Here at A&F, our hearts are devoted to saving senior dogs and providing them with love for all the rest of their golden years. We prioritize pulling senior pups from euthanasia lists around the country and are always in need of more hospice fosters and adopters. Those homes who make room in their hearts for hospice animals are truly one-of-a-kind and we are eternally grateful to everyone who cares for our hospice seniors. Please take a look at all our hospice animals below:
A message from our founder on hospice fostering…
“I was reading today about when to say goodbye. I’m not a big reader, unless it’s for work but when it comes to making the decision I never really know and once it is done I always second guess and ache for what once was and never will be again, even when what it used to be wasn’t good, for my dog or cat, or for me.
“Walking into a vet with my friend, my family member and walking out with just a leash or their collar is one of the worst walks in the world, especially if you are making the decision. What I read today I shared with a friend.
“Look at the 5 H’s and 2 M’s.
“Hurt, hunger, hydration, hygiene and happiness
“Mobility and More (more good days than bad days)
“Then give a score on scale 1 to 10. If 5 or higher on majority then your heart can likely justify continuing on, fighting the good fight, if it’s less than likely they are suffering. I don’t know if Paula even got to a 3 on half of them and when I saw those 7 simple words I knew it was time.
“I remember listening to a vet say one of the most beautiful moments is when an owner gives their dog peace, that euthanasia isn’t the worst part of being a vet but the best, because they released from the pain. I know in my heart that’s true and even when I know Heaven is better I still fight letting go. Those words are always a good reminder and sometimes comforting to hear but never take away the emptiness of walking into a house and staring at a bed where they no longer lay, see their hair spread across the floor, looking at their dog bowl, or even with a house full of other animals feeling the ever present silence of their absence. That pain lingers until it softens and life continues.
“Paula was one of the most gentle souls I’ve ever know but she didn’t look for love in anyone, she did accept it at times but didn’t need it. I debated for weeks about sharing my struggles with Paula and Bluebelle because it’s hard to share if you don’t know if you’re good enough, or loving them enough, or the best home for them, or was I just tired. I don’t really know what her life was like before me and that’s ok. She greeted every soul with kindness. Bluebell attacked her two days ago, she’s never done that before and then Bluebelle had one of the worst nights pacing last night in four months. I think she knew. An animal communicator shared that animals come to this earth and their soul has already predetermined their death, where, when, how, even if we are the ones to make the decision. She said when we truly understand that they are here to teach us, with lessons for our soul to grow then we will understand that there is no guilt, or shame with when the right time is or how our pets die. It’s a hard thought to believe but a part of me believes its true. I know every soul on this earth is here to learn, to grow, and to simply love…
“As we entered the room Paula leaned into me, she has never done that before. I held her head in my hands, pressed my face to hers and as the tears washed across her light brown eyebrows I told her she was beautiful. I stroked her distended belly with her heart racing and told her Heaven would be better. She sat down next to me and put her head in my lap as we listened to classical music we just sat together. I knew she loved me even though I had tried my best to love her in a way I didn’t know how ever before, at a distance, on her terms, and in her time.
“She fell asleep in my arms and slipped away to heaven. I could’ve stayed there forever there was so much peace in that little dark room with my very strinky but very beautiful old friend who taught me so much about love I’ve never known. I don’t stay long after they pass because I know their soul is not there, but I stayed a little longer this time, she was so hard to leave because we waited so long to connect and the that was it, it was over.
“I came home to a quiet house but Bluebelle and Josie were sleeping side by side and then when I opened the door to go outside Bluebelle ran out and romped around the yard and rolled in the grass on her back (that was Paula’s thing and moments of joy) I’ve actually never seen Bluebelle do that before and maybe I just never paid attention but for a moment Bluebelle looked happy and she hasn’t been happy here in a while.
“I often times get lost when writing my random thoughts in these very long posts but I think there will always be reasons we’ll never understand until we’re with our animals and God as to why and how they pass, but I hope, somehow, in some way and some day I won’t wait until my friend is dying to understand that love comes in different forms of expression. Paula took a drastic turn over the last few days with her health, I don’t know if she waited until I shared how hard things were with them to say it’s time, but she was no where near as difficult as Bluebelle so I guess God is giving me a second chance, so for Paula, for you, I promise to keep an open heart and take it one day at a time, even in our river of pee house, our hysterical night time pacing and panting and outdoor screaming, everyday is a new beginning.
“I love you Paula, thank you for one of the most special, peaceful and beautiful goodbyes I’ve ever had.” ~ Jen