I confess that Frankie was not very philanthropic. Like most dogs, he was your basic narcissist: My food, my yard, my person. But I was that person and he gave me endless joy. I love the idea of being able to keep him in the limelight, while doing some good for other dogs.
But which dogs? There are so many worthy causes.
Who Are You Calling Old?
I adopted Frankie when he was five or six. During most of the nine years I spent with him, he would have been considered a senior. The label was meaningless — he was a frisky little bugger, often exhausting my energies – but it apparently prevents some great dogs from getting adopted. And there are no sadder words in the English language than “homeless senior dogs” — dogs that have spent years with people and then end up in shelters, confused and upset.
So I thought of Grey Muzzle:
The Grey Muzzle Organization improves the lives of at-risk senior dogs by providing funding and resources to animal shelters, rescue organizations, sanctuaries, and other non-profit groups nationwide.
We are not a shelter or rescue group. Rather, Grey Muzzle funds programs such as hospice care, senior dog adoption, medical screening, and other special programs to help old dogs at animal welfare organizations across the country.
Giving Dogs the Loving Sendoff They Deserve
But that’s still pretty general. I wanted to do something in Frankie’s name that was a bit more distinctive, given his own distinctiveness. And the last couple of months I spent with him gave me an idea.
Just as I believe every dog deserves a good life, I believe every one deserves a good death — free from fear, in a friendly environment, and in the company of a person who cares, with as many good times as possible under his belt. And yummy food.
There are amazing, selfless people who make this happen, sometimes called Forever Fosters. People who take in dogs near the end of their lives and care for them. They are willing to suffer the heartbreak of saying good-bye to wonderful dogs who may live only for a few months — or who may have several good years left.
I can’t begin to imagine being able to do this. My admiration for these caretakers is boundless. But admiration doesn’t pay the bills.
Frankie’s Fund is devoted to helping relieve these caretakers of their financial burden, of getting dogs in these homes palliative veterinary care — things like pain killers and evaluative exams rather than expensive, extreme life-saving measures — and perhaps in-home euthanasia, if a dog does not pass naturally and a final trip to the vet would be too stressful.
The type of care you would give — perhaps have already given — your own beloved pet. The great sendoff every dog deserves.
Grey Muzzle will dispense the gathered funds to foster caretakers through carefully vetted organizations.
Making a Donation
It’s easy to give. Just go over to Grey Muzzle’s donation page and keep scrolling down past the Payment Information section until you get to the box with the header “If you have a special purpose for your donation, please let us know” and enter “Frankie’s Fund” in the slot under “I want my donation to be dedicated:”
And then be sure to check the box to the right that says “Please send an acknowledgement to the individual or organization to whom I am dedicating my donation.” If you don’t want me to make your name public, I won’t. And I will never post the amount of the donation. But I need to able to tabulate and showcase the donations total.
I’ll keep you updated here with progress. I’m aiming for $5,000 before Christmas, but more would be good too. Remember, the size of the gift doesn’t matter. Small donations add up.
‘Tis the season for gift giving.
Perhaps people are asking you what you want for the holidays. You might suggest that they give a donation to Frankie’s Fund in your name.
Alternatively, if you have an animal-loving friend or family member who doesn’t need more stuff, this would be the perfect gift.
And yes, you will get a gift donation acknowledgement from Grey Muzzle. And a personalized thank you from me.
So do something nice for yourself, your family and friends. Help some deserving dogs.
And keep Frankie’s name in the limelight, even during his retirement.