PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE

Mama Fluffy is twenty years old now.   She was rescued off the streets of Highlands along with her litter of four tiny kittens fifteen years ago by a gentleman named Steven Farlow.  Steven was a librarian and worked at several libraries throughout Western North Carolina, ending up in Morganton during his last years.  It was there that he was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer.  In addition to Mama and her family, he had rescued several other kitties.  When Steven learned that he had very little time left, there would be eight cats in need of a home upon his death.  Being the kitty hero that he was, he took it upon himself to make arrangements for his furry family. He had learned about the Forever Farm from a friend in Morganton who had made similar arrangements with Friends for Life.  Steven and I talked several times about his situation and came to an agreement that Mama, her offspring, and all his other remaining cats would come to the Forever Farm, and that special housing would be arranged so his cats could live out their lives together.  His lawyer drew up a contract as part of his will that stated that Friends for Life would receive a designated amount from the estate for each cat taken into our care.  Sadly, this past February Steven passed away.  We drove the Friends for Life van to Morganton and gathered up Mama and her clan, and brought them back to the facility that had been prepared for them.  Thanks for Steven’s forethought his kitty family will be cared for the rest of their...

YOUNGER SPECIAL NEEDS PETS AT THE FOREVER FARM

The Friends for Life Forever Farm is a sanctuary for senior and special needs animals.  The majority of our dogs and cats are seniors, but when it comes to those with special needs, some are quite young.  We care for dogs and cats that are blind, deaf, crippled and diabetic amongst other things. But, one problem you may not think of as a disability is incontinence. We have several young dogs who are incontinent due to issues that are not curable.  Very few homes are willing to deal with this issue on a long term basis and often opt for euthanasia.  We however, consider it merely a small inconvenience, and worth dealing with to save their lives. Otis, the one year old English Bulldog, is one of our sweet dogs that has incontinence for both urination and defecation.  His problem was present at birth.  A wonderful woman adopted him as a puppy to save him from being culled by the breeder.  She now has medical problems herself and can not care for him.  It is possible that when her health improves she may be able to take the dog she loves back into her home.  Meanwhile, Friends or Life will care for Otis. Another wonderful dog with incontinence issues is Pete, who is a five year old Golden Retriever. He also has had the issue since birth due to a defect in his urinary tract.  A surgical procedure was attempted, but failed to correct the issue.  His caring veterinarian asked if we could take Pete and offer him a loving home. Another fun-loving, active, young dog is Banana, a...

FRIENDS FOR LIFE ANNOUNCES EXPANSION

  The Friends for Life Forever Farm has been housing and caring for senior and special needs animals for ten years. Some of their dogs and cats have been fortunate enough to be adopted into loving homes despite their age or infirmity, but most of the residents  have spent their last days at the Forever Farm.  And, as time passes they have found that more or their population are in need of palliative care, and hospice. The Board of Directors of Friends for Life is very excited to announce that they received a significant charitable gift from Mrs. Nancy Pickelsimer of Brevard designated for the purchase of the property once known as Frances Warde Health Services, located on Highway 64 in  Rosman.  The primary use of the clinic building on this property will be to provide a tranquil, restful, setting for Forever Farm animals in need of palliative care and hospice. The facility will be named in memory of Mrs. Pickelsimer’s late husband Joseph, who was a passionate animal lover. This beautiful five acre wooded  property is adjacent to the national forest and includes several small waterfalls, meandering trails, and a caretaker’s cottage.  The 2,600 square foot clinic building is in impeccable condition and needs very little remodeling for it’s newly intended use. A memorial garden will be developed where the ashes of  departed Forever Farm animals will be spread.  An invitation will be extended to Friends for Life supporters to scatter the ashes of their beloved pets should they so desire. The beautiful trails along the creek will be developed with “contemplation benches” by the waterfalls for visitors...

ANIMAL HOSPICE AND PALLIATIVE CARE

The Friends for Life Forever Farm has been housing and caring for senior and special needs animals for ten years. Some of our dogs and cats have been fortunate enough to be adopted into loving homes despite their age or infirmity.  But, many animals have left this life having spent their last days in our care. And, as time passes we find more of our population becoming in need of palliative care, and hospice.  Ten years ago when I first envisioned the Forever Farm and started the work developing our sanctuary I might not have realized that, ultimately, what we would be doing for a majority of our animals would go beyond providing a retirement home or “assisted living” and would come under the description of palliative care, and hospice.  For us at Friends for Life it’s all about the two “C’s” – a commitment to, and compassion for, those beings we share our lives with. For our animals, and those in our community, we are gradually developing an extended program in animal hospice.  It includes a separate facility that will provide a tranquil venue for the supportive care needed by these animals at the end of their lives  We will be calling upon the advice and involvement of local veterinarians with both traditional and alternative practices as we develop this program. If you have a particular skill that would help us with this program, or wish to support it through volunteering, or donations, please call Friends for Life at 828-508-2460, or email us at  friendsforlife.foreverfarm@gmail.com...

FROM HOSPICE TO A BRAND NEW LIFE

When Frankie came to us last month, it was with the understanding that he was a hospice case. We were told he was elderly with an inoperable, cancerous mass on his hind leg. Yesterday he went to his wondeful new home with the Sierra family and their Minature Schnauzer with a new lease on life. Upon examination by Dr. Sarah Brown, it was obvious Frankie was younger than originally thought. Dr. Brown also felt he was a very good candidate for surgery to having the huge growth removed. Fast forward, and he is healing nicely, albeit while having to wear the “cone of shame.” He’ll complete the healing process with his new family, and what looks to be a long, happy life ahead of...