Meet the Heroic Woman Providing Forever Homes for 26 Special Needs Dogs
At any given time, Anne Baranski is caring for over a dozen elderly, special needs, or medical needs dogs in her home. It’s controlled chaos, full of muddy paws, medications, homemade meals, neverending laundry, and lots of puppy love.
A Journey of Compassion and Sacrifice
Thirteen years ago, Anne and Bruce’s lives changed forever when they fostered Layla, a 7-year-old dog rescued from the horrors of a puppy mill. Layla’s plight opened Anne’s eyes to the grim reality of such places and the fate of dogs deemed ‘no longer useful’. It was then that Anne made a vow – to rescue others like Layla, to be the voice for the voiceless.
Fast forward to today, and the Baranski’s have provided a loving home to over 26 “throw away” dogs that Anne describes as ones nobody else wants. Each dog comes with its unique challenges, requiring special care, medical treatment, and an abundance of love. But for Anne, this is more than just a responsibility; it’s a calling.
She Got a 2nd Job To Pay For The Dog’s Food & Meds
Caring for these dogs is no small feat. It’s a full-time job, one that required Anne to take on a second career as a real estate agent, just to fund the expenses that come with their care. Medications, special diets, and vet visits are constant, with costs that can be staggering. Anne recalls picking up medication for one of their pitbulls, a monthly expense of $250 for just one dog.
Bruce, a retired physician, plays a crucial role too, affectionately known as the “Cuddler in Chief.” He stays home, providing the dogs with the attention and love they crave, while Anne juggles her work and the endless tasks that come with caring for their furry family.
Living Day To Day With 13 Dogs
Mornings start early to let the dogs out, change diapers, administer medications, and get the first of many daily loads of laundry going. Mealtimes take precision to cater to various medical and dietary needs. So Anne makes homemade dog food herself, tailored to each pup.
With so many senior and special needs dogs, there’s not much time for play. “We don’t really have toys laying around,” says Anne. The dogs are just as happy having full bellies and soft beds. Which for this pack means crib mattresses covered in sheets that can be quickly swapped when accidents happen.
At the end of the day, Anne curls up with a couple dogs, including one disabled pup by her side. The rest claim spots alongside her husband Bruce or elsewhere around their home outfitted with easy-clean floors.
The Emotional Toll and Unwavering Commitment
Adopting and fostering hospice dogs is an emotional journey. Anne and Bruce have opened their hearts to these dogs, fully aware that their time with each pet may be short. Losing one is inevitable and heartbreaking. But Anne persists, driven by a calling to provide end-of-life comfort to those that have known little love. For them, the joy and love these dogs experience in their final days, weeks, or years, far outweigh the heartache of eventual loss.
Inspiring Others Through Their Story
Anne’s hope is that by sharing their story, others will be inspired to consider adopting older or special needs dogs. Anne said, “When you adopt one of these dogs, you’re not just saving a life; you’re opening a space for another in need.”
The Baranskis’ home may be a unique one, filled with the sounds of barks and the hustle of caring for 13 (soon to be 14) special dogs, but it’s a home brimming with love. “It’s truly the most rewarding thing you will ever do,” she says. Her selflessness and dedication make Anne a real-life hero for the underdogs.
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