We dedicate this page to the dogs who got to experience our mission fulfilled. We promised to give them a family of their own, treat all of their medical ailments to improve their quality of life, and above all, to love them unconditionally until they let us know their lives were complete.
Frosted Faces Foundation is dedicated to fulfilling the promise of family and adequate veterinary care to senior animals. Family is unconditionally devoted and makes sacrifices for each other’s benefit. These sacrifices include dedicating time to behavioral training, investing in medical care, and knowing when to relieve suffering.
We do not advocate the use of euthanasia for convenience because we promote commitment. We do advocate the use of euthanasia when a dogs’ quality of life has diminished physically and/or mentally beyond the application of resources. We refer to the advice of the acting licensed veterinarian, the Executive Director, the experiences of the Family, and a certified behaviorist in appropriate circumstances.
As stated on the Foster and Forever Foster Family Agreement:
Upon a Frosted Face’s passing, Frosted Faces Foundation agrees to provide the Family with a memorial of ashes and a paw print. The ultimate decision to humanely euthanize a Frosted Face is that of FFF Directors and no one else. In all circumstances of death, a licensed veterinarian must contact a Director to verify the cause of death and identify the dog.
As stated on the Foster and Forever Family Agreement:
It is expected that the Frosted Face will live an entire natural life of quality and dignity, free of discomfort. The Family agrees not to euthanize the Frosted Face for convenience. When a Frosted Face fails to thrive, is no longer living a quality life, or cannot be kept comfortable, the Family agrees to resort to euthanasia.
Our most recent Fulfillments are listed at the bottom of the page.
We rescued Ebba from Devore Shelter on June 23, 2012, with the help of The Barking Lot. The shelter said she was 7 years old, but our vets guessed that she was 16 or 17 years old!
From the moment we saw her scheduled for euthanasia at Devore Shelter last June, we had to save her. When the transporter arrived in San Diego, she introduced me to 'Twiggy,' a much smaller and older dog than we had expected. We fell in love with her silly, rigid gait and gentle temperament instantly. She was our first female dog, our little grandma. I named her after a woman I took care of at an assisted living facility in college. My Princess Ebba, Ebba-be-nebula, Ebba-girl, Ebba-lynn.
We don't know what Ebba's previous decade of life was like before she was ours, but we are absolutely positive that the past 16 months she spent with us, were the most memorable moments of her life. Ebba came with me to The Barking Lot in the morning, to work at night, and she was always the top pick of the pack to join us for dinner outings. She was my other fluffy half, my little girlfriend.
Whoever left her in the shelter to die, missed out. Ebba had a good year left in her, in fact...her best. No one could have loved her as much as we did. Considering all the sadness we drowned in at her passing, we hope Ebba's story radiates the amount of love we shared, and encourages you to adopt a senior pet.
We are grateful to have had Ebba in our lives as she was our inspiration in launching Frosted Faces Foundation.
We rescued 13 year old Ernie from South LA Shelter, with the help of The Barking Lot, on May 7th, 2014. He ate very little upon rescue, but he loved eggs! He was diagnosed with congestive heart failure by our veterinarians. We loved him up, and tried to give him as many positive and caring experiences as possible! Ernie went on a trip to Fiesta Island, watched sunsets on Mission Bay, tried on a couple new outfits, ate some great new human foods, and received a lot of snuggles. A short couple weeks passed, and on May 19th, 2014, while we were at the vet for chest x-rays, he went into cardiac arrest and passed away. Ernie taught us how precious our time is here on Earth, as our hearts were set at ease after his passing, knowing how special his last weeks had been.
Edie (fka Sugar) was a 14 year old owner surrender, who we rescued from Carson Shelter on May 21, 2014. The previous owners said she was too ill. Thanks to The Barking Lot for helping us to rescue her, and Kathleen McCabe who transported this little sweetie to us!
The whole first evening Edie was passing out every 40 minutes! We took her to Bay Park Veterinary Clinic the next morning to learn that she was having syncopatic episodes due to congestive heart failure. After getting her a prescription for the appropriate medications, she trotted out of the vet, and hadn't had an episode the rest of her time with us.
Edie still wheezed a bit when she got too excited, so we tried to be very gentle with her. That didn't stop her from investigating the WHOLE yard, and she loved rolling in the grass! Edie sat at our feet wherever we were dwelling, and when we were eating, she stood at our feet and barked with a whole-hearted hop! Yes, this little princess melted us!
Edie's little heart told us it was her time to go on August 20th, 2014. We are confident that we Fulfilled our promise of Family to her, as her broken-hearted mommy and daddy wept over her and whispered sweet words into her ears, as we released her from her struggle-our final promise.
9 year old Bubba was rescued from Baldwin Park shelter on September 6th, 2014. Bubba always had people rooting for him! Bubba was well networked by countless Baldwin dog supporters who loved him, and we were able to rescue him with TWO foster offers on deck! Tori Armstrong rushed to the shelter to spring him for us as soon as she heard the news that we had a plan. He howled in her front seat on the way home to let everyone know he was a free man!
Bubba was a big boy, weighing in at 49 lbs, and he was calm and as lovable as a marshmallow (sweet & pillowy). He loved being out and watching the happenings of the house from his orthopedic pillow under a big fan! After his initial vetting we found that he had an upper respiratory infection, Lymphoma, and poorly functioning kidneys.
Anxious Family, Paul Hupp and "pack" were waiting for his arrival nonetheless where they could continue treatment. He spent one really good night with Paul getting lots of petting and snuggling, and a good teeth cleaning. We were beginning to be concerned that he hadn't eaten in 3 days, so volunteer, Lynsey Rave, drove him all of the way back to San Diego for more testing. While in San Diego Bubba snagged the hearts of the Lawler's, a Family who was designated as short term foster while he received care. We retested Bubba's labs, and test results 7 days later proved worse, revealing that he was in the advanced stages of multiple organ systems failing.
We agreed on one more good day where he still refused the best of food, but got snuggled by the Lawler kids and got to lay in the grass under the warm sun. The kids said what we were all thinking, "Bubba has such a cute face. Why can't we just put Bubba's face on a healthier body?"
Poor Bubba let us know he was was ready to be pain free, as his breathing started to deteriorate and he passed diarrhea of food he had never eaten. His body was all done. Bubba was escorted over the Rainbow Bridge on September 14th, 2014, with eight loving hands rubbing his body, scratching his ears, and kissing his nose.
We wish we could fill these paragraphs with more stories…a greater glimpse of happiness we could have given him. In only a week though, he somehow went from having no Family to THREE Families, all who prayed, cried, and gawked over adorable pictures we shared with each other while exchanging responsibility for his care. Bubba passed with dignity and literally encapsulated by several hands of love.
Dad, Paul Hupp's message to Bubba, "Bubba, I loved you, I still love you and I miss you…"
We rescued Pax from Carson Shelter on September 23rd, 2014 at the age of 10. When we saw her heartbreaking video, we knew we were dealing with a dog who had neurological issues. She spun circles to her right, and her head was permanently tilted to the right. Upon vetting, we discovered she had a brain tumor and her illness overtook her body and quality of life quickly. When it became difficult for her to breathe we released her from the pain of which her body held her captive, to run free in the meadows over the Rainbow Bridge. Pax's mom, Robyn, will tell you what you really want to know…the good things like how much she was loved.
"Kelly and I met in October 2013 when we adopted Kimber (fka Hermione) from The Barking Lot, where she worked at the time. We later realized we’d actually both been at the Courthouse at the same time when applying for our marriage licenses – to wed the incredibly patient and supportive dog lover husbands we now both have. When Kelly started Frosted Faces, I knew I wanted to be a part of it, and have been lucky enough to meet almost every Frosted Face to take before and after photos.
When Kelly posted Daniela’s picture seeking a hospice foster for her, I knew we had to get her out. So from a plane somewhere over the Middle East, I messaged and said we’d take her. We named her Pax, hoping to show her some peace in her final days. Pax came to us when we landed 18 hours later, and bonded quickly. She made herself comfortable on an oversized bed, met my three giant fur-kids, and seemed to feel at home. Pax turned out to be a champion photo-editing partner, snoozing on her bed while I worked. She got cheeseburgers for dinner and her fill of ear scratches and snuggles. Kimber, in particular, took to Pax – at first wondering why she wouldn’t play, but quickly realizing Pax demanded a gentler friend.
When I went home at lunch to check on Pax, I knew something wasn’t right. I took her outside for some sunshine and settled her on her comfy bed. They say a picture is worth a thousand words, so I'll let Kimber and Pax tell the rest of the story of a fast friendship and an unlikely pair who were together only a few days, but together til the end. Pax vobiscum -- peace be with you. RIP, pretty girl."
13 year old Jiminy Cricket (fka Dingo/Killer) was rescued from Baldwin Park Shelter on October 21st, 2014, after being left behind by his owners who had been in an accident and could no longer care for him. He was supposed to be our shining star on a Thanksgiving FOX dog-a-thon, and sit on the lap of Betty White! We only picked the cutest, best mannered dog we could find…and that was you sweet Jiminy.
Be still my heart. I was ready for you the moment I saw your frosted face. I waited 10 days in vain for you to become available in hopes that perhaps your Mom & Dad may have not truly abandoned you and may return. When I first met you, your smile melted me, and I was relieved that you were safe in our care. This outcome was not fair and I grieve for you because I was falling in love with you and we had big plans for your little special life. You will not be forgotten sweet Jiminy.
Jiminy Cricket's breath became labored. X-rays showed that his lungs we're 90% filled with fluid and he had a pneumonia. We treated him, put our trust in the veterinarians and waited for Jiminy to recover. We received a call in the afternoon a day later that it was time. Andy & I rushed to find our baby struggling to breathe even in an oxygen tent. We held our dear Jiminy tightly on our laps and let our tears flow as we let him go on October 23rd, 2014.
We cried for you Jiminy. You had a Family in us and we will not forget you.
Giles was rescued from Ramona Humane Society on August 5th, 2014. Giles (fka Elijah) lived with the loving Family of Wendy Loeffler. She took one look at the intake photo and just knew that underneath the matted fur and bad teeth was a sweet boy that had to come home to stay with her son and her terrier mutt, Guinness. And she was right. His first haircut was a little rough, but he was super cute, soft as a little lamb, and only 8 lbs. The doc thinks he is 14 years old and he had all sorts of the general stray-related issues, such as matted fur, infected foxtails, fleas, bad teeth, skinny body, and kennel cough. He appears to be a poodle-bichon mix, with others added in for variety, perhaps. He has super long front legs and one wonky ankle, which makes him walk/hop like a small gazelle. Most of his teeth had to be extracted with the exception of the three front canines that were left in place, giving him a snaggle-tooth appearance.
He settled in perfectly into the house. Guinness, who is a 20-lb stocky pup, was gentle with him. Giles seemed unable or uncertain about navigating the steps to the porch and deck, but within a week or two, he was going up and down them like a champ. And while he was a little old man, he still seemed to have some fiesty male behaviours, such as trying to one-up Guinness while relieving themselves in the yard! He was super-bonded with Wendy and followed her around whenever he could. He also slept a lot and loved nothing better than to be curled up on the couch or bed, next to one of his family. He curled up at night next to her head although she tried to get him to sleep in his dogbed by her feet to make sure he didn't get smushed at night.
He was a sweet boy! Poor Giles was diagnosed with advanced liver disease and his health declined rapidly. Wendy administered food, fluids, and meds to try and get it under control. On October 27th, 2014 Giles told his mom that he was ready to be more comfortable and needed her to lovingly help him pass away into a painless deep sleep. Giles was one of the worst cases of neglect Frosted Faces has yet experienced and we are privileged to have been able to pair him with wonderful Wendy, to fulfill our promise of Family in his final months.
Emily (fka Precious) was an 18 year old owner surrender from Carson Shelter, who we rescued on June 17th, 2014. Her previous owners claimed she was too old. We drove up one day after being relinquished, because we noticed her immediate resemblance to our Princess Ebba-Face, and we HAD to have her! Imagine that! Someone having to have you after being heartlessly surrendered!
It was obvious right away that Emily couldn't see and had neurological issues because she was walking in circles. She was quite skinny underneath all of that fluff too! After being examined at Lindsey Veterinary Clinic, we were pretty sure her time was limited. We took her home and loved her up, and realized that Emily wasn't going anywhere!
Much of Emily's confusion was a result of her blindness, with a some tendencies of dementia, but MAN, this girl wanted to live! She loved to eat. Her teeth were very rotten, but we had opted out of surgery due to her age. Despite her sore mouth, she chomped down anything she was given, and took it from us with gusto! Emily slept between us at night, and loved all the smells of the yard. Other times she wandered, or we tried to make her comfortable on the couch. Gentle Emily was sincerely acknowledged by the other dogs and they were very patient with her tiny, stiff steps. We are so happy to have had this precious girl in our lives!
On November 3rd, 2014 we decided that Emily was not living the exceptional quality of life we wanted for her with her newfound freedom. She was having a more difficult time getting comfortable, she had begun actually acting very lost and cried out often with confusion, opposed to her previous state where she happily lived in a state of unawareness in Emilyville.
Emily forced us to evaluate what dogs should get out of life. She never seemed "present" from day one, but because bloodwork and tests consistently came back normal, we made the conscious decision to keep her alive and challenged ourselves to keep her comfortable and provide the good things that made her sparkle. She loved meeting the new dogs and the hustle of the pack. She would stop spinning circles and approach dogs for sniffs! If any food was out her eyes and her nose followed us, making feeding times special moments because she truly acknowledged us! More than anything Emily loved to be scooped up like a baby by Dad, and fall asleep on the rise and fall and warmth of his chest. This was how her last night was spent with us, and her dad was the last one to hold her before she fell into a deep endless sleep. We love you Emily, and we will miss you sweetheart.
Benny’s new life consisted of walks in the park, chin scratches, snuggles, tasty meals and a warm comfy bed for him to rest his arthritic body. When Benny fell down, there were patient and understanding hands there to pick him back up and sit with him until he was calm and cozy again. He literally had the support and prayers of a thousand people that followed his story and the many folks that donated money, beds, and their time towards the common goal of giving Benny a better life.
Benny’s passing is incredibly sad in the sense that we wish we would have had more time with him. On the other hand, we are happy that he is at peace now and that he passed away with dignity, while being showered in kisses and held by two people that loved him very much.
Thank you to all the people that helped bring Benny into our lives. Thank you to Benny for being so tough and loving and hanging in there until our paths crossed. Carley and I were both honored to have you as part of our family and we will truly miss our walks, your kisses and wrapping our arms around you. Rest in peace Benny Boo Bear. We love you." Tina Saxton
"If love alone could have kept you here, you would have lived forever." Carley King
Benny passed away on November 11th, 2014.
Bobbie was rescued from Downey Shelter on November 9th, 2014. He got a good bath, warm snuggles on a therapeutic dog bed, showed us that he knew how to roll over, and had the most gentle demeanor. The next morning he took a turn for the worse.
His temperature has been sky high for a couple of days and he couldn't even breathe with the help of oxygen. He's been in the hospital receiving IV fluids and antibiotics, oxygen, and being kept cool since yesterday morning. X-rays showed his lungs were filled with fluid and he also suffered from a heart murmur which makes treatment difficult. By this afternoon, doctors said the prognosis wasn't good, that he was suffering and would most likely not recover.
We are grateful for every dollar we are able to spend on the care of our dogs, because sometimes no amount of money can save them. Today, November 13th, 2014, 10 year old Bobbie from Downey lost his battle with pneumonia and passed away.
It was just Bobbie & me when it was time. It was nice to be alone. I got to talk to him out loud with no reservations and I got to hold him and sob all over him when he was gone. Bobbie was loved and we wanted so much good for him.
The worst part about losing our Frosted Faces right out of the shelter is that they don't get to experience all of the love and plans we have so carefully set in place for each. Bobbie didn't even get to meet his mom, Jill Farris Knipp. You as fans didn't even get know Bobbie well, and he was such a dear dog. That first night he showed us roll over, he gave kisses, and he was soooo beautiful and gentle.
We love you Bobbie. Rest in peace.
We rescued 18 year old Eddie (fka Tiny) from Carson Shelter on November 9th, 2014. He lived with three different Families in his time with Frosted Faces Foundation! He went to a short term foster, where he stayed for two weeks with Jamie & Jamie Aitken. While his true Family, Kay Buell, nursed another of her ailing dogs, Eddie stayed at Headquarters for awhile and roamed innocently with our pack. He finally got to be with his mom, Kay, until the end, when his brain cancer got the best of him and took him away form us on December 8th, 2014.
Jamie, who knew Eddie best, wrote this in tribute to him:
"Eddie felt like family from the moment we met him, even if it was only temporary. He came back to our house and while he was getting acquainted with his new surroundings he gave my husband a big kiss on the face. Our crazy young small dogs even loved Eddie, following him around on walks and in the backyard while exploring. Our nicknames for Eddie were “Sir Eddard” or “Edward”, because he was such a regal old soul.
My favorite memories of him were when he would wake up from a nap and wag his little nub tail ever so slightly at seeing me. He loved eating his soft food, especially when hand fed or spoon fed to him. He loved taking walks around the neighborhood, smelling the bushes on the hillside and hopping up and down the curbs. Everyone who met him remarked what a calm, polite and gentle boy he was. He was very good natured. He never made a peep, not even a growl when the younger dogs barked at him or ran around near him. He spent much of his time napping and I think he liked it when I covered him with a nice plush blanket. At first he was not too interested in being petted and seemed indifferent to it. By the end of our time with him, he would walk over and put his head near my lap so I could pet him.
I told Eddie so many times how much he was loved and that life isn't fair many times, but things were better for him now and he had families that loved him. I truly believe he knew this and felt all the love he was given. Eddie was our temporary foster, but we will forever love and remember him. His loss has hit us hard, but I would not trade it for anything. Jamie&Jamie (aka temporary mom&dad) love you Eddie. Thank you Kelly, Andy & Kay for allowing us to love Eddie too."
We lost our sweet 13 year old Pumpkin this morning, December 12th, 2014. She told her mom that she didn't want to eat anymore, she was not strong enough to walk, and she was dazed with pain. We rescued Pumpkin from Downey Shelter on October 2nd, 2014. As you may recall, she suffered from an enlarged spleen, most likely hemangiosarcoma, and laryngeal paralysis.
While one of Pumpkin's short term fosters Kristen Martin DeMuth was a phone call away, her other short term foster Lynsey Roever, her mom, Kristin Lucas and I consoled each other and held Pumpkin as she passed away. With an unleashed cry, her mom announced to the room, "I just LOVE her!" as she draped her body over Pumpkin's.
We have so much lost time to make up for when we discover our abandoned Frosted Faces so late in life. I know Kristin was wishing "Pump" could talk this morning and tell her, "We had enough time, and you loved me as hard as you could while you had me."
While Pumpkin is at peace, we are left behind hurting. Pumpkin's short term foster mom, Lynsey Roever, wrote this letter to make Pumpkin's mom, Kristin, feel better.
"Dear Mama Kristin,
You are the best mom I ever had. When I was in that cold unhappy place you call the shelter, no one noticed when I threw up or how skinny I was getting or that I didn't feel well. Then you and Kelly came for me, and I knew I was one lucky girl. I never minded all that construction noise in the new house, because I was home with you. You made me the best homemade food. You fed me so nicely and were so patient with me. You snuggled me on your bed and gave me such nice dog beds. You kept me warm in a sweater. You took me out in the sun on those nice walks until I was tired and had to stop. You carried me when I needed it and took me to the vet today when I was needed it. No one noticed my silly under bite the way you did or kissed my little snout and nose like you did. You made me feel like a model with all of the pictures you took of me. Trevor was pretty nice, except for what I like to call the thermometer incident... And those littles that kept sneaking into my bed were nice too, but you're the one I counted on and you're the one whose snuggles I loved most of all. You all were so sweet to include me in your Christmas card photo and to make me feel so loved. I loved being part of you family, and I wanted to hold on and stay with you longer. But it was getting too hard for me, and I was so tired all the time. Thank you for letting me rest. Thank you being my best home ever and for all your love.
Pumpkin's other short term foster mom, Kristen DeMuth Martin, wrote this in tribute to Pumpkin:
"We were blessed to know and care for Pumpkin and her sweet soul. We saw her go from unable to walk the stairs to running up them showing that love and compassion really is powerful. Though she didn't have much time, the love everyone gave her brought out the best in her, and she gave us a lesson in courage. Rest well Pumpkin."
We rescued Remy (fka Rembrandt) from Devore Shelter on January 2nd, 2015. After only two nights in our care he passed away in his sleep during the night on January 4th, 2015. Remy was a gentle big bear who walked slowly around the house who battled with bouts of dementia. When we got him he appeared to have lived outside and had no fur under where a large tight collar was wrapped. His fur was soaked with oil and debris.
We wish we could have seen him truly settle and feel comfortable at home. We couldn't wait to see how great his fur would grow with proper care. We mostly wanted him to have new and enjoyable life experiences where he knew he was part of a Family. We lost Remy too soon, as it was only the beginning of the BEST of his life. He was loved deeply by Andy & Kelly Smisek, and we will never forget you.
14 year old Simon was rescued from Moreno Valley Shelter on August 24th, 2014. Thanks to TJ & Bobbie Shaw for being his Family! Simon passed away on January 8th, 2015.
Mom, Bobbie writes:
"I didn't hesitate. How could you look at that face and say no? We fell in love with Simon as soon as we picked him up, and it felt like we had him his whole life. He automatically became part of our family. I miss him following me around! Even though he was blind he seemed to know where I was aways. I miss his little bark that sounded like a seal. We can't imagine how anyone could carry him into a pound and walk away. We loved that little man, and he will be missed."
16 year old Molly was rescued from Baldwin Park Shelter on August 12th, 2014. She is sweet as can be, and comfortably lounged in her new Family's home with Frosted Face Samuel, and new mom, Kay Buell, for a few months before her passing on January 11th, 2015.
"My Molly had my heart when I saw her curled up in her cage at the shelter. She came up and looked at her eyes and promised she would never sleep on cement again and was coming home with me. Petite soft coat and soulful eyes described Molly. Followed me everywhere. My puppy Vida loved Molly from day one. Mother and daughter I called them. Molly watched over all my furkids and was just a protector at heart. She liked harmony in the house and always smiling when I came through the door. Like she was saying, 'all is good mommy and you can take over.' She loved treats ice cream sitting on her favorite lounge chair in the sun watching the world go by. We miss you Mollly and our house is empty without you. Vida looks for you all the time. We are heartbroken and remember we will see you again my Molly Wolly. Fly high Angel....till we meet again.
Love Mom and Vida"
15 year old White White from Baldwin Park Shelter was rushed down to our vet in San Diego on February 1st, 2015 by the speedy & loving Daniel Murray.
From what we understand, White White's owners brought her in the day before to be put to sleep and the shelter did not do it. She could not walk, control her bowels, and seemed to be having a hard time breathing.
Our new Frosted Face has Family, TJ & Bobbie Shaw, anxiously wanted her, but we were not so sure her systems will allow her to keep on. That night was a night when I wonder how we do this, but affirm that we do not rescue for us (at least not initially ♥) - we leap and we do it for them. She sleeps peacefully eternally and we ache as we had invested our hearts.
We lost her. I don't even quite know how to wrap my head around her death because we didn't even get to say "goodbye." The ER vets took White White back, her gums were pale, they began an exam while giving her fluids & oxygen, and we waited patiently just to have them come out to tell us we had lost her of natural causes. We always make a point of being present for our Frosted Faces' passings and not being able to hold White White tightly and tell her how much she meant to us is devastating.
There is peace in knowing that she was wrapped in her soft pink blanket, prayed for, treated, and had plans of another Family. We are lucky to have gotten her out of the shelter just one day after she was surrendered, because she would have surely passed in a metal cage. We think that her mom & dad knew it was her time which is why they brought her to the shelter and requested White White be put to sleep. We suspect that per shelter policies they could not do this for them. We can only guess that her family did not have the resources to help her cross the bridge and felt they and no options (only speculation). There is no reconciling that she was without her family of 15 years and that she struggled in the end.
We tried, I am sorry. We love you White White.
10 year old Arthur was rescued from Apple Valley Shelter on January 20th, 2015. Art lived with three kids of his own and the loving Rob & Jen! We let Arthur rest on February 15th, 2015. His Family had so much love to give him, but his discomfort made it impossible for him to enjoy all they had to offer. Over the course of a week and half he had lost over 10 pounds, although he ate ravenously at home. The doctors were quite positive he had progressive cancer. He struggled to walk & stand, and his breathing became obviously labored yesterday. Arthur's dad Rob, along with Andy & I, held him as we said goodbye. Arthur's mom Jen was at home consoling the kids-his biggest fans.
Arthur's mom writes,
"We had to say goodbye to our friend Arthur today. We only met him a few weeks ago, but he worked his way into our hearts immediately and there is an empty feeling in the house right now. As we shed our tears and grieve we are reminding ourselves that we are lucky to be the ones who got to snuggle him in the end. Thank you Frosted Faces for sharing Arthur with our family and for helping us to teach our children to Love Big in this life. Arthur, we love you and will remain your Forever Family."
Alfie was safe at headquarters the afternoon of February 19th, 2015. Nothing would convince me to leave him behind after seeing his frail body spinning in a small dark concrete kennel at Bonita Shelter. Thank you to Terri Green & Noelle Kottas for reaching out to us on Alfie's behalf.
We took him to San Diego Bay Animal Hospital for an exam where they told us he had a very loud heart murmur, his back legs were weak, and he was quite thin. His spinning was not a result of vestibular disease, but more likely an organ system failing.
We never pull dogs without forever fosters in place, but I was just telling someone I had a gut feeling he had to get out to-day. Good thing we rescued him because I can promise you that Alfie was tucked tightly between Andy & I that night until his passing.
We took 9 year old Alfie from San Diego Humane Society to the San Diego Bay Animal Hospital the morning after he suffered seizures his first night with us. We learned that his lab work was okay, so that meant the tight circles, head pressing, getting caught & barking in corners was most likely a result of a disease in his brain. The doctors explained to us that if he was seizing, like we had experienced with him the night before, in combination with the other symptoms, his disease & dementia was very advanced.
The most difficult decision of quality of life & considering the peace of death, comes in evaluating dogs with severe dementia for us. Since we rescued Alfie the day before, since early afternoon, he showed the above symptoms along with constant humming of being "lost" or in pain through the whole day, night, and today. He had no rest, no sparkle, no recognition of comfort.
We decided to let Alfie go on February 20th, 2015. More than anything we wanted Alfie to know that we were there for him. That we would fight for him if he wanted to fight & we would carry him if he wanted to be released. We did what we thought was best for Alfie & he will always be a Smíšek. We love you Frosted Face, Alfie. Your Family is mourning tonight, but we know you are at peace. Love, Kelly
These cases can be the most emotionally difficult. All your efforts to make them understand that they are safe and loved seem to fail as the dementia has them in a state of total confusion. But, Kelly doesn't ever seem to give up. When I got up for work at 5:00 this morning I found her lying on a dog bed on the floor with Alfie snuggled up tightly in her arms and sleeping peacefully. I believe that at least a part of him knew that he was safe and loved, and that's all we can ever hope to accomplish.
Mabel was dropped over the fence into an FFF supporter's yard. She immediately reached out to us, and we networked sweet Mabel for a Family. Only a week later, Elaine and Danny Flores stepped up, and were in LOVE with her! She officially became a Frosted Face on September 23rd, 2014. The vet thought she was about 11 years old, and had been bred many times. SHE was finally the baby, and a prize to be won!
As Mabel spent time with her Family they realized her belly was getting very large, she was uncomfortable on her own four legs, and she consumed water endlessly. Labs finally revealed an answer to our concerns, which was diabetes, but it was only a symptom of the underling issues. On Mabel’s last days she was producing ketones from insulin deficiency, she had a massive tumor in her abdomen pushing on her organs, and her arthritis had become so painful that she could not use her legs for even the most delightful things like eating and cat chasing. On March 4th, 2015, Mabel’s Family let her be pain free and at peace.
Mabel’s mom, Elaine, wrote this beautiful tribute:
“Mabel, our darling Mabel.
With her little eyes shining brightly Mabel walked into her new forever home and our lives were changed forever. She loved food like she loved her walks, sniffing and doing what dogs do best, she loved us and upon arriving home from work she would be at the front door with her little tail wagging waiting for those hugs and kisses, not to forget who was going to feed her.
She tolerated the indoor cats and did not like the fact that the ferals would come to the back door for meal time. If she did not know you she would in her strange little voice bark to let you know a stranger had entered her space. She was a very intelligent dog to as she knew exactly when she was about to have her bath, I think this was one of her pet peeves if you pardon the pun.
We never thought that we could love a dog so much in such short a time. Last night when she allowed the indoor cats to sniff her we knew that she was suffering.
Today we celebrate Mabel’s life and know that she had a loving home and was so loved. May you rest at the rainbow bridge my little princess.”
10 year old "Nina" was rescued from San Bernardino City Animal Control on December 5th, 2014. She was newly named "Skylar" and lived with Family, Stacey & James Dowdell, and their kids, Nathan & Carli. On April 9th, 2015 something did not seem right to her mom, as Skylar was whimpering and had had a seizure the night before. We were advised that symptoms indicated she had a brain tumor and by that evening, Skylar experienced so many back to back seizures in the ER that her brain was dulled and we were advised to let her go.
Skylar will surely be missed and she was finally part of a Family where her daily antics were shared with loved ones. Mom would laugh at how lazy Sky was! She said if she wasn't eating or out on a walk, she was sleeping on her spot on the couch. And it was oh-so endearing when Skylar would lay on her back with her feet straight up in the air! Mom, Stacey, explained that when her best friend would come over, she would lay with Skylar and spoon her and Sky LOVED it! Skylar wasn't the best behaved with her new cats, but only a few months in she had learned to not only co-exist, but to sleep next to them on the couch. She would even let them groom her!
In the end when Stacey and her Family endured watching the side effects and treatment of Skylar's brain tumor and then the unspeakable heartache of losing Skylar, Stacey wrote, "I am hoping for the best but preparing for the worst. Last night was the first night I was angry at whoever her original owners were because she is a senior dog and didn't deserve to be in left in a shelter to die. At the same time, I am so glad we had her these past four months and am hoping selfishly for more time with her, but not if she is suffering. She is a sweet girl and we love her so much."
Senior rescue is not for the faint of heart… or is it? We are sure the Dowdell's will rescue again. To love so much to be moved to act, and then act again in the face of heartache. Knowing you don't rescue for you - you rescue for the dog, and the next dog. For Skylar. You are forever in our hearts.
We had a Family offer for Samuel (known as Larry in the shelter) right away when he arrived at Carson Shelter. Kay Buell, the ultimate serial senior foster, had this boy on her mind! We were all ready to save him, and then suddenly, the shelter had rescanned him and discovered a microchip. We and our anxious foster waited for Samuel's microchip hold to be done. No one came, but we were knocking down his kennel door on his due out date on July 28th, 2014!
He was infested with fleas and ticks and had a horribly stiff gate. The vet told us that his elbows were very thick with arthritis, causing him to walk like he was on stilts. We immediately put him on Metacam, and his joints now move a little more fluidly. After being bathed and medicated causing the fleas to fall off, Sammy had the softest thick coat!
Sammy loved the beach, giving kisses, running with excited pitter patters of his front feet toward his mommy, and then bunny hops! He also learned how to open the fridge on one of his first nights in the house! Uh oh! He got his weekly dose of ice cream to keep those pitter patters going too!
It was on April 12th, 2015 Kay told us Samuel had been stolen from her yard. We later learned that she made some very irresponsible decisions with her dogs as a person who we did not recognize or experience in our multiple interactions. We fear that Samuel is no longer alive and our hearts ache for him.
13 year old Lexi (fka Aurora) was rescued from Downey Shelter on January 7th, 2015. She lived with Family, Lino & Sheila Vitale, for four beautiful months! We lost her on April 26th, 2015 after she suffered a debilitating seizure leaving her completely paralyzed. Lexi was deeply loved, and her absence has left her parents completely crushed.
