Saturday, January 31, 2009

**Updated** Caution: Sad story about a sick dog ahead.

**If you are looking for updates I have moved everything here. This post was getting way too long.**

Let me tell you an amazing story about a little dog I know named Zoe. She was rescued from a puppy mill situation in 2005 or early '06, and came into my friend Boomer and her husband Brett's home as a foster dog. Poor girl was in bad shape. She is a long-haired dachshund, but you could hardly tell at first glance. Zoe endured several botched c-sections at the mill, a mouthful of rotten teeth, and had clearly been severely neglected and/or abused by the people in charge. Zoe was afraid of everyone.

As she began to heal, Zoe was placed with an adoptive family. She came back to Boomer and Brett almost immediately, now labeled as "too mean." Weeks of trial and error, back-and-forth trips, and disappointment later, Zoe still didn't have a home.

Not long after the last rejection, Zoe finally found her forever family. Their names were Boomer and Brett.

Boomer and Brett worked tirelessly with Zoe, truly believing that there was a sparkling gem of a dog inside this terrified, mean, bedraggled creature. They didn't give up on her, and never stopped believing that Zoe could do anything with enough love, patience and treats. They were right. As Zoe's fur started growing in, we all began to notice how beautiful this dog really was. Her coat was long and shiny, and there was a sparkle in her eyes that hadn't always been there. Once she realized she wasn't going anywhere, her spunky personality started to emerge. Every milestone was celebrated. I remember Boomer calling me one day to report that Zoe played with a toy, for the first time in her life.

Almost by fluke, Boomer discovered that Zoe had a powerful prey drive and was quite interested in hunting. They started competing in Earthdog events. Little Miss Zoe, with her 5 teeth, quickly worked her way up the ladder and earned an Earthdog Champion title. If you've even been to Boomer and Brett's house, you have seen her strutting around, tongue lolling out the side of her mouth, picking up her sister's toys purely to incite playfullness.

Zoe had emergency bowel surgery last night. She started getting sick on Wednesday night, vomiting and refusing food. There's no blockage, but a sudden and freakish hernia that went very bad. Dr. Britt (kate's vet) did the surgery after having already worked a full shift at the Animal Hospital. When she called late Friday night, Dr. Britt shared that she had to remove a large section of Zoe's bowel and things were still very touch-and-go. The recovery is very risky, and we won't really know for sure how she is doing for a while yet. I did hear that Zoe is awake this morning, though I haven't gotten an update since about 8.

I told you. It's a sad but amazing story. Here's the part where I make my Jerry Lewis-like appeal:
Boomer unexpectedly lost her job just after Thanksgiving. She and Brett are paying their bills and feeding themselves and the dogs, but don't have a lot left over for extras. Like dachshund surgery. When Boomer and Kate called me yesterday afternoon to tell me about the surgery, my first reaction was to try and make the financial part of this experience cause the least amount of stress possible. We're putting the whole bill on my credit card and Boomer will pay me back when she can. Several people have offered their help, and, so, this is how to help.

Give us your money.

No, seriously. I've decided to set up a mini fund-raiser to help Boomer and her family afford Zoe's medical care. I can accept bank transfers and credit card donations through PayPal if you have an account set up there (my address there is laura.c.wolfe at gmail dot com), as well as the traditional methods of cash and check (hit me up in the comments section if you need my address). Any small donation you are able to spare will help Boom and Brett worry less about affording all this, so they can concentrate on Zoe's well-being.

But wait! There's more!

Anyone local who donates will be entered in a drawing to win an awesome prize: my mad photography skillz! Yes, I will travel to one lucky winner's house with my camera and stuff, take pictures of you/your dogs/your lint ball collection for an hour, and then send you a photo CD with full reprinting rights for all images. That's like, a $32 value at least, right?

Awesome Prize Opportunity #2:
Marigrace of Southpaw Dog Grooming has also agreed to donate 1 bath and nail trim (for a dachshund only, no rottweilers or humans allowed!). Anyone with a wiener who sends a donation will also be entered to win this item.

The Prizes Just Keep Getting Better #3:
Lo-Downs member Patty Clay has offered up her knitting skills to one lucky dachshund! She will hand-knit a custom-sized dog sweater for the winner of this prize. Anyone with a wiener who sends a donation will also be entered to win this item.

Can It Even Be True? Prize #4:
Lo-Downs Member Melinda has put together a gift basket for the drawing. It has a $15.00 gift card to Blockbuster, popcorn bowl, popcorn, cheese sprinkle for popcorn, m&ms, twizzlers, milk duds, and chocolate covered raisins. Anyone who has sent money is eligible to win this one.

Out-of-Towner Prize Available:
I did not anticipate getting donations from outside the STL metro area, but, uh, I have. Thanks, Natalia! I know that Boomer has some out-of-town friends inside the computer as well, so I've added a special prize drawing for people who are not local.

It's a quilt! I made it myself!
I know, my list of talents just keeps on growing! This quilt is approximately 40" square, and suitable for hanging, a lap quilt, or a baby, if you're into that sort of thing. Machine pieced in a pattern of my own making, and machine quilted. I call it "Summer Windows," because it makes me think of looking out the window on a perfect, sunny, clear summer day.

Please don't hesitate to email me (laura.c.wolfe at gmail dot com), contact me via facebook or in the comments here. I am doing this as a completely personal venture because Boomer is one of the most amazing, open, and selfless friends of all time and I'd like to support her the best way I know how.