When my dog reached her golden years she developed diabetes and slowly lost her vision. She developed dementia. Throughout her aging process we checked in with her veterinarian to make sure our dog was getting everything she needed for a comfortable final chapter. We created some wonderful lasting memories during those two years.
We had a conversation about palliative care once our dog's age, vision loss, and dementia all piled up on her. We couldn't turn back time or heal her, so we focused everything on making every day count so that she had her best day ever, every day. I can honestly say that making that conscious choice helped me from having any regrets after she passed.
It was incredibly rewarding for me to spend my time with her knowing I was writing the final chapter in her life, and our life together. What I learned about the aging process had a positive impact on my relationships with both my parents before they passed away. I also have a little better appreciation for my own mortality.
Here in San Francisco, Muttville Senior Dog Rescue has a wonderful program for dogs that arrive with untreatable terminal illnesses. It is called fospice, a combination of foster and hospice. Fospice means taking a dog into your home and giving it palliative care, love, and a wonderful life until it is their time for euthanasia. Muttville covers palliative care costs for these dogs and offers support and guidance.
You can also contact the Muttville Fospice team if you are interested in:
- The Health and Healing Program: fostering a senior dog who requires special care for a period of time until their health improves;
- Special Care Adoption: adopting a senior dog that may require long-term or ongoing special care.