White Dog read over my shoulder and said, "Wow! That is pretty progressive for Albuquerque. Who would have thought?" It seems our Animal Welfare Department has a brand new program to provide Hospice or Palliative Care to pets that come through their doors. Based on the principle that death is a part of life and can be dignified, the goal is to ensure a peaceful end of life experience. The dogs and cats chosen to be part of the program are placed in foster care and provided for for the rest of their lives.
I was pretty impressed. Especially since our shelter system is no a no-kill one and has never shown much initiative in doing things differently from the same old ways.
This information came to us with a reason to share. A fellow blogger in my community knows of the White Dog Army and is involved as a volunteer at the Shelter. She wrote asking if we know anyone who might be interested in participating in this new Hospice Program to help a 17-year-old Eskies girl who had been surrendered by her family because she was becoming too much work to care for.
GGGGGGRRRRRRRR...White Dog and I spit simultaneously.
More info, please...we sent back.
She is really not in good shape, was the response. In fact, we debated about whether she was a good candidate for this program because of it. White Dog was reaching for the phone to call Steve.
Seems this 17 year-old has arthritis, is deaf, is sometimes incontinent and her kidney values are slightly up...oh, and she is a bit overweight. "Yeah," White Dog said, "in other words, she is old." Well, she is. At 17, she is 90-something in human years. "Who the heck abandons a 90 year old lady because she needs a little extra attention," was Steve's response as WD and I shared what we had learned.
We certainly know about senior pups and their problems. And about American Eskimo Dogs. And about the power of a loving home.
Did we know anyone? What do you think? Shannon sent our interest to the Program Coordinator first thing this morning and let us know it might take a bit before we heard back. Less than an hour later, she sent me Shelly's phone number with a request to call.
We had a lovely conversation and she sent over the foster questionnaire and contract. We will fill them out tonight and send them back to be processed. Paws crossed and with any luck, we will be approved and on Friday we will bring Daisy home to White Dog Ranch.
Although she is deaf, we want to keep the spirit of her name, but Candace's little girl is already the Daisy in our Pack so we must come up with a close sounding alternative. The WDA is busily at work googling as I type this to find acceptable choices. We have much to do to make room for a new member of the White Dog Army...as Puff, excited at the prospect of having a little old lady peer, reminds us.