Libby the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel holds a very special part of my heart. I first met Libby and her owners Liz and Basil 2 years ago. They had heard about the Cherished Pets Foundation and were hoping to find a walker to walk Libby weekly as they no longer could because of mobility issues (Liz is in a wheelchair after a leg amputation and Basil is frail and a fall risk). Visiting their home to do the initial health and needs assessment for Libby was my very first home visit on joining Cherished Pets Community Veterinary Care, and I spent a couple of hours getting to know Libby, Liz and Basil and determining how Cherished Pets would be able to support them.
Natalie, our Cherished Pets project manager, allocated volunteers to help walk Libby over those 2 years. Libby had her own unique personality and didn’t always like going for walks, but the volunteer walkers played a special role in the lives of Libby, Liz and Basil.
As part of our Cherished Pets Foundation support to beneficiary clients we conducted regular health checks of Libby, helping Liz and Basil successfully manage a weight loss program for her, investigating a heart murmur, and treating a chronic recurrent ear infection. Health issues for ageing pets are never static, and issues often evolve over time. Many times I picked up Libby to transfer her to the Hub for her regular weigh in and health check. I always enjoyed the connection with Libby, Liz and Basil. Ageing owners also have evolving health issues, and over this time Basil stopped driving, started having regular home support, regular medical appointments and a hospital stay involving surgery. It is our privilege as part of the Cherished Pets team to connect with pets and their humans as we work to support both and strengthen the human animal bond.
During the first COVID-19 lockdown Libby’s walker noticed she was very flat and alerted Natalie, who alerted our vets. After an initial triage assessment by Dr Lissi, Libby was taken by her volunteer walker, to a local vet clinic for hospitalisation and diagnostic workup. This demonstrated the strength of our partnership model with other veterinary clinics, referring patients where we don’t have the facilities and expertise within CP. Liz and Basil’s son Andrew returned from overseas during this time, and came to stay with them after isolation. He was a tower of strength to his parents at this challenging time, particularly as Basil was in hospital during this period, and he was able to be the mediator between his parents, CP and the other veterinary clinics attending Libby. So followed a roller coaster of Libby improving on medication, then becoming unwell again, to go on medication again and improve. I regularly did home visits over this period to assess Libby’s health and wellbeing and help her owners work through the options available. Libby had a very large mass in her throat and a recurrent fever, and diagnostic workup indicated that it was some type of cancer. Through our collaborative approach I was able to have conversations with the specialist and relay information to Andrew and his parents. Sadly, an aggressive cancer was confirmed and plans were made to support Libby and her family through this final phase.
Libby returned home and we continued to support her and her owners. At one point I was visiting daily to ensure that she was comfortable, pain free and her fever had not returned. We had ongoing conversations about quality of life and how the time was approaching for the difficult decision to let Libby go. While this is always a hard decision for a pet owner to make, it is a blessing that we are able to help them pass with dignity and before they are in too much pain. I reassured Liz, Basil and Andrew that we would guide them and help them to know when that time had come.
When that time had come, myself and our beautiful veterinary nurse Kym went to help Libby cross the rainbow bridge in her own home. We lit a candle to help her pass. Liz was able to hold Libby on her lap while Libby passed peacefully. She was ready to go. Unfortunately as this was during the height of COVID Kym and I had to wear face masks in order to protect Libby’s vulnerable owners, and we couldn’t hug them afterwards as we normally would have. COVID has made pet death and grief even more challenging than it normally would be.
I returned Libby’s ashes home, a good opportunity to check in with how her humans were coping without her. They were sad and missed her dreadfully, but understood that there was nothing more that could have been done for her and that her time had come.
It has been a privilege supporting Libby and her humans over the past 2 years. These beautiful photos were taken by Andrew, a talented photojournalist.
Dr Jenny Turton
Cherished Pets Community Veterinary Care Veterinarian
Mitchell came into our lives as a 5 month old bitza. They were not sure what he was, but he had just been surrendered and we just happen to be there at the right time. He was very cute and at first very quiet but as we soon found out, the devil was unleashed.
