“Why I Love My Hospice Foster Dogs”

Debbie Marks with Kimi

This is a partial repost from Divinity’s friends at the Grey Muzzle Organization.

Contributor Debbie Marks volunteers and fosters dogs for the Blind Dog Rescue Alliance (BDRA), a Grey Muzzle grantee. She has two adopted visually impaired older dogs, Watson and CC, and provides hospice or forever foster care to dogs from BDRA that are too sick or frail to be adopted. A grant from The Grey Muzzle Organization helps BDRA provide medical care for permanent fosters, including Debbie’s past and current hospice foster dogs Leo, Maria, Claire, and Kimi.

Note: I previously published a post on the Blind Dog Alliance’s permanent foster dog, Claire, who’s story you can read HERE.

“Hospice fostering provides a home and care for dogs who, through no fault of their own, find themselves in a shelter or other desperate situation, without family, in their most urgent time. These dogs usually are very old or very ill, and do not have long to live. They may also be incontinent, or have difficulty eating.”

“Currently, I have two BDRA hospice fosters dogs in my care, Kimi and Claire.”

“To me, these dogs are heroes, living life to the fullest of their ability without complaint, and with a grace and acceptance that I can only hope I will have if I am ever in the same situation. I am honored and blessed to share their end-of-life journeys with them, no matter how long or short they may be.”

“My foster dog Kimi had been found hobbling in the streets of Philadelphia in March of 2014 and was picked up by Animal Control. She was a mess! Quite frail, blind and deaf, with a huge mammary tumor, cysts and lumps, a heart murmur, and who knew what else. She left the shelter just in time, for she started showing respiratory symptoms shortly after she arrived here, and she got worse very quickly. She was diagnosed with three ​different ​respiratory infections and came very close to dying. She spent several days in isolation at a veterinary medical center, where I was only allowed to look at her through a glass wall. When I picked her up to take her home, the ​vet tech holding her was wearing gloves, booties, and ​a ​”cover up suit.” I will always have that image in my memory. We estimate Kimi to be 15 years old.”

“Claire was the victim of a Kentucky hoarder. For much of her life, she lived in two rooms in knee-deep feces. She and the 22 other hoarder victims were saved by STAR, another rescue, which helped them begin their long road to recovery. Their picture of Claire zoomed right into my heart and I could not get her out of my mind, so I asked BDRA if she could come in. She could. ”

“If you are a hospice foster parent, an excellent vet and good and easily accessible after-hours care are essential.”

To read the complete story about Debbie Marks, and her hospice fostering, click HERE

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