Dear Frankie's Friends of KANSAS,
Late into the beautiful summer evening of August 19, 2015, I had been outside laughing and playing one final time before bed with my German Shepherd Dog named Spencer. Ending our blessed days with a bit of frolic has always been our habit.
Immediately upon returning inside our home to get ready for bed, I noticed that something was "off" about Spencer. First, he hacked as with a dry, unproductive cough, a brief thing to which I ordinarily may have paid little attention. However, with horrifying, sliding simultaneousness I also noticed that Spencer was drooling, panting and pacing. I checked, and discovered color fading from his gums. I sensed a terrible fear in my magnificently fearless dog. When I noticed that his abdominal area seemed to be bloating, I am certain that my dog sensed my fear, too.
Spencer had been absolutely fine one minute, and quite literally the next minute, he was just as absolutely NOT fine.
I'd never had a dog suffer it, but I'd heard horror stories about what laypersons usually refer to as "bloat." I knew that it is a sudden-onset catastrophe. I knew that it is very often fatal. I knew that it kills tortuously and relatively quickly.
I loaded Spencer into my vehicle for a full hour's rush to Blue Pearle Emergency Animal Hospital in Overland Park, Kansas. I prayed the entire way that I would arrive and they would tell me that I was just an overprotective and idiotic dog mom! But alas, that was not the case. Spencer was immediately diagnosed with Gastric Dilatation Volvulus (GDV) - aka, "bloat" - and only two options existed:
1) Spencer had a 75/25 - 50/50% chance of survival with a $6,000 emergency surgery, or
2) Spencer could immediately be euthanized
Except, NO. No, he couldn't just be euthanized. My whole soul wailed, and with fittingly guttural force, against that option.
The problem was that a $6,000 emergency surgery was the equivalent of about 1/3 of my YEARLY income, and being significantly disabled, there would be no way for me to simply increase my income. I was acutely aware that attempting to save Spencer's life was simply financially inviable, and that to preposterous proportion.
I was sweating and sobbing absolute dread.
And then, I remembered what I believe, and that is this: Money is not always everything, and cannot be allowed to be if we are to preserve our humanity. Whenever possible, we should always err on the side of life. Maybe love, and not money, needs to be allowed to make more of our decisions, and faith should be summoned to worry about the rest.
And so, Spencer underwent emergency surgery.
When Frankie's Friends of Kansas and Spencer's primary post-surgery treatment Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Catherine Peace of Blue Pearle Emergency Animal Hospital in Overland Park, Kansas learned of my financial paucity, an immediate and generous and loving donation was applied to Spencer's account. That was a huge hint that faith really will worry about the rest...
Incidentally, Spencer has recovered splendidly!
It is people like those of Frankie's Friends of KANSAS who selflessly donate funds to help other people and their pets that allow the flames of faith and hope and love and life to continue to be fanned.
Spencer sends a big slobbery kiss of gratitude to each of you, and I send a thanks and gratefulness that won't even fit into my words. You helped keep my best friend right where he belongs. There are no adequate words for that.
Dear Frankie's Friends of KANSAS,