“I provide end-of-life care to my human patients and always wanted to bring comfort and love to a dog that needs medical care and plenty of companionship.” –Ashley Mitchell, Coco’s adopter.
Coco came to Nevada Humane Society when her previous owner became unable to afford her medical care. As a seven-year-old Retriever/Chocolate Lab mix, she was previously diagnosed with a heart murmur. She was also diabetic and required insulin injections twice a day.
Coco’s thorough medical examination by our Clinic Team confirmed these conditions, and determined that she would need to be scheduled for a mass removal. Because of her medical history she was designated as an Angel Pet and a Hospice Foster and we knew we had to help this poor girl get out of the shelter and into a loving home asap.
As a result, Coco became our very first “Make It Matter Monday” pet! She was featured on our social media platforms and website to increase awareness of her condition and help to get her out of the shelter asap. Make It Matter Monday features are one way we promote our available pets that are in urgent need of foster care and adoption to help them as quickly as possible.
Later that day, this hospice angel was about to meet another angel, Ashley Mitchell. Ashley is an ICU hospice nurse with extensive experience in critical care. This provided the perfect scenario for Coco.
“I provide end-of-life care to my human patients and always wanted to bring comfort and love to a dog that needs medical care and plenty of companionship”, she said. Ashley’s previous dog had passed away six months prior and she was now ready to open her heart again to another dog in need of a home.
“I saw Coco’s profile featured so beautifully on your social media and she drew me in right away. She was precious, clearly vulnerable … and the look in her engaging eyes was so sad. Without hesitation, I made my appointment and went to meet her,” Ashley recalls.
Ashley knew how helpful her medical training would be with Coco’s upcoming surgery and recovery, continual monitoring of her heart murmur, and daily insulin injection requirements. Her determination grew to foster this sweet dog.
Following her application review and receiving her post-op medical instructions, Ashley’s wish to become Coco’s foster mom came true and they gleefully headed home together. Ashley was living at her grandmother’s house at the time, assisting her as she bravely battled cancer and finished her chemotherapy and radiation treatments. Another reason that their house was ready for Coco, it was already set up for extra care and filled with plenty of love to share!
This dynamic duo enjoyed car rides and even made a full day trip to Lake Tahoe together. Coco walked the shores of the lake and they blissfully soaked up the sun and snuggled in the cool grass. Their unique bond strengthened by the day as they fulfilled a shared dream to simply “be” together. Coco also loved to run around the yard and enjoy the fresh air.
Having Coco as her devoted snuggler and quarantine buddy was welcome and greatly appreciated as the quarantine was extended. Their relationship was mutually beneficial and equally treasured. “She brought me so much unexpected joy and comfort during this time of uncertainty.” Ashley said. “Coco was a tremendous blessing in my life.” Thank you Ashley for personifying what a hospice home for Coco could ever hope to be, and for showing her what unconditional love truly feels like.
Sadly, Coco passed away in November due to complications from her combined ailments. However, her wish to feel well and to be loved beyond measure did come true.
We are so grateful for the selfless, ongoing commitments that all of our foster families make when they give our pets a new lease on life. They are heroes in every way and allow us to continue to accept vulnerable pets, regardless of their age or medical condition. You are partners in our mission to continue as the only open-admission, no-kill shelter in Nevada.
Please consider donating today to help us continue our mission to care for pets, find them homes and save lives.