbullsarelove
The couple has fostered two other Pit Bulls for their favorite shelter, Wags and Walks. First was Ginger – she was in their home for less than a year but left a mark that will last a lifetime! Stewart and Ozell fell in love with their Ginger girl right away, and she lived the spoiled life of a loved pet who was doted on by her parents.
They were excited to fail their very first foster, but were sadly unable to due to what Stewart refers to as “draconian breed specific legislation in the UK.” Still, for they spent nine months full of happy walkies and sloppy kisses together until it was time to say goodbye.
Ginger charmed several people, and had a lot of applications for adoption, but found her forever home with the owner of Crossroad Pet Resort, who helped her heal from a surgery. Stewart and Ozell keep in touch and get to visit with Ginger from time to time! (Follow her at @missgingergirl on Instagram!)
Their next foster was a pretty pocket-pitty with cropped ears and a sweet smile named Emma. She was found as a stray, but was clearly used for breeding before entering the shelter.
Her weakened abdominal muscles led to a complication after a routine spay, and she had to have three emergency surgeries while with Wags and Walks. She became ready to adopt earlier this year, but waited for months without finding a home.
Then, Stewart and Ozell welcomed her in. She spent a lot of time giving kisses and taking naps with her foster family, and just two weeks later found her forever home!
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Miss Emma has a meet and greet today with a potential forever family. I’m so excited for her to have everything she deserves…in the short two weeks that she’s been with us, she has taught us so much. Every foster doggie opens your heart just a little more, reminding you that the human capacity for love is infinite and boundless. Thank you again to @wagsandwalks for giving us this opportunity. #adoptdontshop #fosteringsaveslives #pitbullsarelove #pitbullsarefamily
Lenny is their third foster, and it’s clear that cupid has already hit the couple pretty hard!
“At roughly ten years of age, Leonard is our first ‘senior’ foster. We know very little about his life, except that it was one full of neglect. To be able to give this handsome fellow a soft bed, and all the cuddles and kisses he asks for…well, it’s just such a privilege.”
Lenny looks like he’s in love, too!
Thanks to their work as foster parents and activism with the ASPCA and Wags and Walks, Sir Patrick Stewart and Sunny Ozell have been able to show what wonderful pets Pit Bulls are.
They’ve also used their large social media following to give a voice to a breed that needs it more than any other. They have raised awareness for unfair issues that affect Pit Bulls most, like low adoption rates, breed-specific legislation, and dog fighting.
And if they get a few sweet kisses out of it, what could it hurt?
You can help their favorite shelter and the pets in it by following Wags and Walks on Facebook and donating, or sharing their posts with friends!
Featured Photo: @sirpatstew/Instagram