AUSTIN, Texas – That’s when Opie the dog came in Austin Pets Alive! (APA!), Larissa Parker and Jessica Borda had no idea the impact they would make.
According to Parker, Opie was brought in by another shelter during a February winter storm.
“She was really sick and really thin,” Parker said.
It was an illness they soon learned was terminal. Opie was diagnosed with cancer and given eight weeks to live, but that diagnosis didn’t stop Parker, Borda and two other APA volunteers. He left the team behind until the final days of OP.
“She lived eight months,” Parker said.
It was OP’s story that sparked an idea. Parker noticed that more hospice dogs are emerging, and that only means they need the right care. They all came up with a “fospice,” short for “foster hospice,” for all the dogs that come in with life-threatening illnesses.
“We always hope that their last memories are of something really loving and really wonderful rather than something really sad. That’s what makes us feel better when we do that,” Parker said.
Borda said it’s a job she thinks not everyone is ready for.
“If people just give it a chance and they know that their time may be shorter or longer than we thought it was going to be, then you can go with a different approach and have them may be able to work through some of the sad moments,” Borda said.
The program, which now has 10 volunteers, currently supports four dogs.
Borda and Parker said anyone is welcome to volunteer, and while their current focus is on dogs with serious illnesses, they also encourage people not to neglect senior dogs.
“We’re definitely focusing on the seniors that are in our care and making sure they’re getting the care they need and then catching them early,” Borda said. Trying,” Borda said.
Although the team only started this year, they hope more dogs can get the love and care they need, even if it’s just for a short time.
If you would like to donate to the APA! Or to volunteer for “fospice” you can visit APA! website.