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In Memory of Our PAW Fosters

He was an older dog with a heart condition. She was a kitten with pneumonia. When they came to us, they were loved and cared for as best we could. Though they didn't find a home before they passed on, they will always have a place in our hearts.

Chatter (the beautiful little girl on the left) passed over the rainbow bridge on October 29, 2011.

Chatter was adopted into a wonderful family back in 2002. PAW had rescued her from the shelter just before she was to be euthanized, and got her the medical attention she needed. Chatters claws, which are abnormally hook-shaped, had grown into her pads and shredded them. Because of her pain, Chatter meowed and reached her paw out and touched a PAW volunteer who was at the shelter, thus drawing attention to herself and saving herself. Chatter recovered at a foster home and "adopted" a kitten that PAW named "Oreo," and the PAW website recommended that they be adopted together. Lara Schwartz adopted Chatter and Oreo and renamed Oreo Penguin. Penguin is a happy, healthy, 9-year-old cat now.

Although PAW guestimated Chatter's age at 6, it turns out that she was probably at least 10 when Lara adopted her. Most people thought she was a kitten for most of her life-even in her robust younger years, she never weighed more than 7.5 pounds. The PAW website described her as a "tiny doll of a cat," which was a great description. In spite of her strange paws, a grade-3 heart murmur, and mild arthritic changes in her lumbar spine, she lived a long time.

PJ passed over the Rainbow Bridge on September 30, 2011 after battling hyperthyroidism and decreasing liver function for several years. He was a PAW cat adopted by Emily Wirsing after he was returned in November 2006. PJ was a truely great cat and will always by remembered.

Tiffnay passed over the Rainbow Bridge on September 21, 2007 at the age of 15. She was seizure dog but lived a normal life with her other foster friends. The Queen of Australian Shepard mixes will be missed.

Billy After several years in foster care, Billy finally succumbed to old age. He had begun having trouble walking, and had to be carried up and down stairs. In addition, he was exhibiting all the signs of Canine Cognitive Dysfunction, or doggie Alzheimers. Life no longer held any pleasure for him; he was put to sleep in November 2006. Many thanks to the College Park Animal Hospital for taking such good care of him over the years. He is missed by his foster mom and his many doggie friends.

Cobe A sad note that today (July 25, 2006) Cobe passed away. After having the liver biopsy and enough fluid removed from his abdomen to make him weigh 22 lbs lighter, he did not recover from the anesthetics used and went into shock. The doctor said he would have died overnight if I had not brought him to the emergency.

T.R. passed away peacefully on Tuesday, June 6th, 2006. Although we were sad to see him leave us, we were glad that we had almost six years with him after his rescue from the puppy mill. Due to his heart, lung, and dental issues, which stemmed from the lack of veterinary care he received in his first ten years of life, T.R. was not expected to live to be a very old dog. But he lived years longer than the vets had expected. Thank you to all T.R.'s supporters for making this possible.

Pixel Despite a heart murmur and other somewhat minor infirmities, Pixel lived contentedly in foster care for a number of years. He was one of a kind, with his funny little gait (the pug dog in him?) and his tendency to bay at things (definitely the Beagle in him!). Pixel passed over the rainbow bridge on May 12, 2006.

Hopie Hope *Blossoms* came to PAW in February 2000 at age 3 and passed over the Rainbow Bridge on Friday, March 3, 2006. In between those dates, Hopie taught all who knew her the meaning of life and how to make the best of one fraught with medical mayhem. Cataracts that blinded her (eventually removed and a lens implanted so she could see), dozens of benign tumors plus a couple malignant ones, diabetes, and the eventual onset of liver disease all took their toll on our little Hopie's body but never on her spirit. If any dog could survive, it was Hopie and she did for 6 years albeit to her foster, not nearly enough years.
Howling Hopie, you will be missed.

