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Introducing Willow the Fospice Puppy

Willow is one of our latest Fospice recipients. Saved by In Our Hands Rescue from a shelter along with her brother, Willow was lucky enough to get adopted by her loving foster mom. Many medical tests later, it was determined that Willow has an inoperable heart defect. We contributed to her veterinary care as part of our Fospice program, and hooked her up with our amazing Fospice perks: BarkBox, Harry Barker bed, Found My Animal rescue leash, and more!

2 Willow Harry Barker fospice FosterDogsNYC

Lounging on her Harry Barker bed, with her gift package

Says her mom Joy: “She really is the sweetest. She is a 6 month old Shar Pei/Shepherd mix (and probably some more breeds too). She was diagnosed with an inoperable congenital heart defect called Tetralogy of Fallot; this basically means that she has four different defects in her heart. It’s an incredibly rare condition. So far, the vets we’ve spoken with have said putting her under anesthesia and undergoing surgery would be much too risky. This also means she can’t be spayed – so we’ve got some doggy lady diapers on hand when the time comes.

I had been fostering Willow and her brother Tray for a couple weeks. Tray is a healthy, adorable guy and was adopted very quickly. See photo below, of their original time in foster care, and their recent family reunion.


Happy siblings, months later

We knew that Willow had a heart murmur, but the rescue group wanted to get a few more tests completed before they made her available for adoption. Several weeks and tests later, we found out the condition was more serious than anticipated. We learned that the murmur was too risky to fix; her life expectancy is anywhere from a few months to a few more years. At this point in our foster journey, she had been with me for a few weeks and I was already totally in love with her, so I decided that it would be best for her to live out the rest of her time somewhere where comfortable and familiar with people who adore her.


Foster brother Chip borrows Willow’s Found My Animal leash

Despite Willow’s condition, she remains a typical active puppy and enjoys having the occasional foster brother or sister to play with (see photo above, with foster brother Chip). She’s a smart little cookie and has a few basic commands down cold. We continue to work on a few more: ‘Come,’ ‘Heel.’ The Bocce’s Bakery treats have been really helpful with the process! She’s definitely been enjoying all of the toys and other goodies! She loves to lounge on the Harry Barker bed and was obsessed with the popcorn plush toy from BarkBox!”


6 months of BarkBox, Mmm Mmm good!

“I can’t thank you guys enough for being so supportive during this whole process.” – adopter Joy


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