The Forever Foster that Stole Our Hearts

The moment KARE met Bailey we knew she was a special soul. She happily bounded towards us with a carefree, “live in the moment” attitude. She was full of smiles and completely stole our hearts. Her owner (at the time) had rescued Bailey from an abusive home and had the best of intentions but knew, ultimately, that she could no longer care for her. She called KARE, in tears, as she knew that Bailey’s medical needs were going to be too costly for her. Bailey had an obvious limp in her hind area and needed medical attention.

KARE was ready to help.

KARE immediately took Bailey to Ridgetop Animal Hospital for a full work up, including x-rays and urinalysis. The vet diagnosed her with a UTI and a rare disease called D.I.S.H. syndrome, or Diffuse Ideopathic Spinal Hypertosis. D.I.S.H. is a degenerative spinal disease that causes a fusion of the spine resulting in reduced spinal flexibility and limited range of motion of the spine, therefore decreasing agility and altering normal mobility. Over time, there will be calcification, and the possibility of losing use of her hind end down the road.

The vet gave her a limited life expectancy. We were all crushed.

We knew that finding her a permanent home would be difficult given her medical needs and limited time she had left. We reached out to a long-time foster, who also happens to also be a Veterinarian Assistant, and asked if he would be willing to care for Bailey as a “forever foster”. A forever foster is what our KARE family considers a special dog whose care our organization would be responsible for throughout its lifetime. KARE covers all costs associated with the care, including medical costs, food, training, etc.

When Bailey first came to live with her new forever foster, she could not exercise for more than 15-20 minutes without severe limping. She also had food sensitives and was also a picky eater, making meal time tough! Her foster continued her anti-inflammatory and pain medications, slowly introducing her to longer and longer walks.

With time and a conscientious caretaker, Bailey just got stronger and stronger.

Bailey is now feeling much better, able to play fetch with energy to run around 24 hours a day if she could! After learning she loves veggies, she is no longer a picky eater and gets fresh veggies every week. Personality-wise, Bailey loves everyone and everything and makes friends with everyone she meets! Every day, her foster dad has at least a half dozen people ask him how she is and when they will see her again.  She has made friends with dogs, cats, a bird, and has even tried with a sea anemone (which ultimately didn’t work out too well for Bailey).  She gets to go with her foster dad, whenever appropriate, and she’s quite the social butterfly. A few butt scratches and she is a very happy girl.

Dogs like Bailey lead happier, healthier lives because of KARE fosters and volunteers.

KARE could not have rescued this special girl, or the 42 dogs this past year alone, without the loving help of our fosters. Fosters give so much, but also get lots of love in return. Bailey’s foster dad dotingly adds, “Bailey has been an amazing addition to my life, and I couldn’t imagine a day without her. The only tough part about having her is knowing one day she may lose the ability to walk. But if that day comes, I’ll buy her the sweetest radio flyer wagon I can find, and we’ll do all the stuff she loves just under my power instead of hers. Until then we take it day by day and make the most of life we can!”

Looking to be a part of our life-saving foster family? Please email to learn more about our organization and foster program.

Tuesday, April 23 is the Kitsap Great Give, a 24-hour day of community online giving. Your support and generosity is what grants us the opportunity to rescue and rehabilitate dogs like Bailey. Help us meet our mission and donate today.