Mitchell fancied plastic and rubber and completely destroyed the cat door, ate all and any plastic items and on one occasion decided he would eat the gear stick knob in our Ute.
Mitchell was stubborn and very food driven, as we were on a farm he soon learnt how to catch rabbits, this became his obsession and eventually to his accident. He was a dog that sat at our farm gate shop and all would fall in love with him when they came. He led a charmed life here on the farm and loved riding on the 4 wheeler and utes. As he got older we thought he would slow down as he had a few health issues, but no he didn't. Mitchell loved watching TV, this could sometimes become a problem as he would become quite vocal but funny, he could spot a dog in whatever was on and start crying, as he got older and his eye sight started to fail it would be any animal on the television.
We will miss him terribly and there will never be another Mitchell.
Thank you so much Alicia for Mitchell's final moments, her compassion and caring is amazing, not sure how we could have got through without her help. Thank you Cherished Pets, Alicia and the team.
And from the Cherished Pets team....
Mitchell was a one of kind, lovable, cheeky character who lived his life fully and on his terms. He was an absolute trooper and one of our favourite hospice patients.
Mitchell chose his ending too. At 16 years of age he had compounding and escalating health issues with arthritis, heart failure, hearing loss and dementia. But if this dog got the sniff of a bunny rabbit in the paddock, nothing would keep him home! Sadly this led to his demise when he managed to sneak out and was hit by a car one evening last week, while chasing rabbits. He sustained nasty injuries and the decision was made to help him pass. He was a dog who was totally loved and cherished by his humans, and they are devastated by his loss.
A champion “farm” dog! Loved by all he knew.
Sending love and thoughts as you mourn his passing.
Love the CP Team.
Shakti was rescued from an abusive home at four months of age.
I didn’t choose her, she chose me. Finding each other was the most serendipitous experience imaginable.
After hearing her story, without any thought, never having seen her I said, “I’ll have her.”
That was the beginning of 15 happy, adventurous years with my girl. The best dog anyone could wish for. She was re-christened Shakti (Indian goddess of power and strength) and she took over my life.
Read all about Shakti and her owner’s wonderful life together and their special bond by clicking here.
Last Sunday the world lost a very cherished pet, Marmalade. In her prime, Marmalade, a Mastiff, weighed close to 45kg. Sadly a complex illness robbed her of her health, and she declined rapidly in the days leading up to her death last Sunday.
Marmalade was not your average dog. She was the companion and therapy dog for Brighdie who suffers an intellectual disability.
The sudden death of Marmalade has caused incredible pain to the family. Brighdie is just learning to read and write and she wrote this tribute for Marmalade. This tribute is the first thing Brighdie has written on her own.
We share the heartbreak of this family as they come to terms with the loss of dear Marmalade.
They shared with us these words and photos:
“Marmalade was our beautiful girl. We lost our best friend. She will always be by our side and forever in our hearts.”
Remembering a majestic girl, Marmalade.
Sending love and healing to Brighdie, Merric and Sam.
The phone call came at 1pm on a sleepy Sunday in August. Bonny’s human, June, was distressed and concerned about Bonny’s health. She had stopped eating, was reluctant to move and seemed to be in pain.
Bonny was a 15 year old poodle who had been the constant companion to June and her ailing husband Rob for many years.
Over time, June and Rob’s health and capabilities have declined. They are now in their late 80s and while they are still living independently, they had become less able to provide physically for all of Bonny’s needs, however financially and emotionally they were able to contribute. When Bonny became unwell on a Sunday afternoon, they had limited options as neither of them are able to drive in to the emergency veterinary facility in our region. June called Cherished Pets and we were able to attend at home on a Sunday afternoon (*), assess Bonny’s health and create a care plan.
Medications were provided to stabilise her condition and settle her pain, and she was transferred to our veterinary clinic at Cherished Pets Community Hub on the Monday morning. On this day we performed blood tests which confirmed kidney disease. We provided Bonny with some much needed grooming, an ear clean and supportive care. Bonny improved and responded to our care. She felt ever so much better and perked up beautifully. This was a very special time for Bonny, Rob & June, knowing that the end was nigh, but they had some time together. Over the following weeks, Bonny’s health was managed palliatively with the support of our community vet nurse, Glenda who visited regularly and ensured Bonny received her necessary medications. However, Bonny’s health declined again after a period of weeks, and together we reached a decision to euthanase her.
