Forever in Foster – Forever in Our Hearts
Many of you don’t see what goes on behind the scenes at Speaking of Dogs Rescue, particularly with regards to the senior dogs in our care. As some of you know, our rescue focuses on compassionate care for senior dogs. When these beloved dogs come into our rescue, they often have needs that are beyond the scope of adoption. Still others are up for adoption for months without finding a forever home, and they eventually become attached to their foster parents. At that point we often feel that it is not in the best interest of the dog to be uprooted and put into a new home, given their age. And so, we keep some of our senior dogs in our Forever in Foster program, which has been running for over six years and has seen many dogs live out their last chapter in a loving, caring foster home, cherished until they cross over to the Rainbow Bridge. Speaking of Dogs Rescue cares for these dogs financially for the rest of their lives, covering their vetting, food, and grooming costs.
We have had some exceptional challenges in terms of health-care costs, but we cannot let these dogs down. If you would like to make a donation to our Forever in Foster program and help us continue to give our senior dogs the care they deserve, please visit Canada Helps. You will immediately receive a tax receipt, and all funds will go toward Speaking of Dogs Rescue. Consider a monthly donation to enable us to continuously assist dogs in need.
We salute our Forever Foster parents and the dogs who are being embraced by the commitment and love of these special volunteers. As well, our fundraising volunteers are an incredible group of doggone dedicated folks, and without their help we would not be able to assist the many dogs who have blessed our lives and touched our hearts.
Meet Our Forever Fosters
This handsome boy is Maxwell who is approximately 10 years old and was left at a local Toronto shelter. He was diagnosed with hip displacement and arthritis. Due to his ongoing treatment for pain management we wanted to ensure he would never be without medical attention or be in discomfort so he is now a part of our Forever in Foster program. Big boy Max lives with a loving retired couple who have embraced him whole-heartedly into their lives. He enjoys his daily strolls, road trips and stretching out for an afternoon nap in front of the sunny window. If you would like to help support Maxwell with his vetting and special food costs please go to https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/speaking-of-dogs-rescue/ (a tax receipt will be provided for you).
Annie the lovable and charming Schnauzer came into the rescue from a local Toronto shelter as a “stray” in the fall. Her teeth were so badly infected and rotting that she ended up losing most of them during her dental surgery. She also had mammary masses that were removed and sent to the laboratory for analysis. Unfortunately, one of the samples came back malignant and our vet felt Annie should be placed in our Forever in Foster program. Annie is doing great and living the life in downtown TO making friends wherever she goes, keeping it real at the dog park and making sure her foster dad gets to work on time! Once dad is off to work, the girls (foster mom and Annie) make breakfast and work from their home-based biz! If you would like to help support Annie with her vetting and grooming costs please go to https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/speaking-of-dogs-rescue/ (a tax receipt will be provided for you).
Sweet Minnie came from a shelter in the Toronto area as a “stray” and is approximately 10 years old. Dear Minnie has some health issues that require constant attention so she is now in our forever-in-foster program where she will be loved, cared for and financially supported by the rescue for life. If you would like to help support Minnie with her vetting and grooming costs please go to https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/speaking-of-dogs-rescue/ (a tax receipt will be provided for you).
Vanilla is a 10+ little Pekingese mix who came from a shelter in Quebec. Upon examination with our veterinarian it was discovered that Vanilla has some ongoing eye issues and is in the early stages of renal failure. She is now in our palliative forever-in-foster program with a loving foster family in north Toronto. She has a canine brother and loves when the grandkids come to visit! Her foster mom says “she is the sweetest soul and loves to be loved”. If you would like to help support Vanilla with her vetting and special food costs please go to https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/speaking-of-dogs-rescue/ (a tax receipt will be provided for you).
