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Our New Fospice Friend: Princess Leia

Fospice, our program for super-senior / terminally ill shelter dogs, is a truly unique and special effort by Foster Dogs Inc and the participating rescue groups. We sponsored nine dogs in 2016, and hope to sponsor many more in 2017 through increased funds and additional support and positive exposure! Each dog whom we sponsor receives several sorts of Fospice donations, as well as a “forever foster” placement.

How fitting that our newest Fospice dog is Princess Leia, receiving her new name right after the sudden unexpected loss of “real life” Princess Leia, Carrie Fischer last month.

Leia’s story:

We received a plea from BARRK Rescue on December 19th: “We have a hospice case I would love to see if your group can help with. She’s a mixed breed dog about 47 lbs and is about 12-13 years old. She was found on the road after being hit by car. Her injuries are extensive and our surgeon feels she will not do well with surgery. Her bones are too fragile and will not hold the needed rods/plates to fix. We have seen a few vets who agree her best option is to keep her comfortable with pain management and support for the next few months. Noelle, named after the holiday season, is also completely deaf and has cataracts in both eyes. Her tibia fibula knee and pelvis are all broken. She walks on her own now that she’s been on pain meds and will potty on her own too. She’s very sweet and deserves a few months of love and comfort before she leaves us. Several of her injuries were old injuries. Showing years of abuse and neglect. Please help us get the love and care she deserves. I would guess her to be a Shepherd/Sheltie mix. Let me know what you think.”

This is now our fourth Fospice with Foster Dogs and we’ve been an amazing team. We absolutely love working with them.

BARRK Director Kristina Howley

We hit the ground running, getting in touch with potential Fospice caretakers. The first person we reached out to was a new member of our Fospice database, Maya (we do have another Maya on our Fospice database, who cares for Beau and Tommy; no relation). We were struck by her moving note in her application, “My dog, Zion, recently passed away at 17 years old. In her honor I would like to dedicate the rest of my life to providing a safe and comfortable home to senior dogs in need. It’s the least I can do to honor the death of my best friend and life long companion.” Once we reached out, Maya was eager to hear more about Noelle; she sounded like a great match for this Brooklynite who recently lost her companion. We couldn’t help but notice the similarity between Zion and Noelle, and felt that this was potentially a perfect match.

Maya was deeply interested, and offered her care beginning after New Year’s. Early-January, Maya spoke with rescuer Liz from BARRK by phone. Next, Maya wrote, “I’m so excited to take her in!! I was almost in tears after our call. Thank you so much for this opportunity, I hope this is the first of many more Fospice dogs to come into my life.”

Just one week later, this sweet senior was officially in her new home.

Maya wrote, “She is exploring the apartment as I write this. She had some chicken for lunch and I put a little rice out for her for dinner but she seems full. She took a long nap on her new bed and we also took a short walk around the block and she got to meet the neighbor dogs. I just adore her, she is so sweet and gentle. Oh and I’m calling her Princess Leia!”

Though Maya travels sometimes for work, she wanted to take on this special foster dog even though this would require some extra coordination from time to time. “Thank you all so much for being flexible. When I talked to Liz on the phone I mentioned that I have to travel for work, and we decided that Leia having a permanent home with a little travel was better than no home.”

I can’t tell you how grateful I am that we made that decision and you all allowed me the flexibility because I have fallen so deeply in love with this little lady. I don’t want to leave her even for an hour let alone a few days! Honestly I really want to thank you all for bringing this light into my life and being so awesome this week with all my questions and emails.

Maya and Leia, with their new doggy stroller

We look forward to setting Maya and Leia up with our Fospice “perks,” including: BarkBox 6-month subscription, fancy dog bed, Found My Animal leash, Maison de Pawz treats, My Animal Art watercolor, In-home photo shoot, and more! We are proud to have found her a “forever foster” home, and to have donated $400 to her rescue group to cover veterinary costs. We are here to help for many future costs, as well.

We’d like to thank BarkBox, PetSmart, and Chloe Kardoggian for their 2016 major contributions to our Fospice program (as well as many individuals who donated to this cause).

Follow Leia’s journey: @princess_leia_of_brooklyn

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