Everyone deserves to experience their final days in peace surrounded by those they love. Lifeline Animal Project in Atlanta gives senior dogs with terminal diagnoses the opportunity to do that by connecting them with a “fospice” parent that will love and care for them for the rest of their lives.
How it Works
Lifeline has a number of shelters in Atlanta. They connect volunteers willing to provide foster hospice care to resident senior dogs in need. Lifeline takes care of all of the medical expenses while the “fospice” parent provides a home, play time, care, and companionship. It’s a beautifully organized system that provides the sweetest service to these sick senior pups.
One Fospice Parent and His Dog
Lawson Chambers was looking to foster a dog so as a means to improve his skills as a parent, nurturer, and disciplinarian. The structure, training, commitment, and unconditional love required appealed to him. He went to Lifeline Animal Project to see about improving the life of a dog and himself through fostering. That’s how he met Akira, an eight year old pit bull mix who is diagnosed with terminal cancer.
Hospice care is considered the most humane, compassionate way to care for those who are facing death. Rather than be in a sterile, cold environment, your loved one is cared for in his own home. The primary focus is to ensure comfort through effective pain management, personalized and appropriate feeding strategies, and interaction with loving, caring people.
Caregivers are given support through regular visits with the health care team but the medical focus is no longer on curing the condition but rather on comforting the patient. Being a hospice caregiver is a very special way to give a dog the precious gift of a dignified death.
Interested in End of Life Caregiving?
If you are interested in fostering a dog in hospice, contact a local rescue group or vet and ask if they can connect you with a group that provides this invaluable service. Are you already involved in your area? Give a shout out to your organization in the comments for other dog lovers who may want to help.
Your time with your hospice dog will inevitably come to an end. Although you will ultimately experience the sadness of loss, your life will forever be fuller for the love and care you will provide.