I’ve been having a difficult time the past week or so whenever I attempted to do the next entry in my GDS Sasha’s blog ~ only because the time period I’ll be writing about was very difficult for me. Then out of the blue on Thursday a woman on Twitter reached out and asked if I was the person who used to have a Facebook page for my black dog named Callie. I was dumbstruck and sat down because it really caught me off guard. She said she put two and two together because she remembered I had a German Shepherd with a Facebook page as well, was passionate (ok crazed) about K9 deaths due to handler negligence so connected the dots.  All she wanted was some support because she was lost and floundering and oh God do I remember those feelings. She had been rejected by every animal organization she applied to for even the smallest of financial grants and said she recalled I wrote a two-part article called “My Dog Has Cancer ~ Now What?” Honestly? When I wrote in Callie’s Crusade I never thought anyone was reading it; it was more of a catharsis for me. Well, perhaps catharsis is an oxymoron for while I wanted to purge my emotions at the same time my writing kept Callie with me. Fortunately I still have all my paperwork from Callie’s illness and was easily able to pull up the articles she was looking for. When she gave me her email address I realized she lives in Florida. I asked if she had applied to Emma’s Foundation but she’d never heard of it. Emma’s was started by a wonderful women as a way of honoring her late dog who died from cancer. From the organizations humble beginnings it’s grown exponentially. They were located in Vermont and were one of the very few if not the only organizations that would assist animals in New Hampshire, Vermont, or Maine. There are several in New England that are only open to applicants from Massachusetts. As luck would have it the founder and president of Emma’s relocated to Florida in the beginning of 2016 and has had many successful fundraisers both there and in New England. Emma’s is now available to dogs from Florida so I gave the information to the woman. She was ecstatic when she emailed me on Friday to say a gentleman from Emma’s reached out to her that day shortly after she filled out the online application. I felt happy for her and  Maggie because I felt sure Emma’s would lend her a hand. Plus the founder has become a friend and she is just such a  kind and compassionate woman. Something this poor lady really needed. Maggie’s mom said she saw on Emma’s website that they were having a fundraiser today (Saturday) and did I think she and Maggie coud go as she didn’t live far from where it was being held. I emailed the founder and she happily said “Sure! Can’t wait to meet them”.

Today is a rainy day and I was just fiddling around writing about the El Faro tragedy for it sunk one year ago today.  I received an email around 11am from Maggie’s mom and  I expected it to say she was at the fundraiser. Instead, she was at the emergency vet because Maggie has a hemoabdomen (abdomen full of blood). She was so distraught! I responded by saying perhaps it was her spleen which would be the best diagnosis. But she replied that Maggie’s spleen ruptured in February and was surgically removed. Maggie was very weak and they’d given her a blood transfusion but at that point (3:55pm ET) they still didn’t know where the bleeding was coming from.

I wrote the usual things about trying to stay strong don’t worry about money now but focus on Maggie. Then she emailed the words I knew all too well “Help me I’m terrified“at which point I began crying and still havent fully relaxed. It’s the absolute worst place to be ~ a netherworld between the life or death of your faithful and much-loved companion. When the prognosis can change drastically in a matter of minutes. You’re cold and alone even if you’re surrounded by family. I  can’t quite describe it but it is horrible. My heart aches for her yet I’ve never met her or her Maggie. I emailed my friend (the founder of Emma’s) to update her because I knew the fundraiser was over at 4pm and thought ~ I don’t know. Maybe she could connect with Maggie’s mother.


Every day it seems there’s another horrific case of animal abuse in the media. Puppies being raped, dogs and cats enduring horrific torture at the hands of psychopaths, family dogs being stolen and killed for “fun”. Yet I never become immune to it which is why for my own sanity I limit myself to unnecessary K9 deaths. occasionally something so egregious will hit me and I go off on a media blitz but for the most part I stick with working dogs. Their deaths due to carelessness upsets me yes but in a semi-detached way. whereas loosing a family dog to cancer sends an arrow right through my heart.

Today just sucks ~ I miss her so much

August 2016
August 2016

PS: As I was finishing she emailed to say Maggie is stable but they would like to keep her. She opted to take her home; a decision I agree with. I told her that since Maggie entered her life they’ve been making a memory book together. To keep making them hour by hour and never let that book close.




5 thoughts on “I’m Distraught So I’ll Write

  1. My dog Little Buddy died of cancer in 2003. I spent almost $10K on vet care. The vets are scammers. I won’t go into all of it, but at least here there are no successful cases of dogs being treated with chemotherapy. In fact, the chemo killed Little Buddy.

    1. Callie had responded exceptionally well after only 2 treatments. 90% shrinkage. She’d had a bit of a temp accompanied by n/v and I thought it would be easier on her to go to her primary local vet as opposed to the 2 hr trip to specialty group.But her local vet caused her death by failure to treat a slight temp, instead allowing it to get deathly high then telling me time to leave as office closing. By the time I got her to the ER practice that’s affiliated w/her specialty group, her temp was over 107. They fought all night to save her. Thought they had it but because she’d been allowed to languish with such an elevated temp for so many hours her kidneys couldn’t reverse the damage and she went into acute renal failure. The docs felt so strongly about the care she DID’NT receive at the local level that letters were sent to state board. No sanctions issued, just reprimand etc. Her unnecessary death is the primary reason I champion for K9s who die from being “forgotten” in hot cars by irresponsible handlers. I’ve done the research and know the physiological destruction prolonged heat exposure does to them.

    1. Thx so much for asking! The last I heard Maggie was resting quietly at home. They want her to rest as much as possible to conserve her energy. Tomorrow (Monday) she’ll see her oncologist who hopefully will be able to make a definitive diagnosis. I’ve been on an emotional roller coaster anyway this week. My daughter is a LEO who was severely injured by an out of control prisoner being brought into custody in 2012 (the same year I did my thing). In the USA they have Workers Compensation to cover injuries and/or disability brought on by a workplace incident but it can be a nightmare to get. I’ve heard the horror stories over the years but never personally had an injury. Despite my daughter’s attack being on camera, in front of other officers, WC is fighting her. Her first (2) attempts were denied, This week she has a judicial hearing. It’s very difficult to watch a family member suffer & become a different person in front of you. The government can be such a PIA at times. Tat’s another reason I’ve taken he low road with my eyeglasses fiasco. I can only take so many battles at once. And I have to ask ~ why IS everything a fight?

      1. Oh love I don’t know. I wish I had an answer for you, but all I can say is stay strong and brave. You’ve been amazing this far.
        I was shocked to hear about your daughter- FILM evidence and they are still disputing her claim??
        Hoping Maggie is all right too x
        Just don’t forget to look after yourself too, though xx

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