Not all shelter pets get the happily ever after they deserve. If dogs age or grow ill in the shelter, they might not live long enough to find their forever families. That’s why many shelters and rescues have implemented fospice programs. A “fospice family” provides a loving home for a terminally ill shelter dog so they will have a great end to their life.
Lala is a fospice resident at the Young Williams Animal Center in Knoxville, Tennessee. To make her final days more enjoyable, her fospice family created her the ultimate bucket list, where she gets to eat a steak dinner, become a canine officer for a day, and much more!
A Dark Time for Lala
The shelter took Lala in after someone found her alone at a recently sold property. Her first foster home provided her with lots of love, but her foster dad had a hard time getting Lala to eat. When he took her to the vet, they found a tumor in her spleen. She went through surgery to remove the tumor, but it wasn’t enough.
Lala’s appetite returned after surgery, but vets later determined that she was terminally ill with cancer, given only weeks to months to live. She also suffered from extreme separation anxiety whenever her foster dad went to work. So, he decided that she needed a more permanent living situation.
The shelter placed Lala with an experienced fospice family, who wants her final days to be extra special. So, they created a bucket list of fun activities they can do with Lala.
“None of us know just how long this sweet girl will be with us,” said her fospice mom, “so we decided to make a bucket list designed especially for her.”
Bucket List Gives Her Hope!
Lala already checked off just over half of the items on her bucket list, and she seems to appreciate every little adventure. Here are the items currently listed on her bucket list:
- Go on a shopping trip – Done!
- Have a steak dinner – Done!
- Have a salon day with a pedicure – Done!
- Have her portrait painting done – Done!
- Go on a picnic
- Go out for doggy ice cream
- Have a spa day – Done!
- Be a treat taster for the day
- Visit local landmarks
- Be a canine officer for the day – Done!
Every day with Lala is a gift. Not only is she embracing her final days, but she’s creating fulfilling memories for her fospice family.
“From the first day we met her, she immediately accepted us. Her sweet, calm demeanor captivates everyone who meets her,” said her fospice mom. “Lala enjoys companionship so much that she complies with everything completely. She is a very quiet girl but speaks softly with her eyes.”
Being a fospice parent is an emotional experience, but also one of the most rewarding ones. If you’re unable to commit to fospice care, please consider fostering. Every dog fostered could save a dog from an overcrowded shelter.