Sad as it is, some dogs come to us with problems even more serious than homelessness. Sometimes, in the process of rescuing a dog, we realize that their medical issues are more serious than we thought, and we have to decide what is going to be best for them, long-term.
Instead of going onto our Adoptables page, they might be placed into our Compassion Care program where they can live out the rest of their days in the comfort of a family home. HugABull covers all expenses while they are in this program, but the real contribution is made by the families who open up their homes and their hearts, knowing that the dog they are caring for might not be with them for long. These amazing people provide their foster dogs with all the things that they may not have been able to experience prior to coming into HugABull. Some of these dogs have never known a home, a soft bed, yummy treats, or what it means to let loose and be a silly dog. The foster families that are a part of this program are truly our silent heroes, and there are no words that can describe what an important role they play.
Within the Compassion Care program there have been many dogs that have stolen hearts and shown us why our investment is worth every penny. Teya is one of them. In 2011, Teya came into HugABull as a spunky 7-year-old looking for her second chance. Over the course of the following year she would be diagnosed with cancer and given only 6 – 8 months to live. Teya’s foster parents, Krista and Justin, were devastated by the news and immediately decided to commit to fostering her until the end of her days. In the time that they had her, Teya had become part of their family, and when Krista and Justin found out that their family was going to be growing a little bigger, they hoped that Teya would be around long enough to meet their newest addition, a son named Benson. They had five months together as a family of four with memories that will last a lifetime.
Cyrus was another dog who defied expectations. She had been surrendered to the shelter by a very loving owner in crisis, and we wanted her to move straight into an adoptive home that loved her just as much. She was fostered by Angelique and family and was diagnosed with cancer within her foster period. Angelique decided to give her a home for whatever “forever” she had left, and she was another fighter who lived a full two years and had many fantastic adventures along the way.
Gator is currently a part of our Compassion Care program after being diagnosed with terminal cancer soon after coming out of the shelter. A senior citizen who had been a yard dog most of his life, we knew he didn’t have a lot of time, but we were saddened to think that it would be measured in months rather than years. His foster mom Tara stepped
up and committed to not only caring for Gator, but making up a bucket list for him to complete while in her care. Gator has been doing great so far and has been enjoying all of the fun activities that Tara has planned for him.
Not all of the dogs in the Compassion Care program suffer from a terminal illness. Notch was recently placed in our Compassion Care program simply because he had a large number of health problems and special needs. While each was manageable on its own, the laundry list of supplements, feeding instructions, mobility challenges, and other issues limits his adoption prospects. After his latest health scare, we realized that it might be best for him to stay in his foster home, where he has a nice routine and he has been thriving thanks to the great care at Queen’s Park Pet Hospital and donated water therapy sessions at Waterworkz Paw Spa.
It’s never easy to accept a terminal diagnosis, but it was especially tough with Rosie, our newest and youngest Compassion Care dog. At only seven months old she has been diagnosed with advanced heart disease. Even though Rosie is expected to have only a year or so with us, we are committed to ensuring that she gets to experience the joy of being a part of a family for the rest of her days.
We are fortunate to see a lot of happy endings in rescue, but stories like these remind us that a happy ending is defined differently for each dog. Instead of mourning their shortened time with us, we take a lesson from these resilience creatures and take joy in every moment they are here.
For all of our fosters, donors, and supporters – please know that your support helps make this incredible program possible. Thank you, and we hope to continue sharing Gator, Notch and Rosie’s adventures over the coming months.