We Fulfilled our promise to Burnzy April 27th, 2015. We rescued 14 year old Burnzy on August 5th, 2014 after he has been surrendered there by his owners. His family writes:
"It's with great sadness and tear filled eyes that I have to announce that MrBurnzy has crossed over the rainbow bridge.
When he became a part of the Soto family last year in June, the vet said he'd give him 6 days to 6 weeks max. Well we showed him... Burnzy got a taste of the "good water" and lived the rest of his life surrounded by love, family and a whole bunch of foster brothers and sisters.
We will miss his "happy feet dance" that he preformed before every meal and the nudge of his muzzle along the couch when we watched TV. He might've only had 10 months with us but we loved him as if we had him for 10yrs.
We love you BURNZY!!! Rest in peace now with no pain."
Thank you to Raymond and Pam Soto for being Burnzy's Forever Foster Family.
❤Love, Mom & Dad.
17 year old Sweet was rescued from Carson Shelter on Sunday, March 15th, 2015. She was surrendered by the son of a woman who was suffering from Alzheimer's. Sweet was loved by Family, John & Rose Sanders until we lost her to bladder cancer on May 15th, 2015.
Sweet's mom writes,
"We had to say goodbye to our Sweet today. She was a part of our family for almost 2 months to the day, but we can’t remember what life was like before she entered our lives and hearts. She was 17 and had kidney issues when she first came to us. She was a shelter surrender, and we couldn’t bear the thought of her living out her last days without a warm, loving home to be a part of. Common sense would dictate not to get too attached to her. Kelly warned us that our time with her would be short, but we unabashedly gave her full access to our hearts anyway. Her tail, which was lifeless most of the time, wagged on a few occasions, and what a joy it was to see. I wish I could have been quicker on the video to have captured it. Then there were her “cracker dog” times when she would leap like a gazelle around the yard. We wish we could have seen her in her younger days. Her nicknames were numerous in our home: Kanga, Roo, little girl, Sweetie-pie and Youngster were among our favorites. She loved, and was loved by, our other dog, Monte. When we took her to the vet today, she and Monte touched noses. It was like they both knew and were saying their own goodbyes.
She loved to lie in the sun and at night, would bask in warm towels from the dryer that I would wrap her up in. When I woke her up for that last potty break before bed, she never wanted to get up. I would carry her out every night and I would always kiss her on the nose. She didn’t care for that at first, but it became our thing. I’m really going to miss those times the most.
We were so honored to have been a part of Sweet’s life and we’re so glad that she was showered with love in a warm, cozy home. We love you, baby girl, and we’ll never forget you."
10 year old Freckles was rescued from Devore Shelter on May 4th, 2015. He was sweet as can be, and lived with forever foster Family, April Smith. On May 21st, 2015, Freckles let us know that he felt adequately loves and needed release from the pain caused by his bone cancer that his body could not bear anymore.
Freckles' mom, April writes,
You were only with me for a short time, but it felt like you were my friend for so much longer.
I'm so glad we were able to spend your last day relaxing in the sand, with the breeze in your face.
I laid you to rest under this beautiful tree, because I know how much you love being surrounded by nature. I placed you under a heart, because you took a piece of my heart when you left. I think you were always meant to be here with me, I just wish we had more time."
11 year old Paully was rescued from Baldwin Park Shelter on November 10th, 2014. We often called him our little "potato," and he resided with Kelly & Andy Smisek. On May 26th, 2015, the looming brain tumor got the best of his systems and he passes away peacefully at home in his Andy's arms.
Andy writes, "I loved Paully. He had a bold personality as a tenacious eater, barker, chewer, and even getting into scuffles with dogs many times his size. At the same time, he was completely helpless. He was totally blind, weak, and had breathing problems. I loved caring for him and seeing him thrive. And more than anything, I loved seeing him sleep peacefully, whether he was pressed up against another dog or tucked safely in my arms.
Paully was such a sweet boy. I feel privileged that he stuck around as long as he did. We thought he would only last a couple weeks which has made the past 6 months with him feel so special. Thank you my precious Paully for being part of my life."
Kelly writes, "I remember seeing your picture over and over again thinking that you looked "rough." When I found out that you were brought in as a stray I had to laugh out loud as that was absolutely ridiculous, You couldn't even walk! I pleaded for a foster, but knew you needed an immediate exit. I guaranteed to your dad that you were a "hospice case" and needed to be humanely euthanized, which the shelter could not do as immediately as you appeared to have needed suffering to end. When the transporter, Tori Armstrong, said you mustered up a bark on the ride home, I smiled and called the vet and said, 'This may be more of a check up!' We worked our tushies off to make you comfortable and help you to breathe those first two weeks, never knowing which kiss goodnight would be our last.
Never would we have dreamed that you would be part of our family until the end of May! And you really lived hard and fast! You barked the loudest bark, cuddled with the friendliest and most grateful of dogs, you always took advantage of every toy in your path, and your hunger was insatiable! I was happy to take you on a long ride in my bike basket, which you loved, carry you to several FFF outings where you were nearly stolen from my own two hands because you were irresistibly cute, and you loved 'hot tub time' when you sat in our kitchen sink filled with warm water, where your little tater body sat and soaked up the therapy!
One of the absolute funniest memories of you that I have is when I was at work and your your crazy dad texted me a picture of poop inside of one of your pink toy balls that you had chewed apart. You had pooped perfectly right inside of it, Paully! Paully, or as we often endearingly cheered around the house, Paaauuu!!- I am so glad that we could appreciate you so much, enjoy your company and love you enormously."
Penelope was rescued from Moreno Valley Shelter on November 8th, 2014. 15 year old Penelope lived with loving forever foster Bella Shepard. Penelope - sweet as butter - lost her battle with congestive heart failure on June 23rd, 2015. Thank you Melissa Muik for being Penny's dedicated monthly sponsoring Fan.
15 year old Choco was rescued from Lancaster Shelter on October 20th, 2014. He had a boy of his very own, Dillon Salcido! We lost Choco to congestive heart failure on June 29th, 2015. Thank you to
Jennifer Faraji, Alana Lawler, and Sima Salek for being Choco's dedicated monthly sponsoring Fans.
We rescued 16 year old Lucy (fka Baby) from Downey Shelter on June 4th, 2015. She is the softest and sweetest little "Chug" and she was happily living with Lori Arsenault.
On July 4th, 2015 we Fulfilled our promises to 16 year old Lucy from Downey Shelter yesterday evening and let her go. Her poor mom fell for Lucy so quickly, it was hardly fair to have such a short amount of time with her. We are privileged to have been able to pair her with a Family and treat her ailments to give her some time to be comfortable in loving arms.
Lucy's mom writes, "My heart melted when I first saw Lucy (fka Baby) at the shelter. I believed she should come into our family and I was so happy when we were chosen. At 16 years of age I knew she wouldn’t be with us more than a year or so, but I did not expect 3-short weeks. In that little time my husband and I both had our bonding moments with her, like her first attempt to give me a kiss with her funny little jaw or the time she just laid her head on my chest and sighed. How could anyone not love her?
She gave us a few scares in the time we had her, but we still recognized her will and so desperately wanted to give her something to live for. We saw her getting weaker and prayed we still might get to do that for her. Although her seizures seemed to be under control for the last week we saw her getting weaker and needing more help. Lucy would fall and we would have to help her get back up and then we noticed her breathing was becoming heavy and labored. The last few days I was hand feeding her and poor old lady was doing face and butt plants into her water bowl.
For one little time she was mine and I loved her with my whole heart. Lucy you are safe forever now and soon a new dog will need me, but you will be in my heart forever and ever."
15 year old Harley was rescued on June 4th, 2014 from Downey Shelter. He was probably relieved that he was surrendered because he was in such poor condition, and he then lived with a real Family with forever fosters Anthony & Mary Savoia.Harley's body was overcome by side effects of Cushing's Disease, and in the end, liver failure. His mom writes:
"It's amazing how hard you can fall in love with somebody in just 6 weeks. When Harley arrived it was as if he had given up. His spirit was broken. But, within a couple days his tail started wagging again and he was enjoying life! He had something to live for. He had a family that loved him. We knew that even though his spirit was healed, his body was still broken. So, we made the most of the time we had. Every day was a gift. Even today... we stopped at Fiesta one last time. We sat at the waters edge, just enjoying our last moments together. Somebody came by and said "He's beautiful!" And he was. When it was time to go, I wasn't ready. But, somehow Harley knew, so he got up and walked to the car. He was ready to go. At the vets, I really wanted to run out the door, take him home and smother him in kisses for a couple more days. I really wanted to be selfish. But, I couldn't do that. I had to tell him it was okay to go. RIP my sweet Harley.
'If love alone could have kept you here, you would have lived forever.'"
We rescued 15 year old Sweety from Coachella Valley Shelter on July 23rd, 2015. She was confiscated from her owner's home and they had cruelty charges pending. Poor Sweety from Coachella was whimpering & whining all through the night and suffered from a disease where she was unable to express her bladder causing her to not be able to walk and it was very painful. The little girl never rested, never put her head down for a second or stopped panting. As much as we wanted to show her Family, it was more necessary that we offered her peace.
Dogs live in the moment and when you look at this picture knowing Sweety's forever foster mom, Andrea Dangerfield, was lovingly draped over her when she was put to sleep and relieved of the pain, you have to know this is a last moment that is worth the efforts of rescuing a hospice dog. We will not forget you, Sweety. Thank you Emily Elliott for being Sweety's sponsoring Fan.
River was named after Old Man River, and his shelter name was "Norton." He was rescued from Downey shelter at the age of 12 on March 3rd, 2015, and he found Family with Lisa Biel! On July 25th, 2015 it was apparent there was no more joy to his days and there was no improvement in sight or treatment as options. His forever foster mom, Lisa Biel writes:
"It never gets easier. [We] just let River go to the rainbow bridge...I hope I made a difference. I hope he was a little happy with me. He was loved."
To River's mom Lisa, of course you made a difference. You loved him unconditionally, helped Riv to walk, cleaned up messes, dedicated yourself to finding foods he enjoyed and you stayed with him through the end. Thank you.
10 year old Bonifatius was rescued from Orange County Shelter on April 29th, 2015. Little Boni shared a home with Frosted Face Badger, loved by Matt and Nadia Fulkerson.
His forever foster mom Nadia Fulkerson reflects, "Boni (Bon-Bon) has been our snuggle buddy, my daughter’s backyard playmate and my constant couch companion. I feel very strongly that quality of life supersedes my own personal perspective (which would be that he lives forever). He came to us as a bag of bones and with a special home cooked diet and a ton of TLC, not only did he put on weight but his skin condition got better and he started to truly live.
He moved from the security of his crate to sleeping with my daughter, and you wouldn’t have known he was blind with his confidence getting around our house (memorizing a three bedroom floorplan – color me impressed!). The best part was that Boni came out of his shell; from a shy, scared sweetheart, he found happiness in many ways. He loved his favorite chew toy and would take the funniest stance if he sensed my daughter coming to take it. He loved his back scratched and I swear he would smile when he got them. And oh man, did he love his food!!! He could eat more than our other four pets put together!
Over the past three weeks, he has deteriorated fast. For me, seeing him go in peace in my arms is far more fitting; to let him leave with a bit of dignity and hopefully, the memories of the happy times he’s had with us. For me, quality of life is what he had; where you could see a bounce in his step and his little nubby tail wagging when he found you."
Matt, Nadia & Ella Fulkerson without a doubt gave Boni the BEST of his life. We are proud that he was allowed to pass with dignity on July 27th, 2015, in the arms of a loving Family, and that they were able to take the time to recognize that Boni was saying "I am ready to fly!"
Rest in peace, Boni and thank you
We rescued KD from San Bernardino Shelter at the age of 9 on December 5th, 2014. This picture is a favorite because KD didn't just look this trustingly right into the eyes of anyone, but you know that she is looking into they face of the single most meaningful person in her whole life- her forever foster & mom, Patricia Allem.
Patricia is a wreck feeling the emptiness of loss this evening, and somehow mustered up this beautiful tribute about her girl.
"Today Katie Dog (KD) crossed over to The Rainbow Bridge. I was blessed to have KD for over 8 months…when the vets thought she would only be with me for 2 months! She was THE PERFECT dog…I am serious and Kelly agrees with me! KD was beautiful, smart and so gentle and such a little lady at 98 pounds.
It took KD a couple of days to feel at home with me and look me in the eyes, but, oh once that happened we were best friends…I couldn’t go from one room to another or the couch to the chair without KD getting up to be closer to me. You could see the love in her eyes and I will never forget that.
She trusted me completely and that is something I will hold close to my heart forever…I don’t know what KD’s life was before becoming part of Frosted Faces and my family but I know it wasn’t good. She had multiple medical issues including cancer that spread throughout her tummy but you would not know it by the way she would be so happy all the time.
Until the end…she still tried to wag her tail and be happy but I know she was only doing that for me. She was tired and filled with cancer and was ready to rest. She passed away very peacefully with her head in my lap. I will miss her forever. Rest In Peace sweet girl."
KD passed away on August 21st, 2015. Thank you Kathy Cleveland for being KD's sponsoring Fan.
We Fulfilled our promise to 15 year old Ziva (fka Daisy) from Carson Shelter August 24th, 2015. We rescued her on March 27th, 2015. This is one of those truly rewarding Fulfillments of Family because once you watched Ziva's shelter video, you would never be able to forget how she shook- but then oh how she shined!
She got a slam dunk stealing the heart of Elaine Byrnes, one of the most generous and gentle of moms. She gave Ziva time to heal and to blossom.
Poor Ziva was vomiting, became lethargic, stopped eating and began running an extremely high fever so suddenly. The vet found a few things concerning, any of which could have been lethal - liver, heart and lungs. FFF hospitalized Ziva there for 12 hours, 12:00am-12:00pm, where we ran bloodwork, X-rays, IV fluids & antibiotics, and kept her in oxygen.
After consulting with the vets and listening to the wishes of Elaine and what she saw in her poor girl's then dull eyes, we decided that running more diagnostics without knowing where to begin didn't seem feasible. We decided to put her to sleep and Elaine was at Ziva's side.
"My little spitfire. Oh, how quick and smart!
She seemed to love almost everything except surprises. Such a funny little girl. As long as she knew that putting on a harness and leash meant either a walk or a car ride, things couldn't have been better, but what if that meant something else? I don't know, anything else? Then it called for a trip to her favorite hiding place...well, not really a hiding place because I always knew she was there, I just couldn't get to her. Behind the sofa, under the sofa table against the wall.
Walks were such a close second to car rides, it's hard to know which were her favorites. When we would start out, she would scrunch down on those adorable 2" front legs - like a sprinter - then as if someone yelled "go!" she would lunge forward. So so proud of herself. For about the next 10' to 20' she would actually jog, then stop, rinse, repeat. We only did that a few times since we had to pace ourselves.
The car rides...anywhere and everywhere. She loved them. Long rides were great and she would settle into the bed I always keep on the front seat for her and Lola. Usually, though, rides ended at daycare, West LA Dogs, really the highlight of her week. Ziva played with everyone and was loved by humans and canines alike.
We were saving a surprise for Kelly and Andy. Mom is still learning how to use the camera, and we didn't tell anyone. Ziva loves loves loves the beach. Unless they took her when she was at headquarters, I didn't think they knew this about her. When we got close to the water, she could barely contain herself in the car. It was about the funniest, sweetest cutest thing.
Ziva was my shadow, my love and my sweetest puppy ever. What a gift she was to have been part of my life. To say I adored her is an understatement. There are no words to say how much I will miss her."
Our veterinarians at San Diego Bay Animal Hospital told us it was time to Fulfill our promise to PeeWee by ending his suffering through humane euthanasia on September 18th, 2015.
We rescued 10 year old PeeWee on August 29th, 2015, exactly one month after he had been surrendered to Downey Shelter on July 29th, 2015. There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that he was surrendered on the simple basis that he urinated allover constantly.
We noticed that he struggled to urinate upon rescue. We invested in diagnostics and the grand surgery of removing his stones and bladder tumors which proved to be Transitional Cell Carcinoma. After trial and error of medication and fancy foods to treat violent vomiting and a lack of appetite for a week post surgery, we drew new bloodwork that showed that his BUN had skyrocketed to over 240 and that his kidneys were failing. The toxins in his body were building up causing him to feel very ill. We are a hopeful bunch and even as we approached our appointment today we wanted to consider dieresis. We were assured that it would not buy much time, but if we needed a few more days it was an option, but the prognosis was poor.
Let me tell you, we gave him the most beautiful last day yesterday with the help of some fluids and injections to pep him up. We didn't need one more day and PeeWee couldn't have asked for a better one.
PeeWee had a Family that eagerly wanted him the moment they saw his picture in the shelter. Patrick and Jessica Walsh corresponded with us each day at Headquarters to check in on him, they called the vets for the "what else can we do?" conversations, they drove quite a distance for him more than once to make sure that he was seen by the doctors that knew and loved him, and most valuably they knew when it was time to say goodbye in spite of the fact that they hardly had enough time to love him.
Thank you to PeeWee's dedicated monthly sponsoring Fans Erin Tavaglione, Judith Johnson, and Tanya Nielson.
We love you PeeWee.
We Fulfilled our promise to 16 year old Frosted Face, Precious, on September 26th, 2015, who we rescued from Baldwin Park Shelter on May 22nd, 2015.
She was a seemingly "happy lost" girl who struggled with dementia even upon rescue. Our job is to let these dogs grow old. Hazel and Alan did just that for Precious and so wholeheartedly!
She loved to eat, be snuggled, and wander the house. It wasn't until recently that she just didn't seem to be "happy lost," but more so "distressed lost."
Her forever foster Hazel DeSoto writes in tribute:
"Where to start? I guess when your heart is heavy your mind becomes cloudy too.
Today we say goodbye to our grand old lady Precious...all 16 years of her glory.
It all boils down to her not having the quality of life we all struggle to give our frosted faces.
We did everything we thought possible but in the end, her dementia was getting the best of her.
Countless times while she's eating or drinking where she would stop and just stare into space. I had to prod her to snap her back to reality and she would continue on to what she was doing.
Heartbreaking sound of her crying while walking in tight circles...like every minute was a struggle to live. The only time she would be at peace are the few hours she is sleeping soundly. Those are the times we love to remember. Then it's back to her prancing while painfully crying.
After careful consideration, and guidance from Kelly...we both decided it's not good to prolong Precious' agony. We want her to pass away with what is left of her dignity.
As the vet informed Alan and I that Precious is gone, we both burst out crying and we cannot control the tears. She deserves to rest and finally be free from all sickness. No matter how short she stayed with us, there's not a single doubt- she is family to us. Thank you to Frosted. Faces Foundation - Kelly and Andy for giving us the opportunity to be Precious' forever foster family.
Special thank you to Gayle Dockham for being Precious' fan.
May you run free and stay happy little girl!!! We love you!!!"
On September 27th, 2015 we Fulfilled our promise to 12 year old Abuelo (lovingly known as Booboo) who we rescued from Baldwin Park Shelter on September 22nd, 2014. He just celebrated his Frostiversary this week, a party complete with treats, birthday hats and guests.
Booboo visited San Diego Bay Animal Hospital today for a "check up," as we kind of knew what Dr. Wallace was going to say. Booboo had lost so much weight, was visibly in pain, and we frustratingly just could not find the cause. He has been wincing in pain, having trouble breathing, a bloody nose, and not eating. We have had good days and bad days maintaining him on fluids, sometimes foods, various antibiotics and pain meds, only to occasionally win a sparkle in his eye.
We invested in cultures, dental surgeries, X-rays, bloodwork, and even an exploratory surgery this month, but nothing gave us answers. Today was the day we were faced with the reality that there was nothing left we could do, we had fought the good fight for him. He was wasting away in front of our eyes. We had run out of time to figure it out… if the cause even was treatable, we will not know and that leaves all of us pretty uncomfortable.
We will not remember him for his sickness. Booboo had a wonderful year as a Frosted Face being well cared for my Lynne Christmas & her daughter, Amanda. They fed him his favorite food, let him sleep in bed where he likes to burrow, and he enjoyed daily morning walks in their neighborhood. Thank you to Jessica Farrington and Judy Sharp for being BooBoo's monthly sponsoring Fans.
On September 29th, 2015 Fulfilled our promise to 12 year old Leyla who we rescued from Carson Shelter on October 22nd, 2014 and was forever fostered by David & Catina Perahia. She tried so hard to hang on until her Frostiversary, but in the end, it was more honorable to let her go with dignity.
Leyla's mom, Catina, writes:
"I had to put my sweet, little Leyla to sleep today. She will be missed more than she will ever know. When FFF saved Leyla from the Carson Shelter, she was in really bad shape. With fantastic medical care thanks to FFF, nutritious food, soft doggie beds and a lot of love Leyla began to do very well.
These past few weeks she started fading away. Her back legs were so weak she could barely stand. I was hand feeding all of her meals to her and her appetite decreased. She started to walk around the house all day and all night long, bumping into things everywhere. Going potty was a struggle for her. When she would try to squat to go, most times she would fall over. It has been heartbreaking to see her deteriorate.
With Kelly's support and Dr. Herrera at Peninsula Center Pet Hospital saying that it's "definitely time," I had to say goodbye to my sweet baby.
I'm so grateful to Kelly and Andy for saving her and for enabling me to give her the life that she so deserved for her last year. She was so sweet and special. I will always cherish the 11 months I had with her. Thank you, FFF."
Thank you to David & Catina for being so good to teeny tiny Leyla.
Rest in peace little one.
Thank you Bev Hollis Photography and Michael Kavanaugh for being Leyla's monthly sponsoring Fans.
On October 2nd, 2015 20 year old Jack (fka Eddie) experienced Frosted Faces Foundation's mission Fulfilled. We rescued Jack from Riverside Shelter on May 28th, 2015. His forever foster Family, Kristin & Trevor Lucas, wrote this beautiful tribute about him.
"With broken hearts, we had to put our 20 year old little boy Jack to sleep today. Over the last couple of months Jack began to deteriorate more quickly due to dementia. He would wander aimlessly around our house barking and crying and we were unable to comfort him no matter what we did. Other times he would just stare off into space, seeming to lose track of where he was. After meeting with Dr. Lindsey of Lindsey Veterinary Care a couple times over the last few weeks, trying different supplements and medications, we all came to the conclusion that it was time to let Jack go.
We already miss our boy more than anything in the world and while are hearts are heavy, we are so grateful to Frosted Faces for rescuing Jack as he touched our lives in so many ways. When we first got Jack we were unsure as to how long he would be with us given that he was thought to be 20, but he was a trooper and stuck with us for several months. He loved to cuddle with us, prance around in our backyard and more than anything eat. We will never forget his unique way of prancing around and how adept he became at navigating around the house despite not being able to see or hear too well.
Thank you Kelly and Andy for not only rescuing Jack, but allowing us to be a part of his life. We will be forever grateful that we got to spend that last few months with Jack and we hope that we were able to provide him with the same amount of happiness that he gave us."
Thank you Charlene Buechner, Jessica Schlueter, Christine Halstead, and Julie Knoeller for being Jack's monthly sponsoring Fans.
10 year old Frosted Face, Thurman, experienced Frosted Faces Foundation's mission Fulfilled on October 4th, 2015. We rescued Thurman from Apple Valley Animal Services as a stray on June 12th, 2015. His forever fosters, Debbie & Bob Adams, who most memorably always said "well he's our Thurman!" wrote this tribute about him.
"Today has been beyond a VERY SAD day for us, we had to say goodbye to our SWEET SWEET Thurman. We took him to the ER last night and he had to be carried in. He was later, after many tests, diagnosed with Lymphoma in the final stages and was in pain. It all happened so fast and we were told there was nothing that could be done, so we had to let him go. SWEET Thurman was with us for less than 4 months, but the LOVE he gave and that we have for him would fill a lifetime.
Thurman was given so many happy experiences in such a short amount of time with Bob & Debbie, and goodness knows they would never admit he was dying. They just kept right along living and loving!
We would like to share the videos of their time spent together here.
Thurman on a Walk with Gabbie: https://youtu.be/0amzAXhdGTI
Thurman Learning to Swim: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WKEUAoex-KI
Thurman & Gabbie on Vacation under the Umbrella on the Beach: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9UmuTvj7pU
Thurman in a Life Jacket: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vVm-gJopQ5I
Thurman Visits Dad at Work: https://youtu.be/ys7FIgKX2iE
Thank you Kellie Mascis Nelson for being Thurman's dedicated monthly sponsoring Fan. Thank you Bob & Debbie Adams for making Thurman Family wholeheartedly & without reservations.
Rest in peace, Thurman. We all love you.
On October 7th, 2015 we Fulfilled our promise to 14 year old Shirley. We rescued Shirley on August 11th, 2014 from Baldwin Park Shelter, but only because we got a very special phone call from two people who wanted to make a difference. They saw her dirty and hiding under a bed at the shelter, so they called FFF wanting to make her a Frosted Face. They would pick her up, drive her to San Diego themselves for vetting, send detailed email updates, and host a significant fundraiser [Frosted Faces: Unscripted] becoming model FFF forever fosters, and the Family Shirley should have had all along.
In the beginning we removed many mammary masses and spayed Shirley for preventative health reasons. Her masses grew back full force-cancerous and angry, she developed Cushing's, was in the beginning stages of renal failure, and her little hind legs just could not hold her behind up anymore.
Carla and Craig Cackowski remember their little girl ~
"Shirley had my heart the moment I saw her video from the shelter online. She was a sweetheart and everyone who ever met her said so. Shirley was so sick for so long- probably even when we pulled her out of the shelter over a year ago. She needed to rest. I could feel it was time. Our family will miss her terribly and we are so grateful to have spent the last fourteen months with her in our lives. Thank you to Kelly and the Frosted Faces Community- the world is a nicer place with you all in it."
Thank you Kamela Gladich for being Shirley's dedicated monthly sponsoring Fan, and thank you Craig and Carla for being a real Family for a senior dog whose love and life was just left behind in the shelter system. Shirley was loved and will be missed because you made her matter.
Monthly Sponsoring Fan in Memory of Shirley
We Fulfilled our final promise to 13 year old Dolly on October 15th, 2015. Dolly was rescued on May 22nd, 2015 from Downey Shelter and placed with forever foster, Amber Hansen. We learned just last month that she was suffering with mouth cancer and it took her quality of life much too quickly as the tumors grew into her throat making it difficult to eat and breathe.
"I just said goodbye to one of the best friends I've ever had. Dolly went to sleep in my lap and doesn't have any more pain now. My heart is in pieces looking at her leash and collar beside me but I'm so grateful to have had her in my life and would do it all over again 100 times if I could. Thank you all for loving her with me."
Thank you to Mohnacky Animal Hospital of Vista for always being on call for Dolly and Amber, constantly looking for options and reevaluating her condition.
The neat thing about Amber is that she will surely find another senior to love and Dolly's legacy will live on. Thank you Lauretta Johnson for being Dolly's monthly sponsoring Fan.
We love you, Dolly. Rest in peace.
We Fulfilled our promise to 12 year old BB on October 20th, 2015 by letting her go with dignity. We rescued BB from Lancaster Shelter on August 2nd, 2015 after she was surrendered there by her owners.
Her Forever Foster Family, Patricia Allem, writes in tribute:
"Yesterday BB crossed the Rainbow Bridge. BB was an unbelievable lovable and loving goof ball. I only had BB a little more than a couple of months but it felt like a lifetime because that’s how much I loved her.
She had quirky and unstable walking, was deaf (but learned 3 hand signals very quickly); had a multitude of medical issues and continued to develop more infections. Through all of this she was such a happy go lucky dog.
She’s unlike any other dog I’ve ever had. BB only barked a few times but when she did she was so cute and so proud of herself! She was very brave and didn’t want me to know how much pain she was in.
When I sat with Dr. Van Maele by BB’s side when she was putting her to sleep, I knew it was my last act of love for BB. Her face was so very peaceful. She looked like a different dog. I never got to see this face before. She’s with her Frosted Face sister, KD, now up in heaven and I know they will be watching over me and running free and having fun.
Thank you Kelly and Andy for your huge hearts and all the love you give. Thank you for allowing me to give BB a safe and happy home filled with love the last few months of her life. BB will never be forgotten."
Much love to you over there passing days, Patricia. We know in the beginning you never intended to suffer so much heartache and yet you keep on for dogs like BB. Thank you to Lisa Switzer for being BB's monthly sponsoring Fan.
We love you, BB. Rest in peace beautiful girl.
We Fulfilled our promises to 17 year old Candy October 29th, 2015. She was throwing up so violently that she slipped a disc in her back causing paralysis, and an ultrasound showed a large new tumor in her abdomen which was likely causing the new symptoms of discomfort.
Too many dogs leave this world without a family or a legacy. Candy had both. Enjoy the tribute that her family, Lisa and Brendan Binns, share.
"I will never forget the day I drove to Downey shelter to pick up Candy- Sunday Nov 30th. It was raining. I had never been to Downey shelter, it was bad. I got emotional just driving into the parking lot. I had to wait almost an hour to get Candy, it was torture. I walked the kennels with the attendant until we got to hers. There were about 4 small dogs in with her and then I spotted her- skinny, barely standing and looking very weak. There was no where soft bed for her to lay down so I figured she had been standing a lot. As soon as the attendant confirmed her tag # with my paperwork, I scooped her up, wrapped her in a towel and held her very close to me. I was crying. I felt so bad for her (and all the others I had to leave behind). Dogs were barking so loud, it was deafening. Her head rested by my shoulder and I whispered in her ear that she was safe. She would never have to worry again. And I hope and pray that I have fulfilled that promise to her....
When I brought her home I seriously thought she had about 2 weeks to live. She was in bad shape. She could hardly stand, let alone pee without falling over. I made peace with it and thought that at least she isn't dying alone, cold or terrified. Fast forward to January 2015..... Candy hit celebrity status in my neighborhood- she didn't walk on a leash but trotted along behind me, her 2 brother-dogs and my daughter. One by one, my neighbors learned of Candy's story and how she became "my dog."They loved her too.
They loved that she was old but had a spring in her step, they loved that she followed behind us on our walks- down the street, across the street, and back again. Sometimes even around the entire block. They loved that she was loved. They loved that a senior dog got a second chance. They loved Candy. They loved Candy like I did.
Candy loved to go on car rides. She got to sit in front with me on a special seat cover with her blankets. She was content to just be near me. She followed me from room to room in the house so I made sure there was a dog bed in every room. Recently, I had put her dog bed right next to my bed so she could be closer as I could sense she was getting more needy. I would have to be careful as to not step on her in the middle of the night. She snored. She snored loud. But that was ok.
I don't know where things went wrong or what happened but I just know my old gal didn't feel well. Things progressed fast and it was hard. Hard to think clearly and make the best decision for Candy. Not for me but for Candy. I made a promise to her that she would never suffer or suffer alone and all can do is think that I (hope) lived up to my promise to her- that she is not in pain. I pray that she slipped away knowing how much I grew to love her and that I thought I did what was best for her..... it doesn't matter how many times you do this, you always second guess yourself and your decision. Run free Candy Cane Coo de Coo.... you are loved and your missed!
She passed 1 day short of her 11 month Frostiversary."
Thank you Elizabeth White for being Candy's monthly sponsoring Fan.
We rescued 16 year old Mabel from Downey Shelter on May 21st, 2015. She was surrendered to be euthanized because her owners said she was beyond treatment. Upon rescue, we learned that she had a large, quickly metastasizing tumor in her mouth, but she certainly had a great motivation in her step, sparkle in her eye, and wag of the tail! As we always do, we forged ahead with hope deciding to debulk her tumor with surgery. She lived a full five more months with family, Sarah Melick. until her tumor grew so large that an infection erupted that was beyond treatment. We fulfilled our promise to Mabel on November 4th, 2015.
