I lost my Schnauzer Sasha after 14 years together. After her loss, I was unsure if I was ready for another dog. I have always had a dog and other animals in my life.
I was looking at getting another dog, following all the rescues, watching all the websites. I went to the Winter Carnival at the Doggie Depot. There, I spoke to a lady about fostering. It was a good idea. I could help out, get the love, all while I waited for the right match to come into my life.
I filled out the paperwork and was vetted. After I went to a couple of meet and greets, I was in.
Lucy, from the MN Boxer Rescue, soon called with a dog that was being transported from Texas that had some mobility issues and needed a short term foster that had an accessible home. Being in a wheelchair myself, I could accommodate her since I had a ramp and main floor living. That night she arrived at my home. She came right to me, up the ramp and into the house. She quickly made herself at home.
At this time she could walk but was very wobbly and weak. We would go on walks several times a day. She had several doctor appointments and tests during that first year. I would bring her to all of the meet and greets. She loved to be in public and meet people. People would think that she was my service dog. There were people interested in adopting her, we even brought her for home visits. But people were hesitant because the reason for her condition was still unknown.
After fostering her for a year and a half we had really connected. I was hesitant to adopt her due to her medical conditions as well. But the love was wearing my common sense down. I went back and forth so many times whether or not adopting her was a good idea. Could I be a caretaker with my economic situation? Would I be the right fit for her? I decided that I would do my best to budget for her needs. I adopted her officially, knowing she was already home where she belonged.
Maeley had a rough start with several bladder infections and surgery for stones as well as a long battle with heart worm treatments. The first year her legs became even less stable and she still did not have a diagnosis. Most of the doctors agreed we had ruled out several things and it would be best to track her progress and treat her symptoms. She eventually needed a wheelchair. Which she took to right away.
Through all of this, there were several places that helped with her care. The MN Boxer Rescue covered some of her initial medical costs, I did a Go-Fund-Me to help cover the cost for the heart worm treatment. The Animal Care Foundation helped with basic shots and later with the cost of her prescription food she needs for the bladder stones. We found a great nonprofit clinic, Mission Animal Hospital, that has a sliding fee scale program for her other needs. I also utilize Care Credit, since I could not get insurance for her because of her pre existing condition. I treat it as a monthly expense for her.
Marley Mae is 7 years old now. And we have been together for almost 6 years. She is now fairly stable and a happy girl. She loves to play, go on walks, and adores people (especially kids). She is very sweet and gentle. She is truly a great dog. I have physical disabilities and suffer with depression, I have to say she is my ultimate support animal. She helps me get up and go, no matter how I am feeling. She needs me as much as I need her! We help each other every day. We really are “quite the pair” as people have said.
Lisa and Maeley Mae
Animal Care Foundation
Providing elderly and disabled community members access to veterinary care for their beloved pet.