Bonny was a dearly loved cherished pet who provided years of companionship to her people. As life went through its stages, her people became less able to meet her needs but they loved her all the more, and were desperate to do what was best for her. Cherished Pets’ unique home care assistance program means that our pets can be cared for and their people supported where it is needed, so that the human animal bond can complete its journey with consideration and respect for all parties.
When Bonny passed on June’s lap, on a wintery Sunday afternoon last month, with Rob seated next to her, and Glenda and a neighbour holding hands and paws, I felt overwhelmed by the incredible gift our special service provides. We have been able to provide physical assistance to this beautiful elderly couple so that their cherished girl completed her life with grace, dignity and free of pain, and Rob and June felt safe and supported through it all.
This is why we do what we do.
RIP Bonny. Always remembered.
* please note our afterhours service is subject to availability and priority is given to registered Cherished Pets clients.
Sam came in to the Cherished Pets Family in 2018 when his original owner started to feel desperate about her ability to cope with him, and sought our assistance to provide home care.
Sam at the time was overweight and suffering early stages of congestive heart failure. His owner was also facing health challenges. Over the following weeks, her health declined significantly and she asked us to find him a forever home with people able to manage his higher care needs. We always try to find solutions to keep pets and their people together, but after much consultation, this was an occasion where rehoming was deemed to be the best outcome for everyone.
Enter Aggy and her beautiful family. Aggy had recently lost her Cavalier King Charles from heart failure and popped in to our hub one day expressing interest in any Cavaliers seeking a home. This happened to occur at the same time as Sam was entering our care. The timing gave us goose bumps.
How wonderful it was to connect all parties, and Sam spent his final months in the amazing loving care of Aggy’s family. He lost weight, regained energy, enjoyed trips to the beach and we were able to stabilise his condition for some months.
Sadly, Sam’s condition recently deteriorated and he passed away last month. He had been a regular visitor to our hub, and he is sadly missed by everyone.
Aggy sent us a beautiful card and shared these words: “Adopting Sam was one of the best things I did. He and I had a beautiful bond and friendship. Sam came such a long way in his time with us and helped create so many wonderful memories”.
We would like to thank Aggy and her family, and others like them, who commit to loving and caring for pets in their senior years with known illness. It is a big undertaking knowing that your time spent with a cherished pet is going to be short lived. Sam was certainly a very lucky boy to have been so very loved by his first human, and then so beautifully wrapped up in loving care by Aggy and her family for his final months.
Sam’s original owner was a beneficiary of our Foundation’s community service project which meant we were able to provide additional assistance for Sam through this tumultuous time. Through our project we supported the diagnosis and management of Sam’s health, coordinated respite care of Sam when needed and then arranged the rehoming of Sam to Aggy’s care.
We invite you to DONATE to Cherished Pets Foundation to allow us to continue to offer our unique service to eligible people and their pets in our region.
Some may have known Nugget from his walkabout earlier this year in Steiglitz.
Who was Nugget? Nuggs was apparently the not quite right puppy from his litter. He joined our family of 5 children in 2006 as an 8 week old rolly-poly puppy. We couldn’t have wished for a more gentle, delightful pet to join our family who we loved for 13.5years. He was your typical machine eating, “yellow dog” who loved a scratch behind his ears and awkwardly pushed his head between your legs on greeting you.
Nicknamed the “Golden Nugget” due to a couple of emergency medical procedures, he was our ever-faithful yard dog loved by all our workers; stealing their food if they looked the wrong way or left their lunchbox unattended!
Six months ago Nuggs went missing during a very wintery week of weather on a visit to Steiglitz and after much searching and prayers by many, 7 days to the hour, he walked out of the bush and rejoined our family. At that point Nuggs became our permanent in-house dog, not venturing far and he and I became best buddies. It was a privilege for me to care for him in the last six months of his “twilight years”. I have often heard of people speak about not being able to leave their elderly pets and I now I understand why. I really believe Nuggs was meant to return so we could love our dog just that little bit more to the end.