"The sunset was something special tonight. The way the clouds sat and the sun shown threw, as if the sky was opening it's heart to greet an amazing soul. I knew who it could belong to, but I wasn't totally convinced it was her time. Or rather, I didn't want to be convinced. Each dog touches us in a special way. Some stronger than others. I knew going into it my time with Mabel was going to be short, and I cried for her going into her surgery, fearing the worst. That little munchkin came charging out the other end, guns a blazing! That sweet face was head butting her brother and sister out of the way to be first in line for food. For the next five months the back yard was scoured over daily by her huge floppy paws and her sharp nose, propelled along by the fastest moving happy tail I've ever seen. She slobbed all over every freshly cleaned bed and blanket the moment it hit the floor. She was a champion at making herself into a burrito. No one ever believed I didn't do it when they saw her masterful technique.
The waves of loss are choppy and unpredictable. I had to say goodbye to a piece of my heart tonight. I cried as I held her. Leaving always feels wrong, helplessness is overwhelming. With so many pieces left to care for at home I jumped back into the grind and made it to my car. I cried again. Took a deep breath, made it home and made them all dinner. And then I cried some more. Up and down I'll go for the foreseeable future, like we all do.
Mabel was my magic. She loved life wholly. She inhaled each breath like a fresh meal and each exhale carried her around like she was floating on clouds. She warmed my heart while she warmed my thighs as we cuddled together each night.
Thank you for letting me love you little one. I will be forever grateful for our time together. You made me a better person. Until next time."
We lost our 13 year old Frosted Face Ellie after surgery on November 11th, 2015. We will admit that we are gravely disappointed and heartbroken.
We don't want to be the crazy dog owners who can't see the big picture, who spend thousands of dollars on diagnostics and procedures when their pet is truly dying, and neglect just spending time with them. At the same time, we had hope. We regret that we were not present when she passed away, as that is the worst burden to carry when we loved her so much. Did we push it too far? How could we know? We couldn't let Ellie go home last night with a pyometra, nor could we justify euthanizing her without trying.
We absolutely could not in good conscience have put her to sleep yesterday upon diagnosis the way she was trotting around the room, wagging her tail for pets, and cocking her head alert at the door when she heard noises.
You must watch her shelter video, know that she was wheeled in a cart out to our car upon rescue, and credit her Forever Foster as he gave her over a friggin' YEAR beyond this video! We rescued Ellie from Carson Shelter on July 9th, 2014. She was placed with the best, most knowledgable Forever Foster in regards to diabetes, received endless kisses from siblings and was loved to the moon and back. No doubt whoever surrendered Ellie would not believe that with proper veterinary care our girl lived so much longer beyond the time they had given up on her.
Ron writes in tribute to Ellie:
"When I think of Ellie I imagine the most perfect dog. She was so sweet and gentle. Always lounging around by my side while I worked. I loved the way her mouth would curl into a smile when you rubbed her head.
She loved to sleep and sleep and then roam around at night like a vampire. When I would wake up in the morning she would be in the bedroom doorway just waiting to start the day.
It's hard to believe anyone would give her up. She's the dog you see in the movies you wished your own dog could be. I'm glad that I had a chance to spend time with her."
We are sorry, Ellie. We love you and we tried.
Thank you to Ron Gaza for being Ellie's loving Forever Foster Family, and thank you to Carey Nagoda for being Ellie's dedicated monthly sponsoring Fan.
We Fulfilled our promise to 8 year old Luck today after a short battle with lung cancer on November 12th, 2015. We rescued Luck on September 20th, 2015 from Baldwin Park Shelter.
His Forever Foster, Aislinn Nichol, wrote this thoughtful tribute about Luck. How good it is to know he has a legacy and was loved greatly.
"When I started this short journey in September I was not looking for a foster dog. However, I just can’t help myself and am constantly torturing myself by looking at all of the poor dogs that need homes on all different types of rescue pages.
When I stumbled upon Frosted Faces I called and spoke with Kelly to inquire about who might need a home..because what’s the harm in just asking, right? When she told me about Luck I was immediately interested, but it wasn’t until I saw his picture/video on the Facebook page that I knew I had to have him. I just couldn’t stop thinking about those big brown eyes.
I feel so fortunate to have been able to have had Luck in my life for the short time that I did. He was one of the kindest, gentlest animals that I have known and was always so appreciative of everything and anything. He got along with absolutely everyone- two legged and four legged alike.
Taking on a dog with a prognosis like his I had almost no expectations. I had no idea what the future would be like and I knew that nothing was certain, especially time. Getting him I had one goal- that when his time did come I wanted him to feel loved.. and he most certainly was. Though his physical issues were always apparent, it was when he lost the sparkle in his eye that I fell in love with, that I knew there was really no decision to make- he had made it for us.
He was such a special dog and I loved him very dearly. He is very missed."
Thank you to Wendy Arrington for being Luck's dedicated monthly sponsoring Fan.
Rest in peace beautiful Frosted Face.
We Fulfilled our promise to 11 year old Otis on November 13th, 2015. We rescued Otis from Baldwin Park Shelter on March 9th, 2015. He had one of the most dramatic rescue stories to date. Otis was confiscated from a burning property where the owner and all of the inside dogs died inside. Otis was an outdoor dog, and looked the part on top of being severely neglected, and he survived - giving him a second chance at happiness. We knew Otis had lung cancer and mast cell tumors, and just this week he began to show signs of neurological deficits and pain.
11 year old Otis was rescued from Baldwin Shelter on March 9th, 2015. Upon arriving at the shelter we learned that Otis is part of an investigation and the notes were just put on his file that morning.
His owner's house burned down, and the owner and one dog died inside. The other dogs were rescued and taken to a private vet immediately. We were scheduled to pick Otis up now on March 20th. We asked to visit Otis and realized he is in far worse condition than we understood.
We went back to ask questions. This is where we learned that the home that had burned down was in deplorable conditions and all surviving dogs are in rough shape. At the same time, they had made contact with the next of kin on three days prior, who stated they wanted the dogs. This means that these dogs have to wait 14 days for them to come get them. We insisted that they call the family while we were there to tell them we wanted Otis.
They got in touch with them, and the family said they still wanted to come in. We were assured that the staff would encourage the family to relinquish the dogs due to pending charges & their poor condition.
We offered to foster Otis through the county until the owners claimed them or until the hold was released. They said no.
We started to head back to San Diego with disappointment, when we got a call from the Sergeant that the Family was surrendering Otis! We turned around to rescue our boy!
His Forever Foster, Edward Holland, writes:
"It is with a heavy heart that I had to say farewell to one of my best friends ever today. Bubba (Otis) has gone onto join some of his fellow Frosted Faces alumni in heaven chasing squirrels all day pain free. People often told me how I had done a wonderful thing by taking in an old, deaf, mostly toothless, limping puppy with cancer. The truth is Bubba was my rock and he helped me get through a very tough time. My kids are grown up, Girlfriend recently moved back to California, my (ex) mother-in-law of 26 years passed away and my mother lost her battle with Cancer shortly after.
I am a nurturer and caregiver by nature, but found myself alone until that old fart (figuratively and literally) came into my life. He had the answers to the Universe…I could see it in those thoughtful eyes of his. Either that, or he was telling me to “suck it up butter-cup and get me a treat”. Not sure how his life was before we met, but I can say we had a Blast together at the end. The Boss misses his Bubba!!"
Thank you Edward for living in the moment with Otis from the second he was in your care. Thank you to Victoria Conway for being Otis's dedicated monthly sponsoring Fan.
We love you, Otis. It was a privilege.
We said goodbye to our 16 year old Tito on November 13th, 2015. We rescued Tito from Carson Shelter on January 7th, 2015. We can't think of a better way to turn grief into warm comforting thoughts other than to say these are truly promises Fulfilled. Tito was left behind at the shelter showing signs of dementia, which doesn't have to be a death sentence. Bobbie and TJ Shaw accommodated Tito to find the water dishes, tucked him in so he wasn't restless, and caressed him to assure him that he was not alone. These things gave Tito a sparkle that lasted a good long while until he was too dulled to carry on. This is our mission- Family.
Bobbie lovingly writes:
"It's sad news tonight. Kelly and I decided it was time to let Tito go. What can I say about Tito? He was one of the sweetest little dogs. I first saw him in his video at the pound walking in circles. It was heart breaking. He went to a foster but they couldn't keep him so I told Kelly I would take him. He hasn't really been all there from day one, but I think he knew me and my husband, and the grandkids loved him. The one thing I'm going to miss the most will be the little bark that he would make. Sounded like a little seal. We are going to miss you Tito dearly, my little old man. He's gone. I can't believe it."
Thank you to TJ and Bobbie Shaw for loving Tito until the end and being with him. Thank you to Rachel Charles, Alison Coutts, and Amy Treptow for being Tito's dedicated monthly sponsoring Fans.
Our Frosted Face poster child- you will be missed.
We rescued Lily from Lancaster Shelter on November 14th, 2015. She was scared, chubby, and found comfort in burrowing herself under pillows or laying pressed into my chest. We lost her far too soon.
We took 10 year old Lily from Lancaster Shelter into San Diego Bay Animal Hospital the morning after her rescue for a standard shelter exit exam and a senior panel. She scavenged into a bag of nom noms on the way there, like good little doxies do, and she scurried into the vet with more confidence than we knew she had in her. We watched as doc carefully listened to her heart where he discovered she had a 4/6 heart murmur, checked her joints, looked in her ears and eyes, felt her tummy and checked her teeth. He was impressed that our little chunk looked so well. The techs took her in back to get blood and urine, and brought her back out to me.
She seemed limp, and yes sometimes the pups we bring in are just like that, but not Lily. I quickly ran her back inside and asked if she had been given a sedative for lab work. She hadn't. They spun the blood in house and did X-rays quickly which showed she was not in congestive heart failure. Lily's gums had turned white and she was tummy-gasping for air in pain. They swiftly did an ultrasound which revealed she had a large mass in her abdomen.
Bloodwork showed she had 19% hematocrit and 53,000 white blood cell count. She was one percent away from needing a blood transfusion and her WBC should be 10,000, so we knew she had a terrible infection. Doc guesses that her mass was a large cancerous uterine mass that had become terribly infected and her activity and stress of being at the vet flared up the symptoms.
They tried to stabilize her with oxygen and fluids, but we were asked to consider euthanasia as a blood transfusion or exploratory surgery in her condition would never make sense. After an honest effort, Lily was not showing signs of stabilization, so I held her little kankled chubby feet, pressed my lips against her head, and let her go. We lost Lily on November 16th, 2015.
We gave her one GREAT day out of the shelter at Headquarters. She watched a movie on my chest last night as I stroked her longs soft ears, and Andy made her a fort out of couch pillows before he left for work this morning. She got a warm respectable bath, ate yummy wet food which motivated her to creep out of any burrowed hiding spot, and Lily got to breathe fresh beach air.
We are still pretty numb and heartbroken. We notified the potential Forever Fosters, whose applications came pouring in for our sweet girl upon rescue, and they are all opting to move forward to save another life. Thank you to Susan Vermett for being Lily's Fan and generously agreeing to continue to donate in her memory.
Rest in peace gentle Lily. We love you.
We rescued 11 year old Ebo, formerly Sammy, from Riverside Shelter on December 1st, 2015. Ebo means "Born on a Tuesday," #GivingTuesday to be exact! Ebo was certainly given a second chance at life the day we pulled him from the euthanasia list and given hope. He was loved by Andy and Kelly Smisek.
One thing we always do at Headquarters is kiss everyone goodnight and everyone good morning. When Andy got up to leave for work early this morning while the house was still asleep, he kissed Ebo goodbye and discovered he was no longer with us.
We rescued 11 year old Ebo (formerly Sammy) from Riverside Shelter this Tuesday and we were prepared to show him that his life mattered and that he was not disposable, so we named him Ebo, "born on a Tuesday." Wednesday everyone did a lot of quiet decompressing while I worked, and Ebo rested on his therapeutic bed donated by the Zakarin's. He even popped to his feet a couple of times to walk to get water. Most other times he needed a big heave-ho from Andy and me to get to his feet, and then we held up his hips to walk him outside to the yard to go potty. When Cherylynn Roberts heard we were having trouble, she's an active Friend of FFF, she immediately sent me the shipping information for a HelpEmUp harness so we could escort Ebo more easily. It was overnighted to be delivered today.
Thursday was markedly a worse day for Ebo as he appeared to have congestion and we began treatment for a URI, what dogs commonly leave the shelter with this time of year. He had no desire to stand alone, went potty a couple times on his bed (luckily we have many beds on hand), and was breathing more heavily. We chalked it up to pain and congestion, both in the initial stages of treatment, and probably too much walking while sick on Wednesday, so we let him rest.
Both Wednesday night and last night during the night Ebo barked, and we woke attentively to bring him water and clean up any midnight messes. Last night after brushing him while he was lapping water, adjusting his head so that it was more on the bed, and kissing him between the eyes, we wandered back to bed not knowing it would be our last exchange.
I write all of these things as I reflect how I wish I would've stayed out in the kitchen and spooned him on his bed for the rest of the night. If only I had known. The trouble is, we don't know these dogs. We had him for two days, invested a lot of hope, we knew he was absolutely beautiful and had the kindest, most grateful eyes. You know who would have seen death in his eyes? His marked change in energy and health? The meaning in his barks? His previous family. And here we are....sobbing over our dead Ebo in the kitchen, and again, in a long embrace in the driveway after lifting his body into my car.
You know what, Ebo? You definitely deserved to be cried over. You deserved to be bathed, brushed, fed great food and treats, vetted and medicated, escorted outside like a true dog to go potty and stretch your legs, cleaned up after messes to give you dignity and comfort - and you will definitely be memorialized. I can't wait to get your HUGE paw print back! heart emoticon
San Diego Bay Animal Hospital readily accepted his body Friday morning, December 4th, 2015, when they opened and offered us lots of hugs.
We loved you Ebo Smí, even if all us strangers could offer was hope and some dignity, I hope you knew you were worth it.
Thank you Keith & Jo Zakarin, Aisling Nichol, and Lisa Switzer for being Fans sponsoring Ebo's medical care.
14 year old Quinn (fka Steve) was rescued from Downey Shelter on February 15th, 2015. We Fulfilled our promise to 14 year old Quinn on December 6th, 2015. Quinn got groomed regularly, had dental surgery, his mom made him this huge playpen that served as a bed filled with fluffy sheets, and he went on frequent walks with his canine siblings.
Very early in the morning, Quinn let out a bark for attention and then went limp, almost lifeless. He regained consciousness has his family laid in bed with him the rest of the morning. He began to walk and drink water, but then again had an episode that was later confirmed as syncope. We rushed him to East Valley Pet Hospital where we were told that Doctor could not find a pulse, he was gasping for air as if his body was shutting down, and his lungs sounded like the final stages of congestive heart failure. We let Quinn go, and his mom Becki held him until the end.
Forever Foster Family, Becki Masters, writes:
"Kelly asked me to say something about Quinn and I’m finding myself at a loss for words…I think because it will make it “real” to write or talk about it.
We lost our sweet Quinn this morning. He was a funny boy; well actually a funny old man. He loved string cheese and scratches behind his ears. But his most favorite thing to do was to bury and shake his face in the blankets in his bed. He LOVED it. We will miss him."
Thank you to Elaine Byrnes for being Quinn's dedicated monthly sponsoring Fan. Thank you to Becki Masters for immediately making Quinn part of your family and loving him so much!
Rest in peace little Frosted Face Quinn. We love you.
Kelly was a 10 year old stray who we rescued from Carson Shelter on July 14th, 2014. Thanks to Sarah Melick and Letty Morfin for transporting her to us! Kelly caught the attention of many at Carson, because she had very high anxiety, and paced all over her kennel. She was covered in severe matting, but the shelter shaved her after a few days.
Kelly arrived to us with a cold and very inflamed eyeballs. Medication to relieve the inflammation and infection in her eyes immediately changed her behavior. She no longer paced, but rested peacefully on her favorite pillow near the couch. She loved being outside and wandering in the grass. She was SUPER potty trained as well. As soon we set her outside, she squatted to do her business! She was fully blind, but that didn't stop her from finding food when it was out or walking around the house with the other dogs. We were so lucky to have found Kelly and were privileged to be able to place her in a loving home with John and Glenda Edwards. We lost Kelly on December 11th, 2015.
Her mom writes:
"My little Kelly, originally named Esther when she was rescued from Carson in July, 2014. After much angst and a mountain of texts, Kelly Smíšek rescued her, saving her life for us to love. I am eternally grateful for all who assisted and gave us this opportunity.
Kelly blossomed as much as she could with all her ongoing medical issues. You can tell by these photos! It was determined by our vet that she had been abused at some point and her blindness at some point could have been helped.
Blindness never stopped her. She was in and out the dog door like a champ and owned every inch of the back yard. She always got her way, and her treats...which was generally fresh turkey and, or sweet potato jerky medallions. No wasn't a word we used for her.
We were blessed with her for a year and a half and I am sure it was meant to be. We found Frosted Faces and hope to always be a part of this wonderful group. Our little Kelly saw to that.
She had a nickname...our little "Tiddie Bits". She loved hearing John call her that. She is waiting for us in Heaven...to call her that again. We love you, Tiddie Bits."
Kelly was our 5th Frosted Face ever and she and FFF are blessed to share John & Glenda Edwards' love. We knew they were going to be fantastic as they drove all the way from Nevada to San Diego to get their little princess after rescue! Thank you to Susan Cassell, Amanda Jimenez, and Celeste Leander for being Kelly's dedicated monthly sponsoring Fans
Rest in peace little girl.
We Fulfilled our promise to 13 year old Sage On December 15th, 2015. August 23rd, 2015 we received a plea from a shelter volunteer to rescue 13 year old Sage from Downey Shelter. She could not stand and cried to moved. Once she was up, she was up though! The late Lexi's Forever Fosters, Lino and Sheila Vitale, stepped up to the plate and were overjoyed to add another shepherd to their Family.
You have to know how special Lino and Sheila are. Some would ask, "How could Sage have a good quality of life being so immobile?" It must be said, these guys worked their asses off to give her everything. FFF donated a helpemup harness to get her to her feet and monthly pain meds, but they brushed her every night before supper, they cleaned up Sage and the floors when she went potty laying down, and they laid rugs for her to stand more easily. Sage stayed at Headquarters for two weeks while Lino and Sheila traveled, and we know Sage was their baby. They checked in on her every day, and we almost felt inadequate compared to all of the things that they wanted for her- and we thought we ran an accommodating home!
There is no doubt that Sage was surrendered because she was too difficult for her previous owners to handle, but if you met her you would know she was bright, so gentle, and full of life. Other dogs loved Sage too! They protected her, slept near her, and groomed her.
Recently Sage deteriorated where she became almost listless on her pain meds, and depressed because she would not truly stay on her feet anymore and life was not fun, probably painful. The Vitale's brought her to Family Animal Hospital and Doc agreed it was time.
Lino reflects, "She went in peace and knew she was loved. She was surrounded by her family. Us!!"
Cheers to A-mazing Forever Fosters. Cheers to allowing a senior dog to leave this world loved and with dignity. This is a love story we don't ever want to forget. We love you Sage and you will be missed dearly.
Thank you to Sage's dedicated monthly sponsoring Fans, Kimberly Bonk, Lesley Howe, and Reyna Bojorquez
We Fulfilled our promise to 16 year old Tully on January 10th. 2015. We rescued Tully from Pasadena Humane Society on December 31st, 2014.
Tully's Forever Foster, Paula, reflects:
"The last minute rescue was not just because he was a nearly immobile senior dog with no interest but because I had nothing better to do on NYE than methodically trim away the many, many knotted mats from his deplorable coat. Once the worst of the mats were gone and later a complete shave, he could move around much better and started showing off his Tully Trot!
Originally thought to be a hospice dog, Tully proved 'em wrong by exhibiting the unmistakable Pom sass and attitude. He wasn't going anywhere anytime soon. He gobbled down a cheeseburger on the drive back to San Diego and hadn't stopped demanding food since. This dog could eat! Having only four teeth did not slow him down.
Tully was a sweet, funny mellow old guy who was a joy to have around the house - he gave his FF sister Joey da bidness when she runs into him during his nap time and she respected his authority.
Goodbye to my sweet and sassy Tully. Tully enjoyed a full year with me, my pet crew and his many friends supported by Frosted Faces Foundation. Tully was approximately 16 years old (he may have been alive during my 20s, he was that old!), but seriously, I already miss him. He was so much fun, insanely cute and a very good boy. Hooray for senior dogs!"
Thank you to Paula Rushton for loving Tully not as a "hospice case," but giving him hope which made him thrive! Thank you to Tully's dedicated monthly sponsoring Fans, Karen Bisogno and Rachel Walsh.
We Fulfilled our promise to Henry on January 16th, 2016. We rescued 13 year old Henry along with his sister Hattie from Baldwin Park Shelter on December 6th, 2015. Henry had untreated diabetes and a cancerous inguinal mass the size of a softball.
This morning his mass ruptured, his leg had terrible edema and he was yelping and panting rapidly in pain. Bloodwork showed that his kidney and liver values had skyrocketed, although his blood sugar remained managed.
We were advised that Henry was in a significant amount of pain and that his body was only going to deteriorate more. Andy and I picked up Hattie to bring her to San Diego Bay Animal Hospital, and with the comfort of Hattie's body against him and our hands encapsulating him- we let Henry go.
We are all just really really sad and I know we are still distraught how these two were just left behind in the shelter in such terrible condition after 13 years, when they mean SO much to us after only two months to the point we could hardly leave Henry's body. There are definitely angry tears stirred in with our devastated tears.
We loved you so much Henry. Thank you to Kelly Marquez and Brent Wirth for taking such good care of Henry and Hattie, and thank you to Patricia Gregoire and Elaine Byrnes for being Henry's dedicated monthly sponsoring Fans.
We had just approved Enrique & Sarah Aguilar to be Henry & Hattie's Forever Fosters and they were to be picked up Monday. Hattie will start a new life with two new boxer friends then, but tonight, the three of us will do some huddled sobbing.
We Fulfilled our promise to 10 year old Brock on January 22nd, 2016. We rescued Brock from East Valley Shelter - LA on July 24th, 2015.
Shelter volunteer, Toni Vanston, had fallen in love with him and wanted to be his Forever Foster! This morning, with no warning, she discovered he had passed away in his sleep and Toni called HQ so upset over her Brock. Toni said, "He was totally fine yesterday. Ate well. Enjoyed his walk. I wonder what happened. Just when he was getting comfortable around here too. He put on good weight. He went too soon I will miss him. I really loved him."
Thank you Toni Vanston for loving Brock whole heartedly, and thank you Shiloh Corbet for being his monthly sponsoring Fan. We are glad we could get you to smile, Brock. Fly high.
On January 22nd, 2016 we Fulfilled our promise to 10 year old Tyson. We rescued Tyson from Baldwin Park Shelter on March 18th, 2015 after he had been surrendered there by his owner.
We noticed him on the day we were there to rescue Otis who had a kennel across from Tyson, and we promised we would be back. Little did he know, we would not only be back, but that he would live some of the fullest eleven months a dog would ever get to live!
Tyson flew out to live with Forever Foster, Holly Walthers, of Leo Puppy Mill Survivor. Tyson participated in races with his wheelchair, went on hikes, received extensive therapy for his degenerative myelopathy, and was allowed to live and pass on his own terms fighting for every second of happiness in his new beautiful life all thanks to the efforts of Team Leo.
Thank you Team Leo and Holly Walthers for loving Tyson, and thank you to Jody Anne and Itzel Pichardo for being Tyson's dedicated monthly sponsoring Fans.
We Fulfilled our promise to 15 year old Fred on February 1st, 2016. We rescued Fred from Carson Shelter on September 6th, 2015 with the support of Hope For Paws. He was surrendered because he was "too old."
Last night his mom and dad came home to him looking very ill. We rushed him to San Diego Bay Animal Hospital and ran in-house bloodwork, diagnosing him with Immune-Mediated Hemolytic Anemia in Dogs (IMHA). Treatment was straight forward, he had a 50% chance of turn around with a possible blood transfusion- but after just being diagnosed with MRSA in his skull and being hospitalized for unknown reasons causing him liver failure two weeks ago, we acknowledged the call for a peaceful ending.
Fred's Forever Foster writes:
"We lost our Frosted Fred. Our hearts are broken that we couldn't make him better. From the get go he battled blindness, deafness, surgery, infections, not eating and sickness. Through it all, Fred was always such a stoic and independent little dude. He had a harumphy 'I can do it myself!" attitude that was both charming and sad as I'm sure it spoke to his awful beginnings. Still, he tolerated our cuddles and let us hold him for at least 5 minute increments before squirming away with his cute little fluffy butt facing our way.
We had some good times: sniffing seaweed at the beach, strolling around Calumet Park meeting new pups, relaxing with the family, eating his favorite foods and building blanket nests all over the house. Wish we could have given him a thousand more good days but in the end we are happy to have shared our lives with him and to have had the time we did.
We are very grateful for Kelly and the Frosted Faces family. Truly an amazing bunch of people. Thank you for your love and support and for making Fred, Frosted. He will be forever remembered with love. 💗"
Thank you to Jennifer Bennink and Mike Ziegelbauer for being Fred's wonderful Forever Foster Family. Thank you to Darby Hall, Joe and Renee Dalo, Judith Johnson for being Fred's dedicated monthly sponsoring Fans.
Mr. Atticus Bojangles
We fulfilled our promise to 16 year old Mr. Atticus Bojangles on February 8th, 2016. We rescued him on January 29th, 2016 from Coachella Valley Shelter. It came as a shock after we had seen him barking up a storm at Headquarters, even mounting little Hopey with his tiny body, and finally eating to his heart's content in his new home. He suddenly would not eat, and it was like all of the life we had restored was sucked out of him just as quickly as we breathed it in. Mr. Atticus Bojangles' mom called in complete devastation, almost as if we were listening to someone literally ripping her heart out, to let us know something wasn't right and that she was on the way to the vet. Doctors at Malibu Coast Animal Hospital confirmed that he was nearly gone, and they helped him pass in an effort to eliminate suffering.
His Forever Foster writes:
"FFF gave both Atticus (Mr. Bojangles) and I the chance to share life for a week. The little guy was starved, full of flea bitten and weather exposed skin, and alone. He let me spoil him, cook for him, clean him, kiss him, love him and not leave his side. He went from sleeping curled up so tight in a ball to keep warm that it gave him a hump in his back, to stretched out on a heated bed with miles of fluff. He went over the Rainbow knowing that a whole lot of people loved him and he was safe now. He has a piece of my heart always and forever."
We owe many thanks and much love to Diane Malecha and Tom Urban for being Mr. Atticus Bojangles' Forever Foster Family, and thank you to Karine Wagner for being his monthly sponsoring Fan.
This is Mom's favorite photo. Rest in peace little one.
There is such thing as too much heartache for one day, and today was that day, as we also Fulfilled our promise to 10 year old Bowie on February 8th, 2016. We rescued Bowie from Carson Shelter on January 14th, 2016 with the collaboration of Hope For Paws.
Bowie came to us with the nickname "Cricket" because he scampered around in a squat due to permanently shifted patellas. He came to his name, held your eyes like a human, and would sit as tightly against you as you would allow him, if not, inside your clothes.
Bowie's mom writes:
"Kelly, our hearts are breaking. I don't think we could have loved Bowie more if we had raised him from a puppy. It took him the first week to bond with us but then he was part of our family. I know he felt it. He would waddle to me when I called his name, which wasn't very often because he was always snuggled in the arms of me, my husband or our 3 sons. He even slept with us. We will miss him greatly and feel blessed to have known and loved him. Our only regret is not being with him when he crossed but I'm glad at least you were. Thank you for doing everything you could to save him."
Thank you for Glenn and Susan Stafford for giving all of your hearts to Bowie, and thank you to Lisa Switzer for being his monthly sponsoring Fan. We loved you so much Bowie and we had such good intentions. I hope you felt all of our love.
We Fulfilled our promise to 13 year old Potato on February 15th, 2016. We rescued Potato from SBC Shelter on August 1st, 2014. His mom tells his story the absolute best:
"We lost our Potato today.
I thought I knew going in how this would end. My husband and I would get a dog to love and care for, for a little while. But eventually, I'd have to be there while that dog quietly left our lives. Of course, this would be after much debate over when was the best time to let the dog go. And after days or weeks of checking items off the dog's bucket list, we would schedule the right time for him to be ushered to the other side.
Yesterday, February 14, Potato started the morning with two seizures. He'd never had them before. We panicked and rushed to the vet, but there isn't much to be done for just two seizures. Plus, Potato seemed to have come around to acting his normal, happy self again. We went home with a lot more information than we had to start, and instructions to watch Potato and keep a log. The log looked like this:
2/14 7:15am duration unknown
2/14 7:45am duration 1.5 minutes
2/14 11:22pm duration 45 seconds
2/15 2:00 am 2 min
2/15 2:10am 2 min
2/15 2:15am 2 min
2/15 2:30am 2.5 minutes
Shortly after that, while we were in the process of contacting an emergency vet, Potato's seizures became so frequent we couldn't count them anymore. We couldn't tell where one ended and the next began. We had to transport Potato while he was seizing. He didn't stop the whole ride there. The vet gave Potato two doses of valium. He was still seizing. At that point, there was no deciding. Ultimately, Frosted Faces gets to decide, but I knew we had to let him go. No bucket list day, no careful planning. It was time. We had to get ready. We let him go early this morning. We cried.
That's how it ended, but the year-and-a-half before that was a gift. The transformation Potato underwent in our care was the most rewarding thing I've ever experienced. He was always a great dog, well-mannered, social with dogs, people, and even horses. But after we'd had him some months, he just-- blossomed. He was always full of such joy. Big, wide, smiley joy.
And he was my shadow. I'll miss him waiting to greet my car when I get home, and head butting the bathroom door the whole time I'm in there. No one will randomly come up and lean against my legs anymore, because it is the safest place to be, even if it makes us both trip.
He liked to stick his head under any hand, arm or leg that might extended in space, so he could get a free pet. He surprised more than one friend that way, and even a couple unsuspecting strangers.
We don't know what befell Potato before he came to us. Whatever it was, it left him sick, injured, and infected, alone in the San Bernardino County Shelter. But still, he approached life with this excitement and aplomb, like he never had reason to expect a bad result. We could all learn to be a little more like that.
It was a privilege to share our home with Potato while we could. He hiked with his brother, Stax, met horses, liked to visit our neighborhood park, and even got to tour Sonoma. Thank you, Frosted Faces Foundation and Kelly Smisek for gifting us our time with Potato and for being there for us whenever we needed you. And thank you Frosted Faces Family for always being so supportive."
Thank you Dominic & Christine Castiglioni for being Potato's loving Forever Foster Family. Thank you Lindy & Ed Kalpakoff, Patricia Allem, and Kimberly Rogers for being Potato's dedicated monthly sponsoring Fans.
Rest in peace smiling Potato.
We Fulfilled our promise to 12 year old Mackenzie on February 15th, 2016 after she suffered a pyometra and her kidneys were beyond 75% failure. We rescued Mackenzie from Downey Shelter on November 16th, 2015. Mackenzie's mom wrote the following beautiful tribute.
"Said goodbye to my Li'l Mack today. She had been slowly but steadily declining and although it was hard, the kindest thing to do was to not let her suffer.
I picked Mackenzie up on my birthday November 29. I remember seeing her shelter post and had felt a strange connection to her. She was actually supposed to go to another foster but fate had her come here.
I wasn't sure what to expect. I have fostered deaf dogs and blind dogs but not deaf and blind dogs.
The CowDogs can be tough on fosters but they accepted her right away. Like they knew she was supposed to be here. They would be her eyes and ears.
She surprised me. She learned to navigate around the house and would find her way to the dog door when she wanted to go out. Always taking very cautious steps as she wanted to feel everything around her. She was tenacious and wanted to do things herself. She would make a little grunt in protest when I would pick her up to carry her around.
As I would watch her explore outside in her dark and quiet little world, feeling around with her little paws and stopping to smell things here and there, I wondered what her life was like before she came here? what she was like as a bouncy little puppy? was she someone's puppy? did she have someone that loved and cared for her? why was she left behind at the shelter? was it just because she was old? deaf? blind?
