Sometimes all you can make is a little gesture. Sometimes that little gesture looms very large…
Nearly 10 years ago, a lovable German shepherd/golden retriever mix named Bailey was put up for adoption. For Sharon Conlon, the timing was right… a longtime friendship blossomed. But a year ago, her life got a lot more difficult. “I lost my job and I was finding it harder and harder to pay for everything,’’ the 66-year-old Quincy resident said recently. “I went through my unemployment and then my 401K.’’
Meanwhile, Bailey’s health took a turn. The dog had kidney disease and kidney stones, and was placed on a special diet available only through the vet. Conlon didn’t have the cash to meet Bailey’s needs but refused to give up her buddy. “I’d starve first,’’ she said.
Enter Fairy DogParents, an organization that helps dog owners keep their pets when times get tough. Conlon read about the Duxbury-based group in a regional magazine. “They’ve helped me with Bailey’s vet visits and with his food,’’ Conlon said. “It’s been a godsend. I didn’t know there was anything like this out there.’’
Duxbury resident Marlo Manning is the dynamo behind the nonprofit, which she founded in March 2009 following the death of her own dog. “Ladybug had been a rescue dog and had tons of diseases,’’ Manning said. “When I went to get her ashes, I told the vet tech I was used to the expense of my dog, so could I be a silent donor for someone else? The vet tech mentioned a newspaper story about all the pets being surrendered due to the economy.’’
That story was the spark. After a good deal of research, Manning found only a handful of organizations nationwide that offered support to owners to help them keep their pets. By June last year, Fairy DogParents was up and running. “When people say those words, ‘I’m bringing my dog to a shelter because I can’t afford to take care of him,’ that’s when Fairy DogParents comes in,’’ she said.
Manning operates with just a couple of volunteers, storing supplies at her home and making most deliveries herself. “We’re still small enough where I can name every single dog we’ve had,’’ she said. To date, the group has helped 32 dogs stay in their homes…
Referrals have come from shelters, rescue organizations, and even food pantries. “The MSPCA has us on their website, and they refer to us all the time,’’ Manning said. She has developed financial connections with area pharmacies and veterinarians, and her organization foots the bill for everything from cancer treatments to simple annual wellness visits, along with the cost of medications.“The money is given directly to the vet or pharmacy,’’ she said. “The dog owner is responsible for 15 percent of the cost.’’
And, yes, Fairy Dogparents has a website, set up for Paypal donations.
ZOMG did you see the picture of Bailey? That is one sweet looking puppeh right there!
Definitely a worthy cause there Anne Laurie.
What a great and heartwarming idea! Giving a pet to a shelter is so hard. I had to do it once when my rx took off and I thought I would die of shame. She was adopted the next day, but I hope I never have a reason to do it again.
Thanks, Anne Laurie. I really really really needed this right now.
@asiangrrlMN: You know what this story reminded me of? Remember that adorable GSD named Haven that Mrs J had in her shelter and we both went gaga for? I immediately thought of that sweet puppeh when I saw this. Bailey seems to have a similar countenance.
@Yutsano: Yes. Sweetest dog evah. I agree. How you be? P.S. You found your capital Y again.
@Mary G: That’s really hard. Sorry you had to go through that.
@asiangrrlMN: For some bizarre reason relating to why they needed to fix something on my work computer, they basically just wiped the whole thing out. I totally forgot that it also meant all my cookies were toast. And stupid me forgot to capitalize it when I typed it in again/ Then WP decided to be capricious yet again and wouldn’t let me change it back at first. So here’s a hearty FYWP.
@Yutsano: Ah. That makes sense. Then again, it always makes sense to let loose with a hearty FYWPWAVVVVRPF.
I was a nearly-nekkid encephalopod tonight, so I’m pretty achy. A hot bath and bed (soon) for me.
Speaking of dog blogging, author and blogger John Scalzi’s obituary post on Saturday for his family’s Akita was very moving.
@asiangrrlMN: I’m doing a round of laundry, plus I managed to piss off at least one client tonight. It was really his fault, he was choosing to overreact to the situation rather than let me explain what the procedure was for his particular situation. It felt kinda good, especially since even if it comes back and bites me I DON’T GIVE A FLYING FISTFUCK!! :)
@Warren Terra: Someone posted that earlier. Very touching. Beautiful dog.
@Yutsano: YAY! It’s liberating, isn’t it? I also cleaned the litterboxes tonight as well as tied up branches to put them out for the trash. So, I am VERY achy.
What a great story. I frequently see animals listed on Second Chance because of circumstances beyond the owner’s control and it always breaks my heart.
@Yutsano: You’re probably long in bed, but good for you. I was supposed to have today off; instead, I’m going in to prepare for a meeting with a client and the IRS. I don’t know why she (the client) wants this meeting. I have told her she owes the money, the IRS has told her she owes the money, she can’t show either of us where she paid off the money still showing as due, but for some reason, she thinks we’re all lying and out to get her. I have been screamed at so often that I’ve now become numb to it. My plan tomorrow is to present my reports, copies of all the filings and payments I am aware of, then to sit on my hands and zip my lips.
What a lovely story. Good Karma! Hooray!
We are pretty sure our rescue cocker, Lil Bit, was dumped in a box at our vet because of her medical issues. She had bladder stones, dry eye and skin problems when we got her. We have done cataract surgery in both eyes, treat her twice daily for life with cyclosoporin, and this weekend she developed a UTI. She had a full workup and xrays to rule out stones and then an anti-biotic shot. She wouldn’t eat yesterday and hurled twice. She’s back at the vet today to check her out again. We both have jobs and I have no idea what we’d do if we didn’t.
Oh, did I mention that she is the sweetest, happiest little girl in the entire world?
Oh, did I need a story like this. Thank you for starting the day off on a good note.
Is there an organization like that for cats?
One of our two dogs was given back to a rescue group because his owners lost their home in 2009. He had been a rescued stray, adopted, given up, fostered, and now we have him. I promised him we’d always take care of him and never give him up. I think i need to go give my dogs a big hug now, BIAB
There are alot of people in this country who will lend a hand like this. I own a boarding kennel in Colorado, and a couple of years ago someone asked if they could board their dog until they got back on they’re feet. We did it without hestitation. We have over 25 rescue dogs now and though most boarding kennels won’t go that over board I bet that most people would help if asked. This country is full of good people, many more than the selfish assholes that make up the Teatards/repubs.
@stuckinred: Lil Bit is a doll. I hope you find out what’s wrong with her soon. Good vibes to Lil Bit and you!
In February I had the pleasure of participating in a FairyDogparents fundraising event. Marlo publicized their first Bowlathon with by a great postcard, and the matching fliers turned up all over town. I convinced friends from out of state come join my bowling team, then we got the friends and relatives who have sold us their kids’ cookies, calendars, candy, etc. over the decades to sponsor us. Sign-up was easy, our donors got tax receipts via email, and the event was a blast, even though some of us had never bowled before. It was all well-organized, and several local businesses were involved with gift bags, raffles, and other creative fundraising extras. This story delights me because it confirms that, in addition to enriching our community, FairyDogparents.org is really helping local dogs and owners.