Meet Our New Fospice Friend: Richie Bear
Meet Richie. This tiny senior Poodle was saved last month from NYC’s Animal Care Centers through our Fospice program [Foster + Hospice], in collaboration with Looking Glass Animal Rescue. We placed Richie with a devoted home in Jersey City where he eats home-cooked meals and receives tons of attention from his mom and two doggy “brothers.” Richie Bear is 17 years old, and recently became famous on a live Facebook video at BarkBox with Sarah. You go, little Richie!
Thanks to foster mom Mellissa for being incredible. Despite Richie’s advanced age, cancer, and Cushing’s Disease (hair loss, lethargic, bloated), this little trooper is finding ways to enjoy his retirement. We don’t know anything about his history, and don’t know how much time he has left. But we’re working with his rescue group and foster mom to make his remaining time comfortable and full of love. Richie received a donated bed from Harry Barker, BarkBox subscription, cans of tasty food, and we contributed directly to his veterinary care. He’ll also receive a custom watercolor portrait!
We recently arranged for Richie to get a private photo shoot with Chloe Kardoggian, shot by Chloe’s mom Dorie. Dorie and Chloe are big supporters of our organization, Fospice being close to their hearts since Chloe is a senior gal herself. Dorie even designed our new Foster Dog Manual! It’s important that our Fospice dogs and their caretakers feel special and appreciated, and a photo shoot is one special way we send our support, in the form of a lasting memory that will last forever. View photo shoots for other Fospice dogs: BEAU, GWEN, MAX, MATRIX.
Mellissa tells us why she decided to participate in Fospice:
I have fostered – and continue to foster – for a couple different rescue groups. In the past year, I found myself wanting to foster seniors as they usually have a harder time getting adopted and my dogs seem to like little older dogs! I applied to Fospice when I read a touching post on social media about the program. I thought it was such an amazing act that was so much bigger than one person and I wanted to be a part of something so wonderful.
Tell us about Richie’s personality:
Richie loves to nap on me or one of his brothers, Shorty or Jack and loves to walk outside with the big boys. He really likes just being one of the boys! He loves to be carried and held. I love when I come home and his little hairless tail is wagging because he is just happy to see me!
He is easy going, gentle, curious, and as sweet as they come.
What has been the biggest challenge being a Fospice caretaker so far?
So far, the hardest part of caring for a Fospice dog is watching him experience a long seizure. I felt helpless and didn’t know if my time with Richie was going to be cut short right then and there.
Has anything changed since Richie’s first night with you?
Things with my pack and Richie have definitely changed since the first night he came home. Shorty and Jack weren’t exactly appreciative of curious Richie being in their faces that first night; but now they are brothers, and Richie often leans and lays on them and follows them around outside. It’s amazing how much Ritchie has changed.
Since Richie first came home one month ago, he could barely walk two feet without falling. Now, I carry him to a patch of grass and just watch him go! He is so much stronger, happier and he has even gained a little weight! The vet says he is doing great. I don’t know how long he will be here but he will be loved for however long he is here.
Photos by Dorie Herman, for Foster Dogs Inc.