After losing her partner, Lee* was tragically diagnosed with stage IV bowel cancer at the beginning of 2021. Lee had no family or friends to support her through her treatment, but thankfully she had the companionship of her beloved Rottweiler, Horse.
With Lee struggling with the side effects of treatment, providing Horse with the daily care and attention she needed became increasingly difficult as the weeks went on. When Horse began to exhibit signs of illness herself, Lee faced the very real possibility of being forced to surrender Horse to a shelter.
The idea of abandoning Horse in her time of need, and being without her best and only friend while enduring treatment for palliative cancer, was unthinkable.
Thankfully, Lee’s case worker contacted our Companion Carers team and we were able to step in to provide the practical assistance Lee needed in her time of crisis.
Our carers visited Lee and Horse several times a week, dropping off supplies, ensuring Horse was fed and watered, taking her for walks, cleaning up after her, and ensuring she was given the medication she required for a suspected UTI.
Horse grew to love her visits from the Companion Carers team. She would eagerly stand at the door, wiggling her bottom and squinting up at the carers, excited to go for her walk.
Sadly, Horse’s UTI did not improve with treatment. Horse was too unwell to travel and so our Companion Carers team arranged for veterinary specialists to visit her at home and conduct much-needed diagnostic tests, with the first portion of these critical veterinary expenses being covered by Companion Carers.
The results were devastating. Horse was suffering from an incurable cancer in her bladder and was living on borrowed time.
While Lee was understandably heartbroken by the news, she was stoic and worked with the Companion Carers team to give Horse the best final weeks she could have.
Thanks to Companion Carers, Horse spent her final weeks getting lots of love, walks, treats, and all the medical treatment she needed to be comfortable and pain-free. Horse passed away peacefully in Lee’s arms a few weeks later, surrounded by the Companion Carers team who had all grown to love her so much.
While this story has a sad ending, for Lee the outcome of engaging Companion Carers for assistance was so much better than the alternative.
Without our program, she would have had to say goodbye to her best friend, surrendering her into a shelter where she would have spent her final days terrified and alone.
Thanks to Companion Carers, Lee and Horse stayed together for as long as possible, both surrounded by people who wanted to give them support and love.
*Name has been changed for privacy
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