A couple of weeks ago on a balmy night, in the light of the moon under the stars, Nuggs was put to rest by our beautiful friend and Veterinarian, Dr Lissi, along with her caring Assistant Kylie. We thank all the Cherished Pet team for their ongoing care they provided Nugget and his gentle loving departure at our home.
Julie and Family.
Losing Miss Daisy
Last month we lost Miss Daisy. Daisy was a cherished Bischon Frise sharing her life with Dawn, an elderly beneficiary of Cherished Pets Foundation and one of our originals in our community pet care project.
Since 2015 Dawn & Daisy have been receiving our home pet care assistance, including her volunteers, Chrissy, Jan, Chelsea, Abbey and Sally, who regularly visited to take Daisy for her much loved walks, and monthly visits from Glenda, our Community Vet Nurse who oversaw all things health and wellness for Daisy. They were an easy pair to love and care for.
In return, Dawn has become a very active member of our CP community, creating and making beautiful crafts and cards for us to sell, and also acting as a community ambassador, singing our praises, advocating for us to receive donations from our community, and rallying volunteers. Dawn & Daisy were regulars at our events and we all feel like one big family.
Daisy was a true star. She loved posing for the camera and as such became known as our Foundation ‘Covergirl,’ appearing on our brochures, banners, presentations and on Channel 10’s Pooches at Play program. Dawn and Daisy also featured in our CPF promotional video that was created for us by Moo Media in 2016 and they received a special visit from international guests in 2018 that led to a photo in the Geelong Advertiser!
Daisy loved a social gathering and attended almost every event we ever held. Her endearing, cheeky nature was loved by all, and she in turn loved Dawn the most. The two were inseparable and for Dawn, life revolved around Daisy.
At 12 years of age, Daisy was taken way too soon, succumbing to cancer, and our CP Family is still reeling. Dawn, her beautiful human, is lost without her. “It’s like she was a part of me”, is how Dawn described life without her in the days following her passing. We are staying close to Dawn who is desperate to find another Bischon companion through the rescue networks. All we can say is that the Bischon who finds a way to life with Dawn, will be the luckiest dog ever!
Thank you to everyone who was part of the Daisy Story: Natalie, Glenda, Jan, Chrissy, Chelsea, Abbey, Sally, the CP Team, Belllarine Vets.
Daisy passed peacefully at home, on Dawn’s lap, and surrounded by love on the afternoon of Friday 16th August 2019. She is buried at a family home and is forever in our hearts.
RIP Daisy Girl.
Some may say you were just a cat, but to me you were part of my soul. 5 of the best years with you by my side everywhere I turned. Our connection has no words, it didn’t need to. You taught me more selflessness & bravery than I knew possible and I’ll forever be wanting to hear your little welcome home squeak and fling you over my shoulder. Coming home just won’t have the same excitement.
We adopted you, this perfect looking kitten 5 years ago, unknown at the time that you had epilepsy and a major heart condition. It’s been a journey of pure love and beauty, I’ll forever be grateful that you chose us, to let you live the best life possible. You were perfect, I love you buddy. I’ll see you in my dreams.
Oh Dear Mac. We will never ever forget you. All 82 kilos of you. Your were a grand giant, majestic, sweet, humble and you were best friends with a carpet python (and your human). A noble boy forever at peace. You touched our hearts forever on one very sad Winters day.
How missed you are by your human, Steve, who is held by his grief at the moment, and has shared this tribute:
"My Boy. He now has his Wings.
Forever watching over me.
Forever at my side. Mac.
A special thanks to the team at Edenhills Pet Cremation Melbourne who supported us with Mac's aftercare with such compassionate professionalism. You are amazing. And to Sarah from CP, who assisted on the day. Your sensitive care and compassion meant so much. It was a tough one for us all. RIP Mac.
Remembering Biscuit and sharing this tribute from his lovely "mum".
"Biscuit (Bikky) was a small dog with a big attitude. My constant companion for nearly 19 years, he went through so much, surviving cancer at age 10, moving house with me 8 times and several scrapes with other dogs!
