On a recent Sunday, I attended a very unusual, "Pond Party" in Fort Collins. Even though it was a swimming party, no one wore bathing suits. All of the attendees were dogs!
On a recent Sunday, I attended a very unusual, "Pond Party" in Fort Collins. Even though it was a swimming party, no one wore bathing suits. All of the attendees were dogs! Over sixty excited dogs came to the annual event with their people. The party was hosted by Connie Fredman, who is a medical boarding specialist, and she holds the event every year to celebrate animals and the companionship they give us. I've never seen so many happy, wet, smelly dogs. Even dogs that are cancer survivors with three legs, or "tri-pods" as Connie puts it, were not slowed down by anything. It was a dogs day and owners were only there to throw toys and provide treats. The party was also a fundraiser for a spay/neuter program for pets called PUP -Prevent Unwanted Pets.
Connie Fredman lives in Fort Collins. She provides medical boarding for dogs going through chemotherapy or other treatments. Her work began a few years ago when she worked at Colorado State University as a cage cleaner and she noticed how the dogs going through extended treatment were depressed and lonely. She asked if she could take some of the dogs home because they would recover much more quickly in a home setting. It took a long time but eventually she turned her house into a medical boarding center. Now when a dog is at CSU for an long period of time, the owners can contract care with Connie.
She usually has dogs for up to four weeks and has a physical therapy worker come in to work with the dogs, giving them massages, laser treatments, or even acupuncture. The saddest part of the job, as Connie recalls, is "knowing a dog with cancer will often die". Connie has helped about180 dogs since she started in 2003. She gets dogs from all over the country because of CSU's well know veterinary school, and even transports them to and from the airport to her house and CSU.
So, even though this is a one woman show, Connie is very happy. Dogs are her whole life and her work is a labor of love. She lives with her two dogs and a cat and also does foster care for Labradors, so she always has a full house. Life gets pretty messy, but to quote Connie, "Sometimes my life is dog poop" and that's OK.