Li'l Mack your time with us was short but I hope we made it comfortable for you. I will miss hearing your little bells- the ones I had to put on your collar so I could find you. I am happy to know you spent your last days smelling flowers and enjoying the fresh air. I am happy to know you had a warm bed to rest your little head and good food to eat.
Thank you for reminding me to be present and enjoy the beautiful things, the little things that no money can buy. I hope you know that you were loved!"
Thank you Laura Wright for being Mackenzie's Forever Foster Family. Thank you Gretchen Stewart-Disch, Terry Aoyagi, and Carol Chappell for being her dedicated monthly sponsoring Fans.
I remembered when Laura and I met, that she had said she always puts the tags of her her dogs that have passed on her key chain. When we made the decision to let Little Red go this morning I wondered if, even though Laura had Mackenzie for such a short time, her tags would still be lovingly placed on the keychain.
...Laura announced Mackenzie passing to friends and family accompanied by a photo of her tags on her keychain. It broke me. It built me. These dogs are not just living with FFF Forever Fosters, they are living with Families. Our mission is Family. Mission Fulfilled. Rest in peace.
We lost Dopey due to complications just hours after performing a TECA-BO surgery on February 16th, 2016. It was unexpected and hurt like hell. Time and memories have finally ushered the most beautiful tribute from Dopey's family which is positively worth sharing.
"I have read and reread [the post about Dopey's passing] and have tried numerous times to respond but just could not articulate the words to express how thankful David and I are for Kelly and Frosted Faces, Dopey's wonderful sponsor Stephanie Font and all the forever fosters. Kelly's write-up on Dopey is such a beautiful tribute and all the condolences and heartfelt thoughts from the group have been overwhelming.
A year ago March 28th 2015 David and I drove down to San Diego to pick up our Dopey. I will never forget our first meeting, David kneeled down to greet Dopey and Dopey kissed his knees then layed his big head down in David's lap and fell asleep. Dopey a big boy at 80 pounds, a lopsided face with dermatitis on his muzzle, horrible skin fungus and smelly ears couldn't have been more perfect - we fell in love out the gate! We loaded Dopey up into our car and couldn't have been more then a mile away when we got rear-ended at a red light. Couple of dings on the bumper, scared the heck out of David and me but didn't phase Dopey at all - we will on our way home!
Dopey possessed extremely soft qualities that you would not expect by looking at him. Dopey's nature was pure goodness - Dopey was kind, he was gentle, he was loving and compassionate, he was a protector, he loved life! Nothing bothered Dopey, he never growled, never showed his teeth, never reacted to anything he was introduced to in a negative manner not even pain, so stoic - Dopey just let everything roll off of him...there are just not enough words to describe the beauty in this very special boy. If I possessed half of Dopey's qualities I would be quite fortunate. Dopey's gentle nature was communicated in such a quiet way, positive energy just exuded from him and everyone who met him was immediately drawn to him. David and I were so proud of our Dopey, an ambassador to his breed, he exceeded the scales on temperament and for that matter he exceeded the scales of any dog breed - period! We just plain admired our Dopey.
Dopey's ear was chronic so we started a regiment and it went like this - Mario (our petsitter and vet tech at our vets) would come and pick up Dopey every other Monday from the house. Mario and Dopey would go through the drive thru share some lunch and head to the vets office - first Mario and he made the rounds at the vet's and said hello to all his friends and then headed in for his medicated bath, get his ears cleaned, and then to see Dr. Latos for ear check and antibiotic gel packs that were inserted into his ear. Dr. Latos would tell me it would normally take two people to do this procedure but not with Dopey he would just sit there and patiently let them do it, never showing any signs of discomfort - Dr. Latos said he is one stoic dog! Dopey would then hang out and I would come and pick him up after work - Dopey really enjoyed these outings!
The treatments definitely helped Dopey with being more comfortable but after 10 months of not being able to get rid of the infection we knew we had to pursue other options. We fretted over the surgery, we were nervous about it but finally reconciled that we couldn't let our fears supercede what was best for Dopey so the appointment was scheduled.
On Monday morning Feb 15 2016 we all drove down to San Diego from Woodland Hills for the scheduled surgery. Dopey greeted another dog in the waiting room, got weighed and then I handed over the leash to the girl who was going to prep him for surgery...leaned down and kissed him and Dopey with his wagging tail went through the door. That unfortunately was the last time we saw our Dopey, this last glimpse will haunt me for a very long time.
David and I are so blessed to have been Dopey's parents, he was a gift that was lent to us for a short time. No wonder the good Lord wanted him back he was beyond special.
The Wild household is very somber right now, a big boy with such a unique quiet gentle nature has left such a screaming loud void. Dopey's 17 year old blind fur- brother Bebe is missing Dopey's guidance - Dopey always made sure that Bebe was headed in the right direction because being blind Bebe would sometimes end up in places he needed help getting out of - Dopey was always there letting Bebe bump into him to know he was O.K, and steering him the right direction. Carter, Dopey's shitzu brother, is looking for Dopey to start the cookie party, Dopey would get the gang all barking where Mom was forced to go into the kitchen to give them all their treats. Cowboy - his kitty brother is looking for Dopey so he can rub against him and hang from his tail, and Mom and Dad see Dopey everywhere - especially when I do wash, Dopey had a thing for clean towels and thought every towel and blanket I washed was for him!
Feeding time around the Wilds has changed - Dopey loved to eat - he would jump up and down in Dopey fashion, give his low barking woof, woof hey feed me Mom, I want my breakfast, I want my dinner and I want it now! Just last week Mom was not moving fast enough so Dopey gently mouthed my arm to get me moving off the couch. There was always such happy commotion around feeding time...now we are all just going through the motions, everyone in the Wild household is so quiet, the silence is deafening without our Dopey.
When Dopey's vet found out that Dopey didn't make it, he called me immediately to express how very sorry he was and wanted to know step by step what had happened...his response was I think Dopey threw a clot, and once that happens there is nothing anyone can do. I kept repeating over and over we lost our good boy and Dr. Latos said Nancy I have to correct you Dopey was beyond a good boy he was perfect!
I cant thank Kelly and Frosted faces enough for being the conduit that allowed Dopey a well deserved second chance that brought him into our home. We will be forever grateful.
The Wild family is taking the loss of Dopey very hard, replaying the events of that fateful Monday/Tuesday, the what if's enough to drive one crazy - terrible things happen and it did. Losing any of our furry kids is painful but there was just something about Dopey that will make this loss as unique as he was.
So Godspeed Dopey, Dopey Doo, our Dopester - your family and friends know that you are O.K. its just going to take a very long tine for our broken hearts to mend and the pain to soften.
The pain is great but the love for Dopey will always be greater.
We miss you something fierce...
I am so sorry Dopey....
Love Mom, Dad, Carter, Bebe, and Cowboy"
Message from the Director:
We are numb. Even hours later the words don't come out right. How can you have such good intentions and have such a terrible outcome?
Dopey died this morning.
We rescued 8 year old Dopey from Baldwin Park Shelter on March 18th, 2015. He was surrendered there by his owners on February 12th, 2015. We knew his "networking photo" like our favorite seat on the couch. We kept going back to it and no one had the resources to help him- including us. We received an application from David and Nancy Wild, who had cats and two "froo froo" dogs-not the typical application for a bully breed. He LUCKED out!! This family was the jackpot. When all checked out, we just had to cross our fingers he would pass his cat test at Headquarters. Dopey was a dog I couldn't be more proud to exclaim that FFF had the resources to spring!!
Dopey was the most gentle, stoic dog I have ever met- of course, passing his cat test. Dopey was part of an incredibly loving, attentive family with the Wilds. He loved to go camping with them too, and they most recently went over New Year's.
From day one Dopey struggled with ear infections. The whole right side of his face looked like he had had a stroke because they were so chronic. David and Nancy Wild donated all of Dopey's medical expenses, getting his ears cleaned and packed at least once a month. We started discussing the option of the TECA-BO surgery since his ears seemed to not be healing. Nancy sent us email upon email with questions, concerns, and measures for how she should prepare Dopey, signed "Worried Mom." I cannot tell you how many times I have reread those emails today with misty eyes.
We raised funds and invested in a TECA-BO surgery for Dopey which was executed yesterday. As soon as Andy and I got into town last night, we stopped at San Diego Bay Animal Hospital after-hours where they let us visit him in recovery. His entire inner ear which they removed was calcified and bone-like. They explained that even as they removed the bulla there was infection and pus accumulated at the skull. This was an infection so deep that it could not be cultured for treatment until this point, and an ear canal so damaged and painful that Dopey was an excellent candidate for the surgery.
No call from a vet at 8:00am is a good call post surgery. I think the whales in the Pacific Ocean heard my outcry when I learned the news that Dopey did not make it through the night. My first thought was Nancy. I cannot emphasize how much these Forever Fosters LOVE their Frosted Faces. Nancy is devastated, replaying the decisions, and what I thought most interesting-- she kept saying to me, "How could they have left him in the shelter?"
You know, this gave me great comfort in knowing that through so much grief, there was no question as to how Dopey had lived his last Frosted year- it was magnificent to all standards because of the Wilds. Not Nancy, not any of us, are accountable for other people's actions that leads dogs to be surrendered to shelters as seniors, but we empower ourselves to decrease the suffering in this world, we do our best, and Nancy and David did that for Dopey.
Thank you David and Nancy Wild for being Dopey's loving Forever Foster Family, and thank you to Stephanie Font for being Dopey's dedicated monthly sponsoring Fan.
How can things go so wrong with such good intentions? They just do. It will sting, and we will have this abyss of grief beside us that we can dive into at any point if we choose to, but we will continue to love and make a difference in honor of those who have changed our hearts like Dopey.
We Fulfilled our promise to 11 year old Frost on February 18th, 2016 at Southern Temecula Veterinary Hospital. We rescued Frost on December 26th, 2014 from West Valley Shelter - LA after he had been surrendered there by his owner.
Just a few weeks ago Frost went in for an exam appearing that he needed another dental because his mouth was smelly and seemed painful, and to consider additional pain meds because he was growing weaker. It was then that we learned Frost had lymphoma causing these symptoms and his prognosis was poor. He slipped away so quickly, too quickly.
His family writes:
"It is with heavy hearts that we set Frost free tonight. After a 4 week battle with cancer it was his time.
Frost joined our family a few days after Christmas last year and lived all but the last few weeks healthy and happy. He was loved by all who met him, instantly fit into our pack and provided our family several moments of comic relief.
Thank you to Kelly Smíšek and Andy, who run Frosted Faces, for trusting us to provide for Frost.
Although this is the most difficult part of fostering, it is tempered by the knowledge that one less dog had to suffer needlessly and alone in a high kill animal shelter. Our boys continue to learn invaluable life lessons through these difficult times. Those lessons will undoubtedly influence them positively as they continue to grow into young men."
Thank you dearly Matt and Heather Klingelberg for making Frost part of your family. He was so beautiful, wasn't he? Thank you to Evelyn Fielman for being Frost's dedicated monthly sponsoring Fan.
Rest in peace, gorgeous.
We Fulfilled our promise to 18 year old Jay Jay on February 20th, 2016. We rescued Jay Jay from Baldwin Park Shelter on October 25th, 2015 after he was surrendered there by his owners.
Jay Jay struggled with dementia from day one that progressively got worse. Jenna agreed that it is our job to let dogs grow old and that dementia is not a deal breaker so long as the dog is comfortable and experiences life's joys. We tried Anipryl, melatonin, cannabis oil, Benadryl, and Acepromazine to make sure that he rested at night and was alert during the day. In the end, all of Jay Jay's awake time he was anxious, his sleeping time was far too long, and he had grown incontinent.
This, however, is not how Frosted Face Jay Jay will be remembered, and his mom will tell you! He had a bucket list and it even included celebrating his birthday on an off-day, just because she was sure he never had a birthday party.
Jay Jay's mom reflects:
"Today I let my dog Jay Jay go. I say “my dog” because to me he wasn’t just a foster that I had for 3 ½ months. He was my dog and a part of my family.
It was hard from the very beginning and I changed many of my daily habits to cater to him but if I had to choose all over again, I would take him in every time. I don’t know who his family was for the first eighteen years of his life but we were his family at the end when it was important.
Last night he ate a McDonald’s happy meal and the whole family slept together on the floor with him. Today he ate bacon and cheese and stinky dog foods for breakfast (yum!). I held him in my arms as he fell asleep and took his last breath and gave him one last kiss goodbye.
I am 23 years old, only five years older than Jay Jay, and I am sad that we weren’t together for more of those years. He is the first dog I have ever had to put down and I can’t explain to you what a hard process it has been. There was no one to tell me if it was the right time or not. I may never know if I made the right decision; if I waited too long or let him go too soon. What I do know is that he took a piece of my heart with him today that I will never be getting back. I know that he was loved unconditionally. I know that I miss him more than I ever thought possible. And I know that he has made a huge impact on my life. I love you Jay Jay and I always will."
Thank you Jenna Larson for being Jay Jay's Forever Foster Family. Thank you Debbie DeLaCruz, Krista Hogan, Karen Terra, Kristi Palmer, and Judith Traub for being Jay Jay's dedicated monthly sponsoring Fans.
We Fulfilled our promise to 14 year old Biscuit on February 26th, 2016 after battling kidney disease. We rescued Biscuit from Carson Shelter on December 5th, 2014 after a landlord had found him in an abandoned rental.
His mom reflects:
Yesterday afternoon I held Biscuit for the last time humming to him, kissing his head and massaging his paw.
This funny old man who wasn't expected to last but a few weeks survived 14 months. His will and strength to live astounded me. Even on bad "grumpy" days he still had that spark that said he wasn't done fighting yet.
On his Frostiversary Dec 5th, I made him a promise that together we would work for him to go down in FFF books as the longest surviving foster ever and he gave me every reason to believe that he understood me perfectly. Biscuit could be stuborn but a cute stubborn. He hated toys that his sister ran around the house squeaking so when he got the chance he would get it, tuck it under himself and nap so he didn't have to deal with it.
Biscuit had an adventerous 14 months. He moved from CA beaches to snow in CO and back to the CA Inland Valley. He loved the sand, the snow (didn't like putting his boots on though) and had recently discovered that pine cones were fun to push around with his nose.
My heart has a huge empty space, last night I didn't wake up to him linking my leg in the middle of the night for potty time but I woke up anyway reaching for him.
I know that we all share this empty space, the void, the huge hole in our hearts when we lose our furever foster but the things we learn from them, the bond that is formed to me is somewhat different than these same things I share with my own dogs. The forgotten, abused or dumped senior dogs that FFF entrust to our care show their gratitude in multiple ways for being given the chance to live a happy fulfilling end of life.
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share Biscuit's last year. He will forever be in my heart."
Thank you so much Carol Burt for being Biscuit's loving Forever Foster Family and helping him to live longer than any of us thought possible! Thank you to Melissa Muik for being Biscuit's dedicated monthly sponsoring Fan.
We Fulfilled our promise to Jerry on March 28th, 2016. We rescued Jerry on March 11th, 2016 from Lancaster Shelter. He was 11 years old and was surrendered there by his owner because he could not walk.
While hope had us so high, the thought that we somehow had to muster the courage to depend on euthanasia, has brought us to an unexpected low. Jerry was without a doubt giving up. I am almost hesitant to share how we made the decision because I can't bear to hear that there may have been one more thing we could have done for him, as that has been nagging on us for days.
We tried acupuncture, cold laser therapy, visits to the chiropractor, steroids and pain medication. Between Andy and I, we suited him up in his wheels three times a day without fail to be sure he was upright for a period of time, could go potty like a normal dog, gain strength, and eat out of a normal food bowl. Hope begged all of us to rally!
The past couple days without the wheels, he laid completely laterally and did not even try to prop himself on his elbows to participate in the happenings of the room. Jerry was on so many pain meds he began to seem lethargic. When his pain meds wore off his eyes bulged focused on pain and he whined and almost barked for mercy. Dressed in his wheelchair, trying to keep with routine knowing there would be bad days with the good, he pulled himself all around the yard after finishing each meal to check out the gardens. Today after his meal, 85 pound Jerry surrendered by lowering himself down to his chin (legs still in his chair), no longer with the will to stay standing. His eyes changed and he was tired.
As I type this, I see our dogs watching and waiting for me. This makes me realize that I am keeping you from yours... These little souls counting on us to do right by them. I wish Jerry's owner would have had the courage to be with Jerry in the end, but we are so lucky that we were able to meet him, bring him some happiness, and learn from him.
Let me ask you to just please share joy in my most favorite photo of Jerry and then go engage with your dogs. I love the sparkle in his eyes, how he is standing in his chair as bold as ever, drinking water from the hose like an ordinary happy dog. Go run over that bridge, Jerry. We love you.
Thank you to Carey Nagoda, Christa Morones, J Hart Enterprises, Carol Chappell, Nancy LaRocca, and Karine Wagner for being Jerry’s monthly sponsoring Fans.
We Fulfilled our promise to Edgar on March 29th, 2016. We rescued him on March 22nd, 2016 from OC Shelter. He seemed mentally dull, stood without intention and stumbled to the right. He only recognized food once put in his mouth and suffered classic dementia bouts of cries seemingly "lost," so we guessed at the very least he had dementia. We all hoped he was simply depressed, perhaps loss of sight from chronic untreated dry eye was causing his behavior, or maybe it was just the UTI.
Last night and this morning it was affirmed something more major was going on. Edgar seized multiple times and the doctors at South Temecula Veterinary Hospital and Pet Hotel confirmed that he probably had a brain tumor and that he we were only prolonging the inevitable.
The good things... I will remember our really good nap together on the couch on Saturday. Edgar snored so loudly and he held me like a human with his paws curled around my arm.
His Forever Foster writes:
"Still trying to put my feelings into words that will make sense to anyone but myself. For only being with me for 2 short days, I didn't imagine that my heart would hurt the way it does right now. And not because he had to be put to sleep but because I didn't get to experience him and love on him before it was too late.
Even in his confusion and obvious health decline, he craved human interaction. The only time he wouldn't cry at night is when he felt me next to him. His name was to be chosen by my 6 year old daughter and unfortunately, she didn't even get to meet him to choose his name. She did come up with one before he got here though, so in our household Edgar is now known as Thunder James."
As painful as it is right now and as difficult as those moments were, I am so relieved that there was someone with him and I feel very honored that it was me. He was incredibly sweet but so clearly miserable in his current state. His body and his mind are at peace now and for that, I am very thankful. Thank you Frosted Faces for allowing me to have one of the most difficult yet incredibly rewarding experiences. Thunder James was loved and babied just as every Senior should be when they need us the most. I am so very grateful that you guys trusted me to do those things for him."
Thank you Melanie Brake for being a selfless, strong, loving Forever Foster Family. Thank you to Leo Puppy Mill Survivor for being a Fan of dear Edgar/Thunder James.
Pappy passed away March 29th, 2016 and we are all grieving such a joyful, innocent dog. We rescued Pappy from Ventura County Animal Services on October 24th, 2014.
He was so happy all of the time and his walk was the most memorable. It always made us smile. Pappy suffered from a vestibular episode this fall, but recovered quickly. Just two weeks ago he seemed to have another, but even with treatment he never recovered. He could not stand nor eat, and oh - how his Forever Fosters did not want to part with their dear Pappy. They held him until the very end.
Our loss of Pappy reminds us of our final promise to our Frosted Faces, and that is to not let them suffer. Our bodies all will fail us in some way some day and we are privileged to have the science to lovingly let our pets rest.
Thank you for Nefi and Dillon Salcido for being Pappy's Forever Foster Family, and thank you to Kim Whiting and Melissa Shaw for being Pappy's dedicated monthly sponsoring Fans.
Ajax passed away on March 30th, 2016.
The previous day one of his testicles, one undescended, looked very swollen. He went in for emergency surgery at Sunnymead Animal Hospital to be neutered, but when doctors opened him up they discovered a hernia where his intestines were leaking out of and being pinched causing dead tissues. They resected his intestines, removed his undescended testicle and repaired the hernia. His outside testicle looked enlarged because he had another hernia into his scrotum. Doctors also repaired that hernia and removed that testicle. Then we waited. Ajax was held by his mom and kept warm as he recovered. We transferred him to an Emergency Pet Hospital of Redlands for post operative care and around 10:30pm he passed away.
We have replayed this in our heads. What if we had repaired this upon rescue in December? Would it have been a simple hernia repair and neuter? We couldn't. From the outside he looked like a classic unneutered dog with an undescended testicle. His WBC count was 45,000 and when rechecked a month later it was 18,000. With imperfect labs and at Ajax's age, he was a happy little pup and we decided not to mess around. Yesterday we had no choice and his mom said he was happy as ever, so we took the risk to give him a chance. We find comfort in knowing that Ajaxgot three more months he never may have had.
Ajax was brought into Riverside Shelter as a stray on December 21st, 2015. He was eligible to be euthanized for medical concerns and lack of adoptability on December 26th, and on December 28th we were able to rescue him because Shannon Benson stepped up to be his Forever Foster Family. He was always with her and her daughter, Brooklyn. Shannon reflects, "I'm so lost without him waddling behind me. I love him so much."
Thank you Shannon Benson for being Ajax's mommy. Thank you to Mary Parrish, Arnold Valdez, Leslie Smart for being his dedicated monthly sponsoring Fans.
We Fulfilled our promise to 13 year old Honey on April 3rd, 2016. We rescued her on March 25th, 2015 from Devore Shelter after she had been brought there as an alleged stray.
Honey's dementia diminished her quality of life and her Forever Foster Family followed through with their final promise to relieve her from her confusion and discomfort.
Please take the time to read this incredible tribute written by her mom.
"If Love Could Have Saved You, You would have lived Forever!
Today I was faced with the unthinkable, the daunting decision that lies within us caring for these senior dogs. I asked myself a million times this past week; am I making the right decision? Does she still have the quality of life she so deserves? Is she living in dignity? Or is she suffering?
Honey came to us almost 1 year ago. She was welcomed with open arms, and loving hearts by all of us. We had a learning curve, as most do, with a new family member. Honey had dementia, her liver was failing and so were her kidneys. She was a finicky eater and she didn’t care for dog food. I attribute that to living on the streets in San Bernardino and digging through trash cans for her next meal.
She ended up in the Devore Animal Shelter and that’s when Kelly of Frosted Faces came in and decided this sweet girl’s life is worth saving. Boy am I grateful for that rescue and blessed that Kelly trusted Honey with me and my family. For a dog that seemed so broken, she was thriving for so long!
She was not your normal dog, she did not get excited and wag her tail when you arrived home, but she did get up from her bed to be with you! She didn’t play tug a war, chew bones or play with toys. But she seemed so happy and smiled a lot. When my husband was around, Honey knew a treat was coming her way.
The past few months, Honey’s mobility got worse and she was losing weight. After celebrating her 1 year Frostiversary on March 25th her quality of life significantly deteriorated. She could not get up on her own anymore. I had to carry her to go out and go potty and to her food dish. Friday she stopped eating, and if she did actually take food in, she threw it up.
Her light at the end of the tunnel was dimming. I will always cherish and remember holding her sweet loving face as she crossed the rainbow bridge. It was not an easy decision, but I hope she knows how much I love her!
'If tears could build a stairway, I would walk right up to Heaven and bring you back again.'
Rest in Peace Sweet Honey Dew Henderson.
Thank you so much to her loving monthly sponsors Angela Schell and Laurie Roberts."
We owe many thanks and heartfelt sympathy to Todd and Brenda Henderson who loved Honey Dew beyond measure.
We Fulfilled our promise to Hunter on April 4th, 2016.
We rescued 12 year old Hunter from Carson Shelteron April 4th, 2016 after he had been surrendered the day before because he was no longer eating. He was scheduled to be humanely euthanized by the shelter today, but knowing that they are inadequately funded, we wanted to be sure to invest in the proper diagnostics to be sure that the decision was justified.
Dear Hunter's Owner,
We paid $50.00 to rescue your dog that took you $10.00 to surrender. Two people who had never met your dog agreed to be his family just because he had no one. A bunch of dedicated dog-loving bystanders donated to cover his potential medical costs. A team of three volunteers drove as quickly as they could from Gardena, CA to San Diego, CA to get your dog to the vet. A veterinary team stayed two hours beyond close to ensure he got treatment. We invested in bloodwork and X-rays to learn what you already knew - your dog was very sick, in pain, and could not breathe. One very tired, emotionally invested girl held your dog close to her chest sobbing because there were no good options and no good days left to be had- and she mustered up the courage to let him go.
The Christmas sweater you dressed him in and the softness of his fur leads us to believe that you really loved Hunter, and too, felt you had no options. For people who love dogs so much, the act of relinquishing responsibility of an ill animal that is devoted to you will always be baffling. We wish you had the resources that we do so that you could have held Hunter as he breathed his last loving breath. We don't want to be angry and we don't want to be naively forgiving--perhaps we will just side with the dogs because we know we cannot go wrong there.
We saw that Hunter needed help, regardless of the scenario, and we did everything that we thought was right. Hunter had a lot of people who loved him and we are privileged to have been able to give him a peaceful passing.
Heartbroken and Confused,
FROSTED FACES FOUNDATION
There is always that one photo from the transport where the dog shines with gratefulness and relief in spite of all ailments. We have included that photo and we hope that smile shines on.
Hunter's X-rays showed that he was suffering from end stages of congestive heart failure and he had an enormous, painful mass that filled most of his abdomen. His hematocrit was 20% among other terribly abnormal values.
Thank you to Richard and Mary Johnson for stepping up to be Hunter’s Forever Foster Family.
Thank you to Celeste Leander, Amanda Jimenez, and Susan Cassell for being Hunter’s monthly sponsoring Fans.
May SunnyGirl know that this is the family that loved her so much that they let her go...
We Fulfilled our promise to SunnyGirl (formerly Cindy) on April 6th, 2016. When we rescued her on Friday, April 1st, 2016 from Downey Shelter we were given the option to euthanize her during her first exam because her congestive heart failure was so advanced. We opted to try the injections and medication, as we have seen the proper care give CHF dogs months. All weekend SunnyGirl seemed comfortable in her new home, but last night it became clear that there were only short term solutions for such a long term chronic illness at this stage. SunnyGirl's labored breathing was compared to trying to breathe through a tiny straw and there was no way we could prolong the inevitable anymore.
SunnyGirl's mom writes:
"I wasn't expecting her to leave us this fast. The severity of your heart condition led me to believe your family kept you until you became a burden with your coughing and course of treatment. You were never a burden to us in the very short time we got to be your family. In fact, all we wanted to do was have you rest peacefully knowing you were loved and safe.
The first moment I saw you, I knew you were special as you reminded me of our childhood cocker. In fact, my sister tagged me in your post not knowing I had already asked to foster you. When Kelly told me about your heart condition, it's as if you had picked us your family because my first forever dog passed of heart failure so I knew exactly what to expect...or so I thought.
When you first came to us, you flourished. You loved the yard, napped so peacefully and even ate! My 15 month old daughter, who usually chases our dogs, came up and gave you the most gentle kiss on your head as if she knew you were in need of love and affection. You spent that night with us in he living room being pet, loved, and even slept on the couch with me for a while. You were just so thankful to find some peace and calm. The next day, you started to cough more and more. Then you started panting. Your coughing fits went from a minute or two at a time to incessantly in the span of a few hours. You took your meds but they weren't helping. I stayed up with you all night as you would not sleep, your coughing and anxiety made you pace all night. You could not find peace or comfort. The next day was even worse and when I took you to the vet, you gave me "that look" which I didn't want to see. The two hours at the vet, you never stopped coughing. Kelly and I had to make the decision your "family" should have made for you before surrendering you to the shelter. I wasn't ready to let you go but the alternative was trying even more meds and taking you off the cough suppressant to maybe give you a few more days in which you would just be suffering. Your heart was pushing against your trachea to the point you couldn't breathe.
Before the vet came in, I had a few minutes alone with you. As you coughed persistently, I told you how much I love you. I held you as you crossed the rainbow bridge and for the first time, you stopped coughing."
Thank you to Ken Erickson and Sarah Losoya for being SunnyGirl's Forever Foster Family, and thank you to Christa Morones and Judith Johnson for being her monthly sponsoring Fans.
Peace at last, SunnyGirl.
We Fulfilled our promise to 17 year old Tiger on April 12th, 2016. We rescued Tiger on January 19th, 2016 from East Valley Shelter after he had been surrendered there by his owners.
"My sweet, sweet Tiger. You have changed my life in more ways than you know. 12 weeks ago today, I picked you up from the shelter where your owners had left you a few days before. The shelter vet said you should have been put to sleep then, but it wasn't your time. Not yet. You needed to know what it was to be part of a family, to be loved, and to know love.
Initially, it was believed that you couldn't walk, see, or hear. You walked out of the shelter on your own that day, you walked beside me and you looked at me when I called your name. Like many animals, you shut down when you found yourself scared and alone in the shelter, but you thrived outside of those doors. We drove to Orange County to meet a volunteer who would then take you to Kelly & Andy in San Diego so you could see a vet and spend time with them. The next Saturday night, John & I drove down to San Diego and brought you home.
Our little family grew that night. We loved you so much the second you got here… all 7 of us. Even Masey, and that says a lot. We weren’t sure how much time we had with you, so we slowed down to enjoy all of the little moments and celebrated your “Weekaversary” every Sunday.
Over the next few weeks you transformed before our eyes. You loved to eat and started put on weight, your mobility improved & you followed me everywhere I went, to a fault, and sometimes we'd trip over each other. You were my shadow. Then, one day, you weren’t there when I turned around. Your little legs were tired, so I helped you walk. You would only walk once more after that day.
I had planned to be in Mexico for my 30th birthday, but something told me not to go, so we rented a house, rented a SUV, piled our little family in & headed to the desert. It was your first family vacation & you loved every second of it. We spent the days by the pool soaking up the sun and the nights on the patio watching the stars. You took your last steps in Palm Springs.
When we got back to LA, I knew you weren’t feeling well. Your little body was so tired, but your mind was still active. You watched me everywhere I went; even though you couldn’t follow me and you would eat every bite of food we brought you... you loved to eat. I told you about heaven, how you have a family there too and how you would be able to run & play again.
I told you to let me know when you were ready & I trusted you would. I prayed every day that you would walk again. We had just gotten a new medicine & supplements when I found the lump in your mouth. The tumor was already the size of a gum ball. My heart broke. I knew you wouldn’t walk again and I knew I needed to hold you tight. We had a good weekend.
When I left for work on Monday, you looked so tired & you wouldn’t eat your breakfast, but you licked my fingers to assure me you were ok. When your sitter, Candace, called me at lunch to let me know you hadn’t eaten again, I knew I needed to come home early to be with you. When I got home, you lifted your head to say hi, but your body was so weak, your eyes were so tired. You told me you were ready.
I laid with you all night, holding you close. I told you about heaven again. I told you that my dad is there & will take good care of you. I told you about all of your brothers & sisters who will show you the ropes. I asked you to watch over us & find us when we get there. I never had the pleasure of knowing you when you were younger, but something tells me you were mischievous pup full of spunk & energy. I can’t wait to see you run and play, sweet boy.
I made a promise 12 weeks ago and today, I fulfilled that promise. My heart is broken, but I’m at peace knowing you’re in a better place. You didn’t leave this world alone and scared in a shelter. You left with a family, you were loved and you knew love. You now have wings, my love, fly high. I love you always, sweet Tiger. Until we meet again.. "
If you can still read through your tears, please make sure to offer Kaitlyn Rice and John Shealy words of comfort during this difficult time. They did a hell of a job giving Tiger an eventful, quality end of life. Thank you to Lisa Switzer, Itzel Pichardo, Martha Perez, and Margarita Chase for being Tiger's dedicated monthly sponsoring Fans.
We got a call from a shelter volunteer that a very neglected dog was being surrendered for euthanasia to Riverside Shelter on April 13th, 2016. We waited patiently while the dog was processed into the Riverside Shelter system and given a thorough exam, and we were granted permission to rescue her to pursue further medical testing to give her a shot at happiness.
Dr. Wallace debulked as much of the mass as possible and then I got the unwanted call. There was dead infected tissue all of the way up to the abdominal wall and the mass had spread into her abdomen. Once sedated, Dr. Wallace's forceps could reach from the outside of Estée's poor body all of the way inside to touch her stomach from the abscess.
