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Feel Good Friday: All Dogs Go to Heaven
According to the ASPCA approximately 3.3 million dogs are surrendered to shelters each year in the United States alone. Some of these dogs are elderly with terminal illness, meaning their life expectancy is quite short. It’s heartbreaking to think that many of these dogs spend the remainder of their lives in cages as opposed to a loving and comfortable home. Foster Dogs, an organization based in the New York City Area, decided to do something about this.
Foster Dogs created a program called Fospice, a combination of the words foster and hospice. This program was modeled after an ASPCA program that links ill, elderly dogs with a loving home for their final days. To learn more about this program (and see adorable pictures) check out the CBS website.
This story reminded me how important it is to live everyday to the fullest. The foster parents know that time is limited and go out of their way to create special moments for their dog, such as giving them special treats and going on fun adventures with them. This is so important because we often get caught up in day to day activities that we forget that everyday is a gift. This story reminded me to create those special moments, for myself and others.
Another thing I appreciated about this program is their perspective on grief, loss and death. Our society is uncomfortable with acknowledging mortality, preparing for death and coping after the fact. As a result I find that death, dying, bereavement and grief are often ignored; people are only given support in the immediate aftermath and then left to heal alone (this process is often overlooked completely if the deceased is a pet). The program acknowledges death head on, makes time to celebrate the dog and then provides support to the foster parent once the dog has passed. Fospice is a model for us all!
The idea of Feel Good Fridays started because we believe the simple things that bring a smile to our face, are some of the best things. Smiling and laughing has been proven to reduce stress in our lives! When we smile or laugh it releases neurotransmitters in our brain called endorphins, which are in charge of making us happy and helping to relieve stress.
Kathryn is a recent MSW graduate currently trying to #adult. She is a former mindyourmind staff and continues to work in the youth & community development sectors. In her spare time, she is a proud plant parent, home chef and avid volunteer.
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