Dustin came into our rescue in the fall from a home where his owner had been hospitalized with a long-term health issue and could no longer care for the sweet boy. Dustin is an 11-year-old Shepherd and Retriever mix who was diagnosed with renal insufficiency (from his previous veterinarian) that will progress to renal failure. We had Dustin up for adoption for several months but there was not much interest in him and no applications were ever submitted so we decided to place him in the Forever-In-Foster program after his latest urine and blood tests. Big Dust (often known as the Walmart Greeter of Dogdom) will now stay with his foster parents and live the good life north of the city and welcome new foster dogs who arrive looking for love and stability. If you would like to help support Dustin with his vetting and grooming costs please go to https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/speaking-of-dogs-rescue/ (a tax receipt will be provided for you).
Chance is a 13 year-old Border Collie who came to us through an outreach email when his owner could no longer take care of him properly. Thankfully, one of our long-time colleagues and a partner rescue was on hand to help Chance by taking him into her care right away. Chance has some assessed behavioural issues that we feel would be challenging for an adopter and since he’s settled in well with his current caregiver we feel it would be best that he was not uprooted again. His caregiver agreed to be his forever-in-foster mom and we are all delighted that Chance gets to stay! If you would like to help support Chance with his vetting, food and/or grooming costs please go to https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/speaking-of-dogs-rescue/ (a tax receipt will be provided for you).
Little Tara came to us from a family whose senior grandmother was experiencing health and dementia issues. She had to move to a long-term care facility and could not take her beloved dog with her. Tara is a 13-year-old shih tzu who has some ongoing medical treatments with regards to her eyes. She is now in our forever-in-foster program as she has some trust issues with having new people handle her and administer her eye creams and drops but she has learned to trust her foster parents and our veterinarian. Tara now lives (and will forever thanks to our FIF program) with a wonderful Toronto-based retired couple and a new best friend – a long-haired Chihuahua – who also has needs eye meds several times a day! If you would like to help support Tara with her eye medications, vetting and/or grooming costs please go to https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/speaking-of-dogs-rescue/ (a tax receipt will be provided for you).
Snooky came to us in the spring of 2018 when her family gave her up because their kids were allergic. She is approx. 13 years old and is blind and deaf and also has renal issues (which are now well-controlled). When she initially came into our rescue she was stressed and disoriented but we made a few changes that really made a difference for her. Snooky is now a happy girl, relaxed and has figured out the configuration of her foster home from top to bottom! She shares her foster home with 3 friendly felines – who all love her very much except when she accidently steps on them. Her foster mom says she has the sweetest disposition and just wants to be close to feel secure so you will always find her at your feet or on the couch beside you. Although she is blind and deaf the highlight of her days are her walks. As soon as the leash gets attached to her collar she jumps about half a foot in the air and happily trots around the block. As smell is the only sense she has left, a walk can take a very long time as she loves to stop and check out absolutely everything. She always has a tail wag for any doggy friends we meet along the way. If you would like to help support Snooky with her vetting and grooming costs please go to https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/speaking-of-dogs-rescue/ (a tax receipt will be provided for you).
Little Patch, a sweet 13 year-old Coton DeTulear, was surrendered to Speaking of Dogs Rescue in September 2018 because his owners were travelling. He went into one of our loving foster homes and after only a few days the foster mom had concerns about his health. We made an immediate appointment with one of our downtown Toronto vets and followed their advice regarding tests and diagnostics. It was soon discovered that Patch had bladder stones – very large bladder stones! Poor Patch, no wonder he was struggling with urinating and wasn’t feeling well. The next day we made surgery arrangements to rid Patch of the stones, an operation called a cystotomy. The surgery was a huge success! Patch started to feel better almost overnight; he had energy, his appetite increased and he regained his dignity. He requires a special diet for life and regular vet visits to ensure that his bladder remains healthy and his foster mom is committed to making sure he remains stone-free! He enjoys his walks in the nearby park, his big canine brother and cuddling up for movie time with his doting foster mom. If you would like to help support Patch with his vetting and special food costs please go to https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/speaking-of-dogs-rescue/ (a tax receipt will be provided for you).
