Max’s Mission: Hospice dogs find forever family with fosters

Local News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Every rescue dog deserves a second chance at life even when the dog is approaching his or her final days. They are called Hospice dogs and while they can’t be adopted out, they do find a forever home with their foster.

Deciding when to say goodbye is one of the hardest decisions we need to make for our pet. It turns out, sometimes, dog foster parents have to deal with this too. Rather than just prepare for the dog’s life to end, hospice fosters we talked to helped their dogs live.

“Right now she doesn’t know she is sick so it is kind of perfect,” said dog foster Brittnie Baker.

You may remember he foster dog Ella. We introduced you to the pair back in October when 5-year-old Ella was diagnosed with breast cancer. The diagnosis became somewhat a blessing and a forever family in disguise. “The fact we get to keep her; we love it.” The feeling is a common trend among this breed of people.

Buddy went to his hospice foster shortly after leaving the shelter.

“He was 15 pounds lighter, he had a couple infections, ear infection eye infection, his coat was in horrible condition. He was just not doing so well,” said Shawn Fiegelist.

Soon after they found out he had some kind of mental condition and it wouldn’t be right to adopt him out to another family. Some would think this would be the end for Buddy, but it was the beginning to a year worthwhile.

We met the sweet boy about a week before it was his time to go. He was happy, looked healthy, and was living a comfortable life. With his foster mom, Shawn, by his side he crossed the rainbow bridge.

Baker knows the pain buddies foster faces now, is something she will one day have to deal with herself.

“It makes every day special,” said Baker.

They want to make every day for Ella just as special by creating her own doggy bucket list. So far they have built a snow dog and ate a beast feast.

Soon, they are hosting a day of destruction where Ella can destroy as many toys as she desires. “She loves to tear up toys. Like, you can’t give this girl a stuffed animal without destroying it.”

As the days go by, this dog with a serious disease is teaching her new forever family about life. “She makes us happy she makes us laugh she is goof she has just all around made us more thankful for the little things.”

The time they have with her they would not trade for the world.  “We couldn’t imagine her going through this with anyone else. We want to be the ones there with her. We will try to make every day special and we will be there until its her last day and love her every minute through it.”

Baker hopes others will open their hearts to foster, or adopt a special dog like their Ella. “She’s perfect. A lot of people would think, ‘She is an older dog. She is a pitt mix. She has got cancer.’ All of these things people would think, ‘I don’t want a dog like that.’ That’s what makes Ella Ella.”

She goes on to say, “She makes us happy, she makes us laugh, she is a goof, she has just all around made us more thankful for the little things and having the time that we do with her.”

To learn more about Ella’s bucket list or to donate to her day of destruction find her on Facebook @Ellasbucketlist

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