Georgia was one of many many kittens at a local county shelter whose time was up. Her curious round eyes looked out at the PAW volunteer, and the volunteer knew right away that she couldn't let Georgia be euthanized. If she had known then that Georgia had a serious heart condition, it would not have changed her mind. In spite of Georgia's health problems, she found a wonderful forever home where she was loved, treasured, and cared for. Her foster caretakers and her adopters hoped that with medication, and with her great spirit and love of life, she would be able to live a long and happy life. To our deep sorrow, Georgia lost her battle on November 17, 2003 at the age of 2˝ years.

Tank passed away yesterday morning (11/9/2003). He had a large tumor that had attached itself to his spleen, liver, and other vital organs. His owner Andy heard him whimpering around 4:00 a.m. Sunday morning and went down to find him lying on the kitchen floor, unable to move. His stomach was fairly large and distended so he immediately thought he might have bloat.

Andy phoned the emergency vet hospital in Westminster and they told him to bring Tank right in. As it turns out, he was bleeding internally into his abdomen and that's what was causing his inflated stomach. The vet tried to remove as much of the tumor as she could but it had already done too much internal damage to his organs. Andy had to make the awful decision to have him put to sleep.

You came into my life as a foster dog and stole my heart. I decided to keep you as my own and to never let you go. You were my best friend and I loved you with all my heart. You helped me through many tough times that I may not have gotten through without you. Sadly, you left me only after two years of happy times. I miss you terribly and will see you at the Rainbow Bridge.
- Andy

Birdie who was on the virtual adoption page passed away on May 29. She did not recover from her last infection well and she became weak. Her white blood cells rocketed to over 110,000 and her red blood cells dropped markedly.

Birdie was 3 years old when she left us. She use to chirp like a little bird, had a funny, cute little face, and also had Feline Leukemia. But this didn't stop her from playing with her "ball in the tunnel" toy in the middle of the night and loved walks in the snow, and walking in the sunshine in the yard in the summer – on a harness and leash, of course… Birdie was very sweet, calm and curious and very good about new situations. She will be missed greatly by all who knew her.

Patriot was a beautiful little 12 week old kitten when he came into PAW with Feline Leukemia. He was playful and happy and meowed at the mama cat Birdie to come and get him.

Mama Birdie is also leukemia positive and needed a companion but she wasn't ready to accept him just yet so he stayed in a kitten pen until she began to get used to this new intruder. He would reach his paws out to her and cry but she would hiss at him. It was kind of funny really, because she would soon accept him and they would play and sleep together all of the time, being great companions to each other.

Mama Birdie slept beside Patriot as he began to fail and sometimes on top of him. Now that he has passed away, Mama Birdie cries a lot so she will need extra attention now – in fact Birdie just went for a walk in the snow – she loves to go places and see things – she was on a cat harness and leash, of course.

Little Patriot was humanely put to sleep on February 14, 2003, Valentines Day; he was 10 months old… Patriot was a special valentine gift to the Rainbow Bridge. Sweet, sweet, Patriot will be deeply missed by Mama Birdie and his foster mom.

