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Help fund Molly's continued cancer treatments through Land Of Pure Gold

 

Molly's Fund

 

Molly was diagnosed with Transitional Cell Carcinoma (TCC - Bladder Cancer) on March 11, 2010. Her prognosis was poor, with a survival time of about 1 year with treatment. We started treatment immediately. We are now 29 months (on August 11, 2012) since diagnosis, and have been through 6 chemotherapy drugs. The toll on my family and finances of keeping my sweet, life loving girl going has been tremendous and has put us deeply in debt. Having her with us and watching her live each and every day to it's fullest has all been worth it.

 

About Molly:

Molly was born on October 30, 1999 on a cattle ranch in Sonoma CA. I had just lost the second of my elderly dogs and saw the add in the paper. I just had to call, and then go "just to look". When we arrived there was a littler of cute puppies, all of them tri-colored except for Molly, and her sister (who was almost all white). It didn't take long for us to realize Molly was meant to join our family. The breeder wanted to keep her another 2 weeks, but when I noticed all the fleas she had, I was able to convince the breeder to let us take her that day - she was 6 weeks old - not knowing that I had actually save her life. When we took her to the vets, we were told she wouldn't have made it another 2 weeks, that the fleas would have made her too anemic.

 

Molly has had a very full life. She has done Agility, sheep herding, Flyball, and pet assisted therapy work. She has always give her all in everything we have done together, just as she has done in her battle against cancer. She has been my companion, friend, and working partner. Our bond runs deep, we are truly attached at the heart.

 

On August 2, 2012 Molly was hospitalized due to a reaction to the 4th dose of the latest chemotherapy drug we were using on her. She developed aspirate pneumonia. It was a tough fight and we thought we may loose her, but she fought, as always, and came home on August 6, 2012.

 

On August 8, 2012 We went to UC Davis to see our internist there. Molly was relapsing and needed to be hospitalized. We chose to hospitalize her closer to home so I could spend as much time as possible with her. Up until last night (August 10) we weren't sure if she would make it. But she had received plasma earlier that day and it seemed to be starting to kick in. She got brighter, drank some water and ravenously ate some chicken. She continued to improve over night and I was greeted in the lobby my Molly, who now was wagging her tail and trotting over to me. She is still weak and will need to stay a day or two more.

 

The bill are tremendous, and my credit lines are running thin.

 

Please consider a donation to help pay for Molly's accumulated bills, especially this last hospital stay. No amount is too small, every dollar counts. It may feel like a drop in the bucket and like it can't make a difference, but it can and it does. A bucket can be filled to the brim, just 1 drop at a time.

 

Donations made using this link are tax deductible Land of PureGold Foundation

 

Molly and I thank you in advance for anything you are able to give.

 

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Joellen

 

Can I ask a few questions? I have been out of the loop? What are her chances for long term recovery? Will she out of the hospital soon? I know it is hard when a loved one is hurting so badly. did I miss it in your posting?

 

When Tess got run over last year, we considered all options...her option for recovery and if so, how long and what cost...if it looked like she would not live more than 6 months, we would make the hard choice to put her down. The vet gave us a slim chance of her even making it but when I brought her pink piggy to the hospital, she grabbed it and I told the vet she would live. Piggy is her security blanket...the rest of the time she was in the hospital, she had her head on Piggy. We spent over $8,000 for her and if we had decided to put her down at that time, it would have been $5000 at that point but when she grabbed Piggy, we said "Go on". As it was, we are still paying for it and will be for a long time. Now her health is failing as she has congestive heart diease, kidney failure and pulomoary hyper-tension (sp?) so her time is limited. We decided to make her time remaining as good as possible and not prolong her suffering. If we knew that her congestive heart failure, kidnety failure could be fixed, we would think hard about this but as it is, we made the choice to have quality of life for her. We looked at it as the issues she has are terminal and not fixable like the car accident.

 

So what I am trying to get at is, what is her quality of life, and your financial limit? I don't know what type of donations you can get but don't count on them or very much. If you get some, consider it a bonus. Look at what you have timewise/healthwise with her and your ability to pay.

 

 

I dread the day when Tess tells me she is ready to join Shiro.

 

I really hope your Molly gets well...she is your heart dog.