He taught me so much and gave me so much love. I took him everywhere with me. We walked hundreds of kilometres together, though he slowed down significantly in the last two years. When it was time to leave this mortal coil, Alicia was there to support both Bikky and me in the most compassionate and caring way imaginable, opening the space for me to find my courage and honor my promise to Bikky that I would not let him linger on in pain just because I didn’t want to let him go.
While it was hard to say goodbye to my little buddy, I knew it was the best final gift that I could him – the gift of a gentle and dignified exit.
Run free little man, you have left your paw prints on my heart forever".
Remembering beautiful Charlie..
A poem from his human, Adele.
If God made anything more beautiful,
He kept it for himself.
My best friend, my old mate
A precious gift, a beautiful soul
Extremely well loved and cherished and will always be.
Many a tear will fall because of your passing
But many a small will be shared, and many a glass will be raised
To celebrate you and your life, and the wonderful memories that we made.
Your proud, defiant spirit is a true inspiration and will with us forever.
It has been an honour, and a privilege to share your life with you.
You are amazing
Let a horse whisper in your ear, and breath on you heart
You will never regret it.
A tribute from Barbara, her human.
"Rosa, my beautiful 17 year old chihx, is now at rest.
She was rescued by me during my first month working at the Lort Smith Animal Hospital, and she has been part of my work/ministry/life for 12 years.
Although one leg was riddled with gunshot pellets, and her neck bore the scars of cigarette burns, she never bit, growled or snapped at any human being or animal.
She was the perfect lady, enjoying visiting schools, churches, and aged care facilities, until hearing and sight impairment meant she needed to stay home. She made it into a number of my book dedications.
Although I rescued her, she paid me back 100 fold, with her unconditional love and devotion. Until we meet again, my beautiful Princess Rosa…"
14/5/10 - 9/4/18
"Our best friend.
Forever in our hearts"
We were so deeply touched by the love in this family for their cherished boy, Levi - a majestic and noble boxer who was so sadly taken at the early age of 8, due to terminal illness.
Levi was clearly the centre of this beautiful family and we send love and thoughts to Vicki, Scott, Jordan and Lachlan through this very sad time.
Maisie made her final journey to her place of freedom in March 2018, where she can run free and not be hindered by the pain of her arthritis and tumour.
Maisie was one very special dog who stole a place in our hearts and in the hearts of all those she met.
As the cherished companion of her human she is painfully missed. Our hearts and thoughts are with Trish as she grieves the loss of Maisie. The care, love and support you provided Maisie was beyond words. How lucky you both were to find each other.
Rest in peace beautiful Maisie. Run free. We will always remember you. Thank you for your spirit and guidance on how to remain strong and graceful in the face of adversity. You were one very special girl. It was hard to let you go.
Chocky was a very special patient of our home hospice care program. He sadly passed in January 2018 in the arms of his human, Alex.
It had been a long road for all of us, as Chocky suffered from an oral tumour, resulting is palliative care as the best option. He continued to defy the odds of time, which has a lot to do with the incredible love and care he is received from Alex. Her tender love and care allowed him to live out his days in peace and happiness.
Chocky is dearly missed as his human continues to grieve, reflect and remember on the time they had. Cocky was a very special boy who taught us so much.
"You were the bestest buddy anyone could have asked for. It was a privilege to take care of you for much longer than we expected". - Alex.
We continue to send our love to Alex and will always fondly remember Chocky.
We are very touched by the story of Husky who passed away in February 2018. Husky was an endearing, aged husky, who was kindly rescued by our friends at Geelong Animal Rescue from the local pound where he had been surrendered.
His foster carer Esther went way above and beyond her duty to give this beautiful old boy a peaceful, comfortable, and pain-free final few months in her loving care. Husky had some significant health issues which we were able to manage for several months until his quality of life declined and it was time to assist him on his journey to the other side.
We don't judge the people who surrendered Husky as we do not know their story; we do however applaud and salute Esther and the GAR team for giving this lovely old man the love and care he deserved through his final stages. Esther, you were simply amazing.
Rest in peace Husky. You touched our hearts and will be remembered with fondness always.
