by Paula Moreschi, Development Director
This month during Paddywack’s annual Have a Heart campaign for Old Dog Haven I started to reflect on what it means to have a heart. Their fundraiser always takes place in February because of Valentine’s Day. I know many people dislike Valentine’s Day because it has become a day capitalized by florists and candy companies among others. But if you step outside of all the commercialism and think about it as a time to celebrate love, it becomes a day, or even an entire month, to show your love to all living beings on this planet and beyond.
Old Dog Haven is about love and caring, and we are so thankful to Paddywack and people like you who support us unconditionally. As I was writing up social media posts for the Have A Heart fundraiser I came across some recent posts by one of Old Dog Haven’s foster moms. I would like to share some of it with you today because I think it is a perfect representation of what having a heart means.
“One year ago a sick 16- year old, 10 pound miniature poodle with a professional groom, an ulcerating mammary mass and a rotten mouth was found wandering the streets in a small California city. She was brought to the local shelter and put on a three-day stray hold, and then on the euthanasia list if no one claimed her. A small Washington state shelter put her on a plane and flew her up to the peninsula to give her another chance before reaching out to Old Dog Haven for help. A short-term hospice home was requested to help ease her way. I fell in love immediately and we named her Angel.
“The first couple weeks were the most important. It typically takes a dog three days in a new home to calm down, three weeks to settle in and three months to fully be comfortable and come out of their shell. But Angel didn’t have three months. Her mammary tumor almost touched the ground and was starting to ulcerate and get infected. Her mouth smelled like a sewer and eating was difficult She needed an assessment and medical attention ASAP! Angel was also withdrawn and would pace for hours. We needed to determine if she had dementia or was in shock from her chaotic experience.
“We had to decide if it was appropriate to put her through major surgery or if our job was to love her and let her go peacefully.
“We decided to go ahead with the surgery and her recovery was difficult for her and us both. I doubted my decision because she just couldn’t get comfortable while healing. She would howl pitifully all night and she continued to need hand feeding. We got really close during that time, and then in a few weeks she woke up strong, determined and playful.
“Honestly, I didn’t think Angel would be here with us today. I am so incredibly thankful for this sweet girl. I always laugh with her that it was a joke of fate she would be born a poodle and cursed with being high maintenance—she hates being ‘pampered.’ She’s kind, soft, sweet, occasionally cuddly and absolutely perfect. What an amazing 365 days with this beautiful girl. Each day is precious—enjoy them one at a time.”
Angel’s foster has a big heart. She wanted to help Angel even though it could have been a short-term hospice, which is emotionally very difficult. When Angel was recovering her foster mom was patient, gentle and loving and didn’t give up. Her act was selfless.
Old Dog Haven is filled with amazing fosters and stories like Angel’s. And Angel’s story exemplifies how your support and having a heart for the senior dogs in our care are life changing and life altering for dogs and humans alike.
Every year Paddywack holds their Have A Heart event because they have big hearts. They not only want to raise money to care for our dogs but help spread the word about our mission. Their fundraiser is about having a heart during February—a month to celebrate the love that surrounds you and to show your loving kindness for everything you hold dearly in your life.
We hope you will have a heart and sponsor one of our final refuge dogs during the Have A Heart event. Plus your sponsorship will go even further with Paddywack’s $1000 match. To become a sponsor stop or call Paddywack at 425-357-6510 during normal business hours and their staff will take your donation over the phone. And if you live in the Mill Creek area please consider doing your pet shopping at this small independent business that loves old dogs!
Thank you friends and may your day be filled with love and happiness.
Monday – Friday 10:00 – 7:00, Sunday 10:00 – 6:00
15407 Main St #101,
Mill Creek, WA 98012