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Meet sweet Agnes. The inspiration behind our Agnes Fund, she was found abandoned at a dog park in 2009. She was tied to the fence, filthy, and with horrible ear infections in both ears. A rescuer took Agnes in, cleaned her up, and found her a home with a lovely senior lady. Agnes and her human spent their days gardening and enjoying each other’s company. Sadly, in April of 2011, Agnes’ beloved companion passed away, leaving Agnes once again looking for a home.

Hearing of her plight, Labradors & Friends put out a plea for a very special foster home, one willing to take on what would very likely be a “Forever Foster”. Given her age and her medical needs, adoption for Agnes seemed unlikely. She had chronic ear infections in both ears that required daily medications, lots of lumps and bumps, and was often incontinent. Still, Labradors & Friends could not turn her away. Agnes had already been through so much through no fault of her own, how could we let her down when she most needed help?

A foster home was found, and Agnes was welcomed with open arms. She did grieve for her lost human companion, but in a short time realized that her foster family loved her very much. Agnes was a spunky gal, and for an old dog who had trouble getting up and down, she had an amazing ability to steal food off of high counters, was endlessly guilty of raiding the trash cans, and loved to randomly terrorize the cats. All this naughtiness somehow made her more adorable.

Agnes attended many adoption events, and graciously accepted pets from all her fans. Labradors & Friends got Agnes to the vet, and she was put on a natural pain reliever to help with her stiffness, and ear medications were found that helped her ears feel better. For the first time since coming into foster care, she began to perk up her ears and grin a happy Lab grin. Agnes accompanied her foster family on trips to the beach, and when she romped with puppy like joy in the bay, there was more than one misty eye in the crowd that was cheering her on. Agnes got to go on a cross country trip with her family, and proved to be a wonderful traveler. Each new stop saw her out of the car, eagerly sniffing the air. She chased tennis balls in Wyoming, got to see Mt. Rushmore from afar, and strolled around Millennium Park in Chicago. Tragically, one night in Indiana, a tumor on Agnes‘ spleen burst and she began bleeding internally. Agnes’ foster mom knew it was time to let this beloved girl go. Agnes’ spirit was so strong, she had been living on sheer determination for a while. Though her heart was willing, her little body was no longer able.

Agnes died on October 22nd, 2011, in the loving arms of her foster family. Being held and kissed and told what a good girl she was. That she would be missed always. During the goodbyes, Agnes’ three year old human friend said it the best, “Mommy, Agnes’ eyes are so bright.”
Yes, baby, Agnes’ eyes were so bright......

The Agnes Fund was created to help Agnes herself and other dogs like her. Dogs over the age of eight are considered seniors and less adoptable. Often overlooked because they are “too old”, most people want puppies or young adult dogs. Whether people are afraid of the potential medical expenses of older dogs, or are just afraid of losing them, too many senior dogs are passed by and end up dying in shelters. That breaks our hearts. Senior dogs have so much love to give, and it is given selflessly. They don’t need much, just a comfortable bed and someone to love them back. Dogs love with their whole hearts, but to be gifted with the love of a senior dog is a blessing, indeed. There is something softer about their eyes, a bit more accepting, a bit more grateful.

The Agnes Fund ensures that Labradors & Friends can help as many senior dogs as we can find foster homes for, providing them with the medical care and comforts that they may need as they get older. Labradors & Friends do all that they can to make sure these seniors are not left behind or forgotten. Consider donating to The Agnes Fund, and help us continue to help them.

From Agnes’ Foster Mom “Agnes was truly a gift in my life. One that I wasn’t expecting. I knew when I saw her photo that she needed me. What I didn’t know that was that I would need her. She helped me get through one of the most devastating events of my life, when my dear seven year old Labrador died unexpectedly. I don’t think I would have survived it not for Agnes. Every time I reached for him, she was there, offering her head for pets, or leaning on me to reassure me that she was still there. I will be forever grateful to Labradors & Friends for helping Agnes when she needed it most. I will be forever grateful to Agnes for helping me when I needed it most. I love that silly old dog. Rest easy, old girl, you are still loved.”