One of the passions I have is caring for rescue dogs, particularly hospice dogs. Every one of these dogs was such a pleasure to know. They taught me so much while they were with us. They touched many lives through the rescue programs, play groups and visits that they made throughout their lives. They may be gone, but will never be forgotten.
Daisy (AKA Jody)
Oh this one hurt. Daisy came from an animal shelter in California. She lived there for 5 years. When her time came up, the shelter staff loved her so much that they drove her all the way here, in a blizzard! Jody was a mess when she got here. Complete kennel stress and no use for people. Over a year or so, she came out of her shell and showed us all how truly special she was. I miss her every day and I'm so thankful that she came into my life. Sweet Daisy. Until we meet again......
Miss Stella was a stray who may have run away from a backyard breeder situation. She was afraid and ran away anytime someone would come near her. Over the years, we gained her trust and she became a very trusted friend. This is my favorite picture or her. It was taken in the dog park as she ran back to us after I called her. She looked so happy! Stella died very suddenly, probably from a stroke. She was Whiskey's best friend and he misses her. We will see you soon, Stella.
Emma came to us from a shelter in California. She was left in the overnight holding cage and was scared and confused. She fit right in with the family and when she wasn't on my lap, she was terrorizing the other dogs or hording their toys. She was more of a ranch dog than the big dogs and loved to ride shotgun on the Gator. Emma developed congestive heart failure and died warm in her bed. I hope the same for all of our friends. Sleep well, Emma.
Grover was the first dog that taught me there is nothing better than a trained dog. I had many dogs in the past, but Grover was a dog that did his own thing. No amount of training or training tools slowed him down. He was the classic out-out-of-control hound. He would say hello by getting right into your face and bellowing the hound bay at the top of his lungs. He was a big, loud boy, but no one was ever afraid of him. The neighborhood kids all loved him. One of the neighbor's kid's first words was "no Grover". He lived until he was about 10 years old and after he died, I swore I would never have an untrained dog again. He started me down the path of understanding the real meaning of dog training and who dog trainers are.
RIP old Grover. You were something to see.
We fostered Xenia from a rescue group in Southern California. Xenia had cancer in her hind leg and was in severe pain. She needed a safe, warm place to be comfortable during her last days. We found a local veterinarian who suggested that we try to amputate the cancerous leg and see how she does with movement and pain. She did amazing. She was with us for another year, almost to the day of the surgery before she crossed the bridge. She was an inspiration to many amputees who she encountered during her walks and play groups. She was a very stoic and noble girl.
Jenkins was a crabby old man who we fostered through the local animal shelter. He had a multitude of medical problems including arthritis and chronic infected and damaged ears. He was also in severe pain. Our veterinarian opened up his ear canals and a week after surgery, he was pain free for probably the first time in a very long time. This picture was when he was looking his most dapper. He had gained probably 40 pounds and was feeling fine. He was with us for about a year before he died. Always a gentleman.
Pete came to live with us as a very young man at the age of 12 weeks. His first week was spent living out of the back of a car due to a flooding and mudslide disaster that hit the small town we were living in at the time. I was on the local all volunteer fire department and was at the fire house for a several days after the storm hit. Pete stayed with a neighbor, who we hardly knew, the night the storm hit. When we came back for him the next day, the neighbor had fallen in love with him, even sleeping with him in her bed. Our neighbor, Jutka was the first friend that Pete introduced us to. Jutka is a great friend still today. Pete was the first dog who made me believe that dogs have feelings and a soul. Pete was the most loving dog I had ever met. When friends would come to the house, he would climb in their lap and lay his head on their chest and give them the most loving look. I don't believe there will ever be a more loving dog than Pete. He was a great friend to everyone who knew him.
Rex was pulled from a local shelter as an old man. I saw him in his kennel howling and just so agitated. I asked the kennel staff about him and they thought that he was getting some dementia, also known as dog sundowners. He was not doing well in the kennel environment. We did a cat check with him, of which he could care less, and brought him home. This picture is his first night home. The neighbor kids loved when we brought a new dog home and there was always a competition for who would get to name them. The young man next door picked Rex. It was perfect. He was a huge, noble dog. Rex was happy to lay in front of the fireplace and just be. He was with us for about 4 months before he crossed the bridge. This dog needed a lot of one-on-one care for his dementia. On some nights, he would be up all night pacing and whining. We spent many nights sleeping on the floor with him as it seemed to calm him down. Fostering an animal can be a lot of work, but we find that it is well worth it. Especially for the old guys who would have probably lived out the rest of their days in the shelter environment. Bringing Rex home mattered to Rex, and that's all that mattered to us.