A Foster Hospice Story
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On November 4, 2019, a 6-year-old white and tan happy-go-lucky dog came to our shelter. Her name was Wendy, and while we see tons of animals every day, there was something special about this one. Perhaps it was the gigantic grin she had spread across her round, squishy face or the way she would trustingly (and often unexpectedly) wiggle her way into a stranger’s lap for cuddles. Initially, we had no problem finding her a home. She was quickly taken in by a foster family, where she happily stayed until she developed a cough and had to come back to our shelter for a wellness check. That’s when we discovered the bad news. Wendy’s body was riddled with tumors—too many to count. She was diagnosed with aggressive mammary cancer and expected to only live for a few months.
Following her diagnosis, we had a hard time finding an adopter to look after Wendy during her final days. Families would fall in love with her and become attached, but it was difficult for them to watch her decline. On January 24, an amazing foster mom, Mayra, stepped forward and agreed to take her. Mayra and her partner did everything they could to make Wendy’s final days her best yet! They spoiled her with play toys and yummy treats, and always made sure someone was available to watch over her and keep her company. From the photos Mayra shared with us, it appeared that Wendy thought she’d hit the jackpot. Her gigantic smile was even bigger than before!
Two months later, Mayra told us that Wendy was starting to experience focal motor seizures, and none of the drugs she’d been prescribed were helping. She brought Wendy to our vet for further examination, where it was confirmed that cancer had spread to her brain. Upon arriving at our shelter that day, Wendy did her usual thing and greeted our staff with boundless joy as she wiggled onto their laps for cuddles. We held her close, stroked her head, and told her how much she was loved. She had a seizure at the shelter that day, and we knew that humane euthanasia was the appropriate action to end her suffering.
During her short time with us, Wendy touched so many lives. Offering foster hospice care for terminally ill animals like Wendy is another service we value at the Utah Humane Society. Thanks to the loving care provided by her foster family and our staff, Wendy, and those who loved her, enjoyed every last minute together.
We'll never forget you, Wendy!