Thanks to Maddie’s Fund, they help MHCR provide medical care for permanent fosters, including some of Michelle’s past and current hospice foster dogs.
On the day I write this, I currently have six dogs here. Runway, a Shih Tzu, Cody, a Shih Tzu, and Dude, a Shih Tzu, Kelly, a Shih Tzu, Vee, a Shih Tzu, Hellen a Shih Tzu are all blind dogs. They are up for comfort/hospice care, most generously helped by a Maddie’s Fund Grant.
For this post, I want to describe a day in the life of a hospice or permanent foster caretaker. Hospice or permanent fostering provides a home and care for homeless dogs who are very old or very ill and will not be placed for adoption. Some of these dogs may also have mobility problems, be incontinent, or have difficulty eating. And while it may be difficult and truly heartbreaking at times, loving and caring for these special dogs means the world to me.
My days start out very early, as I wake up around 4:30 or 5:00 am and head to check on them. Vee potties around then, and I try to catch her as quickly as possible so that she doesn't potty in her bed.
During the winter, Vee and I were really in sync. Sometimes I'd check on her when she'd just begun to potty! But during the summer, for some reason, I can't seem to catch her in the act. Luckily, I am one of those people who can go back to sleep after waking, and so every morning after cleaning Vee and changing her wee wee pads, I head back to bed and sleep for a few more hours.
After waking a second time, I notice that Helen’s left eye is goopy. Helen has a chronic issue with this eye, and she gets drops everyday.
All of the dogs here are almost all are on eye medication. I had to make a chart that I taped to the kitchen cabinet to help me remember who gets what when. Kelly hates her eye drops, and I feel badly that I have to upset her twice a day.
The dogs sleep much of the day, and I love the quiet time. Dude my new completely blind foster, has been having trouble learning his way around the doggie door, and I’m encouraged today as he finally goes to the door that leads to the yard all by himself! He’s also learning “step” and “watch.” He’s an amazing foster, gentle and respectful to the other dogs here, and has not had one accident in the house. I know how lucky I am to have him here.
Later, I'm lounging around the house in a t-shirt and sweats, and decide to give Cody’s x-pen a good scrubbing. I've got Vee in my arms when a horn honks. Runway and Kelly, begin barking. A lot. I look out the window, and I can see it's the UPS man. I run to put on a sweatshirt. Whoops, I still have Vee in my arms, so I put her down first. Sweatshirt on, I head to the door. Runway and Kelly are continuing their chorus.
Out of the corner of my eye, I see Hellen starting down the stairs. I didn't put the gate on. I run to the stairs to catch Hellen before she goes over the siDe. The doorbell rings again. I tell Runway and Kelly to be quiet (even though inside, I’m always delighted that Kelly, a former hoarder victim, is as feisty as ever), and I finally make it to the door.
OK, what was I doing? Oh, yes, cleaning Cody’s x-pen. I go back to his x-pen. He isn't there. Where's Cody? Panic for a few seconds, but then I remember I put hI’m down elsewhere. There he is!! Cody’s x-pen cleaned, I take a glance in the mirror in the den as I walk by. My sweatshirt is on inside out.
I settle on the couch with a good book, and Vee and Runway join me, one on each side.
Everybody starts to wake up around the time I’d normally come home from shopping, and I’ve worked hard to try to keep them on the same schedule. I take everybody outside. Blind dogs never fail to surprise me with their ability to navigate, and my dogs know my home and yard so well that friends don’t believe they’re blind.
My close friend and colleague calls and asks me to go shopping, but I decide to stay home. Vee will be pooping soon. She tells me I’m the only one she knows who makes plans according to when their dogs poop. I’m sure that’s true.
I give medication every 12 hours, and it’s now dinner time, so evening medication is due. After dinner, we all go out. Their small yard is fenced, and they love to walk around and smell. I sometimes follow Runway around as he is a poop eater, and can amazingly find even the smallest piece that I missed when I was cleaning the yard.
We go out once more before bed, and then head in and get them tucked in for the night. Vee has one tooth and sometimes her tongue doesn’t go where she wants it to, but tonight she is successful in giving me a kiss.
There is no place in the world I would rather be.
Good night, friends!
All of our dogs have either been relinquished by their owners, found as strays, or abandoned at the shelter door. It is irrelevant to us how they have managed to find themselves at these kill shelters in these circumstances. It is only in their best interest that we try in earnest to get them out.
We are committed to doing our part in decreasing the numbers of pups put down in shelters.
Missy’s Haven is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. At this time, however, we receive no funding at all. All of our expenses are paid out of pocket. We would gladly accept any and all donations and contributions.
After being with MHCR for 1 year to date, he found the perfect forever home.
Runway was one of our pups who had to have an eye removed, and slight vision in the other But sure knew how to provide love and request his belly rubs.
We miss you boy!
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