KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — Shelter animals, especially those with a terminal illness, often do not get the end-of-life experience that they deserve, but for one Young-Williams Animal Center foster parent is changing that for one dog.

Lala first came to Young-Williams after she was found alone on the recently sold property. The center said she was very thin and in need of some one-on-one care. This is when her first foster parent stepped up to take her in. He gave her the name Lala.

Lala and her foster dad spent some nice time together, however, he had a very hard time getting her to eat. Soon, he found a bulge in her stomach. When she was examined in the shelter, the veterinarians found a tumor in her spleen. Luckily, she was able to have surgery and the mass removed, however, it would soon be found out that it wasn’t enough.

Following surgery, her appetite improved and she began gaining weight. While Lala was recovering, her foster dad returned to work and it was discovered she suffered from severe separation anxiety. He knew that it was time for Lala to find a foster family that could spend more time with her at home.

While Young-Williams worked to find a new foster family for Lala, it was discovered that she was terminally ill with cancer with only a few weeks to months left. The shelter decided to place her with one of their “fospice” foster parents who could act as both a foster and hospice helper until the end of her life.

Young-Williams placed Lala with a seasoned “fospice” parent who said they immediately fell in love with Lala and decided to make her experience extra special. “None of us know just how long this sweet girl will be with us,” says her foster mom, “so we decided to make a bucket list designed especially for her.”

Lala has even gotten a few items checked off of her bucket list already.

  1. Go on a treat shopping trip. (Done!)
  2. Have a steak dinner. (Done!)
  3. Have a salon day with a pedicure. (Done!)
  4. Have her portrait painting done. (Done!)
  5. Go on a picnic.
  6. Go out for doggy ice cream.
  7. Have a spa day. (Done!)
  8. Be a treat taster for the day.
  9. Visit local landmarks.
  10. Be a canine officer for the day (Done!)

“From the first day we met her, she immediately accepted us. Her sweet, calm demeanor captivates everyone who meets her. Lala enjoys companionship so much that she complies with everything completely. She is a very quiet girl but speaks softly with her eyes.”

Young-Williams Animal Center wants to help all the animals within their care to have a good experience while they are in the care of the shelter and foster pet parents are one of the ways they do this. To become a foster or “fospice” parent, visit Young-Williams’ website and fill out the fostering form. Young-Williams will provide supplies needed for care at no cost to the foster.