Mobile Pet Hospice Care

$1,498 of $5,000 goal

Raised by 13 people in 11 months
In spring 2017, I began dog-sitting as a way of earning extra money while hanging out with magical creatures, also known as DOGS.  A couple contacted me about watching their angel bear, Genni, a 14-year old husky with bad hips. I agreed to watch her daily. It was one of the most personally challenging efforts I've ever undertaken. A tremendous love and respect for all living things, a very soft heart, and an ongoing fight with severe depression had always kept me from being in sorrowful situations where animals were concerned. I avoided exposing myself to the deep emotions related to animal welfare: abuse, neglect and homelessness.  Until Genni. Having Genni in my care changed something inside me, and changed the entire direction of my life. Watching this beautiful husky girl fight so hard,  again and again, to stand on wobbly legs just for the joy of trotting through grass revealed a deeply-hidden strength I was so sure I didn't have. Genni taught me how to push on in the worst circumstances. She was partially deaf and blind, incontinent, had to be hand-fed food and water due to a host of medical issues that complicated her life. No matter how many times she slowly went down like a ribbon falling, so girly and graceful, she'd stamp her front paws on the ground, meaning "come help me up!" She never took no for an answer. Caring for Genni brought my depression into a new perspective. Before meeting Genni, I'd been struggling to break through the severe depressive state I was in. I'd hit the bottom of the bottom, and I thought it would take a few months to recover and rejoin regular life. Not the case for me. I've come to a small place of acceptance that I may never spring all the way back to the happy-ish, funny, productive self I was prior to the "big event".  The breakdown was significant. Over the following months, as I began to try and reassemble, knowing that returning to office work was not something I could tackle yet, dog-sitting in my home seemed to be a perfect solution. It was a the most joyous thing I've ever done, aside from repairing a monarch butterfly wing and seeing her fly again! I had the best pups in town come hang out with me and my two fur babies, Duke and Pantsy. Enter, Genni. The first few days I had Genni, all I did was cry. She was very thin. She wobbled around like my uncle Bob after too many beers. And she fell (more like melted) down a lot. She need help to stand, to pee and to nourish. She was the most vulnerable pup I'd ever handled, and all I could think of was how lucky her and I both were to have found each other. Seeing an animal in Genni's state was an awakening in me that she deserved all the dignity, love and gentle care there was. And that I was the right person to care for her. Genni showed me a new path. She showed me that I was good for something. That I had worth. That my total devotion to her comfort mattered, and it was something that I could actually do...unlike my past belief that I could NEVER expose myself to this type of extremely difficult scenario. The reward of knowing that I was keeping Genni safe and pampered began to lift me. Also knowing that Genni's mom & dad were at peace with her well-being while they worked helped to restore some confidence that I could be useful in this life. At the same time I was beginning my journey with Genni, I was under constant threat of losing my rental home. I couldn't work like I used to, I had no income and was scrambling for ways to keep my already frugal life going. I took in roomates, hauled stuff around town in my hobbled 23-year old truck, & sold personal items on Craigslist. Around the same time, I stumbled on a tiny house video on YouTube. It all came into focus for me then. A MOBILE HOSPICE. I'm 52. This is the first real dream I've ever had. Since March 2017, I can think of nothing else but how to make this real. Genni went on to a hospice center for her daily care, with vet staff and resources needed for her medical issues. Her mom asked if I'd watch her one Saturday in June. It was the last time I'd be with Genni. It was a very difficult day. She was in decline. A brain tumor had been discovered. She was also pretty banged up from all the falling and struggling to get up. No matter how weak, all she wanted was to get up. I knew I'd never see her again after that day, so I took some paw prints in pink ink, clipped a little fur, and even found a whisker on her towel. I spoke my heart's desires into Genni's fluffy ears and bid her a safe journey. Genni's mom texted me on 4th of July to say Genni had crossed earlier that morning. It hit me hard. My shirt was soaked in tears most of independence day. It was a fitting day for Genni to cross. Genni's life has done more for me personally than three stints of in-patient treatment, ongoing outpatient treatment, pharmaceuticals, journaling, exercise, etc.. Genni showed me my own inner strength and provide me a little flicker of light to keep trying to get out of this tunnel. If you've ever loved a dog until it's dying day, you'll understand how important supreme care, love and dignity is during the days leading up. It's my deepest privilege to be in a position of caring for ailing, aging pups while providing pet parents some peace of mind and heart. A traveling tiny house, converted school bus, airstream, some form of a home on wheels, and maybe a truck to tow it, to go where the angel bears are and offer respite to their parents is a dream I can never give up on. It solves my housing needs while helping families and angel bears safely and comfortably make their way to the rainbow bridge. It's a dream I humbly ask strangers to help me realize. 
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After taking time to readjust my living circumstances, the effort to make the hospice bus a reality has risen to the top of my priorities now.

A series of bad roomates, bad luck at my last job, and the ever-present depression symptoms have led to the loss of my home & shelter. The pups and I are transitioning to living out of my truck for the foreseeable future. Which is quickly becoming extra motivation to make the bus dream happen asap. I need to take advantage of the emotional momentum I do have, and begin caring for angel bears now, even without a home of my own.

The ask I have at this time is to share, or reshare this campaign with the reasons you support me in this. It's probably the only way it'll ever come to be. Through the kindness of others.

Thank you for taking time to help.
Making the best of it.
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I'm already blown away by the response to sharing this effort with so few friends so far. I'm so lifted and inspired to do everything I can possibly do to make this amazing dream of mine an actual reality. I spent this past weekend, (*the weekend that hurricane Harvey hit*) taking stock of my many blessings and giving thanks for intangible wealth I already possess. The catastrophe in Houston has deeply affected me, as I'm sure we all are. Seeing survivors wade through chest high water, carrying their pups and kitties encourages me so much. There was a time not all that long ago that pets were not regarded as highly as they are now. It seems we've had something of a collective awakening in the past decade or two. The relationship between a human and their fluffy, feathered angels is like no other. I'm warmed seeing the devotion returned to our pets.

The generosity for my campaign so far has launched me into a new level of realizing this goal may actually happen! I am allowing myself to dare to imagine it coming true. So much so, that I have begun sketching out the interior of the bus! And I think landed on the perfect name for the bus: Angel Bear Bus. In my mind's eye, this bus will be a symbol of comfort, love and support for furry angel bears who've given their unconditional devotion. Caring for these babies in their twilight time is a privilege beyond any measure. Thank you for being a very special part of making this happen. You have my eternal gratitude.
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Example of converted school bus
Beautiful Skoolie
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$1,498 of $5,000 goal

Raised by 13 people in 11 months
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Lenay Padgett
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Kate Ahrens
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