Even though Desi, a lab-beagle mix, never lived to be 1 year old, she continues to impact the lives of a family and many others.
Bianca Hebert and her daughters, Isabelle, 8, and Chloe, 4, from Warwick Neck, fostered Desi, through the New England Humane Society (NEHS). Desi was recovering from parvovirus infection and had surgery on her intestines.
Bianca came across a post on Facebook from the NEHS that was shared by RI Pet Network about adopting Desi. Until she saw the post, adopting a dog had never occurred to her. She had a 13-year-old Chihuahua, Hoochie, that has been a part of the family since he was 9 weeks old.
When she saw the pictures of an emaciated Desi, she wanted to help.
Desi was 10 months old and was hospitalized for two months. She had a previous owner in Georgia but was taken by NEHS for adoption.
Before adoption, the Heberts fostered Desi for a little over a month. She was sweet, full of life, well behaved, and inseparable from the family. They often went on walks on the beach with her. They immediately fell in love and the girls came up with the idea to hold a lemonade stand to raise money to officially adopt her. They did this as a family project to get the girls involved.
Bianca said, “I couldn’t imagine her going to someone else.”
Unfortunately, Desi took a turn for the worse. The Ocean State Veterinary Specialists (OSVS) did all they could for her. Even while being hospitalized, Desi would still “kiss” all the technicians and wag her tail. They told them there was no guarantee surgery would help and it would be a rough road ahead. They had to make the decision to help “her cross over and end her suffering.” Expenses were covered by OSVS.
The Hebert family decided to turn their grief into a positive experience. They went ahead with the lemonade stand in front of their home in Desi’s honor to raise funds for the NEHS “so other dogs and families can have the opportunity to love and be loved,” said Bianca. The lemonade stand raised $70. They also set up an online fundraiser, which has raised $600 in Desi’s name. The online fundraiser can be found at www.fundrazr.com/campaigns/8pHn2.
Bianca hopes her daughters will learn from this experience. She said her parents instilled a love of animals that she hopes to pass along to them, which has led them to be vegetarians. The daughters are hesitant to adopt another dog, but Bianca took a quote from Hilary Stanton Zunin: “The risk of love is loss and the price of loss is grief. But the pain is only a shadow when compared with the pain of never risking love.” They definitely plan to adopt another dog.
The NEHS will host its first annual golf tournament at Cranston Country Club on Sept. 15. Isabelle and Chloe will be serving a lemonade stand on the 18th hole as a tribute to Desi.
Bianca and her girls believe Desi’s passing was not in vain, but rather that she and her story would continue to impact lives. Bianca is proud of her girls for “their bravery and kindness.”