OR - 2016
Hazel came to us as a rescue. She was 5 months old and had never been house broken. We welcomed her and she quickly became a loving member of our family. Hazel is a sweet and lovable dog. She has never even so much as snarled at our children with just the right amount of separation anxiety, left over from her days in the pound, she never leaves our side. When hazel was a pup, we called her, “The Bouncy Bunny” because on walks, she would hike up onto her hind legs, paws bent in front, and bounce up and down.
At the time we adopted Hazel, we also had Humphrey, our reliable old soul-of-a-dog of 12 years, who came to love Hazel as his sister. After Humphrey passed, we adopted an older cat named, Charles. Hazel and Charles have come to share a deep and sometimes contentious love for each other.
One Halloween night, in 2011, we noticed Hazel not feeling her happy, bouncy self. She dived quickly into a lethargic state, with intense shivering and her once warm body turned icy cold. We were thinking she had gotten into Halloween chocolates and we took her to the nearest emergency vet. At midnight, that night, the veterinarian told us that her kidneys were failing her and the prognosis was grave. When we left the hospital, we were told to say our ‘goodbyes’, as she wasn’t expected to live throughout the night. It was a long and tearful ride home.
We were awoken at 4am by the hospital. The vet wanted to do one last test on Hazel. We waited by the phone for the next ring and when it finally came, we got the news that Hazel had Addison’s disease. This was a disease we’d never heard of but would come to know it quite well.
Addison’s is a treatable disease that attacks both humans and dogs (President John F. Kennedy had it) It goes for the adrenal gland, compromising the body from producing the corticosteriod hormones we need to sustain life. Treatable, at the mere cost of daily doses of prednisone plus a $100 shot of cortisone every 25 days. Our 3 year old pup was facing a mounting $10,640 if she was to make it to a ripe age of 10 years! This amount is excluding the several times that she has launched into what is known as an addisonian crisis, requiring more visits to the emergency hospital and several thousands of dollars.
During this same time, Bob lost his job. We held on to balance all our family needs and took a steep financial dive, as we struggled to pay Hazel’s medical cost. We had come to a real dead end as to how we would continue to keep up, selling off all retirement and savings and budgeting carefully.
Throughout the years, we have searched for ways to fray prescription costs, such as volunteering to help with homeless pet owners in the inner city and fund raising. I came across Brown Dog Foundation one night while scouring the internet.
Brown Dog came into our lives at just the right time. If not for this dedicated organization, it would be almost impossible to be sitting here, 5 years later, writing this letter, with Hazel our sides. They were instrumental in getting Hazel funding for her medical costs and this has put our mind at ease.
Our family is deeply thankful to the help Brown Dog has given us with this reprieve from the extra financial burden, we have had time to exhale.
Truthfully, we could not do this without the Brown Dog Foundation and we deeply appreciate your generosity.
Gia, Bob, Lily, Levi, Charles, & Hazel
For mor information about Addison's Disease in dogs, visti AddisonDogs.com.
UPDATE: On October 17, 2016 Hazel experienced an Addisonian crisis and passed away. The family is grieving deeply but are thankful for the several months our assistance gave them.