Creation of the Life Care Share Plan

blue sky with the word happy written in cloudI am so excited right now I didn’t know what to do! So I thought writing about it would be a good way to get my excitement out and share it. As well as blog, which Donald is always saying I need to do!  So, here goes….

When we first started 1st Rate Pet Services in 2012, one of the services we wanted to eventually offer was a Continuation of Life Policy. When a pet owner passes away and nobody wants to take in the pets, we would offer it a “continuation of life” in a loving home environment versus being surrendered to a shelter. The owner would sign an agreement that would be customized to each circumstance and in the event of the owner’s death, we would take the pet and either keep it for its life, or adopt it out to a safe and happy forever home.

Everybody we spoke to about it thought this was a wonderful thing to offer. However, the key to this service working is for us to have a place to house any pets. Currently we aren’t equipped for that, and since we are blessed to be so busy pet sitting, the Continuation of Life Policy service was put on the back burner.

Earlier this year, we had a booth at the Horse and Pet Expo, and I was lucky enough to meet Virginia, the founder of Perpetual Care.  The services she offers are like our Continuation of Life Policy, but she is a few steps ahead of us and is up and running!  We exchanged information and said we would be in touch.

Dog sitting on the floor in a car
Molly on the way to visit her mom at the rehab center

Enter Molly, an aging but still full of life dachshund. Her mom was in a rehab facility for a few months earlier this year, and 1st Rate Pet Services was providing shuttle service for them. A few times a week, I would drive to the kennel where Molly was staying and bring her to visit her mom in the rehab facility. It was therapeutic for both mom and Molly!

When mom could go home, Molly went with her and they had a live-in caregiver temporarily. They were looking for an assisted living facility that accepted pets, and were lucky enough to find one, but it didn’t work out for Molly to stay there. Molly went back to the kennel and once again I provided the shuttle service to bring her to visit her mom a few times a week.

Keeping Molly in a kennel indefinitely wasn’t an option, so when I thought of Virginia and her Perpetual Care service, I immediately called her to let her know the situation. She was more than willing to help, so I contacted Molly’s mom’s nephew who is helping make decisions for everything. Last night, he and Molly’s mom were in touch with Virginia and some brainstorming was done by them to come up with a completely new service agreement called the Life Care Share Plan.

Dachshund lying on bed with woman
Molly enjoying a visit with her mom

In this situation, Molly’s mom and her nephew are still responsible for the medical expenses and ultimate decisions regarding Molly, and Virginia is responsible for Molly’s day to day care. Molly will still be able to visit her mom a few times each week by Virginia and occasionally 1st Rate Pet Services will share pet shuttle duties. It is a win-win for Molly and for her mom who looks forward eagerly to Molly’s visits and can now rest assured that Molly is in a loving, home environment instead of a kennel.

Molly’s story is just one happy example of how animal lovers working together with open minds and hearts can help a pet’s situation. I would love to hear other stories such as this and would be interested in sharing them on this blog.  Feel free to comment if you have a story to share.

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