Honoring pets and giving back

This article originally appeared on the another jennifer blog as part of the Philanthropy Friday series

I recently had to say goodbye to my beloved 13 year old Siberian Husky, Kona. It was one of the hardest things I’ve had to do.

The days that followed included many tears. I was comforted by the love and support of friends, family members and readers who reached out to me – online and in real life – with beautiful cards, messages, prayers and stories of losing their own furry family members.

A few short days after our last moments with Kona, I received a card in the mail from my wonderful veterinarian office, Topsham Veterinary Wellness Center. It was a lovely card with personal, handwritten notes from the people that took care of Kona in the last year of his life.


It meant a lot to me to receive this card. Dr. Amy, Alan and Katie were the only people that really understood what we went through with Kona during the last few months of his life. We had some hard discussions in that vet office.

It was a slip of paper in that card that made me cry the most. I’m not sure if they were tears of joy or sorrow. Maybe a bit of both. It was simple piece of paper with a picture of Dr. Amy’s dog, Roxie. Below the picture was a message that explained that they had donated money to Roxie’s Angel Fund in honor of Kona.

Roxie helped out at Topsham Veterinary Wellness Center. Unlike Kona, he actually liked cats and small dogs.


Amy lost Roxie shortly before we said goodbye to Kona. In those last moments of Kona’s life, Amy sat with us on the ground and cried with us. She told the story of Roxie’s last moments and let G take “one more picture” several times before Kona closed his eyes forever. I am eternally grateful to Dr. Amy and her staff for the way in which they handled Kona’s care.

The idea for Roxie’s Angel Fund was Amy’s partner, Denise’s. Denise thought that since Roxie was always up for helping Topsham Veterinary Wellness Center clients and patients while she was alive, that her legacy should live on. As Amy notes:

“I get to pay tribute to my wonderful dog and remind people that their own pets have touched me in similar ways and I wish to honor that bond. In this way, all the pets who have come through our doors can help the ones who will follow.”

Each donation goes into the fund under the deceased pet’s name. The goal is for the fund to help future clients who need financial assistance to take care of a pet in need.


The slip of paper noted that Roxie would be happy to know she is continuing to help pets in need even in heaven. I’d like to think that Kona is too.

In a way, Roxie is not only helping pets in need, she is also helping the parents of those pets feel a bit of solace during an otherwise difficult time.

See? Even dogs can give back.

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