Thursday, May 23, 2013

Foster Ducky

Looking back, I couldn't even remember how Ducky came to be with us.   So I checked on my text message history and now its all coming back to me!

Back in April, the director at my shelter was over at the other shelter in town, talking to them about what dogs we could bring to our shelter.  We take animals from them whenever we have the room and the resources.

Tamara (the director), sent me a text message.  It was this picture.  She asked if I thought Amanda (a friend of mine who owns another local rescue) could help.
This old guy had come into their shelter as a stray, his owners never came to claim him.  He was about 15 years old and blind in one eye.  I didn't think Amanda could help him, she specializes in special need rescue and this old guy was really just at the end of his days.  He needed a quiet place where he could rest until it was his time to move on to the next world.

I texted the picture to Trevor.  Within a day, I was on the phone with the shelter.  They had mentioned to Tamara that they wished they had more hospice fosters.  We could do that.  I knew this guy probably wouldn't be adoptable, but he didn't need to die in the shelter.

The following day, I went to meet him.  Its always funny that they ask me to come meet the dogs or cats we offer to take. There really isn't anything that could happen that would make us not take them once we met them. This guy was no different.   Pretty soon I was on my way home with an old, blind, confused dog in my car.

His tail looked like a platapus, so we named him Ducky.  The shelter signed him over to us.  They weren't going to list him for adoption and so it just made more sense to make him ours.

Ducky came home with us and was immediately part of the family.  He was very confused about where he was and why.  He is just an old guy, trying to figure out where the heck his family is. I honestly didn't expect him to make it more than a week.

After he was home with us, I did what I do with all our pets in distress....I took him to see Dr Hope Valentine, our chinese medicine vet.  She did some acupuncture on him and told me that she honestly didn't think he had much time.
Here we are, a month later, and Ducky (we call him Poppy) is still alive and kicking.  He seems to have realized that this is home.  He is so old.  He hobbles around, sometimes he falls over.  He is very stiff.  Except when its time to eat. This guy will run and jump and spin around when the food comes out.  He knows which door leads outside and will sit there when he wants out.  He knows that door leads back in too and will sit at the door and scratch at it when he wants in.

All Poppy wants to do is snuggle, relax and sleep.  He does a lot of pacing. That is getting less as time passes. I used to hear him pacing around and then it would be quiet, I would find him sitting down, just staring off into the distance, contemplating life.

At night, he snuggles on the couch with me for a bit and then goes into his kennel and sleeps.  He is such an odd little guy and of course we love him with all our hearts.

We have no idea what his past has been. I don't understand how your 15 year old dog goes missing and you don't look for him.  But I can't speak to any of his circumstances. If he didn't have a good life, we'll make up for that now.  If he had a good life and a family that loved him (and didn't come looking for him for some reason), then we'll keep him safe and be with him in the end.  That is what I would want for any of our animals if we couldn't be with them at the end,.

I don't know how much time he has. I make time every day to pick him up and hold him close.  He seems to really enjoy that. He is stiff at first and then he relaxes into my arms and rests his head on my shoulder.  Its then when I know that he is grateful for the kindness of strangers.  Strangers who are now his family.
Thousands of animals die in shelters every day.  Some are young, some are old.  They all deserve a different fate, but most don't get it.  I wish we could do this for every single one of them...but we can' we do it for Poppy.

1 comment:

Hyacinth said...

Ducky is so adorable...I used to have an ancient kitty who would sit and stare off in the distance for a long time...I always thought he was receiving instructions from his spaceship :)

So happy that Poppy/Ducky has found a happy home filled with love for the rest of his days.