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AZ - 2017

Three years ago I ventured into dog ownership for the first time as a newly single mom of a now 10 year old boy. The previous 5 years were very rough, first I had to quit working and go on long term disability. Shortly after, I got a divorce, filed for bankruptcy and had to start over. After getting my feet under me somewhat, my son and I adopted a wonderful boxer from Boxer Luv Rescue in Phoenix. Emma was an amazing spirit, unfortunately after 2 short years, she died very unexpectedly from a ruptured tumor on her spleen. 

I knew my son and I couldn't replace Emma, but we knew we couldn't live without a dog either. Boxer Luv Rescue came through for us again and we adopted Sydney in July of 2016. Sydney is such a wonderful dog, she is very quiet (she has never barked), so sweet natured, loves all kids (especially babies), goofy (she does Boxer burns through the house at 9pm on the dot every night), a loyal companion (she is by my side at all times) and a good listener. 

Sydney has been faithful to listen to my financial woes without passing judgement. I have spent the last year in and out of court for post divorce modification and watching my savings dwindle with each check paid to legal counsel. It is hard to even have a rainy day fund as a single mom living on disability alone.

Sydney came to us at 3 years old with lumps and bumps common to boxers. The vet felt they were just cysts but being a veteran boxer parent, I knew to watch her closely. In October of this year, I noticed Sydney had an unusual lump under her tail. In one week it had doubled in size. I took Sydney to the vet, praying my suspicions would prove to be unfounded. Unfortunately, the vet confirmed at diagnosis of a mast cell tumor. Due to the location and the nature of the tumor (cancer), it needed to be removed in a timely manner. 

After a good cry and plenty of "woe is me" I prayed for a miracle and hit the computer looking for help. I knew I couldn't pay for the tumor removal, the location makes removal difficult. Difficult is not cheap. I came across Brown Dog Foundation late at night and filled out the application without expectation. I got an immediate denial after hitting submit and went to bed dejected. The next morning I had another email from Carol at BDF. I was overjoyed to read the words, "we can help you." I actually read it three times before it sank in. 

With the help of BDF, Sydney is getting life saving surgery I otherwise could not have paid for. Without Brown Dog, I would have been forced to make a terrible choice of euthanasia. But thanks to the generosity of this wonderful organization, my son will keep his playmate and I will keep my shadow. 

For more information about Mast Cell Tumors, visit VCA Hospitals.