Success stories for seniors come in a variety of scenarios. The most common success story is to say that a senior dog in a shelter or rescue receives veterinary and/or dental care from Lizzy’s Fund and is placed in a loving forever home. However for many aged canines the road to their forever home is not so quick or easy. There are instances that some older dogs have been neglected, abused, or abandoned and require more extensive and costly care. Lizzy’s Fund is proud to help in these cases to ensure that the best traditional or alternative care is provided to get them on the road to a healthy, happy place and placed with a loving family. The last type of success story is one where a senior needs help to live whatever time they have left in a comfortable environment with a loving support system. What traditionally may be called hospice care, Lizzy’s Fund considers this care as a success when an animal is loved, cared for, and its end of life process is accompanied by a loving environment rather than languishing in a shelter.
Mabel, aged 12 and a Chihuahua mix, was found abandoned, in poor health, and probably abused. Barely able to walk very far, she often had to be carried. After being evaluated by a Lizzy Fund veterinarian who ran lab and x-ray tests, a treatment plan was established which included laser and chiropractic care along with some maintenance pain meds. All of this care and treatment was paid for by Lizzy’s Fund as was her adoption fee when her foster family decided to make Mabel a valued, permanent member of their family. We are happy to report that after six months of treatment, Mabel is thriving and enjoys doing all the things that average, normal dogs enjoy. Her companionship is treasured by her family. She has made a remarkable recovery and even tries to chase rabbits!
Misha’s Journey (as told by Mary, Misha’s foster Mom)
Misha came from a neglect and hoarding situation. She arrived underweight with crusted eyes, ear infections, tumors and skin infections that had robbed her of most of her coat. Only a few tufts of long hair remained to show that Misha had once been a gorgeous, rough-coated Scotch Collie mix. Neglect showed in the 1 ½ inch toenails hampering her ability to walk. Also, it appears that she has some hearing issues.
So began Misha’s journey. Her immune system was so compromised that the only thing that could be done was a toenail clipping and a bath. It was off to foster care to gain some strength and learn what a home can be. Lonely and lost, Misha took little comfort in the strangers in her foster home; she howled and searched for her old friends.
She found a dog bed that was just perfect for her. Her foster pals were willing to cede the bed and Misha found some sheepskin rugs that were so comfortable. And the food! Kibble with broth and meat on top, wow! And it came twice a day, no starving or losing breakfast to another dog. It was not as scary as first. And hey, there was even a bite of bacon after breakfast or a jerky treat.
It has taken awhile to get used to being petted without flinching. Now, it is normal to awaken to a soft stroke or an ear scratch. The two legs just walk by and pet her for no reason, and guess what, Misha likes to be petted.
Slowly, the various courses of medications have been completed. The skin infection has subsided and the ear infections have gone. She will probably never get a full coat and have bald spots where the infection was most severe. Misha has some hearing left so you can get her attention. Her appetite is good and she has learned the treat schedule from her foster buddies. Her biggest leap so far is the leap to a dog. She no longer is the careful, internal dog but a quiet, outgoing dog who is glad to see the two legs come home, and will line up with the rest to get a treat.
Misha’s next vet visit will determine if she has made enough progress to begin the process that will start her on the way to her “furever” home. If Misha is ready, she will receive her basic vaccination and a blood test to determine if she can have a dental. Everyone, keep your fingers crossed. Misha is a sweetheart of a dog. She has the heart of Lassie; helping her new dog friends get help to go outside and get help.
Chance was a dog rescued from a hoarding situation. Severely malnourished, he was tied to a doghouse and received no care for his medical needs. Although his future seemed uncertain, it was important for Chance to have a loving, comfortable life for his remaining years. He certainly found that…
CHANCES STORY (AS TOLD BY HIS FOSTER MOM)
After having just lost our oldest furry family member in November, we didn’t initially think we would be up for the challenge of being a permanent foster home for a terminally ill, elderly dog. We had some pretty intense family discussions before we decided to take a chance on “Chance”.
Granted, there have been visits to the vet, and medications, and monitoring Chance’s health but there have also been kisses, and snuggles, and tail wags. Would we do anything different for someone we love? There have been moments of concern and of fear not knowing how much time we may have and what lies ahead but isn’t that true about anyone significant in our lives? From the very first day, Chance has challenged each of us to move out of our circle of grief and to embrace the love and the joy and the sense of purpose and fulfillment we experience caring for a special needs dog. He has taught my kids lessons they will remember for the rest of their lives about the value of life and about stretching and giving of yourself even when it isn’t easy and about loving someone with all your heart even though you know your time with them will be short and their loss with leave a permanent mark on your soul. When Chance leans against my son’s leg for just one more ear scratch, and when he follows my daughter so closely she nearly trips over him, and when he sticks his head in the fridge while I’m trying to prepare dinner and won’t take it out again till he’s thoroughly investigated every smell in there, and for the too many other things to list, I am reminded of how truly lucky WE, Chance’s people family all are that we said “yes”.
Sally was rescued after being abandoned. She had a papilloma tumor in her eye that required surgery. Lizzy’s Fund paid for this surgery to save Sally’s eyesight.