There was absolutely no way to remove all of the infected tissue. To close her up and hope for the best would not make sense and the chance of her dying of sepsis was nearly guaranteed.
Estée did not make it. I am so sorry, little girl. We tried. No more pain. A whole lot of people love you now and you were not alone.
Thank you to David and Nancy Wild for offering to be her Forever Foster Family.
Thank you to Joann Gudim and Karine Wagner for being Estee’s sponsoring Fans.
Thank you to Hope For Paws for helping us to give Estée a chance.
Sir Elton Franklin
We Fulfilled our promise to Sir Elton Franklin on April 19th, 2016. We rescued Sir Elton Franklin, lovingly known as SEF, from Long Beach Shelter on May 6th, 2015 after he had been brought in as a stray. It is absolutely incredible that SEF lived until this day in his condition, but every day was of quality until these last weeks when we had to make the selfless decision to let him go. Oh how his mom wanted him to get to is Frostiversary next month!
"My heart hurts. Today we said goodbye to my handsome little man, Sir Elton Franklin. He has been going down hill the last month or so with mobility, arthritis pain and dementia. We could no longer control his pain, keep him comfortable and live with dignity.
He was accused, on more than one occasion, of looking like "an odd little possum" because of his crooked, hairless little body and funny walk. But to me, he was the most handsome little man. His bright eyes and determined spirit lit up my heart everyday. He followed me around the house with the rest of the Pomtourage, only he added an extra little grumpy grunt when he walked, especially if it was dinner time! He loved his "mommy and me time" in the evenings. He would walk up to the couch and head-butt my foot. He loved being held while I relaxed and watched tv. I will miss the way he nuzzled my neck, tucking his head under my chin and kissing the back of his hairless "bat" ears.
I know the beginning of his life wasn't the best, and he was dumped at the shelter when he needed care and love the most, which is why I feel so blessed to be the one to show him his life mattered to someone. Having him in my life for the last 11 months was something simply beautiful. Rest in peace my handsome little man, run with the angels, feel no pain, only light and love."
Thank you to Jaymie Hudson and Jonathan Lavan for being SEF's Forever Foster Family and thank you to Lena Peters and Chris Degelsey for being SEF's dedicated monthly sponsoring Fans.
We Fulfilled our promise to 15 year old Frosted Face Rosie last night just past midnight on April 20th, 2016. We rescued Rosie on November 7th, 2015 from Riverside Shelter on her last day scheduled to be alive. Her Forever Foster could not have loved her more nor breathed more life into her on her unscheduled days.
"Early this April morning, my beautiful Frosted Face Rosie left this earth and went to fly with the angels. Something inside went wrong so completely that even a dead-of-night trip to the emergency room couldn’t fix it.
This 15-year old cattle dog with huge brown eyes and a soft red-and-white coat limped into my life in November and took up residence in my heart and my home and my pack like she had been here before. Length of stay had nothing to do with depth of love. I loved her like I’d known her all her life.
I loved her funny walk on her pogo stick back legs, her quiet watchfulness, her special smell, her goofy food dance. She’d go into that bunny hop over breakfast, supper, treats, and Frosted Mini Wheats. Sometimes she’d get a nearly toothless grip on the Mini Wheats teaspoon and not let go, and that was one tough argument to win. She made any and every pillow look luxurious the way she burrowed into the softness, but her pink blanket was her favorite at night time, and it will always be Rosie’s blanket.
Everything hurt her, her shoulders, her legs, her back. She’d flinch at a light touch and then shake it off. She couldn’t hear much, but she’d jump up and leave the room if I coughed and she’d nearly launch whenever the dryer buzzer went off.
Rosie was half whisper, half will. She had used up so much of herself by the time she came to me that she was a whisper of who she used to be. It was will that kept her going, sheer, one-paw-after-the-other will, refusal to stay down, quiet doggedness to keep at it. By the end, though, she was all whisper. The will had run its course, and whatever got her last night hammered her hard.
She knew it before I did. I held her as she floated away without fuss, my Whisper Rosie, right up past my wet face, through the door and into the moon-lit night sky, and I hardly heard her leave. I felt it, though. Good girl, Rosie, what a beautiful girl. I love you. Oh how I’m going to miss you. Save me a spot, Rosie. When my turn comes, if I can work it, I’ll float your way with a whole box of Frosted Mini Wheats. So collar off, Rosie. Sleep sweet, little love. All done."
Thank you to Eve Henderson for stepping up for abandoned Rosie last November when she needed someone most. Thank you to Lisa Switzer for being Rosie's dedicated monthly sponsoring Fan.
We Fulfilled our promise to Benji late last night. He was suffering from kidney failure and VCA West Los Angeles Animal Hospital helped us to let him go.
We rescued Benji on September 20th, 2015 after he had been networked as the 9 year old dog surrendered with a heavy chain around his neck to Carson Shelter. Benji was, by far, the most evidenced neglected dog we have ever rescued. He was matted, had long finger nails, and his medical needs were clearly ignored. Most sadly, he was incredibly sensitive to touch. Over the course of the last several months, he was loved by a real family, was vetted, went on walks, chewed on bones, and got groomed.
Benji's mom writes:
"What a difficult week this has been for so many of us. With a heart that is utterly shattered, I want to let you know that beloved little Benji went to Rainbow Bridge last night. When he came to us, the medical screening showed elevated kidney levels. But he seemed “normal” and hope against hope, I put it out of my mind.
Benji had so much to learn about being a dog. During our time together he learned that he would be touched, gently and with warm hands that longed to hold him. At first he allowed me to pet his back and sides, then I got to hold his ears and give scritches. Finally he was happy to have his chest and head loved at the same time. But coming up to sit next to me on the sofa wasn’t an option; he would sit on the floor, often resting his head on my feet. Ben would find his way from the kitchen to my feet in the living room, then put his damp little muzzle against my ankles. If an ear scritch or pet didn’t come quickly enough, he would face-butt again. He also learned that treats were dispensed in this location at least half the time.
While he loved spending time next to Lola, our resident Welcome Wagon Wonder Girl, he started staying in the kitchen, especially if I was moving about the house. Of course he chose to be in the middle of any activity by choosing to stay in an entry to the kitchen that was maybe 3’ wide. During our time together I’ve learned to take VERY long steps often carrying laundry, trash, etc., without so much as a fur-swish.
The kitchen was a favorite place, I’m sure, because he loved loved to eat. No matter what variety, flavor or type of food, he was always ready. But since Lola is exactly the same, she would often try to finish Ben’s while he was still eating. This sweet little peanut would always move so she could have complete access…of course, Mom intervened, but he was never cross with her. On Tuesday evening I had to go to Costco and got the one remaining roasted chicken. As soon as I came in the door, Benji was at attention and trying to sniff out where that delicious aroma was located. OMD, he loved, loved, loved the bites I was feeding him. Seriously, he almost danced between mouthfuls anxiously awaiting more of this delectable “whatever Mom is giving me.” I was thrilled to see him so happy and excited.
But…on Thursday morning I woke up to an ominous odor that I remember so well from FF Ziva’s renal failure. Benji had diarrhea and vomited during the early morning hours and it was the same color, texture and foul smell – I tried not to even go there…NO, he cannot leave!!!! We haven’t done 1% of what I promised we’d do together. It didn’t matter, Benji’s time with me was over, and I knew this.
Yesterday I had to clean him before going to work, and for the first time he allowed me to hold him. It was so bittersweet because I knew it meant he was too sick or tired to protest. Then he fell asleep against my chest and I cried. This sweet little baby gave me the gift I most treasure of our time together. Just the sweetness of being able to hold and love him.
The other gift I realize now is that of time. We had no time, but the sweet babies in shelters have even less. To know that I waited months between Ziva leaving and adopting Benji makes me a little sad – yes, I was honoring my emotional well-being, but at what cost? Please do not have unkind thoughts if I have a new FF very soon. I am not replacing anyone, but just doing a heart remodel – there must be another addition.
Thank you Kelly and Andy...and Mary Savoia for being his first Foster Mommy, and Benji's Fans Lisa Switzer and Kathy Conrad."
Thank you Elaine Byrnes for being the Forever Foster Family - the mommy- that Benji always deserved.
We Fulfilled our promise to Ollie on April 23rd, 2016 after his body had made it loud and clear it was very tired. We rescued Ollie from Baldwin Park Shelter on January 28th, 2016 after he had been surrendered there by his owners at the age of 12. He was living with Cushing's Disease, terrible arthritis, dementia, and was hypothyroid.
His mom, Julie, reflects:
"Today was the hardest day on my family. This morning we knew it was time for our little old man, to cross the rainbow bridge. He has been struggling the past 3 weeks and we kept trying everything the doctor and the FFF Advisers said for us to try. We would notice a few improvements and would be encouraged, but they were short lived and followed by more down hill.
We didn't want to say it was time because his adorable look and eyes would melt our hearts everytime when we saw him. We loved our furless boy who would move in his own unique way.
We started this amazing journey thinking we would love our Frosted Face and bring him into the family, but would be ok when it was his time to go. We were only here to show him his life mattered and he was loved and part of a family he could call his own. ....I had a feeling it was not going to be that easy.
We went to the shelter to meet Ollie and sent him off to Headquarters with his driver. We missed him on our ride home and could not wait to bring him home. We ended up falling in love with his lack of hair and strange odor. His funny walk which made him look like Bambi had even our 1 1/2 yr old picking him up on a regular basis until we found our magic elf shoes.
His eyes and ears were my favorite thing. He could not hear us or his fur brothers (he was deaf), but we would get a look if he saw us coming that was just so curious. His favorite thing besides eating was just to roam around the house and backyard, he would just walk for a very long time. As you can tell he became much more than a Frosted Face we would love and care for. He became ours. He might not have been the cuddliest and affectionate dog, but his eyes told us so much more.
Last night he got rotisserie chicken and this morning he finally got to have his chocolate chip pancakes he has longed for each morning the kids eat them.
The crying will stop one day but our love and memories never will. Thank you for letting us love and be loved by Ollie.
When the time is right for us to open our hearts again we would be honored to have a Frosted Face.
Julie Mike Brooke Ethan and Mason
(Dash, Desi and Dora his fur brothers and sister)"
Much love and thanks is owed to Mike & Julie Strassner for being Ollie's Forever Foster Family. Thank you to Karen Bisogno for being Ollie's monthly sponsoring Fan.
Finally you can rest little inquisitive Ollie.
On April 29th, 2016 we rushed 10 year old Gracie from Downey Shelter to San Diego Bay Animal Hospital after she was surrendered by her owners.
Her owners approached the FFF table at Shane's War and said they thought their dog had parasites. We recommended going to the vet, but they said she was too sick from it and they were at the shelter to put her to sleep. We asked to see their dog and coincidentally she was a senior.
We found Gracie in the backseat of the man's car and his sister accompanied him. He said that he had adopted Gracie from a neighbor a few years ago and even then he said she had the beginnings of what we witnessed today. What he was describing were mammary masses that had ruptured and become infected.
As we had walked up to the car with the man he exclaimed to his sister, "This lady is from a rescue and wants to help Gracie." I couldn't even be angry. He didn't even know... The really confusing part was that he then asked the ACO that if they went in and adopted another dog, whether he should bleach out his dog house so they couldn't catch what Gracie had-- We bit our tongues and rolled Gracie into the shelter vet office. The owners pulled away.
The shelter vet recommended euthanasia, but agreed she may have a chance with more diagnostics so we decided to commit to Gracie and get her care.
Money was no object because the wonderful Hope For Paws saw our post and offered a generous medical donation in her name. Our veterinarians are as hopeful as we are, but this time they called us and said that the infection was too great, too deep, and very likely cancerous. The amount of suffering Gracie had endured was absolutely not to be prolonged and it was not in Gracie's best interest to even be hopeful. We needed to accept that euthanasia was our gift to her and be satisfied that she did not pass alone. As we are stuck up at Downey Shelter still, FFF Adviser and RVT Bethany Turnbloom held Gracie as she took her last painful breath.
The good news in all of this is that the owners' names, addresses, and phone numbers were flagged so they could never adopt from an LA shelter again. The shelter is also pressing charges. We are providing them with extensive medical records and photographs from our veterinarian.
At the end of the day I am just numb. So much effort, so little joy, so many more to go.
We are privileged to have been able to provide you comfort sweet Gracie. Rest in peace.
Video of Gracie's Surrender: https://youtu.be/KxxLVxyokE4
Last night we noticed Kenny was acting quiet. He got extra attention laying on Andy's chest while we watched a move (Daddy's Home) and we made him scrambled eggs which he wouldn't eat. Dogs don't always eat their first days at Headquarters and we are not familiar with their temperaments. Shelter medical information said that Kenny had a mild heart murmur.
We sent this photo to his new mom, Elaine, last night to let her know he was acting weird, but seemed alert and couldn't wait to be back in her arms on Tuesday.
Kenny earned a spot between Andy and I in bed last night and his exam at San Diego Bay Animal Hospital couldn't come soon enough today to put us at ease. Around 4:00am we woke up to the smell of dog poop. Kenny had wiggled up onto my pillow, he had pooped while sleeping, and he seemed limp.
All the lights went on and we rushed to get a thermometer. First thing we also do when dogs seem sick is check gums and temperature!! His gums are black by nature, but seemed tacky and his temperature was 97 degrees. Dog temperatures should be between 100-102.
We wrapped him in blankets and started to put on our shoes and close up the house to head to the ER, but we heard a gasp from the bedroom. Andy and I rushed to his side, as we unfortunately have been through this more than once. Kenny was almost gone and his body was shutting down. He passed in our arms soaked in our tears on May 2nd, 2016.
I wish I had more photos of Kenny to share. Two days with him was absolutely not enough since we had just rescued him on April 30th, 2016. I am so glad that Elaine picked him out at Downey shelter. She could've chosen anyone, and you should've seen how gently she held his delicate body when we first pulled him from his shelter kennel. The arms of safety, no doubt.
These are my favorite photos of Kenny. He was so sweet and innocent and he did not deserve to be discarded and pass in strangers' arms. Regardless, he was a Frosted Face and we loved him.
Thank you Elaine Byrnes for stepping up to be Kenny's Forever Foster Family. Thank you Tralynn Gray and Dona Doig for registering to be Kenny's monthly sponsoring Fans.
We rescued Hade from Carson shelter on May 9th, 2016 after staff had reached out asking for rescue because she was very ill. Hade was hospitalized for poor kidney values in an effort to give her a boost and a few more good days.
Andy and I both rushed to San Diego Bay Animal Hospital from separate ends of town when we heard Hade was not doing well. We sat with her for a long time waiting for a final kidney value retest exactly 48 hours from the first. We were told if Hade was going to improve from kidney failure at all with treatment, it would be in the first 48. Nothing had changed significantly and Hade was far more limp today and quivering than our visit yesterday.
There are no final sunsets, burgers, or beach walks for a dog suffering from kidney failure. With levels so high Hade must have felt horrible and the best thing we could do was let her go quickly. If I had to go, I'd go in the arms of this guy. We spent less than 24 hours with Hade after her rescue before she was hospitalized, but the naïve hope made our hearts bond so quickly. Hade couldn't have been held more dearly in such a safe embrace as we let her go. We agreed she looked newly groomed and familiar with touch, so we are at peace with the notion she was likely cared for prior to being a Frosted Face.
Thank you to Forever Foster Family Farzin & Cyra Contractor-Morena for being ready to welcome Hade if she improved. Thank you to Fans Itzel Pichardo, Martha Perez, and Puneeta Puri for sponsoring Hade's care.
We Fulfilled our promise to Walter, formerly Tyler, on May 20th, 2016 as his quality life began to deteriorate due to the mass on his neck constricting his breathing and the inevitable suffering he was destined to suffer if we selfishly tried to push forward.
As four grown adults, Andy, Jeremy, Janine, and myself, hovered over Walter's body blinking back tears all I could think was, "we are dedicated to fulfilling the promise of family." The devastating part is that we cannot promise how much time...
You should have seen the essay Janine wrote about all of her concerns for Walter's well being for the vet. When Dr. VanMaele called to discuss options she explained how much Walter's family sincerely cared about him to have invested so much thought, time, and energy. We are honored to have an Animal Care Attendant from our very own San Diego Animal Control be a Forever Foster for a dog we desperately wanted to help from Riverside Shelter. He was freed on April 23rd, 2016 and not euthanized for space because of these incredible people!!
Janine sees sad cases and desperate faces every day and surely Jeremy hears about them. I guess I don't know why I was surprised to see her so emotional over our Walter, but as I reflect, it's because he was HER Walter. He was part of their family and they welcomed him with full hearts in spite of him being 10 years old and having medical ailments.
Janine writes in tribute:
"Sadly we left the vet without Walter this evening. With his recent issues, the vet (and us as well) suspected a brain tumor and we didn't think it would be fair to either A) have him live in a constant state of anxiety or B) have him so sedated that his quality of life wasn't there. The masses on his neck have doubled in size and it was only a matter of time that it would cause him to suffer. We had an amazing 25 days with this guy, we always hope for more days but cherish the ones we did have. Thank you Walter for making us laugh and made sure we had ample quantities of drool. Rest in peace King of the Sloppy Faces. Until we meet again.
To The Frosted Face Foundation and the families. You are an amazing bunch of people. We are a rare breed and you haven't seen the last of us. Hug your gray faces for us! 😘"
Thank you Jeremy and Janine Marr for being Walter's Forever Foster Family. Thank you to Hope For Paws for sponsoring Walter's care. Thank you Rachel Walsh, Donna Stuber, Catherine Reich, and Tralynn Gray for being Walter's monthly sponsoring Fans.
So many great things about Walter, but the best was this video "Kitty has a Death Wish." Such a messy, carefree, gentle guy.
We fulfilled our promise to Oreo on May 31st, 2016. The veterinarians advised us that we had given him a fair chance to recover from supposed vestibular disease, but that his condition was very likely related to something more neurological in combination with his long term dementia because five days had passed with no improvement and intensive hospitalized treatment. He would not eat, he was increasingly nauseous, either sedate or wildly lost.
We rescued Oreo on March 28th, 2015 from Downey Shelter after he had been surrendered there by his owners. There is a whole lot of love and gratitude owed to Alan Oto and Hazel DeSoto for not only stepping up to be Oreo's Forever Foster Family, but for really doing right by him. They are the kind of people who include their dogs in everything and accommodate the challenges that senior dogs present without hesitation. They are the kind of people you would trust to care for your dog in your absence. Oreo scored the jackpot after being abandoned at the shelter. We have included our favorite pictures of Oreo, of course, on family adventures, and a tribute written by Alan.
"Tuesday night, our Oreo crossed that rainbow bridge.
For being our smallest dog in our pack, he took a large part of us with him when he passed. And so many tears we left. Tears of sadness. And later tears of joy. There is joy in that we were blessed with him, coming into our lives, being able to be and live together.
Oreo is free of those ailments that chased him as he aged. But they never held him back from being that active senior on the move, walking the house and giving us a bark to let us know he wants to go hiking too. Being blind, deaf, having trachea and heart issues didn’t hold him back. His other senses are so acute that you’d think he could see and hear! And for a small guy, he had a big bark!
We can honestly say that his time with us, was filled with happiness, love, affection and laughter. He is our very, very special boy, who captured and stole our hearts when we first saw his picture. Oreo is just about the cutest old man you’d ever meet. People always thought he was a puppy. And when we tell him he is 14yrs old, they are amazed. But all love him, he is just too cute!
Like many, Oreo too loved to eat! When it was time to eat, he’d run to the kitchen. Being blind, we are amazed how he’d not run into the walls! He’d circle you as the food is prepared. And would often keep one of his front soft, white furry paws on top of your foot. Almost as if saying ‘found you, keeping tabs on you, you got the food!’ Always a good eater, Oreo would finish and then go to one of the bigger dogs to see if they had any food in their bowls left. Often the bigs would let Oreo finish their food.
One thing we love about Oreo is how he expresses his happiness. Yes he would do the run around, happy panting and stuff. But every day, every time, Oreo would look and find Hazel (knows her scent, smell) he would then do skips and hops. Happy to find her, that she is there. For an old guy with issues, for him to do this, was special. The love between Hazel and Oreo is indescribable. They knew each other well.
We miss you Oreo, our Baby Ori. We miss your antics, your skips and hops and even your stink!
Thinking of you every day. We will see you again Ori. Until then you be a good boy and share your food."
Thank you Alan Oto and Hazel DeSoto for loving Oreo. Thank you Christa Morones for being his dedicated monthly sponsoring Fan.
We fulfilled our promise to 15 year old Vixen on June 21st, 2016 at the end stage of renal failure. We rescued Vixen from Lancaster Shelter on July 24th, 2014.
Her family reflects:
"It is with a heavy heart that I tell you that our little Vixie left us last night. Vixen became part of our family in May 2015. So I have to tell you, as an adult I didn’t have dogs until we adopted Alfie and Sammy in late 2014.
I love animals and I loved Sammy and Alfie both from the moment we got them. But Vixen was always different for me. Weighing in at a healthy 4.5 pounds, she was the smallest dog I had ever held! I still remember the first time I held her on the sidewalk outside of Headquarters. I was terrified and amazed all at the same time!
From that point forward, our relationship blossomed. Vixen was sweet, cuddly and affectionate, as well as bossy, mouthy and determined! She was my kind of girl! She fit in really well with the rest of our crew.
Some of my favorite memories of her include her chasing Charlie, our 15 year old cat, around the house, and the way she barked and demanded food when she was hungry, in the sweetest way you could imagine. Oh and I can’t forget the way she laid there like a baby when I diapered her every night.
Vixen was way more bark than she could ever back up. In fact, I think she considered herself the resident guard dog here at home. I held her in my arms as she took her last breath and she will forever be the first dog I ever fell in love with."
Our mission is family for the senior dogs whose love and lives are left behind in the shelter system. Vixen was lucky enough to have two families that loved her, Pauletta Hobson, and finally Kelly Saltern and Shannon Catalano. Thank you to Bobbi Moody for being Vixen's monthly sponsoring Fan. Many aching hearts this evening, one little Frosted Face that knew family. Mission accomplished. Rest in peace.
We fulfilled our promise to Rose on June 22nd, 2016. We rescued Rose on August 8th, 2015 from OC Shelter. Her struggle was with diabetes, and although her Forever Foster Family had become pros at monitoring blood sugar and doing sliding scale insulin, something was causing her blood sugar to be unmanageable and the last ketotic episode was her last.
"Frosted Faces Families,
I have sad news. On Wednesday, we helped Rose cross the Rainbow Bridge. We took her in to Mohnacky Vet in Carlsbad Wednesday morning, and after several tests and discussions with the doctor, Kelly, and a lovely Mohnacky advisor, we decided it was better to say goodbye to Rose. She was in diabetic ketosis, had an unknown infection, and had lost her will to keep going with us.
Rose joined our family in September 2015 after she had vacations at HQ with Kelly and Andy and with Kelly Marquez and Brent. Kelly and Brent are amazing with dog diabetes and taught us how to monitor and give Rose her insulin. We were never able to stabilize her levels, and it took its toll on sweet Rose.
Rose was the sweetest dog I've ever met. Even though she was blind, she quickly made herself at home in the house and the backyard. She walked gingerly swinging her head back and forth like Stevie Wonder and never bumped into anything hard to hurt herself. Silly girl! She was safe and content in her new family.
I will miss most how she joined our two other dogs in running to the front door every night to greet me when I got home from work. Watch out for her whip tail! She taught my husband that pitties can be sweet, loving, charming, and snuggly. She sounded like a grumbly bear when you snuggled with her. She taught our aloof little terrier that it's more fun to be sweet to your pack than to growl and lay by yourself. She taught our special needs pug that it's nice to snuggle with the big dog."
I'm struggling with words to say what kind of dog she was and how she made a difference in our life. I'm sure in this group we all know what it feels like to connect with our fur-babies and what the loss feels like when we have to say goodbye.
Rest in peace, Rose. We love and miss you. <3 <3 <3"
Thank you to Eric & Shawnie Adams for being Rose's Forever Foster Family, and thank you to Amy Pierce for being her monthly sponsoring Fan.
On June 23rd, Paws Pet Ranch, had San Bernardino Animal Control visit their sanctuary where they found dogs living in unacceptable conditions outside and one dog was discovered dead. The owner, Stephen Caro, was advised that they would be back on Saturday. Later that day Stephen posted on Facebook about the circumstances and that he needed fosters for many of his animals because he was over the legal limit. Late that evening other animal rescues showed up at his house to answer his plea for help.
One advocate notified us that they were on the property helping. We offered assistance, and Slayer was the first dog to come to mind because we recalled a recent post where he looked terrible in the photo. From what we understand, after some negotiation, the owner of Paws Pet Ranch, Stephen Caro, passed Slayer over the fence knowing Frosted Faces Foundation would be receiving him.
There is much speculation as to what happened that evening and the following days, so we are going to leave it to this article to fill in the details:http://m.hidesertstar.com/…/article_bf944084-3a97-11e6-bf24…
Animal Control got their warrant earlier than Saturday and returned the very next morning, Friday, to confiscate the rest of the dogs. "In what turned into a daylong operation, they removed more than 150 animals, including dogs, cats, rabbits and birds. The stench of urine and feces drifted from the open door as officers led out dogs ranging in size from Chihuahuas to pit bulls and one spotted hound. Some were skinny, while others limped or had missing fur or visible injuries. Others looked well fed and healthy."
Any dogs that were exited the night before by rescues were asked to be reported, and have several photographs and full vet records forwarded to authorities for the investigation. We immediately contacted San Bernardino County and Apple Valley Animal Control investigators on Friday, June 24th, and have fully cooperated while paying for all of Slayer's diagnostics and care. We did not have any dogs on Paws Pet Ranch property as fosters, nor had we pulled any dogs for them.
On Friday morning a volunteer transported Slayer to San Diego Bay Animal Hospital where he had a full senior blood panel and exam. He was covered in dried feces, was weak, and completely emaciated. Stephen had sent down previously prescribed Orbax for infection and Soloxine for hypothyroidism. In a Facebook post Stephen stated that Slayer was hypothyroid and was struggling with kidney issues. When Slayer's bloodwork came back relatively normal, with only a few mild abnormailities, we did full body X-rays which showed nothing significant causing his emaciated body. ...Nothing was wrong with Slayer!
Over this weekend we played pet detective. We went through all of Paws Pet Ranch's Facebook posts about Slayer, "friending" each person who commented, and we figured out where he came from and why after some digging! Slayer lived with an older gentleman who passed away in 2012. They found vaccine records dated back as far as 2001, so Slayer is at least 15 years old! The man's son took responsibility for Slayer (who had a sister named Buffy), and then in 2016 Slayer was found wandering the streets by a good samaritan. When it was discovered the son no longer wanted Slayer, he was kept in the backyard of the finder's business where she built him a cardboard dog house.
That is when she began to look for a "sanctuary" and Paws Pet Ranch was recommended by animal rescue networkers. Slayer made his way from Lodi, CA to Morongo Valley, CA with a volunteer on May 12th, 2016. He was a senior arthritic dog, but in no way was he in the poor condition that we received him in!
We don't have a lot of cold hard facts. What we do have is a very emaciated dog from Paws Pet Ranch whose body score significantly declined between May 12th and June 23rd in their care. After days of hospitalization and when more symptoms became apparent, we learned that Slayer had Parvo and only one day later he passed away on July 1st, 2016.
We were privileged to be able to make Slayer Frosted Face number 216 and be his true advocates for the rest of his life.
May 10th, 2016 Slayer at Transporter's House:https://youtu.be/hPRQKI75lQE
June 24th, 2016 Slayer at San Diego Bay Animal Hospital:https://youtu.be/4_GQly0hKF0
We rescued 14 year old Shilo from Carson Shelter after he had been surrendered there by his owners on October 19th, 2015. While on a beautiful adventure trip to Montana, Shilo's health began to decline, and on July 5th, 2016 we gave him peace.
His mom reflects:
"Oh my...not what I thought we were doing today. It is with an exceptionally broken and heavy heart that I share with you that we had to let Shilo cross the rainbow bridge this morning.
I can't stop crying or second guessing myself about so many choices I made for him.
He was such a booger, a character, a love bug, stubborn, entertaining, hilarious, he was a fighter and wanted to be loved.
His breathing has always been an issue and when we got up today he had been laying outside on the cold pavement breathing with great difficulty and coughing. He was very weak, didn't eat any breakfast and barely drank anything. His inhaler and oxygen treatment didn't help with the breathing and the 106 degree temperature was the icing on the cake. I was able to be with him and stroke all the beautiful hair he has grown since being loved.
It's bitter sweet to know he had a great life these last months...playing in the water, eating horse poo, rolling in the green grass, being loved beyond belief, but it sure doesn't make me miss the little guy any less!
Go breath deep breaths of fresh air, fill your tummy with pizza until it hurts, and run around without pain my little munchkin!"
Thank you to Kris Wood for showing Shilo all the joy that could be had in life as his Forever Foster Family. Thank you to Judith Traub, Judith Johnson, Lori Powers, Hazel Casillas, Lisa Switzer, Amy Seals, and Debbie DeLaCruz for being his dedicated monthly sponsoring Fans.
We fulfilled our promise to Raven on July 6th, 2016.
We just rescued Raven on June 18th, 2016 from Riverside Shelter. She came to us matted, with blood coming from one nostril, a deformed eye and a head tilt. As we got to know her, we learned that she was a pacer, but had times where she could engage and be aware. She still hopped over thresholds in doorways, loved to sniff the bases of trees, and melted in your arms enjoying attention.
All signs pointed to the diagnosis of a brain tumor, and we tried treating her with antibiotics, steroids, pain medication and CBD product. Over just two weeks the tumor behind her eye grew noticeably larger and she began to make odd mouth motions seeming like the tumor was also behind her jaw. She had lost 6 pounds in three weeks and she was fed the best food.
Today Raven went in for a quality of life evaluation and we were told that the tumor behind her eye was probably very uncomfortable, that we could see how quickly it was growing, and that quality over quantity of life is oftentimes better.
Encapsulated in the arms of Johnny and Betsy Moreno, we let soft, sweet Raven go. Thank you to Johnny and Betsy for saying "yes" when Raven needed a family most, and for having the strength to let her go. Thank you to Joanna Poleszczuk and Sandra Buechner for being Raven's monthly sponsoring Fans.
Fly high, Raven.
On July 8th, 2016 we fulfilled our promise to Hazel.
We rescued 10 year old Hazel, along with her sister Mabel (previously known as Daria and Donna), on November 27th, 2015 from North Central Shelter- LA. After being hospitalized yesterday from bloat, Hazel went home seemingly in recovery. Later on she was showing signs of neurological dysfunction, such as pacing and turning to the right, and then she had grand mal seizures. Following the high of thinking she was out of the woods, this is devastating and sudden. Caprice says, "Lots of loves and squeezes for Mabes [today]," who is positively missing her sister.
We rescued Hazel and Mabel without a Forever Foster initially, so they resided at Headquarters for quite some time! They accompanied us to a grant acceptance ceremony where they were loved up by all of SITE Southern California and stayed in a luxurious hotel for a weekend, they had QUITE an adventure in San Francisco for a week, frequented Fiesta Island, and then the magnificent Caprice came along and said she would love them both forever.
"I lost my Hazel this morning. We all reach out to these dogs, knowing that our time together can be so short.
The heart is heavy, as it is with the passing of all those we love, but the satisfaction of knowing that we provide a safe and loving home for them during the final stage of their life is so rewarding.
I will miss seeing her excited tail wag as she attempted to follow the hustle and bustle of the rest of the pack, hearing the coming of the zombie apocalypse as she wheezed and groaned while gnawing on a bone, and trying to make sure I didn't lose a finger when handing out a treat.
A tuft of her hair has been placed with that of my 15-yr old Minnie that I lost as a senior, my Magaliscious kitty that I lost to cancer, and my ever so beloved ferret, Archie. When I retire and relocate, they will be place under a brand new rose bush to bloom forever.
BOWR-ROWR-ROWR. RIP my Hazwee."
