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My Son, Justin Hoskins, my biggest supporter & cheer leader has been by my side every year for Greenhill Humane Society’s Bark In The Park event since I started but, one. Last year, my Poppie came out for the 1st time. He has always believed in me, encouraged me and loved me. He had been diagnosed with Cancer and had his 1st surgery in January. I had hoped, wished and prayed that he could come to the event to see myself and The Metal Maidens receive our awards for Top Team Fundraisers and Top Individual Fundraiser (me). I wanted him to see, what he helped to instill and nurture in me, had truly become my passion.
I didn't know if I would be back this year. I had resigned myself to the fact that last year, was my last. I was going to spend as much time as I could making up for time I wouldn't get to have with him.
My Poppie is doing amazing at the time of this writing. Because of his wish to see me keep going, my donors asking "are you registered yet?" and my Metal Maidens ready to do their part for the animals in our community, Yes, I am back for another year with the BEST team ever. I am hoping that we can be the Champions for the animals and Greenhill Humane Society again this year.
My efforts are a 100% supported by my family. Without my husband to care for our rescue animals during the day while I am at work, I could not do any of this. He is my anchor and the animals saving grace. He is usually not aware or prepared when I bring an animal in. The animals we tend to bring into our home and hearts are seniors and have health issues. They may not be with us long but, for however long it is, they are loved, safe and cared for properly & with love.
This year I am walking in honor of my beloved Marvin Charles, our 19 year old Maine Coon. Marvin crossed the bridge on June 28, 2018 while in my arms. I held his chest in my hand so that I could feel his last heartbeat. I held his face to my cheek so I could feel his last breath. Nothing could ever have prepared me for this day.
He had survived the last 2 years while in Renal Failure. He would have a period of time while everything was normal. All our animals learned that if Marvin Charles cried for treats, they would all get some, the dogs and the other 5 cats-all rescues. Sometimes, he would not eat them at all, he just wanted to see us do it, cater to him.
Then, there were the times when he would be ill. The Vet showed me how to give him Sub Q Fluids at home as he would almost always become dehydrated during these times. It would all be over in 2-3 days and he would back to normal.
The bouts of sickness were coming more often. I would miss family events, schedule meetings and appointments around his wellbeing. When I had to go to work, Rick and I would be in contact several times during the day. We had begun talking about these bouts, about what we would have to do when it was time, when Marvin Charles let us know. Our last final gift of love would be letting him go with dignity.
The days, weeks after letting him go were a blur and filled with an emptiness and tears, an emptiness I had never known. This hurt was felt in the depths of my soul I did not know existed. I knew it was grief that had taken hold with such a grip, I could not break free. I didn’t know it at the time but, my doctor, family and friends knew it was depression. Then it happened, sitting on the porch in the sun, an orange dragonfly appeared, imagine that, Marvin Charles was orange. I sat watching it for the longest time tears streaming down my face. Then suddenly, I felt a sense of peace, Marvin Charles had released me. He was O.K. he was with Leroy. Mac and Cheese were together again.
In late August a post appeared on my FB feed from another rescue wherein I knew the Shelter Manager, Ruby Thompson. Hospice Pet Advocates a wonderful group founded by a Hospice Nurse and Hospice Social Worker were posting a 14 year old Orange Cat who needed a foster or adopter, his owner had passed away. My husband would be leaving for CA and I had already made up my mind, I was going to foster Buddy.
I went to visit and I just knew it, he needed me and I needed him. I hated leaving him each day and could not wait to get home. The Vet appointment confirmed that he needed some extensive Dental work done. My amazing donors stepped in and the funds were raised quickly.I had not told my husband that the funds were raised. When he returned home, Buddy quickly bonded with him, he was a man’s cat. It was the day of his dental surgery and I asked my husband, “If I raise all the money for his Dental, can we keep him?” He had fallen for him too and said, “Yes.” I was overjoyed! I said to him, “high five me, he is ours, I already raised the money!” We both laughed.
I had by this time dubbed Buddy, “Peanut Butter.” We officially adopted him on the morning of 09/05/18. I arrived home that evening and knew something was not right. I was pretty sure, it was not because of the Dental Surgery, this was something different. It was 5:10, I called the Vet and she told me to “get him there right away.” We arrived at 5:20 and while waiting for the Vet, I recorded what he was doing, I was crying and begging God not to take him. She watched it and before it was over, said “we are going into emergency surgery, he was blocked.” I asked about a surgery I heard of and she said, “yes, they did it but, it was for chronic blocking.” The call came at 7:00, the surgery went well. She explained to me that he had calcification on his kidneys and it was breaking loose and he could not pass those pieces, they were too large. On Friday if he was able to go to the bathroom after they removed the catheter he would come home. Friday came and it was not good, he was blocked again. The decision was made to go ahead with the surgery we had discussed earlier. I asked them to please talk to him and to call him Peanut Butter so he knew I had not left him. He had already been through so much and lost the only other person he knew and loved. In his mind when his owner died, he left him, I did not want him to think I had left him too.
It was going to be expensive. I received word that a wonderful woman had made a $2000 payment towards his bill. A woman I had never met, I knew it had to be a mistake. We were messaging back and forth and she said, “No it was not a mistake, she wanted to help”. I was in tears, I don't get help, I help others. Martha Ciattei was Peanut Butter's Angel and mine. I went to see him on my way home from work every day. I brought him his favorite blanket. They all fell in love with him and each employee at the Vet’s office called him “Peanut Butter”. Finally, a week later he was ready to come home!
We love him so much and I believe and know that Marvin Charles and Leroy Edward (Mac & Cheese) brought him to me. Rescue/Shelter animals are the BEST! With each new day, they are grateful, grateful they were saved and show that gratitude every day by their never ending devotion and love. Peanut Butter, who is 14 acts more like he is 4.
I did my blanket drive again this year and my goal was 1405 blankets. This community showed their support once again and this year blankets were purchased and donated totaling 1715! I was able to give to rescues, shelters, hospitals, foster children, homeless people, warming centers and more. It started originally for Rescue Animals but, with the kindness and generosity of my donors, we were able to also give to others in need.
This is the 2nd year I participated in the Springfield Miracle Christmas Parade. We had a small float that my husband and I built with what we had in the shop. We purchased some hay bales and paint and my co-workers helped cut out and powder coat some lettering. Our theme was “Adopt Don’t Shop.” As always it was cold and wet but, we powered through and handed out lots of blankets to the animals along the way and stuffed animals that were donated to several children along the route. We are doing our part to get the word out about the rescue/shelter animals needing safe & forever homes.
Please help me to help them. I have vowed to be their voice for as long as I have one, let me be yours too. For all of my return donors, you know that they are my passion and I work each day in some capacity to help them until they can find their safe, loving and forever home. Whether it be, fostering, donating, networking, adopting, transporting, fundraising and connecting those in need with others that can help them. I hope that you will support my efforts again this year. We are saving them one life at a time.
Let The Barking & Shenanigans Begin!
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Greenhill does amazing things for animals, and they never put a time limit on how long pets are in their care. They are a life-saving shelter, and they deserve our support.
Your donation will help so many animals. Please click the button that says “Donate Now” Thanks so much.
About Greenhill Humane Society: Greenhill operates two animal shelters in Eugene, Oregon. Last year, Greenhill sheltered over 3,000 animals, performed over 2,700 spay/neuter and life-saving surgeries through its clinic, and reached over 13,000 children and adults through its outreach and education programs.
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