Dollar was an odd name for a dog, unless the person who named him understood that he was a treasure. He was, and more. Dollar, who happened to be a dalmatian, was an exceptionally sweet and soulful dog who had more than the normal "rough spots" in life, as he went from home to home to PAW's waiting arms.
After years of living in seclusion, the newly rescued Dollar started to learn "the ropes" of being a well-adjusted dog. He didn't understand other dogs and the stimulation of adoption shows at first. But his advocates persisted, knowing that his heart of gold would eventually shine through.
It was so easy to "fall" for him: he was the perfect gentleman in the car, enjoying everything but especially the driver's backward glances at red lights, rewarded with several thumps of the tail and a soft look. He was well behaved and obedient on a leash, savoring each second with the person who took the time to be with him. All he wanted was to be with you. And then his fate took one last turn.
Dollar became very ill and was lovingly was sent to Rainbow Bridge by one of his best PAW friends on February 12, 2003. Anyone who knew this incredible, shy dog will miss him. He may not have found the home on earth he deserved, but he will rest in our hearts forever.
Rosie was one of PAW's Virtual Adoption dogs. You may recall that Rosie's Virtual Adoption description ended with "Rosie could suffer a heart attack at any time." And that is what happened to this loving, beautiful, mixed golden retriever last Friday night. Rosie's life was a sad one before PAW. After being hit by a car and abandoned by her owners, Rosie was found to have a serious heart condition, so serious that it was determined to be too risky to attempt any surgery. Although she had to be closely monitored and regularly seen by cardiologists, Rosie lived a wonderful country life with Joan Marshall. Rosie was only five when she passed away.
Harpo has lost his battle with cancer. He had begun to experience difficulty walking. After a couple of months of medication, using a sling to help him up and down and in an out, and acupuncture treatments, he finally "told" his foster mom that his time had come, he wanted peace. She sent him to be with his beloved Tim, the man who had raised him from a puppy and died of cancer. PAW was able to give Harpo another good 15 months after his owner died.
Lady Guy passed over the rainbow bridge in October, 2002. Thanks to her loving and dedicated foster and her Virtual Adoption sponsors, she was able to live out a full, rewarding life despite her medical problems.
Candide was a cute grey tabby kitten rescued by Angela, a PAW foster. Sadly he was found to have contracted feline leukemia, so he went to live with the Baltimore kittens and their foster mom Cathy. These kitties, all of whom have feline leukemia, have a room of their own with plenty of toys, beds, food, loving, and an outside run for bird and squirrel watching. Candide quickly became "one of the guys" and prospered for almost a year. However he became very sick with an upper respiratory infection that his weakened system couldn't handle and passed away. While he was sick, his friend Pontiac curled up with him in a kitty bed to keep him warm and reassure him by licking his ears.
Maple Leaf was found and rescued by Jack, a PAW foster, when she became lost or was abandoned. A beautiful, affectionate blue-point Siamese, she turned out to be 15 years old and suffering from kidney failure. She received much needed vet care and was doing much better, needing only occasional fluids and no medication. However on October 27, she passed away in her sleep.
Rowan was a handsome orange tabby boy who was rescued from the shelter. He was very talkative and affectionate, but also seemed a bit unsure of himself. He was finally settling in pretty well but developed some medical problems. His foster Jennifer took him to the vet several times, but despite this he continued to go downhill. He became impossible to medicate, perhaps because he was in pain. Finally his organs failed and euthanasia became the only humane option. This sweet boy will be mourned and missed.
Clancy was a silky-coated spaniel mix who, like several dogs rescued through PAW, had heartworms. This can be treated through chemotherapy, but Clancy was found to have serious heart damage, made worse by the heartworms. The Hiner family became his loving foster family, cooked for and nursed him through several intense months of treatment. For a while there was hope, but then he declined. The Hiners let Clancy go on Monday, October 21. He was only 3 years old.
Aristotle was one of 4 sweet, cuddly kittens rescued from a shelter and fostered by Gail. During his neuter operation, his heart stopped. Although he was resuscitated, he did not recover and later passed away. Sadly the presence of heart disease is hard to detect in cats, and the first indication is often complications during surgery. In an odd quirk of fate, another kitten named Aristotle (see below) passed away from the same problem last year. Aristotle was 4 months old, and passed away on October 18.
Fontaine was one of a litter of 5 wonderful kittens, two of whom had already found good homes. As kittens and cats often do, he was underfoot and tripped his foster caregiver. This time however it precipitated a tragic accident, and Fontaine was fatally injured. It is a hard lesson to accept that even the most caring, careful people are not immune to a simple accident. Fontaine was 11 weeks old, and passed away on October 16, 2002.
Sam was an older cat, a big white boy, who came to PAW when his elderly owner could no longer care for him. Sadly he wasn't with his foster Anne for long. We found out he was suffering badly from cancer, and he was allowed to go on to the Rainbow Bridge.
Takoma was a happy, playful kitten with a charming personality. He loved to play with anything that moved, would sit in his foster Ellen's lap and purred, and took naps with the family dogs. Unfortunately he had feline leukemia. Takoma passed away on September 9, 2002, just a year old. He was preceded earlier this year by his feline friend Sophocles, who also had feline leukemia.
Honda was one of the Baltimore kittens who were rescued then found to have feline leukemia. When she came to PAW, she was tiny and had a very infected eye. Some good food, medicine, and TLC from her foster Cathy helped her to recover and become a sweet, gentle, playful kitten. Though otherwise healthy, she grew slowly and stayed rather small. Then in late May her health started to go downhill rapidly, as often happens in cats with feline leukemia. She passed away on June 13, just a year old.
Kasey was a handsome Maine Coon cat who was rescued from a local animal shelter. Unfortunately we discovered that he had feline leukemia. He found a loving foster home with Anne, and he and his housemate Pasha lived a happy, if short, life there together. He passed away on June 12.
Pasha was one of the lucky cats who was rescued from an apartment complex. Other stray cats there had been taken to the animal shelter and put to sleep. But Pasha was very affectionate - he liked to rub heads and be petted forever by his foster mom Anne. Sadly he had contracted feline leukemia. This handsome boy passed away on May 31. He was only a year old.
Muffin was a beautiful older lady who lost her home when her owners retired and decided to spend time travelling. Fortunately Robin, one of our PAW fosters, took her in and she had a chance to find a new home. It took her some time to get used to her new "digs", but she soon settled in and also got some overdue vet care. When she suddenly became very ill, we discovered that she had liver cancer. She was weak and in pain, so she was humanely put to sleep on June 5.
Cinder & Roadrunner were two kittens that came to us already infected with feline leukemia. Roadrunner was just 3 months old and came with her momma Birdie, who also has feline leukemia. Cinder was a tiny kitten of only 4-5 weeks of age when he was found. These kittens found a caring foster home with Suzanne A. Both got lots of love, good food, a warm home, and playtime and companionship with each other and momma Birdie. Roadrunner was 2 years old when she passed away, and Cinder was 9 months old.

