Minnie, an adorable black and tan Dachshund, came to the York County SPCA on July 6 as a stray - just five days before I began my new role as the canine foster and rescue coordinator. Upon intake, our staff noticed a huge sore on her. She was taken immediately to our veterinary team for evaluation, where they noted a ruptured mammary mass. Despite the pain Minnie must have been in, she had a sweet and loving disposition. Our animal care technicians in the veterinary wing described Minnie as being a “perfect angel” for them.
Minnie was estimated to be twelve years old. In addition to her mammary mass, she also had severe dental disease. Our veterinarians removed her mass as soon as they could and sent out a biopsy. Unfortunately, the results were not what we wanted; Minnie had cancer that had metastasized, meaning it spread to other parts of her body. The biopsy report gave a median survival of eight months, but sadly, we did not know how long Minnie had the cancer or when it metastasized. We felt Minnie would do best with rescue equipped for a hospice situation.
Being new to my position, I was still getting to know our current rescue partners and trying to reach new ones. Someone noted that one of our recent rescue partners had a soft spot for Dachshunds, and I figured that was the best place to start. I reached out to Corinne from Sophia’s Grace Foundation, and with no hesitation, she immediately began working on securing a foster for Minnie. In less than 48 hours, Corinne had a foster lined up and scheduled to pick up Minnie. On July 20, Minnie was officially welcomed to Sophia’s Grace Foundation.
In the days after Minnie began adjusting to her new home, foster mom Wendy told me she was a great addition to her pack. She loved food and demanded extra snacks regularly. I was lucky enough to see her when she came back for a routine recheck, and she barked a few treats out of me as well. It was evident that Minnie was happy and loved. Not long after I saw happy Minnie, I received word from Wendy that she had taken a turn for the worst. She was at the vet, and the prognosis was not what we wanted. Unfortunately, on August 19, Minnie was helped over the Rainbow Bridge in the loving care of her foster. I know that in Minnie’s last days, she was shown more compassion, love, and care than she may have ever seen.
We know that goodbyes are never easy when it comes to fostering. The goodbye is even more painful when it doesn’t come with a happy adoption on the other side. We have immense gratitude and respect for hospice fosters, and we cannot thank Sophia’s Grace Foundation and Wendy enough for taking our Minnie and giving her what she deserved in her last few weeks. I hope Minnie is getting all the snacks she wants, and she knows that she left pawprints on so many hearts.