At the age of 15, our beloved Howie passed peacefully last night while in a heavily sedated sleep. We discovered 2 days ago that he had severe glaucoma, caused by a number of other serious issues. It happened very quickly, and we are heartbroken and a little shocked. So to help cope, we came up with an idea to help other dogs in Howie's old neighborhood, which we're sure he'd approve of with his signature wink and wag of the tail.
Howie was originally found at a Providence gas station in 2004, about to run into traffic, and in pretty bad shape (malnourished, covered in ticks, frightened). A friend of mine scooped him up and got him to a vet. Since she wasn't allowed to have pets in her apartment, I soon took him into my apartment in Amherst, MA, and got him all the food, love, and warmth that he deserved. For the next 13 years, Howie was a well-travelled pup - he lived in Amherst, Boston, Brooklyn, and finally Somerville, MA. Howie provided us with joy every single day, from his ecstatic welcome-home greetings, to his helicopter-like jumping, to his love for galloping around everywhere he went. We'll miss him forever.
The Providence Animal Rescue League, a great nonprofit, and the oldest animal shelter in Rhode Island (founded in 1913), is less than two miles from that gas station where Howie was found. They specialize in finding strays (like Howie), and pets surrendered by families. They provide medical care to get them ready for adoption, and they often have adoption drives. Most of the pets they treat come from the same neighborhood Howie did. They are a small organization, they have a great reputation, and great reviews. I spoke with the shelter about the best way to honor Howie's memory based on his experience. They said that their "Betsy's Fund" provides medical care for strays, and gets them ready for adoption. So we're asking you to make a donation in Howie's name so that his friends from his old neighborhood might get the same lucky life he did.
Thank you so much from us, and from Howie, for your donation. Howie, you will be missed, buddy. Read about Betsy's fund here: http://parl.org/get-involved/betsys-fund