Hank was an almost 15-year-old pug brought by his owner to a shelter for euthanasia. He had clearly been neglected for quite some time. His nails were like talons, his skin was full of yeast and black from chronic infection and his ears were terribly infected with 3 different types of bacteria in them. But the worst was Hank’s mouth; it smelled like it was rotting and it was. His gums were ulcerating, he had lost many teeth and he had some that were literally dangling from his gums. While with his fosters, a fossil-looking chunk broke off which was actually plaque, Hank’s own hair and 3 teeth. Hank had the worst mouth his fosters had ever seen in their years of rescue. Hank was flea-infested, so badly that his first bath produced red water as he was rinsed off; this was actually his own blood from the fleas. Undoubtedly Hank had been put outside to fend for himself at some point and just fed to be kept alive. All of this could be “fixed” with some TLC and diligence but Hank’s mind was gone. Old dogs do develop dementia and Hank most definitely had. His fosters hoped that his confusion was due to being mostly blind and deaf, they thought if they gave him a few days to acclimate himself they’d be able to start working to get him healthy but that was not the case. We feel it isn’t fair to put an old dog with dementia through too much. Some people may wonder why we bother to take in a dog like this, why wouldn’t we just let the shelter euthanize? Because we have hope that we can help and most of the time we do, we can make a difference. We’d like to think even with Hank a difference was made. For a week Hank was clean, he had pain relief, he was inside a loving home with people who wanted to help him and in our hearts we believe he felt it.