HarryI had written a big, long-winded story about my dog and what happened but realized, I don’t need to go into detail for you to understand what happened and the difference the staff at Blue Pearl in Manhattan made for my little dog and me. His name is Harry. He’s a 5-year-old, long-haired dachshund who thinks he’s a human child! Harry has suffered from seizures all his life but they were controlled quite well with diet and he had one only occasionally. In early December, Harry had a cluster of seizures and I rushed him to the vet. They kept him for observation and pumped him full of Valium. Later that evening he was fine, so they called me and said I could take him home. The doctor gave me the information for Blue Pearl and told me to take him there if there was a night-time emergency.

Very early on Sunday morning, I had occasion to use it. Out of the blue, Harry was paralyzed. I had no clue how this happened and by the time I arrived at the Blue Pearl hospital in Queens, I was crying hysterically. I thought I was going to lose him. Long story short, I took Harry to see a neurologist at the Manhattan Blue Pearl location the next morning. Within 10 minutes of walking in, Harry was being examined by Dr. Levitin, who told me that Harry needed surgery. I was devastated. There was no way I could afford surgery. I had been out of work for a year and was thinking about what I could sell to get the money together to save my boy.

Dr. Levitin saw my distress and told me about Frankie’s Friends – a fund set up to help people pay for emergency surgery in the event they can’t afford it. I had to come up with as much as I could to help pay for the treatment but Frankie’s Friends provided the rest. They did the surgery that afternoon and I waited at the hospital all day for him. When the surgery was finished, the staff allowed me to sit with him in the ICU for about an hour.

The next morning, I arrived at 9 a.m. and the nurses were so great. I felt confident that Harry was cared for and loved when I wasn’t there. He was in the ICU for four days, where I sat with him for about five hours each day. I was never made to feel like I was in the way, or that I was anything but a loving mom. Every day he got better and better until finally, on the fifth day he was allowed to go home with me.

It’s been 4 months since his surgery and he still waddles a bit, but every day it’s less and less. I owe it all to Dr. Levitin and his staff, Tosha, Natasha and a host of other nurses and caregivers. I have my baby boy today because of the commitment, dedication and compassion of not just the people in the Blue Pearl facility, but also because of the wonderfully generous people who contribute to Frankie’s Friends.

To those of you who helped make it possible for me to pay for surgery have my baby home with me and safe today, I thank you from the depths of my soul. Harry and his sister Annie kept me going when I had breast cancer. Your generosity allowed me to give him a chance at life, just as he did for me. As silly as this sounds, I believe that it was my dogs’ unwillingness to allow me to sit on the couch and fade away that helped me recover. They demanded that I walk them at least three times a day, play with them and love them. I don’t know what I would have done without them and I don’t know what I would have done without you.

To Dr. Levitin, Tosha, Natasha, Dr. Joyce at the Queens location, the wonderful staff of Blue Pearl, I am so grateful for the TLC you gave Harry and me. To the people who care enough to understand that to some of us, dogs are people too, are compassionate enough to offer people with limited funds a choice to give their pets a chance at life, instead of having them put to sleep, (which I undoubtedly would have had to do without your contribution), I will never be able to repay your kindness but please know that you are greatly appreciated by this mom and her boy. You know you most certainly helped to save his life but it’s likely you don’t know, that you probably saved mine too. Thank you.

Phylli Conroy New York