RAGOM seems to have special angels who watch over us and swoop in when we need them most.
Recently we received a generous bequest from a longtime supporter who passed away. After carefully considering how best to use these funds, RAGOM opted to set a portion aside for special circumstances.
For example, people sometimes surrender their dogs because they cannot afford necessary but costly veterinary care, and we hoped we could help a dog in need stay with its family.
A few years ago, a wonderful dog named Rio came into RAGOM. A very sweet dog, Rio 14-200 suffered from separation anxiety and needed special care. His foster family understood his needs and helped him make progress, but he was going to require a special forever family.
When Rio's foster family needed to leave town, another foster, Elise, stepped up to temporarily care for him. Perhaps the RAGOM angels were already at work, because Elise's friend Diana and her family happened to visit and quickly fell in love with Rio. Another family had already been chosen for Rio, but fate had other plans.
The adoption fell through, and Diana and her family stepped up. Diana has two wonderful adult sons who have autism, and they had already developed a deep bond with Rio. Equally important, between Diana and her sons someone is nearly always at home, which keeps Rio's anxiety at bay.
"Rio has added so much joy, light, and love to their home," Rio's former foster mom, Tracey, said. "This family has embraced Rio, and he has become an integral part of their family. They complement each other and help one another deal with their specific challenges. Rio definitely has special needs, and those needs are uniquely and lovingly met by Diana and her boys."
Days after receiving the bequest, Rio showed symptoms of distress. A trip to the emergency vet determined Rio was suffering from an obstruction. Distraught, Diana called Tracey.
The surgery Rio needed was unexpected and costly—and more than Diana could afford. The idea of euthanizing him was devastating, and so was the thought of surrendering him to RAGOM with hopes of finding him a new family who could meet his needs.
Phone calls were quickly made and we were able to deliver good news for Diana. She should proceed with the surgery Rio needed—the cost of his care was being taken care of by an angel. Rio made a full recovery (turns out he'd snuck into the trash and swallowed a corn cob) and is thriving at home, thanks to the care of his family.
"I believe losing Rio would have been devastating for them," Tracey explained. "I also believe they are the absolute, very best home for Rio. To separate them is unthinkable to me."
The Golden Legacy Circle is a special group of supporters who have included RAGOM in their estate plans, helping to ensure the future financial stability of the organization and allowing us to go above and beyond our day-to-day work.
To learn more, visit our Estate Planning page or contact us at inforagom [dot] org or 952-946-8070.