Who Will Take Care of My Springer?

I don’t know where everyone lives, but in central Illinois it has turned into Fall. The weather is cooler, the leaves are changing and Halloween is upon us. I love Halloween with all of the treats, costumes and scary movies. It begs the question, what would happen to Linus and Lila if I were suddenly being chased by some crazy psychopath with a chain saw and mask? They run much faster than I do.

I’m making a joke, but it is a serious topic that requires planning and conversations because we can’t predict the future. It is a scenario that we see all too often in rescue unfortunately. Pets lose their owners and family members are trying to figure out what to do. It isn’t something we like to think about, but the thought of any of my dogs, current or future, without a place to go scares me.

Linus and Lila were both adopted from English Springer Rescue America (ESRA). The adoption contract with ESRA states that they are to be returned to ESRA if the adopter is no longer able to care for them for any reason. Because of this provision, I’ve made it a point to ensure my family knows the terms of the contract and how to get in touch with ESRA. My previous springers were not adopted by ESRA but I know that ESRA would have found them wonderful loving homes if my family could not have cared for them.

When I met with an attorney a few years ago as part of my estate planning, she helped me write my will so that my current dogs (and any future dogs) would also be provided for financially from my estate. I want to know that my dogs will be taken care of in the manner I would care for them. I also do not want to cause any kind of financial burden for my family if they open their homes to my most loved Springers.

I feel that my bases are pretty well covered for my own dogs, but did you know that its possible to continue to help Springers even after you’re no longer around? It’s true. You can arrange in your estate planning documents to provide a bequest (gift) to ESRA. I always seem to think that only the rich and famous leave bequests, but that is a common misconception and I’ve discovered that bequests are happening more frequently, in all kinds of amounts. There are lots of reasons to leave a bequest, such as:

  • It is an opportunity to continue to support the future sustainability of ESRA
  • You can continue to make a difference and enrich the lives of Springers and Springer-lovers
  • Your values, beliefs and love of Springers will live on in the memories of those you support.

If you haven’t thought about this topic or want to revisit your estate planning, here are a few things to consider:

  1. Communicate your wishes with your loved ones regarding the care of your current dogs. Be sure they are aware of ESRA, whether your dog was adopted from ESRA or not.
  2. Consider speaking with an attorney about setting up a pet trust if you want to leave funds specifically for the care of your own Springer.
  3. Consider leaving a bequest as a way to ensure that Springers continue to find loving homes and create lasting memories.

For additional information about leaving a bequest to ESRA, please contact treasurer@springerrescue.org

Who Vacations with their Springer?

Some time ago I wrote a blog about various dog care options when traveling. There is one option that I didn’t mention, however, which is to take them with you. Every year on my birthday I like to take a long weekend and have an adventure. This year I decided that I really wanted to find a spot that would be fun for Linus and Lila because that is what brings me the most happiness. Naturally my mom, who is my favorite traveling buddy and president of the Linus and Lila fan club had to come with us.

I did some searching and found a reasonably priced cabin in the Morgan Monroe State Forest near Bloomington, Indiana. The property allowed dogs and included a pond for swimming. I could also see two porches that were fenced at the bottom which would allow plenty of outside time in a safe environment.

A few days ago we loaded up our cars and met in the forest for this year’s adventure. It has been fantastic. I will say that I packed an enormous amount of dog care items in case of an emergency. The cabin has huge windows which allow lots of outdoor viewing. Lila is excellent off leash and just runs happily sniffing and exploring. Linus, unfortunately has to be on a long leash but is still able to run and explore. After an algae check on the pond, both dogs eagerly went swimming to cool off after all of the running. I could not have envisioned a better vacation this year. I sat reflecting on my birthday that this was about as perfect as it gets in such a beautiful place surrounded by those that I love so dearly.

Linus swimming in the pond
Linus taking a swim

Lila exploring after a swim

Vacationing with Springers is at the top of my list now. If the forest is not your thing, then why not the beach or mountains? You’re only limited by your own imagination and the powers of Google. There are lots of dog friendly places to go including local restaurants with outdoor seating. Many State Parks also allow dogs and I’ve seen many campgrounds that even have dog parks within them.

This breed thrives on new smells and experiences with their owners. They have large noses for a reason. šŸ˜ And you know what they say, a tired dog is a good dog. I encourage everyone to look into activities that you can experience with your dogs as it will enrich your life as well as that of your beloved Springer(s).