Lucy, a 10-year-old black Labrador mix, came to us from a GTA municipal shelter where she was found as a stray. The shelter contacted Speaking of Dogs Rescue in October 2018 to ask if we could take Lucy into our foster program to ensure the rest of her life was happy and she was well-loved and cared for. The shelter staff adored the sweet Lab mix and had a history with her. She originally came to them in June of 2017 and was in rough shape; she had major skin issues, tumours, overgrown nails and was extremely underweight. They spent a great deal of time, money and emotion getting her ready for adoption but finally she was chosen and was off to her new life! Unfortunately she was returned in September of 2018 because she was having accidents all over the house when no one was home. A visit to the vet and a urinalysis uncovered a urinary tract infection that had been left untreated. Lucy’s infection has now cleared up and she’s happily settled in with her Forever in Foster family. She will need ongoing medical attention for her skin, thyroid and separation anxiety challenges. She also requires surgery for a mass removal and some troublesome teeth but right now we are concentrating on her thyroid levels. The shelter rep wrote in her initial email: “Lucy has a heart of gold, a gentle soul and not a mean bone in her body” and we couldn’t agree more! Her foster parents have embraced her as a cherished member of their family and are committed to her in every way. We are blessed to have such extraordinary people on our Speaking of Dogs Rescue foster team. If you would like to help support Lucy with her vetting and special food costs please go to https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/speaking-of-dogs-rescue/ (a tax receipt will be provided for you).
Molly is an approximately 13 year-old shih tzu who came to us from an eastern Ontario shelter. When she arrived at the shelter she was flea-infested and almost bald as a result; had a heavily matted tail that all came off in one chunk with the clippers and nails that were so overgrown they curled around. She also had a two masses, a heart murmur and an eye infection. The shelter did an exceptional job addressing Molly’s health issues but due to her advanced age and ongoing medical concerns they felt reaching out to Speaking of Dogs Rescue was the best route to go for their special little lady – and we were happy to welcome her with open arms! Molly is a lovely girl who is beyond happy to find a bed and stick by your feet all day long. Wee mite Molly is a social butterfly, housetrained and very food motivated. She is now in her Forever in Foster home and has already seen our vet who is confident her skin issues are improving and her other ongoing health concerns are manageable with a committed foster parent which she has in SPADES! Molly has already made herself right at home in the departments of: playing, snuggling/cuddling, snoozing, dinner and treat-time announcing and other important affairs of the household! Her foster mom wonders how she ever managed to be get anything done without the supervision of the mighty Molly McGee! If you would like to help support Molly with her vetting and special food costs please go to https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/speaking-of-dogs-rescue/ (a tax receipt will be provided for you).
Joy came to us from a Quebec shelter in December of 2018 when she had been abandoned, just days before Christmas. Who knows what happened? But one thing we did know – we had to help Joy!
She was listed as a 10+year old terrier mix, possibly deaf, shy and quiet, with extremely long nails. Speaking of Dogs Rescue has a strong focus on helping senior dogs (as many of you already know!) and, when we read Joy’s story and saw her sweet face pleading for a safe, warm and loving home, we made arrangements that very day for her to come into our rescue and to see our veterinarian.
Joy’s foster mom welcomed her with open arms and saw to every detail – warm dinner, a soft bed, fresh water and a leash ready for leisurely walks. After living with Joy for a while, her foster mom observed that the initial pacing and anxiety we often see when dogs first arrive in foster care were not subsiding. We took her for a subsequent visit to our vet who prescribed anti-anxiety medication which has helped; he also told us that she could be older than originally noted and that some of the behaviour we saw could be a cognitive issue. As more time has elapsed, Joy has become a bit more engaged, paces less, loves her walks and enjoys the established routine she is now used to.
Putting her into our Forever in Foster Program ensures permanent stability and quality health care for the rest of her life. If you would like to help support Joy with her medications, vetting and grooming, please go to https://www.canadahelpsorg/en/charities/speaking-of-dogs-rescue/ (a tax receipt will be sent to you).
