DPR's Hospice Dog
Phil Update (12/4/2007)
By Jen Imhoff
Phil has been with us for over a year now. In August of 2006 DPR of PA took Phil into hospice care from a Philadelphia shelter as a stray off the streets. If you can imagine this poor dog lying in a cold, loud cement run so depressed he did not even lift his head when I talked to him. Outside, he leaned up against me, with very little hope in his eyes. He had some arthritis but looked fine otherwise.
At the vet he was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, mitral valve disease, allergies and arthritis. His pure soul and eyes melted your heart. Looking at Phil you can only imagine the life he had. He has a crinkled ear (from a hematoma that was never treated), and numerous scares on his face, chest and legs. He is missing his front teeth, not to mention his reaction to a fast hand. The board decided we would give him the best life possible for as long as he has quality of life, thus becoming our “hospice dog.”
Since day one, Phil walked into the house and became part of the family. He lives with three other Dobies, a Bassett hound and his foster parents, who love him very much. All who meet Phil instantly have the same reaction: they look into his eyes and feel connected with him. He is very affectionate and is always beside one of us, touching you, making him feel secure.
Phil’s favorite activity is eating! He is fed at 7:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. and feels it is his responsibility to remind you of these meal times at least 30 to 60 minutes before. He is quite bossy about it and closer to the time he starts to jump around, getting very excited. His bark is very hoarse and loud! If we are late coming home, it is unacceptable in his eyes. He is the first one at the treat jar, and can be in a dead sleep until he hears the lid come off and just get out of his way. I’m glad he is able to show his personality and I know he feels good.
Over the past year we have been supporting Phil with expensive arthritis and heart medications and special diet and we’ve had some donations of medications and food. One member sent us four months of the newest cardio medication worth well over $500.00, and I contribute that to really having helped his heart. We wanted to take this opportunity to thank all the members who have donated in Phil’s name; without you we could not have given Phil the life he has now! We are amazed how well he is doing. I have noticed that his arthritis is starting to get a little worse; it takes him a little longer to get up and to run down into the woods in more than a fenced acre. This summer with the heat he found a tree that makes a good resting place, and he lies under it frequently. This summer was harder on him with the humidity and sometimes he could not be outside (it was just too hard for him to breathe). We will continue to support Phil and hopefully he will surprise us and still be with us next year; his tree will be waiting on him.
On behalf of Phil, we want to thank everyone for helping give him the best life we can offer!
From his foster parents,
Jen and Kent