I began rescuing and fostering over 2 years ago, I have fostered litters of kittens with feral moms, bottle babies, people’s thrown away dogs and cats, old, young, healthy and sick but recently I have began fostering hospice and physically disabled dogs. I would like to share my story of 3, now 2 that I currently have. Bennett was my first special needs dog, I ran across him when I was checking on other dogs at our local kill shelter, he was underweight, terrified and had a severe deformity. I was brought to tears upon seeing him, I immediately put by name on his adoption tag, so I could pull asap and get him the vet attention he needed. At our pound, rescues cannot pull until their last day, I did not want to wait for this so I raised the funds to adopt, neuter, fully vet and get his leg looked at. Bennett had a severe birth defect, causing his front leg to look like a mangled chicken wing, no muscle, no extension, no use. WE consulted with 2 vets and decided to amputate. Being only 4 months old his life would be thrown into early arthritis and other problems if we left his leg. Surgery was a bit scary,he did not wake up from the anesthesia at first but after giving him some fluids he eventually woke up. There was a very immediate and apparent difference after the removal, he was walking more upright, running and seemed to have a weight, or leg :), lifted off his shoulder. After 3 1/2 months, 2 surgeries, and lots of love in my house I decided Bennett would stay with me forever!
Mylee was my first hospice dog. She was found in a nearby town after a terrible rain storm. Mylee was so terribly matted and infested with fleas and ticks that the rescue, Amazing GRace, who took her in could not tell if she was male or female, could barely see her eyes, she was a mess. After getting her groomed, they found a massive tumor on her stomach, they immediately took her to their vet for evaluation. The vet described Mylee as a 13 year old shit zu mix, it was decided to remove the tumor to alleviate some of the pain she may be having. While under anesthesia Mylee began having seizures so it was decided to cancel the surgery. Mylee spent 2 months at the local vet, while the rescue tried to figure out a plan for her. I offered to foster Mylee until another rescue or adopter was found. Mylee was quite the little Diva, she bossed everyone around at my house, played with the young ones and the older ones, she loved being part of a pack, as long as she was the leader :). Mylee spent 5 amazing months with me, she began going downhill after a stroke that left her paralyzed in her back end, our vet prescribed prednisone and within one day she was back to her wild self. Sadly we were not out of the woods, 2 weeks later as I was getting ready to leave for work, I went to the kitchen to check on food and water for my crew and noticed a trail of blood, I followed it to my Mylee, I looked her over and realized her tumor had ruptured, I rushed her to the vet but sadly our only option was a intensive surgery that she may not survive and a tough and painful recovery if she did. I decided it was time, time to let her go time to let her be pain free, I held her in my arms while saying good bye. That day is still the toughest day as a animal rescuer, animal lover, and as Mylees owner. We were always looking for a rescue for her but she became my dog, she was and is so amazing and has changed my life.
Lastly I will introduce my crazy tiny maltese hospice dog, LJ. Our rescue page received a message about a small dog abandoned way out of town. We offered to take him in as it was colder at night and there were definitely some predators for a 4lb dog. The second I picked him up I knew there was an issue. His heart felt like it was in a water balloon and it was racing a mile a minute. We took him to our vet the next day and it was confirmed that he had a heart murmur. LJ had a grade 5 out of 6 heart murmur, very severe, our vet informed us that he could honestly drop at any moment. We began a strict regime of medication and he is doing well. He loves to play with my other dogs and you honestly can’t tell he has any health issues, he does get tired quickly but after a little nap he is ready to go. WE have looked for an adopter or another rescue but it is hard for anyone to commit and fall in love with such a sick and at times expensive dog. So LJ will be staying with me as long as he would like.