Lacy is a 14 year old Shih tzu/poodle mix whose senior owner struggled with immobility and declining vision. She could no longer properly care for Lacy and getting her out even to the backyard to go to the bathroom was a challenge. Thankfully, a kind neighbour stepped in to assist and soon help was on the way. A caring dog sitter took Lacy until a solution could be found however no one in her family was in a position to take Lacy and it was suggested that she be rehomed. The senior lady had had Lacy all her life and was devastated at the thought but knew she was not providing adequate care, grooming or vetting. But who would take in a 14 year old dog with health issues? A family friend called Speaking of Dogs Rescue to take Lacy into our Forever in Foster program and we were fortunate to have a ready and willing foster mom available. Lacy has been to the vet and now has her twice daily eye drops and special food for healthy bladder care. Her foster mom adores her and because Lacy is so friendly and social she gets to go everywhere with her including luncheons and meetings. If you would like to help support Lacy with her vetting, grooming and special food costs please go to https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/speaking-of-dogs-rescue/ (a tax receipt will be provided for you).
In early January we took Snuggles (now Skamp) into our rescue from an Ottawa area shelter. He was said to be approx. 12 – 13 years old and needed grooming and a vet visit to check his eye, his teeth and a heart murmur. The staff loved him and said he was a sweet old chap with no behavioural issues but needed a rescue that would attend to his medical issues. We were happy to help Snuggles and it was just our luck that we had wonderful new foster parents waiting in the wings for a “sweet and senior” just like Snuggles! When he arrived our first order of business was to call the vet and to have now ‘Skamp’ groomed. His grooming went very well and he was a perfect gentleman and ditto at his vet exam. We were all getting ready to put Skamp up on our adoption page when the vet called with devastating news. She went over the blood results and his chest and heart x-rays and what she saw on the chest radiographs were not good, in fact – extremely bad – cancer. Although we were all overwhelmed and disheartened by the diagnosis we had to put on a brave face for Skamp. He has places to be and people to see, walks to explore and a cat to be mindful of. He has kisses to give and hugs to be there for – he’s got no time for bad news. Don’t worry Skamp, we’ll take good care of you and promise to maintain your quality of life. If you would like to help support Skamp with his vetting, eye drops or grooming needs please go to https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/speaking-of-dogs-rescue/ (a tax receipt will be provided for you).
Hank is a 5 year old Australian Cattle Dog and Beagle mix who came into our rescue back in 2016 from a shelter in western Ontario. He was an owner surrender who said things about Hank like: too hard to handle, can’t train, doesn’t listen, doesn’t get along with other dogs, has too much energy and is always anxious. Despite his unfavourable bio we had just the foster mom for him! She’s an experienced, positive trainer who listens carefully to what dogs are saying by way of reading body language and expressions. When she read Hank’s story she wanted to help him and jumped in with both feet and lots of treats. She and Hank have worked hard to get to where they are today and the trust and bond they’ve built has made all the difference. Potential adopters came and went – but most all found him too high management and/or reactive on leash and moved on to other adoptable dogs leaving Hank in their rear view mirror. The one constant beacon in his life is his foster mom who would love to make him a permanent member of her family but is not in a position to do so right at the present time. After discussing Hank’s situation, our Board feels that given the length of time together, the training and bond they share it is in Hank’s best interest to stay with the foster mom. If you would like to help support Hank with his yearly veterinary exam and heartworm meds please visit https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/speaking-of-dogs-rescue/ (a tax receipt will be provided for you).
Emilee came to us from a shelter in southwestern Ontario. She was found in a snow bank by the side of the road on a cold and windy February morning. The shelter emailed us directly to see if we had room for the senior spaniel who was neglected, severely matted, had an ear infection and wart-like growths all over her body. We arranged to have her picked up from the shelter once her stray time was over. Once in a loving foster family we got her to our veterinarian right away, and then to one of our wonderful groomers. Poor Emilee was matted to the skin and her nails were so long and curled. After many follow up vet appointments it was confirmed that Emilee had Cushing’s disease. We were ready to put a Facebook post about Emilee to try and find a Forever in Foster home for her when a previous spaniel adopter emailed to ask a question about a donation. Needless to say, we mentioned Emilee’s story to her. We often wonder if there are higher powers at play busy making miracles and matches happen. Emilee is now part of a loving little family which includes her doting human mom, her spaniel brother and feline sister. If you would like to help support Emilee with her vetting and medication costs please go to https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/speaking-of-dogs-rescue/ (a tax receipt will be provided for you).