Thank you to Caprice Burnett for loving Hazel and thank you to Janet Horn for being her monthly sponsoring Fan.
We fulfilled our promise to Bennie on July 20th, 2016.
We rescued 10 year old Bennie on December 1st, 2015 from San Bernardino City Shelter. He was diagnosed with osteosarcoma and it took him much too quickly
His mom writes in tribute:
Bennie, My sweet Bennie, My dear love,
You entered our life and our home, and made it whole. You were our missing link. You would constantly smile and remind us that life is more than struggles and work issues. Life was a smile, from someone who loved you unconditionally.
And then you got sick. And you got weak. Tonight you decided it was time to go on to your next life.
I held you tight, and I told you how much I loved you and I thanked you for choosing us. I told you how sorry I was I couldn't do more, or do things differently. You heard my voice as you were slowly fading, until you didn't hear it anymore, and until the pain was gone.
Then you felt the warmth. You could walk again and you could hear again. The whistle. And when you opened your eyes, you were painless and ageless. Except that now you carry a little of us with you, and we carry you in our hearts. I will always love you my Bennie BenBen <3 Until next time...
Thank you to Carl and Aurelle Garner for loving Bennie so much for as long as he would let you. Thank you to Keith & Jo Zakarin and Carlos & Kimberly Magallanes for being Bennie's monthly sponsoring Fans.
We fulfilled our promise to Harry on July 23rd, 2016.
We rescued Harry on March 31st, 2015 from Lancaster Shelter after he had been surrendered there by his owners.
Harry was loved by two families. He was loved by Mark & Renae Anderson and a whole family of other animal friends, until Harry needed more constant care and to be lifted after episodes of instability. He was lovingly placed with the ever accommodating, Jenna Larson who gaveHarry four more beautiful months. Harry struggled with degenerative myelopathy until in the end his quality of life was too poor to go on.
Jenna wrote in tribute:
Yesterday I said goodbye to my big polar bear boy... I know that it was the right thing to do, his body was tired and he let me know it was time but that doesn't make it easier.
He was such a cool dog, he was the official greeter at the kennel and would hang out in the office to welcome all the daycare dogs. I will miss his big goofy smile and having him follow me around at home and at work.
My youngest dog had a special bond with him and would let you know ifHarry had fallen over and needed help up, he misses him too and has been sleeping in Harry's bed.
I am so glad that he was a part of my life, I just wish we had more time together. I will miss you Harrison/Harold/Hairy Harry! There will never be another gentle giant like you ❤️❤️❤️
Thank you to Davida Kelley, Joanne McLaughlin, and Nancy LaRocca for being Harry's monthly sponsoring Fans.
We hope there are some green pastures and goats who snuck over that rainbow bridge. We love you, Harry.
Shasta let us know that we had fulfilled our mission of family for her on July 23rd, 2016, her life was complete, and she passed away in her parents' arms. We rescued Shasta from San Bernardino City Shelter on March 3rd, 2016.
"Our precious Shasta crossed the rainbow bridge last night. Her little body had so many things going on, but that didn’t stop her from being the sweet, funny, happy little girl who added so much to our lives these past months. She and I bonded so much more than I ever expected; she spent every day in my office while I worked, and every night she plopped over on the bed next to me in the funny way only she could and held out her paw for me to take. Every moment was special to me and I will keep them in my heart forever.
Our dog walk this morning was a flood of memories and reminders ofShasta – here’s where she liked to get her business out of the way, here’s where she sped up because she knew the bunnies hung out just past that bush, here’s where she was always nervous when the sprinklers were on, here’s where we all slowed down when her little stiff legs got tired…we took the walk with leashes in one hand and tissues in the other. But we realized that she’s across the bridge now, and her legs aren’t tired, and her back isn’t sore, and sprinklers aren’t scary and she can chase all the bunnies she wants forever and ever. So, sweet girl, you run with the bunnies now, and with all the frosted faces already there who will show you the best bunny hideouts. We’ll keep a little of you here in our hearts, and we’ll see you again someday.
I wish I'd been a better photographer and could have figured out how to get her to look at the camera more often. I don't have nearly as many photos as I wish I had, but here are some of my favorites."
This is our favorite video of Shasta: https://youtu.be/sAAdRjUiqHg
Thank you Rob Bailey and Denise Mendonca for giving Shasta the most loving, wholesome home! Thank you to Lisa Switzer and Trina Snow for being Shasta's monthly sponsoring Fans.
We fulfilled our promise to Dibs on July 25th, 2016.
We rescued Dibs on May 1st, 2016 from Downey Shelter. We did major surgery to remove a large mass from her shoulder that looked like necrotic tissue. We later learned it had tendencies of fibrosarcoma and it grew back rapidly. Today was the day she said she could no longer handle the pain.
"Last week, Dibs suddenly began to weaken, the effect, probably, of a mass on her shoulder that returned after its initial removal in May. The change startled me, coming at me out of the blue like that. I started a letter to her before she left me and finished it this morning after she was gone. With apologies for the length . . .
Letter to Dibs from Someone Who Loves You
I’m writing this to you, Dibs, this morning while you are still with me. It seems the right thing to do, and I need to say some things. I know we may be coming to your last morning this side of the Rainbow Bridge. You don’t know that. You are sleeping on your pillow, struggling with pain and a body that is losing its fight to keep you here. You know when I kneel down beside you to stroke your pretty head and tell you I love you and kiss your soft fuzzy face.
You went suddenly from eating like a soldier to not wanting anything at all. You went from a lop-sided gallop across the yard to a weak-footed stumble from one pillow to another. You can barely move, but you struggle to get up every time you see the leash. You even try to climb into the car when you have just enough strength to walk.
Who were you before I knew you? Did somebody love you? Why did you feel like you had to fight to protect your food and your toys? Did you have to do that before you came to me? I imagine you running like the wind on those long legs, stomping the ground like a wild horse with those incredibly huge and beautiful paws, shouting into the air with confidence and glorying in life. I’ll miss your ear-splitting, hoarse bark chopping bites out of the air when the food bowls came out. I’ll miss your goofy face when you wanted to play but didn’t know how to do it without bowling everybody over. Mostly, I’ll just miss you.
A beautiful senior whose people took her to a shelter at the end of her life and by so doing, missed out on the profound, soul-etching joy of walking hand-in-paw with a loving senior to the edge of the rainbow, of whispering goodbye and hugging a soft, warm neck, and of believing one day that part of our own eternity will include sharing it with you leaning against our knees and smiling up into our faces. Good-bye, Dibs. Darla Dibs from Downey. I love you. I’ll be seeing you. Thank you for everything.
I let Dibs go at 10 this morning. Just like always, she struggled to her feet when she saw the leash and even tried to jump in the car. I lifted her in, and I lifted her out. I carried her to the gray steel table and stayed with her way too long before she left and way too long after she was gone. She looked peaceful, and after last night, that looked nice. I held the beautiful paws that I loved from the moment we met. And then I had to leave her, which didn’t feel right and never will. You’d think love would be magic enough to stare down sickness and send it running backwards, falling over itself to get out of the way of a rolling tidal wave of love. It isn’t. But love will be enough to get me a ticket to the Rainbow Bridge when my turn comes to leave. Watch for me, Dibs. Remember me. Smile when you see me. I know I’ll smile when I see you. We can run away over the hills together."
Thank you Eve Henderson for once again investing your whole heart into a Frosted Face. One at a time, one day at a time, you're a blessing. We are sure Dibs is grateful. Thank you to Isabel Rosser, Tralynn Gray, Tanya Nielsen, and Stephanie Pilgrim for being her monthly sponsoring Fans.
We fulfilled our promise to Apollo on August 10th, 2016.
Apollo was surrendered as "Polo" by his very own owners at the age of 13 years old. We rescued him from Downey Shelter on March 12th, 2016. He was dirty and had severe medical issues, an ulcerated mass on his neck and a large mass in his abdomen. We removed the mass when Apollo was thriving, but ultimately the masses spread within, and the veterinarians suspect one ruptured causing him to be pale, not eat, and lethargic.
If there is one thing you should do in this life, it is make sacrifices for those who are suffering. There is so much STUFF in this world, so much EXTRA - How can anyone not have enough? Why aren't we offering more of ourselves to prevent the suffering, the damage, the things that make this world sad? Why do we keep making more?
...That is what is special about Richard, Mary, and their son John. They saw Apollo suffering, not having what every dog should have- a family-and in spite of the looming heartache and the appeal for a puppy, they accepted and loved him.
Mary shares, "Today we lost Apollo. He was failing and it was time to end his suffering. Thank you so much to [Frosted Faces Foundation] for rescuing him from the shelter and to the benefactors who made our time together possible. We were a very lucky family. Apollo was a sweet, patient old soul. Thank you for our precious time together. We love him." "If not you, then who?" is especially our motto this month. Because the Johnson's turned that finger around, pointed at themselves and decided, "If not now, then when?" we can confidently say, mission fulfilled.
Thank you to Richard and Mary Johnson for being Apollo's Forever Foster Family. Thank you to Kathy Cleveland and Carolyn Hynes for being Apollo's monthly sponsoring Fans. We are dedicated to fulfilling the promise of family to the senior dogs whose love and lives are left behind in the shelter system. Apollo, we are so happy we could let you live and pass with dignity embraced by love with wonderful people.
Hattie passed away on August 12th, 2016 and she got to join her brother Henry. We rescued 13 year olds Henry and Hattie from Baldwin Park Shelter on December 6th, 2015. They both were severely neglected and had chronic untreated issues: Henry was diabetic, Hattie had Cushing's disease. They were "must haves" for us and we rescued them without fosters to live at FFF Headquarters as long as they needed to.
Hattie was the healthier happy sister who visited her brother everyday in the hospital during his treatment. They were inseparable. Just two days prior to Henry and Hattie leaving to live with Forever Fosters, Enrique and Sarah, Henry passed away. Hattie understood and laid her body across his. She had to go on without him.
We were privileged to have the Foster Coordinator of Ventura County Animal Services, Sarah Aguilar, and her husband, Enrique, step up to love Hattie in what we didn't know were her final months.
"Yesterday I would have told you she was slowing down but probably had a few months left. I'm very sad that this has set in so suddenly.. I feel kind of robbed of being able to give that to her. On the good side, there is no second guessing if it's time or not, so there's peace in that.
We knew this day was going to come, but we had no idea last night would be Miss Hattie' s last with us. She was up and eating, on the hunt for handouts. This morning she couldn't get her balance and wouldn't eat. As the day went on, she continued downhill. I didn't get to give her a last awesome meal, or get some really great pro photos of her at the beach. We didn't make it to the Frosted Faces gathering, but I told myself we would plan better and go next year. Just another reminder that life is short and even more so for our fuzzy friends. RIP Hattiecakes. Say hello to all our family waiting for us. You are in good hands. #thegoatforever
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to care for Hattie."
Thank you to Patricia Gregoire and Sarah Pulvermacher & Sean Connolly for being Hattie's dedicated monthly sponsoring Fans. We loved you, Hattie. Give Henry a kiss for us.
We fulfilled our promise to Katy on August 14th, 2016. We rescued Katy from Riverside Shelter on December 18th, 2015 after she had been brought in as a stray at 12 years old.
Her mom wrote in tribute:
"My sweet beautiful Katy bug crossed the rainbow bridge today. She was such a gentle, yet strong soul. And I believe very wise. I had the honor of loving her for 8 months. In June, two more tumors were found (along with the one on her rear) and her health & quality of life have been declining. I was able to spoil her these last few days.
Yesterday we took a trip to Fiesta Island with her fur bro Jax. She LOVED it, although it took every ounce of her strength & energy. Afterward it was a picnic lunch at the park with hamburgers & vanilla milkshakes from In-N-Out. RIP my sweet bug, now you can walk, run & roll in the grass pain free.❤️
Thank you to Frosted Faces & her sponsor for rescuing her & loving her."
Marisa Salas stepped up to be Katy's Forever Foster Family at the 11th hour on the day Katy was scheduled to be euthanized for medical reasons. She gave her 8 more months of quality life in a home with adequate medical care. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Thank you to Julie Kole for being Katy's dedicated monthly sponsoring Fan. No doubt you finally were able to open up that stride and could bend your knees to run across that bridge, pitter patter princess!
We fulfilled our promise to Rosie on August 17th, 2016. We rescued Rosie from San Bernardino City Shelter on July 23rd, 2014 at the age of 10. She just celebrated her second Frostiversary, but yesterday too many systems were suddenly failing at once and we were advised to let her go.
"Our beloved Rosie-Belle is no longer with us today. In a completely unexpected turn of events, Rosie was not herself this morning and steadily declined in no time. We rushed her to the vet and unfortunately, the news was dire; Rosie was extremely ill and sadly, in a lot of pain. So, much as it broke my heart to have to say goodbye, she was held and kissed as she left us as peacefully as she had arrived.
We had the opportunity to foster Rosie for a short time but it was incredible to see her grow into a member of our family so quickly. Rosie was a wonderful, beautiful soul that came to us with such sadness. I’ll never forget the day Kelly dropped her off and she promptly dug a hole in the garden and curled into it. It took two days of us gently bringing her inside to let her know that the super soft bed was hers, the gigantic pillows had her name on it and she would never spend another night outside – ever. She absolutely LOVED being brushed and a special thank you to her secret admirers who sent her the brush set on her frostiversary, it made for an incredibly happy Rosie! She loved our daughter Ella, seeking her out to nuzzle up to her as much as possible. And food, did she love her food! If you were cooking in the kitchen, it was a guarantee that she’d be right in the middle of the floor knowing she’d get a sample of whatever we were making. What amazed me most though was the transformation; she was happy. She’d wag her tail when she’d sense us approaching, she’d nuzzle your hand to keep on petting her and she loved her clean blankets – rolling around in them, making sure she covered them in hair while they were still warm from the dryer.
It is incredibly heartbreaking to have lost her however I spent an hour outside this evening looking at the stars and I remembered the following quote “perhaps they are not stars in the sky, but rather openings where our loved ones shine down to let us know they are happy”. Run free my darling Rosie-Belle. And when my heart hurts, I’ll look up at the stars and know that once blind, you can now see – and what an amazing view you have. <3
Thank you to Matthew and Nadia Fulkerson for being Rosie's Forever Foster Family without hesitation when she needed attention and stability most, and thank you to Moira Mahoney, Guy Zigfried, and Kathleen Miner for being her dedicated monthly sponsoring Fans.
On August 25th, 2016 we fulfilled our promise to Irie.
We rescued Irie on January 11th, 2015 from Baldwin Park Shelter when she was 13 years old after she had been surrendered there by her owners. She has lived the last year and a half as part of a real family member and companion until telling them that their promise had been fulfilled, her heart was full, and her body was all done.
"Unfortunately today was Irie's last day. She was tired and her body was done in. She was with us for 19 months and was such a sweet soul. I always called her my stubborn mama because she always figured out a way to make her will happen. Whether it was pulling herself onto the couch when she first came to live with us or figuring out how to navigate the stairs and floors of our house after her back legs stopped working so well. She will be missed by my son and me as well as my other dog, who always seemed to take such care of her."
Thank you to Wendy Loeffler and Garrett for loving Irie and making so many sacrifices until the very end. Thank you to Stephanie Powell Pilgrim and Heather Smith for being Irie's monthly sponsoring Fans. Thank you to Lindsey Veterinary Care and Healing Hands Veterinary Care for giving us to the tools and advice to keep Irie comfortable.
We love you, Irie.
We rescued Vivian on August 30th, 2016 from Downey Shelter after the shelter staff had determined that euthanasia or rescue for further treatment was necessary. The shelter did bloodwork on August 27th which reflected that Vivian was in kidney failure. Upon rescue, we reran labs to see if anything had changed in addition to doing a urinalysis. Bloodwork had not improved and gotten worse verifying the diagnosis of kidney disease, but also showed low proteins in the blood which usually indicates liver or intestinal disease.
We went to visit Vivian on the 31st immediately after being notified that her condition had worsened. She had been hospitalized for the night for fluids and injections. Her diseases were taking her body quickly, as just two weeks prior, although she had diarrhea and was not eating, she was alert. The day of rescue she was limp, but could lift her head and had brighter eyes. The very next day when she was carried into the exam room she was listless and had that all too familiar look that she was nearing the end- where in fact, we felt the need to keep checking to make sure she had not passed on her own.
There were no further diagnostics or treatment she would endure. Our veterinarian recommended euthanasia based on the combination of the low proteins in the blood and her obvious physical state of suffering.
Her new mom held her for a good hour before we let her go, and she passed peacefully with her head on Mary's heart and paw in my hand.
Thank you for alerting us to Vivian's case and providing the funding so that we could adequately test and treat her, and ultimately, let her go with dignity. Thank you to Julie Kole for being Vivian's sponsoring Fan, and mostly, thank you to Anthony and Mary Savoia for stepping up to be her family and holding her until the end.
We fulfilled our promise to Annie on August 31st, 2016.
We rescued Annie, formerly Eleanor, on May 13th, 2016 from SBC Shelter. Upon rescue her bloodwork looked excellent and she underwent surgery to remove the mass on her neck and dental surgery. Annie suffered from a quick pneumonia, she stayed at Headquarters until her X-rays were clear, whereafter she went to her new home.
Not even a month went by and weekly correspondence began between the FFF Advisers and her Forever Foster Family as new old dog issues arose: weakness in the hind end, incontinence, dementia-like pacing, diarrhea, sleeping often. Poor Annie couldn't catch a break. She became a regular at Family Animal Hospital and we treated each symptom.
At the beginning of August we reran bloodwork because she began refusing meals and discovered Annie was suddenly in kidney failure which explained many of our concerns. It was difficult for her family to bear the loss of Annie, so she was relinquished back to us ten days ago. FFF Adviser, and the RVT who originally performed Annie's dental back in May, committed to Annie's care.
The hard part about kidney failure is that the dog requires hospitalization for a chance, followed by attentive medical care, and they oftentimes miss the final beautiful chapter of just enjoying time with their family. Annie was lucky enough to have the experienced Bethany who could administer IV fluids for that final push to flush toxins at home while at the same time helping her check off items on her bucket list. Items included meeting chickens, getting a new toy, celebrating a final birthday, experiencing the beach, seeing a sunset, and even haphazardly meeting the Doobie Brothers!
Today an abdominal ultrasound was donated by San Diego Bay Animal Hospital, verifying there was even more going on than we knew. With further justification of her symptoms and peace of mind, we decided to let her go.
"I let Annie go this afternoon. I tried my hardest to heal her. We found out today she has a mass on her liver and her pancreas could be effected. Along with kidney failure. She was declining fast.
Although I had her with me a little over a week I've fallen deeply in love with that sweet girl. I tried my hardest to take little breaks from her hospitalization to work on a bucket list because I just knew how sick she was.
As you all have seen we accomplished a lot. Last night we had an early 10th birthday party for her! And this morning instead of going to see and feed the ducks we decided to stay home and cuddle and enjoy the fresh air. We spent our last moments at the beach which she loved the smells and the water! She walked for days there. Lastly we had some acai bowl at the park which she wasn't interested. So I got her a hamburger and she did take a couple of bites, she couldn't resist that one! ❤️
I was truly blessed and grateful to have gotten to spend her last days with her and give her good loving memories!! Now she is at peace and pain free! She can run and play and eat as much as she wants. My heart hurts for my sweet Annie. RIP sweet girl ❤️"
Thank you to Bethany Turnbloom for being so selfless and loving, enjoying Annie until the end. Thank you to all of these dedicated monthly sponsoring Fans who supported Annie's care: Luz Palacios, Roxanne Perez, Beth Leipold, Donna Jo Canale, Kristi Palmer, Tralynn Gray. She really needed you!
All sunshine and no more discomfort, tender Annie.
On September 7th, 2016 Bella went into cardiac arrest and passed away during pre-anesthetic procedures prior to dental surgery at Vail Ranch Veterinary Hospital.
When we rescued Bella from Riverside shelter on July 19th, 2016 at the age of 13, she was weak and emaciated. We learned that she was diabetic and her WBC count was 56,000! In the care of her new family her WBC count got down to normal, her diabetes was regulated, and she looked incredible.
Against our better judgement, although we took every precaution by doing chest x-rays and bloodwork, Bella underwent a much needed dental surgery. This circumstance brought forth the relevant discussion in the work we do with senior dogs.
We rescue these little dogs whose love and lives have been abandoned and often neglected for so long. We want to squeeze new love into them and fix them all up. With so many risks and not knowing their pasts, we are forced to evaluate quality of life and how much is too much for their little bodies.
How do we make these Frosted Faces live the longest happiest lives possible? We wish they could talk, of course, because they are so stoic. Is it better to live with infected teeth that are painful or try for the surgery? Do you remove infected cancerous masses in hopes to lengthen their lives, or risk losing them from becoming septic? Do you remove painful eyes, or does the dog not have a long enough life expectancy to justify the procedure and is happy enough to forgo it? We commit to a decision, moving forward with only love and the best intentions, because in that vein you cannot go wrong.
We are heartbroken to lose Bella as the loss seems so preventable. At the same time, we have included photos and video to show you how much Bella was loved in her last weeks surrounded by a family.
Her mom writes:
We are so heart broken to say that we lost this sweet girl today. She didn't even make it to surgery as she went into cardiac arrest before she went under anesthesia. We never saw that coming! She had such a big personality and our house seems empty without her now. Losing her is heart wrenching! All our fur babies seem to know that something is not right. We totally thought we would have her for much longer. We had so many plans to let her do fun things that she probably never got to do before. We only hope that she felt all the love we gave her to make up for what she should have had all along in her life before she became a frosted face. She will be a shining star in the night. We love you and will miss you sweet baby!!!! Bella Elle...Beautiful Elle!!!!
Bella's new halo: https://youtu.be/B4bcs6tne98
Bella barking for breakfast: https://youtu.be/aYgSPyZzkac
Bella couch hopping: https://youtu.be/qC4F39VK56o
Thank you to Trina Snow and Tammy Parton for being Bella's Forever Foster Family. Thank you to Leslie Smart and Arnold Valdez for being her monthly sponsoring Fans.
Miss Queenie Bee
We fulfilled our promise to Miss Queenie Bee on September 8th, 2016. We rescued MQB on October 29th, 2015 from North Central Shelter- Los Angeles when she was 10 years old.
Her mom shares, "Our beautiful precious Miss Queenie Bee passed over the rainbow bridge this morning and we are heartbroken. Her dementia had been progressing rapidly and she had suffered several small seizures. We had been hand feeding her for several weeks as it seemed like she had forgotten how to eat and needed the food placed in her mouth. However she would still join the dogs greeting me at the door and would occasionally still do her bunny hops down the steps and along the street.
This morning she woke up at 5:45 and immediately went in to a massive seizure - loud barking, trying to bite, moving around erratically and totally out of control. I held her but it did not help and she was still barking loudly and moving/trying to bite when we arrived at VCA North Coast Animal Hospital the vet close to our home. They took her through to the back and medicated her and it sounded as if she was quieter however she broke through the meds and was barking in the back as we left.
After speaking with Kelly we decided it was her time to pass over the rainbow bridge and I went back to the vet to be with her. She was still agitated and barking when I arrived so the decision was confirmed. She looked so peaceful and beautiful when she passed it was so hard to leave her.
Rest in peace dear dear Miss Queenie Bee, we will always love you and miss you. We will miss your bunny hops and the way you would jump on Toby's back when you wanted to play. The way you would push your head into my hand when I was petting you was absolutely adorable.Thank you for loving us and giving us such amazing joy."
Lynne Christmas and her daughter Amanda are the most loving diligent Forever Foster Family. How they accommodated Miss Queenie Bee and loved her to pieces until the end is a testament to their extraordinary character. Thank you. Thank you also to Brook Miller and Linda Murphy for being MQB's monthly sponsoring Fans.
We love you, MQB. <3 Peace at last.
We fulfilled our promise to Bob on September 12th, 2016.
We rescued Bob on February 19th, 2015 from Orange County Animal Care and Control when he was 10 years old. Bob was scheduled to be euthanized for behavioral reasons and it didn't help that he was a senior. Jackie offered to be his Forever Foster and she was certain she could handle his little temperament. Come to find out, of course, all she really had to "handle" were slow walks and how he rearranged the dog beds! We ultimately lost Bob from kidney failure, but he was lucky his mom is a nurse who could treat him palliatively and help him leave this world peacefully.
Jackie shares with us:
I've been avoiding writing this post because it was easier to avoid the truth and pretend my old man Bob-O is just sleeping under the bed like he used to like to do. Unfortunately the truth of the matter is that Bob-O crossed over the Rainbow Bridge this morning.
He came to me 20 months ago with most of his senses failing him; he was stone cold deaf and had poor vision. The only thing that worked well was his nose. His hind quarters were thin and he frequently wobbled from one side to the other when he walked but he would just pull himself back up and keep on walking. Bob-O had a very healthy appetite and that along with a healthy diet we were able build his strength and muscle mass and he became stronger. He no longer teetered from side to side when he walked.
We had so many adventures together. We went camping, we went to many different parks and even did the "doggy paddle" in the pool at a friends house in Riverside. Bob-O's energy was never quite the same as the rest of the park but he loved being in the mix and taking part in the activities. He also loved when the grand kids came over. It is my belief that the first part of his live was lived with children based on how he loved to be around my my Grandchildren. He loved it when they were over. He seemed to go from one to the next trying to decide who he liked the mist.
Unfortunately, he began to slow down almost as if his battery was wearing out. He no longer got excited when he could smell me getting his food ready. He stopped doing his little bunny hop that I was never able to catch on video. He slowed down on how much he ate and eventually didn't want to eat at all. I had to carry him up and downs the stairs for the last 4 or 5 weeks. We had his weight up to 22lbs but today he only weighed 15.5lbs.
The bloodwork that was done 3 or 4 weeks ago determined that he was in kidney and liver failure. He also had a UTI at that time that we cleared up with antibiotics. He picked up a little after that but it didn't last. My Bob-O was still drinking plenty of water but hadn't eaten for 3 days before I took him back to the vet today. It was at that time it was suggested that Bob-O be helped to cross over the Bridge.
I sure miss my old man and all of his quirky ways. Keep an eye on us Bob-O. Make sure we all stay on the right track. Jezebel & Opie have been looking for you all day. Til we meet again Old Man."
Thank you to Jackie Portman for being Bob's Forever Foster Family and keeping his eyes bright for so long! Thank you to Kim Salt and Becky Naylor for being his monthly sponsoring Fans.
We fulfilled our promise to Baby Boo on September 12th, 2016.
We rescued 12 year old Baby Boo from Downey Shelter on January 2nd, 2016. She was diagnosed with a splenic mass that had metastasized inside and out, in addition to having non-regenerative anemia. She was given the poor prognosis that she had an estimated 4-8 months left alive. We could not justify surgery, so she needed to live a full life until the mass ruptured. At the same time we also discovered she was poorly socialized with animals so the family we had intended to place her with to live to live out her days could no longer take her.
Dogs like Baby Boo could be euthanized prematurely, kept in boarding because they have inconvenient socialization needs, or placed with a family who would separate them from the other family dogs and action. Baby Boo would not be left behind. Frosted Faces Foundation was incorporated to implement creative solutions, and hence, the Molly & Me Project was not only born by Baby Boo's circumstance, but the bar was set by her incredible Forever Foster, Rachel.
Baby Boo went on to live a rich 8 1/2 months in the care of Rachel Labbe Bellas. When we first dropped Baby Boo off with Rachel, she cried in our presence wondering how she could lose her if she fell in love. You never know until you sacrifice yourself, and this is how she loved and lost dear, Baby Boo:
"Here goes...Last night I let you go, but we are together and forever connected in our hearts. You gave me strength to move forward and be alone and brave since January. You were an amazing sidekick. You taught me patience and how to listen and how to be in the moment again.
Yesterday, you woke up doing your baby wine, sat right between my legs as I did my morning pee, and you came to work with me. Stayed by my side all day, then you got your favourite back seat car ride, and even got to watch Netflix with me on the couch. You and I had our last evening walk together and you made me so proud when you made your last perfect poop. You were so tired and you lay down right after. I knew when you turned down Bacon that something was wrong. Canadians love bacon.
You waited for me to return from my 3 week trip. You had fluid in your cavity and you were struggling to breathe. We said goodbye last night, but our journey was what mattered.
I rescued you 9 months ago. You were boney, 15 pounds lighter and had maybe 2 months to live with your arthritis and cancer and splenic tumor. You surpassed all of that and enjoyed life. You gained strength and got to explore the world. You saw snow, came camping, and went to surf and wine taste in Mexico. You won over my family and friends' hearts. You were such such such and are always going to be a beautiful soul in my life. I love you always Baby Boo."
Rachel recognized that Baby Boo's spleen ruptured last night, just as we had prepared her for, and she rushed her to Pet Emergency & Specialty Center where we let her go.
Thank you Rachel Labbe Bellas for being so strong and selfless. Thank you to Shelley Wheelock for being Baby Boo's monthly sponsoring Fan which covered all of her medications.
Baby Boo, thank you for paving the way for all dogs like you who rarely stand a chance at happiness like you enjoyed. You were one lucky dog.
We fulfilled our promise to Elsa on September 19th, 2016.
While we were hopeful we could cure her panreatitis, her eyes became vacant, and we knew there was something more serious causing her condition.
We rescued Elsa when she was 8 years old on November 7th, 2013 from OC Shelter with advocacy of our friends at Lionel's Legacy. Elsa was brought in as a stray and labelled "rescue only" for bad behavior. On that day, Elsa the Snow Queen became our little sassy teenager who got dragged on family outings for the next three years!
Elsa leaped off of curbs, she carried bones around the house, she pawed at the door to come inside after going potty, and she always walked very slowly on leash as if to resist being controlled. Whenever she offered us a kiss, the room was silenced and stilled in surprise to witness her moments of trust and affection. Elsa was so soft, so beautiful. We will never forget that.
Thank you to Amber Tkach for being Elsa's monthly sponsoring Fan. Thank you to Andy Smíšek for saying "yes" to one more senior dog I had to have and falling in love with her alongside me.
Elsa knew tricks from the first day we got her! She knew "shake" "sit" "down" "roll over" "spin" and "double five." Those senior dogs left behind in the shelter system... all that love... all that life...
Mommy & Daddy love you sweet Elsa.
We fulfilled our promise to Snow White on October 15th, 2016 as recommended by our veterinarian. Her quality of life was poor and her condition was not improving as we had hoped.
We rescued Snow White from Carson Shelter on October 2nd, 2016 after she had been surrendered there by her owners at the age of 16 because she was "too old."
We always get closest to the dogs that require the most care, and Snow White was no different. She spun very tight circles to the right. We had to make sure she got all of her medication, did not run into things, gave her (nearly) daily baths, tried tucking her in and cooing her to sleep a couple times each day to give her rest, and tried to enrich her life by creating activities for her. Our most successful attempts were peanut butter filled Kongs and spreading kibble all over the bedroom floor where she would actually spin more slowly and pursue each piece!
Andy and I agree that the dementia dogs are the most difficult to make the very final decision to euthanize, and he thoughtfully expressed why.. I asked him to write a tribute about Snow White because she really melted him, and here are his thoughts that he has poured himself into to say farewell to our "Snowy" :
"After two weeks of vet visits and medication, we came to the sad realization that she was suffering from fairly severe dementia and likely brain tumor (not the assumed vestibular disease).
We have cared for dogs suffering from dementia many times and, although we have learned a lot, it never gets easier. There is no question that it’s hard saying goodbye to every dog, but the dementia dogs seem to be the hardest.
The problem lies in a lack of communication. Dementia cuts off their ability to recognize where they are, who they are with, and what is happening. Most of all, they are unable to recognize and reciprocate the love we give them. We can pet them, snuggle them, and try to console them but they don’t seem to even know we are there. Simply put, dogs are walking, barking balls of reciprocating love. Dementia steals this dog-ness away and leaves us with a confused and broken heart, and worst of all, complete helplessness.
That was the case with Snow White. We just wanted her to know we loved her, but nothing we did seemed to get through. We imagine she used to be a dog that was well-loved by her previous family. Maybe she slept in bed with them, played with toys, and ran free somewhere. We can only hope these are the memories she knew as she faded away in front of our eyes.
