Tag Archives: fostering

Puppy Mill Rescue

One of my darling girl dogs is my foster Pippa. The rescue group calls her by a different name but as she never had a name …. Well Pippa is her name.

Pip is considered a hospice dog because she has a collapsing trachea. Everything about Pippa is a victory. She was a puppy mill rescue. I am her only foster but the veterinarian clinic that works with the pug rescue staff is marvelous. They told me how to care for her health issues and that she was skittish.

Yes, this girl had never been socialized nor had any loving human contact. Her feet are splayed because of her life in a cage. She doesn’t have any teeth.

I know the vet gave good medical care and was patient with her, but the psychological damage is what a foster or adopter need to manager.

Rescues cases are all different. On a great blog I follow http://caninepsychologyschool.wordpress.com/ by lisatenzindolma gives an update on a rescue Living with a Feral Dog: Charlie, 6 Months On Her blog and her excellent work are worthy of a look.

Just like people animals will have emotional, psychological scars. Learning to live in a house with a human and other dogs has taken time. She had no concept of what to expect or what was expected. Every step and everyday is a victory.

Pippa has been adaptable and skittishly loving. Now she knows I am her family and has come so very far. I believe she feels safe and loved.

Pippa takes joy in her new life. An example, when she saw one of the boy dogs scuffing his feet behind him after eliminating, she immediately copied. That girl will scuff and scuff and look so pleased.

Pippa’s collapsing trachea is getting worse even though she is on medicine. She has trouble breathing, she hacks and struggles. Seeing her struggle is painful. And my job is to love her and try to keep her calm. Anxiety makes her breathing problem worse, she gets scared because she can’t breathe – it is a vicious cycle.

I wouldn’t trade a minute of my time with Pippa.

If you are thinking of fostering, rescue please know that many of these animals have had a life of despair and heartache. You must be willing to make a commitment. And as with any animal in your care they are a lifetime responsibility. Be kind and patient and loving.

Joy will come to you multiplied.

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Filed under Animal Welfare, Animals, Dogs

In Memory of Sophie

    In memory of my sweet Sophie.

One year ago yesterday I had to take Sophie to the vet and let her go. Having to say goodbye to your loved one is always torturous and painful. I am crying as I write this post. I miss my Sophie.

Sophie came to me through DFW Pug Rescue.  I volunteered several years ago to be a foster. I am glad to care for dogs that have special needs. I will foster the hospice dogs so they can have someone love them, care for them and won’t be alone in their final days.

Fostering hospice dogs is both wonderful and painful. It is a pleasure to have these dogs in my life. To be able to love and be loved by them. They have been abandoned and deserve better. The pain of losing your cherished family member is the most difficult thing you can go through. But I foster anyway because these dogs are all worthy of love and compassion and care.

Sophie was what we call a ‘foster failure’. Sometimes rescue groups must make difficult decisions concerning where money is best spent.  So I adopted Sophie.

Sophie had so many challenges. She was missing an eye, she had a club foot and luxating patellas. She didn’t have any teeth and shortly after she came to my home she had to had eye flap surgery for an eye ulcer.

Sophie was a trooper. She was joyful and loving. When she got excited she would spin in circles because her club foot acted like a paddle. Through all these challenges she was sweet, loving, accepting and carried on.  Sophie didn’t think she was a hospice dog or a special needs dog. She was with me for almost three years.

Then Sophie started limping, keeping weight off her one good leg.  I looked for stickers and bites, she didn’t respond to me feeling her leg.  So off to the vet. After exams and an x-ray he said she had a fracture at her shoulder joint.  Next we went to a surgery specialist.

The specialist did not have good news.  Sophie had a cancer in her lungs and bones. This was inoperable. Her pain was increasing at a fast rate.  So I took Sophie home with pain pills and kept her as comfortable as possible.

It is difficult to make the choice that ‘now’ is the time to let the dog die, euthanasia. I knew I had to let Soph go when she would take her cheese covered pain pill. I put it in her mouth a said please.  I could see her struggle to swallow for me. Still being the wonderful girl.

I wish my dogs could tell me, “I’m ready now, please let me go.” But the burden is mine as their caregiver. They are my family and my responsibility.

In memory of Sophie, I started this blog to share the joys of animals, the emotional life of animals and to bring light to animal rights and causes.

And To Honor Sophie and all the dogs I have loved and lost.


Filed under Animal Welfare, Animals, Dogs