Category Archives: Good Love

Ensure Your Pets Are Cared For

Steps to Ensure that Your Pets are Well Taken Care of When You Can No Longer Provide Care

By guest blogger Jessica Brody

The average life expectancy of a Labrador Retriever is 12 years. Overall, pets have a shorter life span when compared to that of humans. Even though you know this fact, it is still difficult to cope with their death. Have you ever wondered how your pets would feel when you are no longer here? What will happen to them in case they outlive you?

Senior pet owners consider pets a part of their family. Which is why it becomes your responsibility to make plans to secure the future of your pets. Some of the steps that you should take to ensure that your pets are well taken care:

Choose caregivers from among your friends and family

Have a talk with your friends and family, and choose at least two caregivers (people who are willing
to take on the responsibility). In case something happens to you or there is an emergency, these people will act as emergency caregivers. Ensure that you give them all the details such your veterinarian’s name and any special instructions about feeding and caring for the pet. Remember to give them spare keys to your home, and let them know about whatever permanent provisions you have made.

  • Keep your neighbors informed

You may be close to your family and friends. However, if you live alone, they are not the ones that are always around you. Your neighbors can be a great help in situations where you are incapacitated. Therefore, see to it that your neighbors are well informed about your pets. Tell them how many pets you have and what their names are. Provide them with contact numbers of your temporary caregivers as well as your emergency contact details.

  • Find out more about organizations that take care of pets

Most of the organizations cannot take care of your pets after you are unable to because they severely lack funds. They may be able to look after them for a while, until they are handed over to your permanent caregiver. However, there are some sanctuaries and pet retirement homes that dedicate themselves to take care of pets whose owners are no longer around. All you need to do is pay them a small donation, and they will take care of your pets. However, this must be used as a last resort as pets may very well be distressed because of the confinement.

  • Include pets in your will

Your lawyer can help you draw the kind of documents needed to include pets in your will. While this will ensure you have taken care of all the legal details related to your pets, you should be aware of its downsides. For one, your will may come under dispute, and it may take weeks or even months to resolve it. For another, it may actually take some time for your pet care instructions to be carried out.

  • Set up a pet trust

According to the American Animal Hospital Association, 47 percent of pet owners are willing to spend any amount of money to save their pets. So a trust fund doesn’t seem that far-fetched, does it? A pet trust is a legal document that can provide for your pets when you become ill or incapacitated. In fact, you can choose when the trust should come into effect. The best thing about these trusts is that during the probate process, certain assets can be excluded.

It is always good to be prepared for worst case scenarios. Making future plans for your pets makes certain that they don’t suffer much after you can no longer take care of them.

We have created a short booklet that walks you through setting up a plan for your pets should you become unexpectedly ill and can't get to them. We'll send one to the first 50 people who email haley@bogobowl.com. 

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Saying goodbye to Chance

"There once was a boy named Chance, who'd wiggle and do a little dance. He really needed pants. Chance."

first-pic 2nd-picI was not looking for a new pup. I had lost Bear just a year earlier. Bear's sister Lady and I were doing just fine with our cats Magoo and Bibi. But I kept seeing a pathetically adorable pup in my Facebook newsfeed. He was special needs - he'd been hit by a train, and was paralyzed in the back - but he had great personality and spirit. At first, I tried sharing his story to find him a great home. It didn't take long before I started to wonder if my home was the great home.

A local woman had recently adopted another paralyzed larger dog, named Duke, and I connected with her to find out the realities of caring for a special needs dog. Susan, Duke's mom, was amazing - and an enabler! She gave me all sorts of information and offered to help acclimate us if I made the decision to adopt Chance.

The next hurdle was my house. It was an early 1900s place, not designed for a dog with a wheelchair. I mentioned that to one friend and before I knew it my kitchen was literally taken apart and put back together again in one weekend with dog-friendly flooring, and the kitchen island moved to prevent cart snags. My wonderful friends also put in a ramp to the yard.

chance-and-sarahIn June 2011, Jim and Sara from Pilots N Paws flew this pathetic-looking little guy from Topeka to Des Moines. The minute we met it was instant, crazy, mutual love between Chance and I, and the Chance song was born.

Over the next five years, Chance found joy in pestering his older canine sister, cuddled with his cats, adored and was adored by his humans, and inspired a company whose mission is to help at-risk animals like him find or keep their forever homes.

There were challenges, to be sure. Whereas Susan's dog, Duke, has to be expressed to keep his bladder empty, Chance did not. At first that seemed like a blessing. But realistically, having a 60lb dog who piddles wherever he goes is a challenge. We tried diapers but because of the way he moved - sometimes with his legs out behind him, sometimes bouncing on his butt like a pogo stick - they wouldn't stay on.

It turned out he was also heartworm positive, which I did not know when I agreed to adopt him. (Please please tell everyone you know how easy it is to prevent heartworm and how awful it is to treat!)

bogochanceWe found our way and I expected a long, happy life with him by my side. Truly, the boy was a sweet, goofy, clown. If I was having a tough day, he knew it and decided if destroying a stuffie made him feel better, it would help me too. He reminded me to find joy in the small things, like a banana or a roll in the grass. When I was having a sorry for myself moment (it happens!) watching him enjoy the world despite what we might see as challenges reminded me to suck it up and get on with it.

Unfortunately our long life together wasn't to be. Earlier this week we discovered Chance had a tumor in his brain that was causing seizures, pain and stress. Heart breaking, I let him go.

Now, more than ever, we're committed to helping dogs like Chance get their chance at a good life, whether that's by keeping them with families who love them through programs like the Pet Project Midwest, or helping them get lifesaving medical care from groups life Fairytail Endings, or giving them time to find the just right forever home, thanks to organizations like Lucky Dog Animal Rescue.

Although there is a huge hole in our hearts, Chance is still here, encouraging us, cheering us on, and reminding us why we do what we do.

Thank you for joining us on this journey.

Sara
deck chance-in-repose-1 chance-042313

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Have a happy - and safe - 4th!

The Fourth of July is right around the corner!  While this is an exciting and fun time for people, we want to make sure our pets are safe and can enjoy the holiday, too!  Did you know that the loud noises and flashing lights typically involved in the Fourth of July could frighten pets and cause abnormal behavior, resulting in broken leashes, jumping fences, running away, and even biting?
Here are some pet safety tips to help you and your pet get the most out of the Fourth.
  1. Keep your pet away from the noise in someplace quiet, sheltered, and escape-proof during fireworks or other loud noises.
  2. Make sure your pet has a collar and ID tag to ensure they can return home if they get separated from you.
  3. Never use fireworks around your pets.
  4. Keep lighter fluid and matches away from pets.
  5. Do not put glow jewelry on pets or allow them to play with this.
  6. Do not leave alcoholic beverages unattended where pets can get them.
  7. Above all, do not take your pets to any festivities, including fireworks, concerts, etc.!
Use these tips in addition to your best judgment to ensure a fun and safe Fourth of July for humans and pets alike!
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