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A Valentine’s Day Gift to Hospice Hearts


On Sunday afternoon, I was getting ready to head to Ottawa, IL to stay the night with my mom and drive her early Monday morning to get cataract surgery. While putzing around at home and getting my things together, I popped on Facebook and saw a post from Hospice Hearts, a pet rescue group, that struck a chord with me.* Two dogs whose owner had passed away needed to be picked up from the northern suburbs and transported to a foster home in Champaign, IL. That very day. Like right now.  Sooo…dog rescue transport of bonded senior dogs

I picked up these two on Sunday afternoon and brought them to my mom’s, where we stayed the night.  After dropping off my mom at the cataract clinic in Bloomington, IL on Monday morning, I took them to their foster home in Champaign.

But back to Sunday afternoon.  When I picked up Bosco and Abby from their home, their owner’s adult son, who drove in to settle his dad’s affairs, said the pound just wasn’t an option for these two. When he handed the dogs over to me, he said that knowing they would be saved was the first good thing to happen all week. Surely a rough week for everyone involved.

I was so focused on the dogs’ loss that I wasn’t even thinking of the comfort that this rescue effort was providing to the humans involved.

I wasn’t familiar with Hospice Hearts until that day, but as I’ve looked into their work, I am simply amazed by what they do. And all their work is done by volunteers.

Hospice Hearts rescues dogs and cats whose owners can no longer care for them due to illness, admission to a nursing home, or death. They coordinate the pick-up of these pets at their homes or pull them from shelters and place them in foster homes. They provide vet services for the pets to get them ready for adoption and find them new forever homes.

Many of these pets are elderly, so they would not have a good chance at a shelter. I can’t imagine if Bosco and Abby had ended up at a shelter. They surely would have been separated, if not worse.

To support their mission, Pollen is donating $50 to Hospice Hearts for every full-service wedding that we book from now until Valentine’s Day. Veterinary bills for the dogs and cats entering their care are the largest part of Hospice Hearts’ expenses and our support will help with that cost as well as the organization’s other needs.  If you would like to directly support Hospice Hearts, please visit their website to support their mission.

*A little backstory and a personal note:

Buddy the Australian shepherd and flowers20131225_154211I helped transport a senior Australian shepherd named Buddy a couple of years ago. Buddy had been in the pound in southern Illinois for over a month and was deemed “urgent,” meaning they were out of room at the pound and he was going to be put down if he wasn’t pulled that weekend. I was one of many people who took him on a leg of his trip to freedom, coordinated by Australian Shepherd Rescue Midwest.

After some time spent with his foster family being evaluated and getting healthy, that old dog became my old dog. I had no idea how much volunteering for that transport would change my life and how hard I would fall for Buddy.

Now I’m a dog person, just like my dad was.  My dad passed away last year after prolonged illness, and having experienced the decline and loss of a parent, I can only imagine what a relief it must be to families to be able to place their loved ones’ pets in the care of Hospice Hearts.  Thank you, Hospice Hearts!

UPDATE (2/18):  Pollen just sent our gift of $550 to Hospice Hearts to help pay for veterinary bills for the pets that come into their care.


  1. Debbie Pauken says:

    BEAUTIFUL! I am a “person” Hospice volunteer and have witnessed many times how stressful it is for the dying person to imagine what will happen to their pets after they are no longer able to care for them. Hospice Hearts is the BEST thing to happen to these lucky animals. I have followed Hospice Hearts since right after they began and on 12/5/2015 I adopted one of their rescues, a 14 & 1/2 year old rat terrier mix. It was love at first sight. THANK YOU for this story and THANK YOU to all who help support this most important organization!

  2. Marjorie Johnson says:

    Thank you so much for supporting Hospice Hearts!

  3. Cori Jansen says:

    You go girl! Compassion is in your DNA.

  4. Susan says:

    Awwwww. This made me cry!

    • Lynn says:

      It was such a moving experience, Buckeye Blooms! And Hospice Hearts is doing this work every week. It’s really amazing. I have to tally up where we’re at, but I’d guess we’ve booked 6 or so weddings so far, with two weeks left to go, so they’ll be getting at least $300 from Pollen to support their work.

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