Heart & Sole Walk/5K Run for Animals   ○   A League of Our Own: PL Staff

Kara Montalbano

August 26, 2020 - October 31, 2020

Boone's Story

This year, I am walking in honor of Boone.

I bear witness to the amazing power of love every day – adopting, fostering, volunteering. I get to work with the most amazing co-workers, see the Potter League's most selfless volunteers give their valuable time year after year, hour after hour, and of course everything we do, we do for the animals.

So when you stop to take it all in, I mean really stop and just watch everything that is happening at this very moment to support the animals in the shelter, in the community, at the spay & neuter clinic, in training classes, at the vaccine clinics, at our pet food pantry, animals in other communities getting ready to get on a transport to head our way, it really is remarkable. We don't stop moving – to do more. We won't stop. We can't stop, there is still much to do. I love this organization with every part of me. It's more than a job. It's my heart.

But sometimes these incredible acts of love mean inevitable heartbreak when you love animals so much, especially when it comes to a fospice situation. A fospice home, a blend of foster and hospice, allows terminally ill or elderly animals to live out their final days with comfort and dignity in a loving home.

And that is exactly where the Potter League found ourselves with Boone.

When Boone arrived at the Potter League, we knew something was wrong. This adorable puppy was unsteady and wobbly on his feet. He was having a hard time getting around and his movements were spastic. After weeks of extensive diagnostics tests and the wonderful care of our Shelter Medicine Team and Veterinary Specialists, including an MRI and multiple neurological consults, we discovered our worst fears were true. Boone has a neurodegenerative disease – a devastating disease causing progressive paralysis in all four limbs. In the simplest of terms, this means Boone's wobbly condition cannot be cured and he will continue to get worse until he is completely debilitated; symptoms similarly to what we see happen to people with human movement disorders such as Parkinson’s disease.

So while Boone is not currently in any physical pain, we know that his time with us as a happy, silly guy, is limited. And well, we were determined we were going to make Boone's days their happiest, best days.

Per usual, on my nightly drive home, I was talking to my animal partner in crime (we have bail money put aside) & dear (read just as animal crazy) friend Trisha, about Boone's situation and how I would love to take him home but my foster room is down a flight of stairs and I just didn't think it would be safe for him with all that he is going through, and there it was – I could hear her lightbulb go on at rapid speed. "My foster room sounds perfect for him." And that was that.

Trisha and Barry came to meet Boone a few days later and I assumed that they would meet him and talk it over. Well that theory lasted about two seconds. "We'll take him!" she said after literally 1.5 seconds. So off Boone went and to say we were all incredibly happy to see him with an extraordinary selfless family, where the time he does have will be spent with amazing people who love him and shower him with all the good stuff a puppy loves is a complete understatement.

We don’t know how long we will have with Boone, but we do know we want to make the best of it for him. And I am happy to report that as of this last week in September, he has been in his fospice home for 3 weeks!

He has been spoiled with his most favorite thing ever – toys! All the toys. He has gained weight, he loves to play and cuddle with his foster mom and yesterday we delivered him the biggest Puppuccino ever and he LOVED it.

He has good days and bad, but still mostly good, but at whatever point Boone seems to be in pain, experiences loss of appetite, less joy, or there are more bad days than good, we will be there to let him go, surrounded by those who love him. But for now, we go day by day and make each day the best day ever for him.

So this year, on October 18, I walk for Boone. I walk for all his good days and his pure joy and for whatever time he has left.

And this is where I ask for your support in my efforts to raise money to help the animals, like Boone and the thousands that will walk through our doors this year at the Potter League. Your donation helps provide food, medical care and a second chance for thousands of animals in need each year. In addition, you will be supporting the spay/neuter clinic, behavior helpline, mobile food pantry and outreach clinics. And these are only a few of the many programs and services we provide.

Your tax-deductible gift will help ensure that the Potter League can continue to be there for the animals no matter what comes our way. I truly appreciate your friendship and support, as do the animals and entire team at the Potter League for Animals.

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