We were so incredibly touched by the story and journey of Zahra and her people who loved her so. Zarah crossed the bridge in February 2018 and is playing on the other side with her other human who left this world a few years ago. They are together again. Sometimes our pets connect us to cherished ones in ways we cannot describe.
Zahra's mum has shared this tribute with us:
"We will eternally be grateful for being fortunate enough to have had you in our lives. Such a precious part of our family who brought us so much joy. You will be so sadly missed but forever remain in our hearts our beautiful girl".
We share our love with Zahra's family and keep the fond memories of her in our hearts.
This beautiful old girl left us in December 2017 after a long and enriched life spent with her loving family who have shared this tribute with us:
"Our dear little Maisie was such a sweet, gentle soul who kept us company for 17 years. She experienced several house moves and welcomed three grandsons with us in that time taking it all in her stride with nothing but enthusiasm. Life won't be quite the same without Maisie and she will be greatly missed."
This tribute beautifully reflects the way our cherished pets travel life's phases by our side, and how deeply they are missed when it's time to say goodbye.
Rest in peace Maisie. Our love and thoughts are with you and your family through this sad time. xx
Gracie was one very very special girl who captured the hearts of those who knew her. She was cherished to pieces by her human, and is sadly missed.
Gracie was also our first ever hospice patient, who we first met in July 2015 for a quality of life assessment with her human wondering "when will it be time?" We were able to extend her beautiful life for another 2+ years through our arthritis and pain management home care service.
In that time we had three false alarms when we thought perhaps her time had come .. but always, this strong spirited girl rallied, until recently when the challenge to keep going overcame her tired body and she was ready for eternal rest.
Peacefully, privately and compassionately we helped her cross the rainbow bridge in the loving arms of her beautiful, brave mum.
I still can hear her bark when we pulled up in the driveway. Gracie was a spunky character with enormous courage and dedication. It was a pure honour to serve her and her "mum" for these two years, and we will always remember Gracie with a fond heart.
The CP Team deals with pet loss often, and we feel the loss every single time. One of our very cherished patients recently lost his life after a short battle with cancer. His person, Penny, is one of our dedicated volunteers, who has prepared this tribute to share.
Penny’s tribute to Bear:
"On the 30th June  I lost my beautiful boy Bear, my one and only pet - I adored him."
He has such a lovely nature and loved people and other dogs. Through him, I met so many lovely people and made quite a few lasting friendships. He lived and loved life to the full with so much energy right up until his last day. Chasing his ball and going to the beach were his favourite pastimes, besides food.
We had so much fun together and he made every day special. I have wonderful memories of the life he shared with me and the great times we had - just he and me.
Bear, you were my life, my love and my heart will always be with you. Rest in peace my beautiful boy until we are together again". 💕
We were so terribly saddened by the passing of dear Bear, who will remain one of our favourites always. Our love and thoughts are with Penny through this difficult time.
Here is Darren, Emma, Kasey, Chloe's tribute to their beloved Diesel:
2nd September is now called ‘Diesel Day’ for us. It was with great sadness that we had to put our beloved campaign to rest, however Alicia made what was always going to be a tough day a very peaceful and memorable moment for us all.
It was up north at Hervey Bay that your journey begun
Enjoying the good life in the sun you always had fun
You loved the boat and fishing out at sea
Always eating the bait as if it was your tea
Cruising in the front of the four wheel drive
Your new home in Victoria was where you arrived
Listening to country music & cruising in the ute was what you and Dad did best
Not to mention camping, swimming, 4wdriving and the rest
Your love for the water proved that swimming was what you always wanted to do
Whether it was the river or the beach you'd always be diving for a stick or two
You took on a new friend with Jet Boy showing him all the tricks of the trade
Taking it all in your stride a special friendship was made
You stole the hearts of Kasey and Chloe very quickly becoming their best friend
It is with great sadness that today this friendship has to come to an end
Your nature and loyalty to us all earnt your second name “woofy”
You really turned out the best friend to us all that could be
A hole in our hearts you will certainly leave behind
But we will always have our memories you gave us over our time
We couldn't of asked for a better a best mate
After all the good years, we will never forget this date