In the picture, Cinder is on the right and Roadrunner is to the left.

Ginger was an older Chihuahua mix dog who came to us with a serious heart condition. She was very lovable and affectionate, wanting to be by her foster mom Becky's side all of the time. She wasn't expected to live for long, but good care, heart exams and medication, and lots of love helped her enjoy life to the fullest for another 3 years before she passed away.
Sophocles was a handsome grey tabby boy, a stray who was initially rather wild but came to learn to trust his special human. Sadly he had contracted feline leukemia while outside. He found a foster home with Ellen O., who had no other cats, and later acquired a feline friend in Takoma, a kitten who also has feline leukemia. They became pals with the household dogs and enjoyed napping and playing together. Sophocles seemed to be in good health until he suddenly went downhill, when we learned he had developed numerous internal tumors (a frequent result of feline leukemia). He was not quite 1 year old.
Cinderella was a starved, scared, scraggly kitten in a parking lot when she was spotted by a kind woman who rescues cats whenever she can. Apparently she had lost her mother at a very young age, and was barely maintaining her tenuous hold on life. After an extended stay at the vet clinic, she regained her strength and health. Soon she went to a foster home with Janet, who helped her adjust to the new place and new kitty friends. Cinderella became playful and could hold her own with the bigger cats, and she started coming to adoption shows in hopes of finding her own forever home. Then suddenly she passed away. Apparently she had a severely weakened heart, perhaps due to her very rough start in life. She was only 6 months old.
Saab was a survivor. He was rescued from outside by a kind woman. He was just a tiny kitten, cold and near death, so she warmed him and bottlefed him until he recovered. When he came to his new PAW foster home, he had grown some but was still small and had a bad cold. With lots of love, food, and medicine, he filled out and eventually became a robust, fiesty, fun little guy. However he and his former housemates all had contracted feline leukemia. After doing so well, he became sick and finally succumbed to the effects of the feline leukemia. He passed away on January 26, preceded by his brother Isuzu and his friends Subaru and Lincoln (see below).
Henry was a handsome older gentleman with unusual curled ears and big hopeful eyes whose time was up at the shelter. Cat foster, Sarah, couldn't resist him, and Henry came to PAW. He was a wonderfully sweet cat who loved attention and petting. If you weren't doing anything useful, he would tap you on the leg with his paw to let you know that he was available for petting. He was adopted for several months by a very kind person who had him treated for hyperthyroid and gave him the best medical care available. Unfortunately Henry was returned to PAW because his adopter's cat was very unhappy at another cat's presence in the house. Henry settled in to his temporary residence and was happy and getting plump; we were looking forward to seeing him get adopted. Sadly, he suffered a blood clot in his aorta and he passed away suddenly on December 10, 2001. Henry will be missed always.

