With Thanksgiving just a day away, all of us are thinking about the things in our life that we are thankful for. One of the things that all of us at WCVMC give thanks to every year is the power of the human animal bond. We understand the strength of this bond and the joy it fills our hearts. The unconditional love our pets bring us is so amazing and anyone that has felt that love will agree that they are thankful to have pets in their lives.

We would like to share the story of Sally, a sweet Beagle and her 5 year old owner, Casey. This is a story of strength, beating the odds, and the power of the human animal bond. From the words of Sally’s owner: “We hope the story of Sally and Casey inspires others to have faith in their pet’s ability to harness their family’s love as the best medicine to help them become healthy again.”

Since Casey was born, Sally has spent almost all of her time bonding with this sweet little girl. They quickly became best friends and Casey has grown up with Sally over the past five years. Unfortunately, over the past year, Sally’s health became a concern. Sally was diagnosed with endocarditis in October 2015. This is an infection of the heart. This disease generally has a very poor prognosis. The infection had spread to the entire body including the bone marrow and she was very sick. She was treated aggressively in the hospital for almost 2 weeks and survived. She beat the odds despite her very poor short term prognosis. In April 2016, Sally was faced with yet another challenge. She was diagnosed with hepatosplenic lymphoma (lymphoma affecting the spleen and liver), which also carries a very poor prognosis. She was treated with chemotherapy and initially responded well, however then went into acute kidney failure. Sally has again beaten the odds and has been fighting for 6 months, which is about 3 months longer than was expected. Casey and her family have been helping Sally fight every step of the way.

A few months ago, Casey and her dad brought Sally in for a visit to our hospital. Casey brought in all of the money she had been saving in her piggy bank and gave it to our front desk staff. She said she wanted the money she saved to be used to help cure cancer in pets. This act of kindness from a child just 5 years old, was truly inspiring for all of us at the hospital. Because of this, we will be sending a large donation to the Animal Cancer Foundation on behalf of Sally and our practice to help fund research to hopefully cure cancers like Sally fought so bravely.

Unfortunately, this past Monday, Sally lost her battle. All of us loved Sally as if she was our own pet and we are all deeply saddened by her passing. We know she has crossed the rainbow bridge and that she will be reunited with her human family someday. Sadly, when our pets face problems with their health, we, as pet owners, are often faced with difficult decisions and emotions. It is extremely hard to watch our beloved family members battle diseases that have no real cure. We thank you for taking the time to read Sally’s story. Animals leave foot prints on our hearts and we are all so thankful to have known Sally. Our thoughts are with her family during this difficult time.

If you would like to donate to the Animal Cancer Foundation, please click this link to their website: http://www.acfoundation.org/sally-and-casey