Please share love with them while you can, while they are still there."
Snow White was flailing confusedly that evening and we were unable to console her, so considering her last joy was food, we let her eat a big can of wet food to calm her down before she passed on her prayer blanket donated by Debbie Pendleton.
Thank you to Elaine Byrnes and Janine Marr for donating foodie brain puzzles to help entertain Snow White, and thank you to Darby Hall, Joe & Renee Dalo, and Marco Chavira for being her monthly sponsoring Fans.
Rest in peace little lamb.
We fulfilled our promise to Emerson on October 17th, 2016.
We rescued Emerson from Downey Shelter on May 31st, 2014 after he had been surrendered by his owners. Right after we celebrated his 15th birthday he was diagnosed with lung cancer and he slipped away so quickly.
We love so many senior dogs and help them pass with dignity. More than ever, we are just exhausted and being completely irrational dealing with the fact that we will never ever see him again. We loved him like a son.
Thank you to Rachel Frederick for being Emerson's monthly sponsoring Fan. Emerson was loved by Andy and Kelly Smisek.
We will always love you, Emerson.
We fulfilled our promise to Shadow on November 7th, 2016 as she passed away in her sleep.
We rescued Shadow on July 29th, 2015 from Devore Shelter on the day she was scheduled to be euthanized. It was predicted by the shelter that Shadow was 9 years old, but over time evidence proved she must have been much older. Her planned family got cold feet and Kristina, daughter to our veterinarian, Dr. Lindsey, stepped up for our quiet girl.
"Today is a very sad day.
She was such a little trooper and kept pulling through all the health struggles she had from the neuropathy, the episode of bloat last spring, and a few months of racing heart beats. She just kept looking more frail and was getting thinner even though she was eating roast chicken, canned KD and AD for the past couple of months.
We will miss our little Shadow. I gave her the nickname Princess a few months ago alter the bloat since she was such a stoic and charmed little pup. She kept hanging in there for us.
We will miss her greatly and we are better for having had her in our lives the past year and half."
Thank you to Kristina Lindsey for giving her well beyond another year of life, love, and care. We are so grateful. Thank you to Tracey Thompson and Laurie Roberts Fine Art for being Shadow's dedicated monthly sponsoring Fans.
Rest in peace, little girl.
We fulfilled our promise to Bufffy on November 8th, 2016. We rescued Bufffy on September 29th, 2016 from Coachella Valley Shelter with congestive heart failure.
If you ever met Pedro and Suelay, you would find they are absolutely magnetizing. One can have a sincere conversation with them for hours. Suelay told us, "We honestly didn't know what we were getting into when we got Bufffy. We knew it was going to take dedication and hard work, but wow, props to all the FFF fosters out there..."
When they offered to be Bufffy's family we knew that they would put their entire hearts into each of her days and we knew her days were numbered upon rescue. "Props" to them for not only committing to a Frosted Face, but a very sick Frosted Face who required a lot of medications, refills, veterinary visits, eating enticement, close monitoring, accident clean up, and most importantly- packing a tremendous amount of love into such a short amount of time.
Bufffy, Pedro, and Suelay laid together listening to classical music into the evening. Bufffy's breaths were slow and she assured her family that she was ready to pass. It sounded like it was a tender last moment in time together to appreciate life.
Thank you to Pedro & Suelay Traveceras for being Bufffy's Forever Foster Family. Many thanks to Lauretta Johnson, Melissa Muik, Katrina Nelson, and Julie Holt for being Bufffy's dedicated monthly sponsoring Fans.
We love you, Bufffy.
We fulfilled our promise to Emma on November 15th, 2016
We rescued Emma on December 10th, 2014 from San Bernardino City Shelter. She and a younger male were confiscated from a property, both deemed aggressive. Her friend was euthanized, but a volunteer recognized Emma's sweet demeanor and advocated for her exit.
She lived almost two years in the care of Amy Pierce. Amy is a shar-pei expert and has a blind shar-pei, Jake, who looks much like Emma. We truly thought Emma was going to live longer than any other Frosted Face, because she was the youngest dog we have ever rescued knowingly at 7 years old. She was diagnosed with lung cancer just last week, but the last couple nights were a terrible struggle and medication was not preventing suffering.
We owe many thanks to Amy Pierce for giving Emma a beautiful life she probably never could have imagined: enriching walks in the fresh air, healthy meals, and cuddles under soft blankets. Thank you to Rachel McCord for being Emma's dedicated monthly sponsoring Fan.
Breathe easy, sweet girl. We love you.
We fulfilled our promise to Mattie, formerly Marta, on November 21st, 2016. We rescued Mattie on October 14th, 2016 from OC Shelter on the day she was scheduled to be euthanized.
She was diagnosed with a very enlarged heart, mammary masses, and a terrible eye ulcer. We debrided it and added serum drops just last week, trying a new form of treatment. This morning the sun rose and the family awakened, but Dad's "little spoon" wouldn't wake up. They rushed her to San Diego Bay Animal Hospital where it was determined her heart was all done, and we let her go.
Emily reflects, "This is my last picture of baby Mattie. She had a really good day yesterday and this was her enjoying a little spot of sun in the room with me while it sprinkled outside.
She went on a walk with us and seemed to be enjoying her day. She slept curled up next to my husband last night but just didn't want to wake up this morning.
She was such a good girl and we fell so in love with her. She was so happy with us for the short month we had her and we are going to miss her so much. She was perfect and now she's an angel in heaven. My heart is so sad."
Thank you to RJ & Emily Watson for being Mattie's final resting place, and thank you Heike Maglaque, James Boyce, Hilary O'Kelley, Inhara Ortiz, and Marta Palos for wining her dedicated monthly sponsoring Fans.
We love you big-hearted, Mattie!
We fulfilled our promise to Mimi on November 23rd, 2016.
We rescued Mimi, formerly May, on December 5th, 2014 from Carson Shelter. On that same day we rescued three other dogs on a big rescue adventure we titled Operation Girls' Day Out. Although we lost Mimi of kidney disease just days before her second Frostiversary and short of her 12th birthday, she was the last living Frosted Face from that special day. Here is a video by Haute Dog: couture pet photography documenting their rescue:
Girls' Day Out: https://www.facebook.com/HauteDogPetPhotography/videos/1556141154604376/
There is something to be said about having only one dog. One can pour herself into that little trusting soul the way Joanna did, and it means many outfit changes, personalized "M" pancakes, a customized "M" toy box, always getting a spot in the bed, being in the Christmas card, memorable vacations, swim therapy, gobs of attention, and OH so many photos!
Not all bully breeds are so lucky to live such a fairytale and we are sincerely grateful that Mark Hubbard and Joanna Poleszczuk wrote Mimi's. Thank you to Terry Phillips and Nanette Wood for being Mimi's monthly sponsoring Fans.
This quotation is worth repeating to sum up the relationship of Joanna and Mimi:
"That’s what we do – we hold them close. We hold our dogs so close that parts of ourselves overflow and fall directly onto their furry heads. So when we look at our dogs we see our worst sorrows, our greatest joys and the deepest part of ourselves for which there is no name. The story of our dogs is the story of us."
Rest in peace, Meemers
We fulfilled our promise to Julie on December 8th, 2016.
Yesterday morning Julie began to decline quickly from her battle with renal failure. She had an appointment scheduled for early afternoon for one more evaluation looking for hope. Her mom had stayed home from work to be with her until then, but she realized she was losing her right in front of her eyes, so she rushed her to Yorba Lake Pet Clinic as an emergency appointment where euthanasia was the obvious and most selfless option.
"Sweet, sweet Julie crossed the rainbow bridge earlier today. Needless to say I am beyond heartbroken. My family and I are in shock on how quickly she declined. I was at least expecting a week with her if not longer. She seemed to perk up a little bit yesterday. It all seemed to change overnight. Literally! I did everything I was suppose to do, gave her fluids, loved on her and cuddled with her. Which is what she really wanted. But her body and mind were too tired. I hope Julie felt the enormous amount of love through the beats of my heart as she laid there throughout the night, most of the morning and as she crossed the rainbow bridge. She was only with us for 24 hrs. but she will always hold a special place in my heart. She's now running pain free with our maltese, Spartacus. Run free my sweet little girl til we meet again."
Just FOUR days after being relinquished to Carson Shelter, by the only family she had ever known for the last 12 years, Julie nearly passed away on her own. We don't know why her family did it, or what could have been said to prevent their choice to surrender her--
--that's it. She is all gone and there is no solution in wondering, but perhaps for the next. All we could do was put our love to action by getting her adequate veterinary care and finding her a new family. Promise fulfilled.
Thank you to Peter and Diana Maldonado for being with Julie until the end. Thank you to Maryann Mendoza, Katrina Nelson, and Melissa Zelaya for being her sponsoring Fans.
We love you, Julie.
Bertie passed away on December 12th, 2016.
We rescued Bertie from Wasco Shelter on April 24th, 2015 after she had been surrendered for euthanasia with untreated diabetes at the age of 12 years old. With hospitalization and guidance, Bertie's new Forever Foster Family managed the condition to a point where she was gaining weight, had good energy, and was a happy thriving girl.
Bertie was bossy, demanded a place on the couch, and her blindness did not prevent her from taking a few missteps before crawling up and pushing out a place to cuddle all on her own. Kisses were offered unabashedly and everyone was a friend.
Yesterday her family returned home from work and Bertie appeared in critical condition. We rushed her to San Diego Bay Animal Hospital where they treated her for hours and we all stayed at the hospital late into the evening hoping for a turnaround, but she did not make it.
We are really really sad. That's all I can say.
Thank you to Rick and Mary Johnson for being Bertie's Forever Foster Family. Thank you to Terry Strait and Ryan Malina for being Bertie's dedicated monthly sponsoring Fans.
We loved you, Bertie.
On December 20th, 2016 we fulfilled our promise to Jericho.
We rescued Jericho on July 24th, 2016 from Lancaster Shelter when he was 11 years old. He was not eating and could not stand after over a week of treatment for vestibular disease. This on top of his crippling arthritis for which he needed a slew of meds that could not be taken without food, we knew we had to let him go.
Heidi carried Jericho everywhere, cleaned up messes, hand fed him, and kept him stimulated with toys and strategic placement to enjoy the breeze and sunshine with his siblings. He couldn't have been more adequately accommodated and loved. Heidi donated the additional expense to have Jericho put to sleep in her own home surrounded by his brothers.
We owe thanks to Heidi Arambula for going the distance not many go- committing to a senior hospice bully breed. We owe thanks to Lina Leslie and Trisha Snyder for being his dedicated monthly sponsoring Fans.
We love you, Jericho.
We fulfilled our promise to Gio on Christmas Eve.
We rescued Bellagio "Gio" from South LA Shelter on November 15th, 2016. He was only 8 years old, but was diagnosed with lymphoma and a large mass in his abdomen.
He had great days and good days, but never bad days. As his mom said, "Gio was very proud." On December 23rd his edema was pretty significant, making movement more cumbersome, but his appetite was great. On the morning of Christmas Eve he would only eat cookies, but none of this normal food. He struggled to stand for very long, and his edema still had his legs quite swollen. In the early evening he started vomiting and his gums grew pale. His family rushed him to Pet Emergency & Specialty Center, and he passed on the way in his mom's lap. It happened so fast that it is suspected his mass ruptured.
Just hours before that Christmas Eve his mom had written in correspondence, "We are bound and determined to keep this guy going for months. He has too many presents to open under the tree and an extra turkey baking just for the doggies."
We are devastated. If there is anything to be said about the care Rand and Jo provided for Gio by being his family, it's that from day one when they knew they had signed on as hospice fosters, they ignored the elephant.
They were never ever preparing Gio to die, they were always preparing him to live, and live well. This isn't something all families do, and it requires sacrificing a big piece of your heart because you grow very attached, knowing somewhere deep down that in spite of your greatest efforts you will inevitably lose them to the weakness of their bodies- but never their spirits!
We owe tremendous thanks to Rand and Jo Reed for loving Gio as yours. Thank you to Rachel Walsh, Donna Stuber, Carherine Reich, and Tralynn Gray for being his monthly sponsoring Fans.
We love you, Gio.
We fulfilled our promise to Otis on December 27th, 2016.
We rescued Otis on December 1st, 2016 from Orange County Shelter. They had guessed that he had been abandoned in his home when his owners moved and was held for three weeks at the shelter as evidence during an investigation.
When we rescued Otis he was diagnosed with lung cancer and complicated digestion. Lung cancer spreads quickly so we recruited the best family we knew to love on him hard- newbies.
Aaron and Lauren Martinez had never cared for a senior dog before, but it was something they wanted to do and they set the bar. Otis had jammies, was hand fed, was included in family photos, they followed FFF protocol for vet appointments, and most of all, they gave him every last good day they possibly could until the vet said it was time- and they let him go.
Lauren reflected, "Today Aaron and I had to say goodbye to our sweet boy, Otis. As many of you know, Otis was not only extremely old, but also terminally ill. When he was rescued it was determined that he had lung cancer, a heart murmur, as well as a significant deal of other complications...one being his difficulty to walk.
We were blessed to spend 22 days doting on our old fellow and are extremely sad he's no longer with us. Unfortunately, Otis' ailments continued to grow significantly worse each day..and today, under the recommendation of his veterinarian, we laid him to rest in order to prevent any further suffering. 😓
Despite his time with us being so short, we really came to love Otis. His spirit will remain in our hearts and minds and we are thankful that he's no longer in pain, but resting with the Lord in heaven."
Thank you to Aaron and Lauren Martinez for all that you shared with Otis as his family. Thank you to Monica Kowalski, Tamara Lindley, and Kamela Gladich for being his monthly sponsoring Fans.
Breathe easy now, Otis. We love you.
We fulfilled our promise to Russell on December 28th, 2016 at the age of 14 years old.
We rescued Russell on August 9th, 2014 from Downey Shelter. Most notably, when we rescued him he was paralyzed, and after about 6 months he began to walk again. He was chasing balls up until yesterday!
Russell seemed dull this morning and he had a very low temperature. We knew he had metastatic hemangiosarcoma, and we have been preparing ourselves for over a year for the inevitable rupture of his splenic mass, as surgery did not seem sensible.
Knowing how quickly he would pass, I laid him in his bed in the sunshine wrapped in a fleece blanket. I spooned my Russell and sang "You Are My Sunshine" endlessly in his ear as I wept. Andy was too far out in the field at work to be present, but we got to FaceTime him so he could say goodbye to his boy. I ultimately brought Russell to San Diego Bay Animal Hospital to let him go so that he did not have to endure the dying process.
If you know us, you knew Russell and how much he meant to us. He always received our softest touch, the longest good night kisses, sweetest voices, and enjoyed the most family outings because he was such a good boy. He brought out genuine kindness in us. We included him in everything and we agree that we have few regrets other than wishing we had more time with him. We have story after story about Russell, and we will be telling them for our lifetime as we go on without him.
Thank you to Gina Philips and Jo Anna Green for being Russell's dedicated monthly sponsoring Fans.
It was an honor to be your family, sweet Russell. Mommy & Daddy will always love you.
We fulfilled our promise to Holly on January 8th, 2016.
We rescued Holly when we was 11 years old from Lancaster Shelter on April 3rd, 2016. She was emaciated, but howled with excitement and energy in her new surroundings. She was quick to attach to her two new kids, sleeping with them and eating their Cheerios off the floor. She looked and felt fantastic, as her family plumped her up and kept her groomed regularly. We knew from the get-go they needed to love on her without delay because her kidneys were not functioning properly.
Early this fall her glaucoma became so painful that we had to determine whether to euthanize her or remove her eyes. She was still thriving, so we decided to go ahead with the surgery. Although we did not know we would lose Holly so soon, we are grateful that we were able to prove her a pain free last few months.
Thank you to Mike Schwartz and Stephanie Jobe for being Holly's family, and thank you to Tanya Nielsen, Julie, Luther, Carol Chappell, and Linda Murphy for being her monthly sponsoring Fans.
I am picturing Holly howling at the Rainbow Bridge upon arrival. Let that happiness be so.
On January 11th, 2017 we fulfilled our promise to Lottie.
11 year old Lottie was rescued from Riverside Shelter on February 11th, 2016 in a hurry because she was scheduled for euthanasia. We rescued her without a Forever Foster in place and she warmed a spot at Frosted Faces Foundation. That immediately meant she was everyone's to love, and we know how all of the other FFF families adored updates about her.
Donna Cooper applied for a Frosted Face in the best way one can-with no expectations. She was ready to love on any senior dog needing a home and Lottie was her girl.
Lottie was doomed from the start, with abnormal bloodwork, a mass in her abdomen and on her hind end. We noticed some scabs near her eyes and arms, but chalked it up to be a bacterial infection. We never imagined the severity or care it could amount to.
Poor Lottie was finally correctly diagnosed by County Line Animal Hospital with calcinosis cutis, who we owe many thanks to for seeing her weekly for months at a steeply discounted rate. While we battled what seemed to be never ending battle, Lottie also developed heart failure, a very large mass on her belly that ruptured, and severe arthritis. Which new diagnosis indicates one is to say "enough is enough?"
This is where Donna comes in. Donna dedicated weeks to getting Lottie to vet appointments. She saw the life in Lottie, and battled with her. She never gave up on her walks. Whenever asked how Lottie was doing, Donna always referenced the pace of Lottie's daily walk, how much she slept in her cozy bed, and how much she was eating. Not a lot of dogs get this opportunity to thrive, nor do they get daily walks! Donna took the time with Lottie. How often can we say that about anything in the fast paced world?
Lottie opening presents: https://youtu.be/WLQiwUgQtHk
Yesterday, Dr. Mazzi told us it was time. Lottie struggled to walk, while her heart medication managed her CHF, her skin was flaring up again, and the mass on her tummy had grown and was ready to burst again. Lottie was still bright, and that makes the gift of euthanasia oftentimes a small burden to make that final decision.
Lottie's last meal: https://youtu.be/cYn27HT5UDo
Donna said, "I held her to the end. She remained her sweet self the whole way, continuously nudging my hand for more pets should I pause for a moment. It was as if she knew, and was telling me it was alright."
Thank you to Brandi Stone and Lindy Kalpakoff for helping Donna with Lottie. Donna, thank you for loving our girl the way we all wanted to see her loved. Thank you to Lisa Switzer and Victoria Minetta for being her dedicated monthly sponsoring Fans.
Smile brightly, Lottie. No more pain.
On January 17th, 2017 we fulfilled our promise to Edna.
We rescued 12 year old Edna on December 6th, 2016 from Apple Valley Shelter. We hadn't planned on getting her. We drove all the way up there to get Frosted Face Leif, but when something about her empty stare indicated we needed to brighten her life.
Edna always paced in large circles to the right, but was alert and sought attention. During introductions with Dana and Daryl, it was neat to see them melt over a dog, and know they could possibly love her as much as we did.
She did Christmas with them and slept in her mom's office during the day. They accommodated her pacing, arthritis, and bath schedule. The morning of her passing she lost the use of her hind end and was dragging herself in circles without intention. From the empty stare at the shelter, to the security of family, no one wanted to see Edna's light fade.
Dana shared, "We are so lucky to have had the time we did with her. She is our little angel. We held her while the doctor put her to sleep. That was one of the saddest things I've ever done."
Edna legacy will live on, as Dana and Daryl have said that while this was difficult, they appreciate the process, and will be a family to a senior dog again.
Thank you to Daryl and Dana Thompson for selflessly giving Edna your whole hearts. Thank you to Victoria Conway and Tamara Vullo for being her monthly sponsoring Fans.
Rest in peace, dear Ed.
On January 25th, 2017 we fulfilled our promise to Molly.
We rescued Molly on April 7th, 2016 from Carson Shelter after she had been surrendered by her owners. She had a large mass on her neck, but she had spunk. We operated to remove the mass and did dental surgery. While anesthetized, we almost lost her as her blood pressure dropped, but the vet staff managed to wake her up and get the job done! Shortly after, the mass grew back and even larger. We thought we had taken good enough margins, but the cancer was clearly too aggressive. We knew she could not withstand surgery again, so Shannon's clock began ticking. We kept her comfortable on pain medication, steroids, and antibiotics.
One thing about Molly's mom, Shannon, is that she is a very busy person. She gives her time, she gives her energy, she gives her money, and then she gives a little more. Regardless of how busy she was she always had time to be kind and give Molly dignified last days lulled by her sweet voice.
After being cared for by Yorba Lake Pet Clinic, today Doc said Molly looked different and that it was time. Thank you to Shannon Benson for being by Molly's side, and thank you to Ryan Rubin, Laurie Roberts Fine Art, Kim Whiting, Katie Cardullo, Teresa Vasquez, Judith Traub, and Margo Pisa for being her dedicated monthly sponsoring Fans.
We fulfilled our promise to Wilson on January 31st, 2017.
We rescued Wilson on January 28th, 2017 from Orange County Shelter. X-rays from the shelter were inconclusive as to whether he was suffering from pneumonia or lung cancer, but one thing was for sure, he was struggling to breathe and he needed to be euthanized or exit.
We rescued him to redo xrays and bloodwork to either justify euthanasia or treatment. His xrays were the same and bloodwork was more indicative of cancer, than pneumonia, as his WBC count was normal. Oh but we are a hopeful bunch, and we continued treatment for pneumonia just to be sure.
After two restless nights of pacing, wheezing, and posturing for air, Wilson's family brought him back to San Diego Bay Animal Hospital for an exam and to redo xrays. This set proved to be worse than the first two, and Dr. Ferenstein advised it was absolutely time to let Wilson go, and not one more night with his family would be fair.
Daryl and Dana, two months ago having never put a dog to sleep, applied to be a Forever Foster Family. After only two weeks of losing their first Frosted Face Edna, they committed to Wilson knowing it could be for a short time, and GOSH, it was quite impressive how completely loving, selfless, and rational they could be all over again.
Dana writes in tribute:
"With a very heavy heart, we had to say goodbye to Wilson tonight. He was struggling to breathe and the vet said it was time. He was suffering and it would only get worse. Kelly Smíšek and I kissed him and talked to him and held him while he peacefully left for a better place. He is no longer in pain and that comforts us.
Daryl and I are so lucky to have spent the last four days with such a beautiful soul. He was perfect. Gentle and loving. Even though he was only here for a very, very short time, we fell in love with him and we are missing him deeply. Rest In Peace, our handsome man. We love you, buddy."
Thank you to Krista Nadolski, Terry Phillips, Trisha Snyder, Kristyn Kohut, Jane Leavy, Susan Guenzel, Rick & Mary Johnson, and Debra Sakata for being Wilson's sponsoring Fans. Thank you to Daryl and Dana Thompson for making it possible for Wilson to know family before passing peacefully.
Breathe easy, big guy.
We fulfilled our promise to Petrie on February 1st, 2017.
We rescued Petrie on September 19th, 2016 from Coachella Valley Shelter. He weighed only 1.78 pounds and was discovered to have trouble keeping his blood sugar elevated.
He loved to eat so it wasn't hard to keep him going and he loved to held! He would chirp the most unbelievable bark when he wanted attention. And don't let that tiny body fool you! He could jump off of couches and onto large dog beds with cat-like reflexes. He also moved across the floor with a soft and quick stride to be anywhere his human was.
The saddest part of losing Petrie was that we had just approved a family for him, Nicholas and Ashleigh Hale, and they were to come pick him up this Saturday. Petrie was loved by so many people during his time with us though! He was loved by Matt & Nadia Fulkerson, Bethany Turnbloom, and Sarah Melick, who all took part in his happiness.
Bethany reflected, "He had such a special place in my heart, sharing my old boy's 14th birthday with us, and Christmas, and going to look for wedding venues in Julian."
Sarah shared, "Thank you for letting me love him," as she just took him on a trip to Arizona with her last week and he spent the whole trip at her side in a sling.
Nadia shared her daughter's thoughts after learning of Petrie's passing, "Mommy, I love how he would always lick my cheeks and eyebrowns (her version of eyebrows) when I ate chicken. Do you think he'll have chicken where he is now?" I told her yes, he's likely eating a ton of amazing food, and she says, "They better not serve him steak, he has no teeth!!"
Sarah was present to hold Petrie tightly after we were advised at Pet Emergency & Specialty Center to let him go. We Facetimed with Petrie to say goodbye in his final moments.
Petrie will be remembered not for his few weak moments, but his completely surprising strong and ambitious months. As fragile as he appeared, he only spent truly about 4 days sick, and all of the others were filled with joy and energy.
Thank you to everyone who loved Petrie, and thank you to Nikki King and Rena Mcdonald for being his dedicated monthly sponsoring Fans.
Get chubby, Petrie! Bark a lot, mark every corner of heaven, and eat a lot of chicken. We love you.
We fulfilled our promise to Lucky yesterday.
We rescued Lucky on April 24th, 2015 from South LA Shelter at the age of 14 years old. Lucky was already old when he Pennington's got him! He paced, dementia-like whined, and struggled to stand. Over the last two years, those things ceased with care and attention. New old dog trials arose like incontinence, bloody noses, and picky eating, and still his family persevered. The amount of extra time Lucky got on Earth is directly related to him having a loving family, and here is what they have to share in tribute to him.
"Lucky, Luck-a-Buck, Lucky-dog, Old Man, Ancient One. So many names that all mean beloved pack member. You were such a challenge Lucky. From the first day we brought you home, still recovering from multiple minor surgeries, you let us know that YOU would make your own decisions.
You were ever independent, intelligent, and so very strong-willed. It was obvious from the permanent callouses you wore that you had been an outdoor dog. It was obvious from your unfamiliarity with hugs and pets that you had been forgotten in some backyard, maybe for years. It was equally obvious from your constant whining, and looking out the window that you were a loyal dog who didn't understand where your other family was. The only thing we could do for you was to love you.
Eventually you stopped looking out the window, next you stopped whining. Your signs of dementia went away, and a tiny bit of your hearing came back. Sadly all those years of less than stellar care had taken their toll on your spine and hips. You got more and more wobbly. But you also learned to tolerate our help in standing you up from your many falls. You tolerated the 24/7 diapering with grace. You followed us everywhere, laying under our feet or resting your head in our laps. You learned we loved you and that it was OK for you to love us back. You were truly one of the pack.
We all appreciated your strength of character and will. When you first arrived everyone suspected you'd make it just a couple of months. Well, almost two years later you showed them, Lucky! You knew what you wanted and you weren't ready to let go of love so easily!
Challenges seem to make us appreciate success. You were worth the challenge Luck-a-buck! You were so worth it. We loved every independent inch of you and all of us, your brother and sister pack members included, will miss you terribly. Today is the house is too quiet. Today we remind ourselves that we will see you again across the Bridge. Run freely Old Man, there's plenty of sun and soft grass to nap in when you're ready. We love you Lucky."
Thank you to Steve and Chris Pennington for being Lucky's devoted family. Thank you to Philip Baldacci, Stephanie Pilgrim, and Susan Thomas for being Lucky's dedicated monthly sponsoring Fans.
You gave it SUCH a good go, Luck. <3
We fulfilled our promise to Daphne on February 17th, 2017. We rescued Daphne at the age of 15 years old from Coachella Valley Shelter on January 28th, 2017. She passed away peacefully on her own in her bed at her new family's home.
Her mom reflected, "We are devastated. Please know we did everything we could for our sweet Daphne. She passed peacefully in her sleep. We just wish we had more time with her."
Daphne required her new family to feed her by hand, a whole arrangement of foods, and to be woken up to be escorted outside to go potty. We all knew her time was limited, but everyone forged ahead with full hearts. She slept with her new family each night so they could keep an eye on her and was held always. Daphne wagged her tail non-stop and in spite of her crazy little knees, she would impressively be able to navigate herself to the softest bed in the room.
We owe thanks to Rick & Mary Johnson and Kristyn Kohut for being her dedicated monthly sponsoring Fans, and thank you to Ken & Sarah Erickson for not hesitating to welcome her into your family and being so attentive.
We fulfilled our promise to Indie on February 26th, 2017.
We rescued Indie on July 23rd, 2015 from Downey Shelter after he had been surrendered by his owner. He was growly in his kennel and didn't stand a chance of exit, and we learned that he was simply uncomfortable and scared, but actually a nice guy!
His mom loved him the moment she saw him and could not resist. We will always remember her frequent mention of how she just had to "squish his little face." Lynne sacrificed sleeping in before work to walk one more dog of a different pace, as her three "littes" are quite fast! Indie was incontinent, so she laid down tarps, pee pads, and did a lot of laundry. We kept Indie mobile on a handful of pain medications, and frequent rounds of antibiotics to treat the site of his urethrostomy we did early last year.
Tonight words were a struggle, as his mom expressed, "Dear sweet Indie. You will never be forgotten. You will remain in my heart forever. Missing you."
Thank you to Lynne Christmas for the great sacrifice of giving Indie every last happy day. It is not easy to give a large aging dog dignity, and you managed it with class. He was so lucky to see his 15th birthday! Thank you to Lisa Switzer for being Indie's dedicated monthly sponsoring Fan.
Shine brightly now, Indie. We love you.
We fulfilled our promise to Georgie on February 28th, 2017. We rescued Georgie (formerly Atreyu) along with his friend Sequoia (formerly Sahadi) from Carson Shelter on October 18th, 2016 after they had been surrendered by their owners. Sequoia is still doing well.
It was horribly awful, and far too soon. After frequent enough seizures we started Georgie on phenobarbitol, and his recheck was scheduled for a month later - coincidentally exactly today.
Quite early this morning Georgie suffered a 45 minute seizure between realizing it wouldn't stop, rushing him to California Veterinary Specialists, to getting him medicated to rest. The acting veterinarian said he surprisingly looked bright afterward with brain function so we prepared to have him hospitalized there for 24 hours for phenobarbitol injections, brain swelling injections, a blood panel, testing his phenobarbitol levels, and fluids.
For as often as veterinary professionals deal with death, and sadly, as often as I receive that heartwrenching phone call, I don't think I have ever heard a veterinarian so upset and crying over the news this vet had to share this afternoon. We had built up so much false hope, and he was very special. Georgie's body was curling into a fetal position, his muscles were twitching, and he had something very wrong with him that he needed to be released from.
His mom wrote a beautiful tribute for you to read.
"I'm at a complete loss for words. Hoping that if I start rambling that the thoughts will magically appear on my screen.
We lost Georgie today. I woke up to an active seizure that lasted about 5 minutes longer than his usual ones when we decided to take him to the emergency roo,. That seizure just never stopped. I watched my boy whose favorite hobby was to sleep, struggle to get peace and it was excruciating. We got the call a few hours later that the vet was recommending euthanasia and I feel like I've had the wind knocked out of me ever since. I kept hoping that while we were there he would show some sign that he knew it was us. I wanted so badly for him to know that he was loved, but I can't say for sure that he knew I was there at all. My daughter got to say goodbye but I was the one who had the distinct honor of holding him as he left us.
I have no idea how anyone could have surrendered a dog with that personality, but I am immensely glad that they did. That boy loved to be loved. Never slept without touching someone, be it dog or human. He held hands with his sister and collapsed for belly rubs on site. He was the only dog that I've ever had that broke into not only one, but TWO food bins regularly. It is with incredible sadness that I will move them back from the counter to the floor.
I thought I had years with my boy. He seemed so incredibly healthy and happy and I'm in complete and utter shock that I'm typing these words right now. As much as my heart aches right now I feel blessed and honored that I got to spend the last 4 months with him. My family and I are feeling a very big void without our little guy on the couch. I'm hoping that the 'I could have done more' and the images of him struggling all day will eventually fade from my mind because I want to remember him as the goofy, cuddly, flirty boy that he was.
Thank you for entrusting me with such a beautiful soul. For that, I can never thank you enough.
Hug them all a little bit tighter for me tonight."
Thank you to Melanie Dawn for giving Georgie every last cuddle and seeing so much good in him. Thank you to Tiffany Jackson, David Katona, Michelle Gavaldon, Caryn Requejo, Pooja Teckchandani, Tricia Gisewhite, and Mike Mendenhall for being Georgie's dedicated monthly sponsoring Fans.