A special picture of Henry

Aristotle was one of 6 kittens that were rescued from the great outdoors. Mommy was a feral cat, but little Ari was friendly from the very first. He was always ready for cuddles and kisses. He was also the smallest, which caused his foster mom Agnesanne some concern, but several examinations revealed no problems. However he passed away during his neutering operation. X-rays revealed that he had an enlarged heart, sign of a congenital heart problem. Sadly such heart problems are often impossible to detect. Little Ari was due to be adopted a few days later.
Slinky was born with a birth defect, manifesting itself as a severly curved and deformed spine. But he was a sweet and playful pup, so we hoped that he would make it and be able to live a relatively normal life. The vets thought he could, though he might develop arthritis. Then we found that Slinky had come down with the deadly parvo virus. Slinky was rushed to an emergency vet for lifesaving measures, but this was not enough to save him. Those of us who were lucky enough to know this boy will always remember his strange gait, accompanied by his playful and affectionate demeanor and his happy puppy energy. Rest in peace, sweet boy.
When Subaru, "Joe" Isuzu, and their friends came to us we were saddened to learn that they all had been exposed to feline leukemia. We determined that we would give them the best care that we could under the circumstances, and they joined our Virtual Adoption program. Most of the kittens have stayed healthy, but "Su-Su" and "Joe" both succumbed to the disease on Oct. 22 and Oct. 19, respectively. They were not quite 6 months old.

"Joe" Isuzu

A third kitten, Lincoln, has also recently passed away. Little "Linc" never weighed more than 2 1/2 pounds, though he was over 7 months old. He died on Dec. 5.
When Laura came to PAW from a shelter, we soon discovered that she had a serious heart condition. After two years Laura's heart and kidneys had begun to fail, and she crossed over the Rainbow Bridge on May 29. Laura, a beautiful spaniel mix, had the benefit of loving care from PAW volunteer Becky S. and the sponsorship of our Virtual Adopters, and under Becky's care, Laura lived almost twice as long as expected.
Scout was a darling kitten, one of a litter of 4 fostered by Chris and Andy F. But our vet noticed a loud heart murmur, and a specialist found that he was born with serious heart defects. When he passed away on August 6, he was only 4 months old.
Mercedes, a cute little ticked tabby kitten, was rescued at the age of 1 week with her mother and two brothers from outside. She developed Feline Infectious Peritonitis, which manifested as neurological problems and slow growth. She was always sweet and loving, and enjoyed being held and sung to by her foster Cathy I. She passed away at the age of 5 months. She was followed a few months later by her brother Porsche, then her brother Jaguar, also from FIP.
Baby was a distinguished 17-year old Shiz Tzu, abandoned at a fire station at age 15 because "he's too old." Baby lived and was loved in his PAW foster home with Kathleen S. and Scott N. for 2 more years. He was a great little mop top who loved his treats!! He passed from complications of heart disease on Nov. 26, 2000.
Victor, an elderly, neglected beagle discovered in an ice storm, found love, care, and both human and doggie friends in his foster home with Becky S., passed away 2 years later from old age and heart problems.
Pepe was a dear old gentleman of a Chihuahua, about 16 years of age, found starving as a stray. He was a "velcro dog" who loved to be loved, cuddled, and carried by his foster Kathleen S. He never had an unkind bark for anyone, human or animal. He passed away from kidney disease on March 25, 2000.
Iris, a sweet calico momma kitty, came to foster Patti S. with 6 darling 6-week old kittens who were all different colors. Iris was thin, but otherwise seemed to be healthy. However even with love, care, and food she declined in health. Our vet discovered that she had a concealed uterine infection caused by her pregnancy, and she passed away before she could be helped.

To The Rainbow Bridge

Last Updated: April 15, 2014 (LET) PawSupport