National, TN - 2014
Seven years ago, I went to a chain pet store that was having an adoption day with one of the local shelters. I had lost two cats in the last two years, thankfully it was to old age, but not having them around left a big void in my life.
I went with the intention of adopting 2 kittens, preferably from the same litter. I found the two kittens who picked me but while I was filling out the paperwork the shelter volunteer was telling me about a full grown tuxedo they were having trouble adopting out. She said they were kind of glad about it because he was so sweet, affectionate and playful. she spent a good five minutes telling me how glad she was he hadn't been adopted. of course after that non sales job-sales job, he went home with me too.
That's how Elle, Ana, and Maxam (all my cats have had palindrome names) came to live in the apartment I rented for them... where they let me live that is.
The economy was on its way to tanking and the industry I work in, the music business, was faring especially bad. After 25 years in the industry, on going lay offs and continually longer search times between jobs had taken a massive toll on my savings and personal finances. I moved back to Nashville from Atlanta in hopes of making it easier to find work. Unfortunately the job situation only improved a little and I was pretty much out of savings by the time the next lay off hit. I had lost Elle to an aneurysm about a year after moving back and I noticed Ana was starting to lick sores on herself. My cats being my family I prioritized taking her to the vet to try and stop the issues that were so bad they were causing her to self mutilate basically. After tests, shots and drugs I was down to nothing left, still not knowing why she was doing it or how to stop it. Ana was only getting worse. swallowing my pride I started looking on line financial assistance.
I found Brown Dog Foundation through a simple web search . after reading through their process I still had a few questions. I looked up their twitter and asked for an email address to send my questions to. the response I received started me on the way to finding out what was wrong with Ana and what I needed to do to fix it. The assistance received allowed me to find out that Ana has severe allergies. She's allergic to common allergens like certain foods, certain pollens, etc. But she also turned out to be allergic to human skin. Which is really problematic since its the main component in dust and no matter how well you dust, it will always be present on everything in a person's environment. Now knowing what she is allergic to, I know what I need to feed her and I'm in the process of getting medication for her that will be a long term solution to her non food allergies. Brown Dog was able to help me when I had finally run into a wall that prevented me from doing it myself. Not only has Brown Dog been helpful financially but the empathy and concern for me and my fur baby has helped me endure a very stressful and difficult time. Brown Dog has been so much more than just financial assistance. They've helped me find out the what's and why's that I couldn't afford to pay for anymore, and they also made me feel like I had made new friends who truly care about me and my "kids". Thanks to everyone at Brown Dog for make a very difficult time, for a multitude of reasons, so much more bearable and solution oriented.