Sometimes what pets need most when they come to Lollypop Farm is peace. Peace to live out their days in a safe and loving environment. Affectionately called “forever foster” by foster care staff at Lollypop Farm, hospice foster gives pets the comforts of a home to live out the rest of their lives.
To be placed into hospice foster a pet that comes to Lollypop Farm will often have medical concerns that can be managed, but not cured, such as cancer that cannot be operated on or organ failures. These pets often still have a zest for life, but need to be carefully managed or monitored by the staff at the Klingenstein Veterinary Clinic. The cost of care for special needs or elderly pets can be quite high, so foster care provides veterinary support and supplies such as food or medications while the pet can feel loved and cared for in a home environment.
Princess Butterball, a.k.a. “Grandma Pug”
Princess Butterball came to Lollypop Farm due to her illnesses. She was found to have extreme arthritis, was overweight, mostly deaf, and had diminished lung capacity, but the team at the Klingenstein Veterinary Clinic at Lollypop Farm saw that she still had spunk and wanted to give her a chance. She was placed in a foster home with hopes that her medical concerns could be helped. Once she was in their home, her foster family started to notice abnormal behaviors.
Princess Butterball was showing signs of cognitive decline, including getting lost in her foster family’s house and vocalizing at night. As a senior dog with other medical concerns, it was decided that staying in foster indefinitely would be best for Princess Butterball, lovingly called “Grandma Pug” by her foster family.
Her foster mom Lindsay has given her so much love and attention, and Princess Butterball is doing well in foster care. Lindsay states, “While her medical condition seems sad, her life is anything but sad. Grandma pug has lost some weight and with the help of pain management, she’s become much more active. She loves sitting at the front door where she pretends to be a guard dog and yells at most things that move in the neighborhood. Her favorite things to bark at seem to be the mailman and school buses. She loves riding in the car, taking naps on her beds, getting belly rubs, sunbathing, snacks, exploring the yard, sticking her entire jaw in the water bowl when she drinks and chasing off the birds visiting our feeders. She’s our live-in alarm clock who prefers to eat breakfast during the 6 o’clock hour and loves taking trips to the pet store and meeting new people. She’s just packed full of personality and old lady sass.”
“Clinic staff have been such amazing advocates for her and so committed to managing her needs and we know they will be there to support us when her quality of life diminishes. My family and I know that there will be some heartbreak ahead, but we focus on the present and making her twilight the best it can be. She deserves nothing less- they all do.”
For now, Princess Butterball will spend time getting all the love and attention she deserves until her medical needs are unable to be met. Until then, she will be loved and cared for.
12-year-old Sparky came to Lollypop Farm blind and with hearing loss. He was immediately placed in a foster home because he did not do well in a kennel environment. Blood work then showed that Sparky’s organs were not functioning properly. Due to his conditions, Sparky spent months in his foster home until he was ready to cross the rainbow bridge.
Patty Corvaia was Sparky’s foster mom. “How hard could it be, I thought, to give him a home for his last days or weeks on earth?,” she recalls. With the help of the foster care team and the staff at the Kingenstein Veterinary Clinic, Patty found the support to help make Sparky’s time comfortable. “What was most amazing was seeing him react to a caring home. He soaked love up like a sponge and gave back that one-of-a-kind unconditional dog love.”
In thinking of his last day, Patty states, “Seven months after that day I picked him up from Lollypop Farm, it was time to help him cross the rainbow bridge. With Dr. Cristina by my side, I said goodbye to the pup I called Mr. Sparkles because he brought a special shine to my family. I don’t know what the 12 years before I became his human were like. But I can tell you that Mr. Sparkles left the world knowing what love is. You may think that this is a story about what I gave to him. It’s really a story about the gifts that Mr. Sparkles and other homeless pets give their foster families, including smiles, love, compassion, and memories that stay with you a lifetime. Please consider fostering a pet if you can. There are so many to love and the rewards are much greater than one would imagine.”