I’m a Guardian Angel
The reward of my Guardian Angel Program is not only the donations, but that amazing feeling from helping someone in need. I have always been a caregiver, and it makes me feel most alive and whole to lighten someone’s load when they are going through something tragic.
We have run the Guardian Angel Program for several years at our kennel, Unleashed Pet Care Services. To date, we have fostered over 600 animals. In recognition of the constant change in people’s lives, we provide temporary emergency foster care for pets whose families are in life transition from the effects of violence, disaster relief, and temporary medical respite. In the past, we used to to provide fostering for different rescues, and many of those dogs had to be given up because their owners were going through some sort of crisis and couldn’t care for the dogs at that time. Maybe they were leaving an abusive relationship and were unable to find pet friendly housing, or maybe they couldn’t afford a kennel for two months while in the hospital or recovering in rehab. As we re-homed these pets I always wondered if there was a better way. I felt that there were already so many dogs in need of homes. I also couldn’t imagine going through hardships without my pets as they have carried me through many heartaches. Our belief is that having pets in our lives makes us happier and healthier. With these thoughts in mind, I created the Guardian Angel Program. It is a service in which we would foster dogs, for any length of time, until their owners could get back on their feet and look after their animals. We have looked after many as if they were our own, walking, swimming, and playing with them every day, some for up to a year, and living as part of our family until it was time to go home.
Over the years, some owners of these animals receive a terminally ill diagnosis, and have found solace knowing their beloved pets were in care. Often we brought the animals to visit their people, and they found some peace knowing we would care for their animals until we found the right match for a new home.
None of these things have been easy, but they do make me feel that I am doing my part with the life I have on this Earth. The rewards are either monetary gifts, which allow us to take care of the next pet who needs us, or simply having the peace of mind that I have done right by my fellow pets and their people. I can’t imagine being unwell and not knowing who would look after my animals. I sleep well at night with the knowledge that I am able to ease other’s minds. They can worry less about their animal’s care, and put that energy towards healing. The goal is to reunite each pet with its family once they have the opportunity to find a more permanent and effective means to care for themselves. Giving is truly receiving.
Written by: Amber Schick