Yesterday, STScI staff member Tom asked if the lovely Miss Lilo could join up as the newest Space Paws cadet. Of course we said, "Of course!"
Tom and Cheryl are looking after Lilo for now. Lilo's mom (who is also Cheryl's mom) had to enter assisted living recently. Sadly, the facility does not allow residents to bring their furiends with them.* Mom and Lilo miss each other very much and Mom will feel a lot better when she knows Lilo has a loving furever home.
Cheryl told us some of their story:
Cheryl's sis did try to integrate Lilo into her household of three cats, but introductions weren't going well. Tom and Cheryl are full up with three kittehs of their own so Lilo is back at the condo she knows and loves for now.
Cheryl and I will be talking in the next couple of days, and we'll see what options we have to find Lilo a great home. Cheryl has promised to get more pics and maybe a video or two. Tomorrow, some more pics and I'll share more about Lilo, too!
* An Aside on Elder Care and Pets
My aunt was lucky enough to be in an assisted living facility that encouraged pets (Brightview, Perry Hall, MD - they even had a "house beagle!"), but there just aren't enough enlightened elder care facilities around. Independent living facilities are much more likely to allow pets than assisted living.
Often options are limited when someone enters, or a family must place a loved one in, assisted living. Location, care specialty and finances can dictate what options are open so, please, no criticism of families whose loved ones enter facilities that do not allow pets! Even though senior care managers are waking up to the benefits of the special bond between the elderly and their furry companions, too many have not yet gotten the message.
(Nope, this isn't a pic of my aunt, I can't find one right now with a pet, but the "look" in the photo reminds me of her!)
So guys, this is another area in which we animal (and people) lovers can make a difference!! Be a voice encouraging elder care facilities to recognize the therapeutic value of pets in assisted living situations.
We can all advocate! You can be low key, simply giving articles, like this one from US News & World Report, to the managers and the staff of facilities that don't allow animals when we visit our friends and family who are in residence. Surf the web for more ammo! If you're bolder, you might say a few words about the effects of separation on both your loved one and their pets, and encourage the management to contact administrators of facilities in your area that do allow animals, to learn about their experiences. And, if you are lucky enough to be visiting a facility allowing pets, be sure to express your support!
Can you imagine the impact if every family, who faced this kind of difficult situation, simply gave every care giver they encountered an article? The message would be loud and clear!!