There are a lot of Frosted Faces up there to cuddle with you, Georgie. I hope you find them. We love you.
We fulfilled our promise to Missy on March 2nd, 2017.
We rescued 16 year old Missy from Downey Shelter on April 30th, 2016 after she was surrendered by her owners. Her family had called FFF and said they had an urge to foster an old dog, it didn't really matter who, but they wanted to make a big difference.
You can imagine we jumped on that like white on rice, got them screened, and said, "How about this one?" They agreed to being Missy's family instantly and for all of 10 months she truly was family. Pictures speak 1,000 words, so we will let them do the talking.
Last night her family got home to her covered in diarrhea and she did not have function in her back legs. They gave her a bath and she was a little stronger. Her gums were pale and her temperature was 97 degrees, so we rushed her to California Veterinary Specialists where they said they thought she had suffered a seizure or stroke, her temperature was quickly dropping and she was acting neurologic. It was time. Of course her family reflects, "This was definitely harder then we thought."
Missy girl, we are so proud to have paired you with such a wonderful, patient family. To Tawnee Haley and Wayne Pellham, wow. You guys did a terribly fantastic job with your first Frosted Face and we were honored to work with you. Thank you for everything you offered Missy. Thank you to Morgan Kleiderlein, Lucy Dietrich, and Roberta Diakon for being Missy's dedicated monthly sponsoring Fans.
Always a good girl, Missy. We love you.
Misty did not make it through the night after surgery to repair a perforated intestines, and somehow we are forced to muster the words, we fulfilled our promise to Misty on March 5th, 2017
We gave it one hell of a go, and Misty was such a brave strong girl, but Dr. VanMaele suspects her body simply succumbed to the infection from which we still do not know the cause. The biopsy of her intestinal tissue will be back in a couple of days
Misty was 9 years old and we rescued her from County of San Diego Department of Animal Services on January 23rd, 2016.
Her mom, Mary, wrote a beautiful tribute.
"I never had a dog growing up. We were cat people. Dogs were too much work. All my life we've had cats. Lots of cats. I'm kind of known as the crazy cat lady in my circles. But, about 10 years ago, Anthony and I decided we wanted to start fostering dogs. We thought fostering is a temporary thing, that should be easier. Over the years we've fostered 30+ dogs. It was never easy. Never, until Misty came along.
We'd been temporary fostering for Frosted Faces Foundation for about a year. Kelly knew we were interested in finding a "pocket pittie" to call our very own forever foster. She suggested Misty. When we met Misty at the shelter, I wasn't so sure that this was the right match. She was so terrified, she wouldn't even let us pet her. But, I remember taking that walk through the shelter, one of the staff was walking Misty in front of us and Misty kept looking back at us. I could tell she was scared, but oh how she wanted somebody to please. Her fear was starting to effect her health and we knew her time at the shelter was short. We decided she deserved a chance. Misty had been at our house for probably an hour when I knew. She seamlessly fit into our family and I knew she was meant to be with us. She, too, knew she was home. Her fears melted away, she fell head over heals in love with us and we couldn't believe how lucky we were to find her. I remember telling Kelly, "We hit the jackpot!"
That was only 13 months ago. In that time, with help from lots of friends and family, Misty was starting to warm up to strangers. Everybody fell in love with her, they could tell just how sweet she was even though she gave them the cold shoulder. It just made it that much more special when she gave them that rare kiss on the hand. But, here at home, with her family, the kisses and wags never stopped. She even loved the cats. And she never had any issues sharing her home with the seemingly endless stream of foster dogs that came and went.
Misty was only 9. Her death today came very unexpectedly and frankly, we're still in shock that she's gone. I was expecting her to comfort me as we watched our youngest head off to college. Now she won't even see him graduate middle school. We'll miss her silly grin and her squishy face. We'll miss the way her whole body shook when her tail wagged. We'll miss her running to the door to meet us, feverishly searching for a toy to offer us in a game of tug-of-war. We'll miss her snoring in beat with her daddy. We'll miss her bursting with joy every time we hit the sand on Fiesta Island. We'll miss her sticking her head out the car window, just to breathe it all in. We'll miss her endless, sloppy kisses. We'll miss the way she jumped up from a deep sleep whenever she heard the word "walk". We'll miss her unwavering love and devotion.
It's really tough losing a dog. But, loving her was so easy. We hit the jackpot.
We love you, Misty Moo 💕"
I can't believe I am writing this.... How do you rally this hard and not get the outcome everyone wants and deserves?
Thank you to Anthony & Mary Savoia for being Misty's incredible family. Words cannot soften this blow. Thank you to Victoria Owen Conway, Renee Crawford, and Judith Johnson for being Misty's dedicated monthly sponsoring Fans.
We fulfilled our promise to Sequoia on March 7th, 2017 after battling dementia.
We rescued Sequoia on October 18th, 2016 with her brother Georgie from Carson Shelter after they had been surrendered by their owners. Sequoia's family shares the following sweet words...
"Oh, those deep and mystical eyes! For the last four months, we craved & cherished Sequoia's kind and grateful gaze. To wake up today without her was breathtakingly sad.
And that unmistakable princess gait! Tippy toe, clicky-click and ever-so-careful. I'd give anything to hear that again as I sit here without her now.
When her adorable strolling around turned painful and without purpose, we knew she was losing her spirit and will. When she cried for help and couldn't stand, we knew those adorable long redwood legs needed to rest. And when those stunning eyes just stared blankly into a corner, we ached for her, wondering if she thought she was alone and abandoned again.
Whatever she endured and survived in her 14 years, I hope & pray we erased and replaced it with exquisite devotion, respect warmth, peace and love. It is such an honor that Kelly chose us to give Sequoia the best of her days. She gave us some of the best of ours, for sure.
We will continue to love and cherish many more Frosted Faces in honor of our gorgeous grand lady.
It was heaven here with you, sweet Sequoia."
Thank you to Jim Ito and Melanie Granfors for being Sequoia's patient, doting family. Thank you to Tralynn Gray, David Katona, Matt Hamblin, Chandra Jackson, Paulette Libby, Ann Sehorn, Tammy Gregory, and Dust Bunnies Vintage Co. for being her dedicated monthly sponsoring Fans.
We fulfilled our promise to Brown on March 22nd, 2017.
We rescued Brown from Baldwin Park Shelter after he had been surrendered by his owners on June 15th, 2015. You will recall he recently was showing signs of internal bleeding, where we decided to do a splenic aspirate to determine if he was operable. The results showed that it was compatible with extramedullary hematopoiesis and lymphoid hyperplasia. Brown's mom knew- he was just looking too frail to endure a splenectomy, so at the age of nearly 15 years old, time began to tick audibly. This morning it was clear that he was bleeding internally and his temperature was dropping quickly, so he was rushed to High Valley Veterinary Hospital where they let him go peacefully.
His mom wrote a beautiful reflection about her time with him.
"Beautiful Brown Doggie came into my life in June 2015, a point in my life when I was struggling. I clicked on the Frosted Faces Facebook page one night just before 9pm, and saw his sweet, square face, long arched back, and pigeon toes. He looked like I felt: tired, sad, and not very hopeful. I submitted an application right then, and got an email back almost immediately - can we schedule a home visit?! That was it, he was coming home.
I remember picking him up at the animal hospital and noticing his bald butt and scabbed nose, his strange growths on his belly, and his patchy-haired tail. I lifted him into my truck and drove him home with his head in my lap. The next day, at 3 am, I again lifted him into my truck and drove him 6 hours up the coast to his first horse show.
In his time with me he traveled to horse shows throughout California, Arizona, Oregon, and Montana. He chased butterflies in Palo Alto, sun bathed beside a lake in Whitefish, dipped in a river in Ashland, and heard thunderstorms in Flagstaff. He grew stronger and healthier, his hair sort of grew back, and he became confident and happy. He found his voice, and he used it! He met so many dog friends - his favorite thing - at dog parks and horse shows, he ate wayyyy too much horse poop, and more than once he wandered off on grand adventures (thank goodness he was so slow).
He truly lived in the moment, and it wasn't hard to tell what he thought about things - he was an open book. He could be tough and stubborn, looking at me while walking the opposite way, but he was also the best cuddler and the most sympathetic shoulder to cry on. I think that he taught me to not give a damn what people think and just be who I am, because that was his motto.
We got happy together, and I'm so grateful to him for that. He was such a beautiful soul. Thank you to Frosted Faces for trusting me with his care and for choosing him - he was so, so worth it."
Thank you to Taren Hoffos for being Brown's partner for the rest of his days. Thank you to Lisa Switzer for being Brown's monthly sponsoring Fan.
You got it Brown, everything we wanted for you. Not many pitties get this kind of treasured last chapter. We love you.
We fulfilled our promise to Henry on March 30th, 2017 at the age of 11 years old.
We rescued Henry on December 18th, 2015 from San Bernardino City Shelter. He lived with a nice family for the last year who took him on walks, to many veterinary appointments, fed him the high quality z/d food he required, he helped to pick up the kids from school, and he had several large Costco beds in the livingroom.
On February 22nd, 2017 they relinquished Henry back into our care. We really don't have that much to say about that, it was all really confusing because they took such good care of him, but one day they just decided he would be better off with someone else because he didn't seem happy with them. They truly thought they were doing him a favor. Even after some cheerleading Henry ended up back at Frosted Faces Foundation without the family he had grown to adore. They unloaded him with a van load of items, including a three tier plastic tower of medicines, shampoos, treats, toys... he could have everything, but them.
I want to add that Henry's family is not one you'd dislike. They are moreso passive and nurturing, overthinkers... You'd be more inclined to shake them and say, "You can do this, he needs you, and you're doing a great job!!" rather than, for example, want to punch them upon meeting them. It's hard to justify knowing the outcome, but I want to share this to give all of you very passionate people some perspective.
Upon his return we noted that he was seemingly insecure, overweight, and yes, unhappy. Our mission was "Happy Henry." He went on hikes, we cut back his food, he got regular medicated baths for his skin, and he had just finished a course of strong antibiotics that a culture proved would help his ear infections. For the first time in a long time Henry felt comfortable letting us pet his ears, kiss his face, and didn't tremor as we reached for him. We just recorded this video yesterday to provide the team with an update about him. The best I can say is that we wanted to show he was trusting and comfortable: https://youtu.be/a437XK0rJ5k
What Henry's family was likely seeing was that he was growing older and likely ill, although he did not act nor did we suspect that he was at the end of his life. Late this morning after breakfast and potty time we discovered he had found a bed and passed away during a mid-morning nap. We transported his body to San Diego Bay Animal Hospital where they will handle his remains.
This wasn't what he had in the plans for Henry, and for that, we are devastated. Our mission is family, and as I expressed my aching regrets to the team, the ever-strong Foster Coordinator Emily Elliott affirmed, "He had you guys, and all of us. He never fell through the cracks. The day he became a Frosted Face, he mattered."
Thank you to Bruce & Christine Kassin, Deborah Anderson, Sydney Horner, and Pooja Teckchandani for being Henry's dedicated monthly sponsoring Fans.
Henry, everyone at Frosted Faces Foundation loved you, was invested in your well-being, and we are happy your tired body finally gets to rest.
On Friday, March 31st, we fulfilled our promise to Diamond at the age of 13 years old.
We rescued Diamond on December 26th, 2015 from Lancaster Shelter after she had been surrendered by a despicable mother/daughter dump team. They turned her in to be euthanized (which LA County shelters do not do upon request) as rescuers in the lobby overheard them discuss how they had tried beating her with a board and strangling her with an electrical cord leaving her paralyzed.
She went on to live with Kelly Stoner who could not have been a better match. She fit her for a wheelchair, brought her to work in a wagon, and was excellent in providing her mental stimulation with puzzles while also giving her the dignity of spending time lounging in the sun outside and keeping her clean.
Toward the end Diamond was having more bad days than good. She couldn't hold her own weight on her front legs anymore. They still moved and she did love to take her wheelchair, for which Kelly also purchased front wheels, but she could not move her body at all. Kelly expressed her bladder and sometimes her poo. She commented that Diamond sometimes could not control her bowel movements, but they were never messy, so it was manageable. The most difficult part of making the decision as to whether euthanasia was indicated was seeing that Diamond's mind was still sharp.
Kelly reflected on Diamond's last day for us. It's real, it's heartbreaking, it's what these families endure time and time again on behalf of abandoned senior dogs, and there is no doubt in my mind Kelly will step up for another.
"She had a perfect day. It started with a freeze dried raw surf and turf breakfast and lounging on my bed which she loves because it looks out to the street. She got a nice bath and then went outside to lay in the sun. After that she got an ice cream cone and then we went for a stroll around the neighborhood in her wagon. When we got home we just laid on the couch and watch a movie. We nibbled on treat and snacks and when it was time for the pack to come out Diamond went back to my room to relax. She had either myself or Carter with her since she doesn’t like to be alone.
Our appointment for the veterinarian to arrive at the house was for 4:40, but he got delayed until 6:40, which gave us more time with her. She was starting to have labored breathing lately and she was always bloated and gassy no matter what I tried so I kind of was think she might have been having something else going on.
I had the room nice and relaxing for her with lavender candles lit so she would be calm. When the doctor did show up I was a little disappointed. He is a nice man, but his bedside manner was horrible. I held her and kissed her and of course was bawling. I wanted it to be so perfect for her and I hope she knows how much we love her. <3 It’s taken me so long to write this because I just keep crying. I miss her so much. I knew this would be short term, but it doesn’t make it hurt less.
Thank you for all that you guys do. I know everyone has gone through this and knows how I’m feeling and we just keep on doing it. Rescue one until there are none <3"
Thank you to Kelly Stoner for being being Diamond's final blessing. You were a class act and we are honored that you chose to foster for Frosted Faces Foundation. Thank you to Lisa Switzer and Leslie Smart for being Diamond's dedicated monthly sponsoring Fans.
On April 11th, 2017 we fulfilled our promise to 12 year old Olive. We rescued Olive on March 2nd, 2017 from San Bernardino City Shelter. She was immediately diagnosed with terribly metastasized lung cancer and she wasted away quickly while her parents tried to maintain her sparkle.
"Our dearest Olive,
As I sit here next to you, as you breathe your last, I will try to express how much you mean to us. We believe in wallowing in our grief because it is such a clear manifestation of what true love & devotion to animal welfare feels like.
We pray there is a way to make up for all the lost time during the 12 years before you landed right in the middle of our hearts and home.
I want to believe that your days spent at the center of our universe -- absorbing all of our love and devotion, has erased and replaced whatever happened to you on your way to us.
God bless the broken road that led you straight to me... lyrics that couldn't be more perfect for just about every dog rescue that happens... but even more so when an angel like you is snapped up in her last days on earth and cherished beyond description before letting go.
Frosted Faces Foundation, and Kelly Smisek: There are no words to adequately thank you for what you've given to us by putting your trust in us to do this deeply spiritual work with precious animals.
Olive, you couldn't be more beautiful and dignified, despite your grave illness and who knows what neglect you endured.
It looks like you may have had lots of puppies long ago.
Oh, that they all have genetic traces of your sweet, kind demeanor.
And your strength to face adversity, and your grace to accept help & love from strangers. The kindest of strangers, we assured you. And you embraced us and added so much to our lives -- in just 38 days.
Whatever happened to you, however hurtful, or challenging or mean; we apologize and vow to spend our days working to change all of it. We'll do it in memory of you, and in your sweet name, Olive.
You will have a very special place in our hearts forever.
A special thank you to Dr. Andrea Leach, of HouseCollar in-home vet services, for helping us let Olive go with peace, grace & dignity."
Thank you to Jim Ito and Melanie Granfors for sacrficing your hearts on Olive's behalf. Thank you to Lisa Switzer, Patricia Toporczyk Allem, and Lindy Thrapp Kalpakoff for being Olive's dedicated sponsoring Fans.
Fly high, Olive.
On April 20th, 2017 we fulfilled our promise to Lobo.
We rescued Lobo on September 14th, 2016 from Baldwin Park Shelter after he had been surrendered there by his owners at the age of 15.
Lobo was always happy and truly smiling. He knew exactly when mealtime was and let everyone know. His mom was so good about making sure he had a soft bed to lay on, kept him clean, and most importantly kept him moving by taking him for walks.
Lobo was tired and his eyes no longer sparkled. When we took him to Family Animal Hospital the vet agreed it was time and quality was lacking.
Lobo's mom shares, "It has taken me all day to find the state of mind to sit down and share with you all that yesterday Lobo & I had to face the unbearable. It is with a heart heavier than I can say that yesterday Lobocrossed the rainbow bridge.
Although I watched the progression of him getting weaker, one is never ready to deal with it when the time comes. As we sat together and he rested his chin on my leg he had this tired, far away look in his eyes. Somehow I knew he had become tired and that yesterday was his day to be released from his tired old body.
My old man Lobo was so endearing. He stole the heart of anyone he meant. He ran (the beat he could) with my pack and was always happy to see me when I got home. I feel like we shared a love and a bond that it would normally take a dog's whole life to build. Lobo & I only had 7 months together but it felt like a lifetime. I will miss you old man but I know your running and having fun with Bob-O right now."
Thank you to Jackie Portman for stepping up for Lobo when no one else would, your constant sacrifices while still being so easy going are much appreciated. Thank you to Joni Duke and Stephanie Powell-Pilgrim for being Lobo's dedicated monthly sponsoring Fans.
We love you, Lobo.
On April 17th, 2017 we fulfilled our promise to 13 year old Diamond.
We rescued Diamond on July 9th, 2015 from Carson Shelter after she was surrendered by her owners. This is her parents' favorite photo of her, and we can see why- she is part of a family and shining!
We love to know what moves a person to adopt a senior dog, and today we learned Stacey's story, as this is her SECOND Frosted Face rottie (she was also mom to Skylar).
"I don't know if I ever told you, my first dog that I had when I wasn't a kid I wanted a rottweiler so I got one at 16 for my birthday. Her name was Sierra and was the sweetest thing. When I grew up and got married I left her with my grandparents and my uncle because she was the family dog.
She got sick with cancer at 10 years old. She couldn't see because of it and we did chemo, but it didn't work. One day it became clear it was time and my uncle didn't tell me, and he took her to put her down, which really upset me because I wanted to be there. What's worse, I found out he didn't even stay in the room with her which crushed me.
I always wanted to foster and finally after my brother died I decided to do it because it helped me heal and I always chose rotties in memory of my Sierra."
Sierra's legacy lived on in the late Frosted Face Skylar, and now in Diamond.
Stacey reflects, "Driving to the vet confirmed what I already knew, she loves car rides and loves sitting up enjoying them, and she couldn't this time. She kept lifting her head up trying, but she couldn't lift the rest of her body and that made me so sad. I sat with her cradled in my lap and played 'somewhere over the rainbow' and 'what a wonderful world' by the late Hawaiian singer Israel kamakawiwo'ole because he has such a calming voice and beautiful songs.
I told her how much she was loved and how good she was. She licked my face and I kissed her back and held her until she was gone and stayed awhile after. I cried and I can't stop crying, but I know she is out of that body that held her back from a lot of the things she enjoyed. My heart misses her but I know it was the right thing."
Diamond could not walk in the end, and even as we did some last ditch palliative care at Peninsula Center Pet Hospital, Dr. H mentioned how great Stacey and her family had been doing keeping Diamond clean and moving in spite of her immobility. They gave her every last good day until the bad outweighed the good.
James & Stacey Dowdell embody Frosted Faces Foundation's mission and we are so proud to work with them. Thank you to Theresa Mulligan Rosenthal for being Diamond's dedicated monthly sponsoring Fan.
Stretch your legs, Diamond. We love you!
On April 25th, 2017 we fulfilled our promise to Pepsi after a brief hospitalization for liver failure, which ultimately could not be supported due to weak kidneys and heart disease. She was 16 years old.
We rescued Pepsi on July 20th, 2015 from Redlands Shelter. She had been purchased for a little girl at Christmas as a puppy, and relinquished to the shelter when the little girl grew up and moved out.
Pepsi's Forever Foster Family committed to her sight unseen and although she was a little nipper and pretty independent, man did they do right by her. She went on vacations, walks, trips to the dog park, they gave her the space when she needed it, and honored her behavior by letting her be the only dog when they could have taken on another. It was Pepsi's time to be treated like the gift that she was, and we are so impressed by her family that let it be so.
Her mom shared, "I want to thank you for allowing the pleasure for loving little Pepsi. She wasn't sweet in the common use of the word, but I know by her actions and her constantly being under my feet she loved me back. I respected her "quirks" and spunk and we fell in love.
I wish to thank San Diego Bay Animal Hospital for their kindness to both her and me. Their generous hearts are very appreciated.
Please forgive my typing and misspelling, my eyes are filled with tears.
Thank you with all my heart.
Thank you to Hope Gaggero for your sacrifices and love for Pepsi. Thank you to Joni Duke for being her dedicated monthly sponsoring Fan.
To the perfect Frosted Face, we love you.
On April 30th, 2017 we fulfilled our promise to Gwennie.
We rescued Gwennie from Ventura County Animal Services on April 20th, 2017 at the guessed age of 14 years old. She had been showing neurological dysfunction, but in just recent days looked a little brighter, a little stronger, like she needed more time on Earth.
Early yesterday morning she started seizing and it never stopped. We rushed her to San Diego Bay Animal Hospital where they injected valium to calm her down. Dr. Lantrip educated us that when dogs start seizing over the age of 7, 90% of the time it is from a brain tumor, and this fit the bill for Gwennie's behaviors over the last week and a half. We made the decision to euthanize Gwennie as she had been seizing for over 45 minutes and we knew quality of life was lacking even prior to the episode.
We try to "fix" all the Frosted Faces we rescue, undo the damage, I guess. Hindsight is 20/20 and there was no "fixing" her, the condition she had was irreparable and we just needed to spend time together. I have no idea how she ended up as a stray at the shelter, but the only thing we could do was to pick up loving her at the point where someone else surrendered. At the end of one long day at FFF last week I found myself spooning Gwennie falling asleep with her on her big Costco bed for a good hour before realizing I had fallen asleep and needed to lock up. So many "to dos" and all she required was a slow down. She captured my heart to slow down with her that night.
I am grateful we had these times to just be together, because this sudden ending was unpredictable and heartbreaking. I will say I am at peace that her body decided, because I personally have a very hard time deciding to let go of dogs that eat, sleep, and walk whose lights have dimmed behind their eyes.
Thank you to Chris Fenner, Lisa Switzer, and Margarita Chase for being Gwennie's dedicated Fans.
We love you, Gwennie.
We fulfilled our promise to Halley Beary on May 5th, 2017, just two days after celebrating her second Frostiversary.
We rescued BearBear on April 3rd, 2015 from OC Shelter after she had been surrendered by her owner. We had just done bloodwork this week, chest x-rays a few months ago prior to a mammary mass removal- nothing indicated the end was near. On the evening of May 5th BearBear passed away naturally after a short coughing episode in her mom's arms. At the ER they suggested the possibility of a pulmonary embolism being her cause of death.
Her mom shared with us, "I think all of us forever families and forever fosters know this day will come some day, so much sooner than we want or expect. That’s kind of what it means to love a senior dog, I guess. Even knowing this, I’m still devastated, stunned, and utterly heartbroken about losing Bearbear… It all happened so suddenly; I still can’t believe she’s gone.
Kelly named her Halle Beary (I changed the spelling to Halley), but she never seemed to respond to Halley. I started calling her Bearbear one day and it stuck. She had that much personality that her name had to be doubled. She was my neighborhood-famous little teapot (short and stout) bear. She taught me so much and made my life infinitely better. Bearbear was a wonder and one of the best things to have happened to me.
Thank you Kelly, Andy, and Frosted Faces for trusting me with such a precious gift. I feel honored and truly blessed (and I’m not religious) to have been able to share my life with such a brave, smart, sassy, sweet, and beautiful and unique soul. Thank you all for the support and community. I have loved being a member of this special group.
Bearbear, I will miss you and love you forever. Rest in peace, my sweet prancing puppy. I will never forget you. I hope you were happy and knew you were loved. Thank you for giving me two amazing years. I wish we could have had forever together."
Thank you to Seung Eun Chung for being the Bear's mom, you went to every great length possible to make her life matter. Thank you to Katherine Evans, Vanessa Kopp, and MarciAnn Yantz for being her dedicated monthly sponsoring Fans.
We love you BearBear.
We fulfilled our promise to Roxy on May 11th, 2017, just days short of her birthday.
We rescued Roxy on May 21st, 2016. We had actually rescued who we think was her brother or dad named Brooklyn in early May who was a stray. Weeks later we got a call from a shelter volunteer who let us know that Roxy had been kenneled in the "females only" building away from her brother, but was adopted and being returned due to extensive medical issues. We offered to help cover the costs, but the family wanted to surrender.
While we could not place Brooklyn and Roxy together, the next best thing was to ensure both of their safety by also committing to Roxy. Roxy had a large mast cell tumor filling with blood on her chest. We rushed her to the vet for a risky blood transfusion and operation. She survived just to have it grow back. Thinking we did not take good enough margins, we redid the surgery in full force when she was healthier. Poor Roxy was fighting a losing battle. Her mast cell tumors took over her body and her time started ticking.
Her mom attributes her longevity until now to the turmeric that kept the tumor growth at bay, along with benadryl and prednisone. Unfortunately, Roxy was no longer eating, was vomiting, and did not have a good quality of life. Goodness did she ever get some great moments with family before today though! She went camping, got lots of hugs from her boy, and our favorite was watching videos of her play chase around the living room. Roxy would roll over for belly pets almost to a fault, it was adorable!
We owe so much thanks to Kirsten Wilson for being Roxy's mom, and being her advocate through all things beautiful and painful. Thank you to Tanya Nielsen for being Roxy's dedicated monthly sponsoring Fan.
We fulfilled our promise to Sunny On May 12th, 2017.
We rescued Sunny from Baldwin Park Shelter on December 28th, 2014 after she had been surrendered by her owners on Christmas. Cecilia committed to be Sunny's mom in honor of her own mom who had passed, and she most certainly did her proud.
Sunny lost 20 pounds on thyroid medication, endured two entropion surgeries to bring comfort to her eyes, and in the end a surgery to remove a cancerous mass proved to be too much as it was not healing well and her quality of life was poor.
It was laughable what Cecilia had to do for Sunny when she first got her weighing in at a stubborn 96 pounds. She had to get down on all fours and push her hiney up the staircase with all her might. She took her on long hikes, noticed her beauty in every moment documenting it on A Diary of Sunny, and held her until the bitter end.
After so much love and dedication, it was doubtful the doctors found it easy to peel Sunny out of her mom's arms as the raw pain in her grief-stricken voice was inconsolable on the phone, and the word "euthanasia," unspeakable.
Cecilia's memorial to love Sunny in honor of her mom reminds me of this quotation by William Kearney, "We must measure life not in loss but in experience. Through our relationship with dogs we experience not just man’s best friend. We also experience man’s best quality – unconditional, selfless love." Surely that is how your mom also felt about loving you, Cecilia. How special that you could pass it on.
Thank you Cecilia Villanueva for being Sunny's advocate and family, it was an honor to work with you. Thank you to Bonnie Sposato and David Joseph Kadona for being Sunny's dedicated monthly sponsoring Fans.
We love you, Sunny.
On Friday morning, May 12th, we fulfilled our promise to Noah.
We rescued 9 year old Noah on December 27th, 2016 from Riverside Shelter on the day he was scheduled to be euthanized. Noah was so skinny and had a mass on his eye, but that didn't get him down. He was a pro at fetch (including bringing the ball back!) and hiking. He knew when it was time to settle and comfortably placed himself on the couch. Noah was incredibly soft, rabbit fur soft! He was the perfect domesticated shelter dog who deservingly got his second chance.
Noah was not eating well, had diarrhea and was vomiting this last week. Bloodwork revealed few abnormalities, but an x-ray and ultrasound showed us that he had a blockage as a result of a large abdominal mass that was pinching his intestines. We made the decision to let Noah go.
Nancy wrote in reflection, "Thank you all for the support and kind words. Noah has left a hole in my heart but some really wonderful memories! I want to let you know that the people at SDBAH were amazing, especially John (the vet). He was so gentle and compassionate that I knew we were in the right place and making the right discussion for Noah.
I am taking a hike this morning and placing Noah's tags on the pole at the top of the Way Up Trial. This is a telephone pole filled with dog tags from everyone's loved buddies that have gone on to dog heaven. He will be next to my sweet Opal."
Thank you to Ray & Nancy Funderbunk for giving Noah the best of his days, and thank you to Lynn Cannizzaro and Christie Kacmarcik for being Noah's dedicated monthly sponsoring Fans.
We love you, Noah.
On May 15th, 2017 we fulfilled our promise to Bear, formerly Leif.
We rescued Bear on December 6th, 2016 from Apple Valley Animal Shelter and he was in bad shape. It was more of a compassion rescue thinking Bear's time would be limited, but he thrived with good care. He had been matted and covered with debris. Grooming and arthritis medication brought Bear to his feet to enjoy slow walks, bones, and family nights by the fire.
He was the third Frosted Face of the Vitale's and during the appointment yesterday at Family Animal Hospital Sheila expressed with great love that she did not want to wait too long this time. Their previous Frosted Face, Sage, weighed just about 100 pounds and was paralyzed from degenerative myelopathy and had significant spondylosis. They rallied for every last good day for her, and when it was over they realized she may have been all done weeks before.
Bear was showing signs of neurological dysfunction and could not stand or walk without assistance. While his 50 pound body would be no trouble escorting through the motions of life compared to Sage, Bear told them it was time.
To the ever loving and classy Lino & Sheila Vitale, thank you for giving Bear an enriched life and an ending with dignity. Thank you to Nicole Berthiaume, Carol Edman, and Kelsey Lally for being Bear's dedicated monthly sponsoring Fans.
We love you, Bear.
On May 19th, 2017 we fulfilled our promise to Jethro at the age of 14 years old.
As much as we network for the rescue of a Frosted Face, recruit the families, and fund their care as an incentive - it is truly the selfless families that volunteer their hearts and homes that fulfill this promise of a dignified last chapter.
We rescued Jethro on May 1st, 2015 from Baldwin Park Shelter after he was surrendered by his owners. We had to immediately repair a perineal hernia, which some may not have done based on the poor prognosis, but Jet persevered! Over the last year he has battled skin infections that were finally resolving and arthritis. His mom, Abby, accommodated his tendency to resource guard and included him unconditionally. We reflect on the trials to show the dedication of the family, but the families to Frosted Faces only know compassion. Abby makes Jet shine, as she shares all of the wonderful things about Jet too!
"I am so fortunate to have loved and been loved by amazing dogs that were all meant to be a part of my life. Any amount of time I get with them is a gift, whether it is a few months, a few years, or (if I am lucky) all of their lives.
Jethro crossed the Rainbow Bridge this morning at 9:47 with his belly full of sausage egg McMuffin, hashbrown, and Stella & Chewy treats.
To Jethro: You surprised us all by beating the odds stacked against you and lived two more years to the ripe old age of 14. I am so grateful your last days were filled with lots of "last's" -- snuggling, hugs, kisses, photos/videos, words of love and comfort, visits from dear friends who wanted to say goodbye, trip to the park, endless treats, chicken...and some "first's" -- sleeping on the sofa, steak, an In N Out Double Double with fries, and McDonald's.
Your big soulful eyes and tired body told me you were ready. Even though I knew today would be the day, nothing really prepared me for this difficult farewell. I gladly traded sleep to be able to soak in every second I had left with you this week. You take a piece of my heart with you. The kitchen will not be the same without my faithful sous chef.
I miss you terribly but find comfort knowing you are finally free from painful arthritis, those dreaded medicated baths, and the horrible skin condition that ravaged your body for the last 14 months. It was truly a blessing to have been your mama. Thank you for being so easy to love and make happy. I will cherish the memories of our time together...it is never long enough. Rest in peace, sweet boy. Love you forever."
Thank you to Abby Chang for being Jethro's family without reservation. Thank you to Robin Walker Harmon for being Jethro's dedicated monthly sponsoring Fan.
We love you, Jethro.