I met Rick and Frances Ford and their son Andy more than 12 years ago after they adopted a special needs dog which I had at Sparta Veterinary Services. A volunteer from an area shelter had called me that she had found a small dog frozen to concrete when she arrived at the shelter. I asked her to take it to SVS and told her that I would assume responsibility for taking care of the little dog. Rick and Frances had a cleaning service and SVS was a client. They spent time with the little dog while providing cleaning services and fell in love. I enthusiastically and gratefully accepted their kind offer to give the dog a furever home.
In late 2010 Daisy's Legacy (established from proceeds of "Living With The Rescues") partnered with Sarah Hawlik"s Homeward Bound to provide veterinary care and find homes for dogs and cats. Frances and Rick fostered for us so I had the pleasure of seeing the little dog who connected us when I went to their home to take and pick up foster dogs. Rick and Frances became foster failures for another special needs dog they were fostering for us.
A few years ago Rick called and told me they were moving to a smaller home with less land and asked for help rehoming their Pyr because their new home was not the environment Boone needed. I immediately called my brother Jack who lives on a farm and loves Pyrs and he agreed to adopt. Jack and I kept Rick and Frances updated about the good life Boone was living on the farm with other Pyr rescues.
A few weeks ago Rick called to tell me that his doctor had informed him that his life expectancy was a few months and we continued to have short phone conversations until the day hospice care began. Rick was always positive and said that knowing that he did not have very long life expectancy gave him the opportunity to tell people about his love and appreciation for them and continually expressed love for his family. Rick was an inspiration and a blessing.
- Sharon Langford
Darryl was recommended to me by my sister-in-law Cindy and he was an incredible blessing in my life. The first time he came I asked him to clean the pond in the front yard and told him that it would be the worst thing I ever asked him to do. Darryl routinely maintained the pond and we enjoyed seeing the fish and hearing the frogs and the water fountain. The last texts I sent him after his surgery were about seeing 9 green frogs and large fish in his pond.
Darryl made it possible for me to provide sanctuary for very senior homeless dogs. He built platforms with roofs and ramps that provided space for dog houses, feeding and water bowls and porch area and installed electrical outlets to connect heated bowls and mats when needed in cold weather. He also changed internal fencing according to the number of dogs and their special needs. I fostered a young deaf Blue Heeler Sierra for more than a year and she continually moved and turned over water bowls and without me asking Darryl designed and built frames to hold the bowls and attached to the floor. A friend connected me to a trainer for deaf dogs and I bought the special collar she needed. After the training was complete Sierra was adopted by a family. Darryl's creation was very helpful recently while fostering a hospice dog who had few teeth and moved her bowls around while eating.
In 2014 I was at Nashville Humane to do adoption ad photos and an employee met me in the parking lot to tell me that Queen Anne was back and didn't want me to be shocked. We had featured her in ads and she had been adopted and returned three times and stayed at NHA longer than any dog. I immediately made the decision to adopt her. Barney, a previously feral hound, had recently crossed The Rainbow Bridge and I thought adopting another special needs Hound would be a tribute to his memory and that I could give Queen Anne her forever home. After I observed her behavior a few days I started calling her "The Queen" and that became her name. She loved Darryl more than anyone on the planet. Darryl and I would sit on the porch he and his father Joe had renovated and The Queen would sit and look lovingly at him. This past October The Queen suddenly declined and I took her to SVS as emergency. The conditions she had could not be cured and would only become worse and she had no quality of life. In consultation with Dr, Colwell I made the heart breaking decision to help her cross The Rainbow Bridge. I called Darryl later and told him and asked him to build her a casket. He made that his priority and called me later and told me that he would go to SVS and get her and bring her here for burial.
I have a large pet cemetery and wanted a rainbow somewhere but didn't know how to do. Picture Perfect Framing created a rainbow and framed and I gave to Darryl. He built an easel and installed it in the cemetery. I discovered during this experience and choosing colors for painting the house that Darryl had a creative artistic talent in addition to all the others.
I frequently told Darryl and other people that I could not live in the pasture without Darryl. In addition to all the ways he helped with rescue dogs he took care of the house if any repairs and/or maintenance were needed. Now, whether I am inside or outside I see Darryl.
- Sharon Langford
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