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Joellen

 

Can I ask a few questions? I have been out of the loop? What are her chances for long term recovery? Will she out of the hospital soon? I know it is hard when a loved one is hurting so badly. did I miss it in your posting?

 

When Tess got run over last year, we considered all options...her option for recovery and if so, how long and what cost...if it looked like she would not live more than 6 months, we would make the hard choice to put her down. The vet gave us a slim chance of her even making it but when I brought her pink piggy to the hospital, she grabbed it and I told the vet she would live. Piggy is her security blanket...the rest of the time she was in the hospital, she had her head on Piggy. We spent over $8,000 for her and if we had decided to put her down at that time, it would have been $5000 at that point but when she grabbed Piggy, we said "Go on". As it was, we are still paying for it and will be for a long time. Now her health is failing as she has congestive heart diease, kidney failure and pulomoary hyper-tension (sp?) so her time is limited. We decided to make her time remaining as good as possible and not prolong her suffering. If we knew that her congestive heart failure, kidnety failure could be fixed, we would think hard about this but as it is, we made the choice to have quality of life for her. We looked at it as the issues she has are terminal and not fixable like the car accident.

 

So what I am trying to get at is, what is her quality of life, and your financial limit? I don't know what type of donations you can get but don't count on them or very much. If you get some, consider it a bonus. Look at what you have timewise/healthwise with her and your ability to pay.

 

 

I dread the day when Tess tells me she is ready to join Shiro.

 

I really hope your Molly gets well...she is your heart dog.

 

8/12/12

 

Molly got to come home today! She is SO HAPPY!! She is pretty tired, but has been getting stronger the last couple of days since she has been allowed to eat several small meals a day. We're keeping her on injectable antibiotics for today and will start oral tomorrow and see how she does. I will continue to give her extra fluids for a few days, too.

 

Once she regains her strength her quality of life will be excellent, as it has been over the 29 months since she was diagnosed with TCC (Transitional Cell Carcinoma - bladder cancer). Her long term survival is unknown. We were given 1 year 29 months ago, so who knows? She is a strong dog with a strong will and is otherwise in darn good shape - kidneys, heart, liver, cognitive function, etc..

 

Molly just amazes me, her heart and her will to live are phenomenal! Yes, she is my heart dog.

 

The bill for this last stay is around $4000. My CARE card is maxed, my other cards are getting close. No amount is too small. Even the biggest bucket can be filled one drop at a time.

 

UNTIL ONE HAS LOVED AN ANIMAL,

A PART OF ONE'S SOUL REMAINS UNAWAKENED

~~~Anatole France~~~

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8/13/12 Update

 

Molly is feeling even better and stronger today, thank God. Someone "up there" is definitely looking out for us. She has taught so many people so much. I believe we are all here for a purpose, and she must have more we all need to learn from her. I hope it will take her a few years to teach us, after all, we are human. ;)

 

Wanted to share this with you all. When we went to UC Davis last Tuesday, the senior student that admitted us said she had just given a talk on TCC (the kind of bladder cancer Molly has). She said she had heard of a dog named Molly that was almost 2.5 years out since diagnosis. I told her this was her. She said "This is THE Molly?". I told her yes, this was her.

 

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Because she is worth it.

 

I have and continue to incur incredible debt because of it. My husband is retired, so we are on a fixed income. Thank goodness we have excellent credit, but they will only give a person so many credit cards, and the ones we have are topping out.

 

I swore I would never base the care my pets would get on money, they are part of my family. Morally, for me, it's not an option.

 

I obtained help from The Magic Bullet Fund and from Land Of PureGold right after Molly was diagnosed, for which I am eternally greaful, but their funds are limited and they have to help as many as they can. Land Of PureGold has been very supportive by allowing me to raise funds through their site both to make the donations tax deductible and so donors can be assured their entire donation would go directly to the veterinarian caring for Molly.

 

I thought that in appealing to other animal lovers for help, they would understand. It is not easy asking others for help, especially strangers. I have had to get to a place where I just have to take my chances that some will understand and some won't, and that's OK.

 

When my Molly is no longer with me, I will be starting a non profit foundation to help other pet owners in need of help with veterinary care, so it will get "payed forward". No one should have to choose life or death for their pet based on money.

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Because she is worth it to me...I swore I would never base the care my pets get on money...No one should have to choose life or death for their pet based on money.

I don't mean to sound callous but you have made extremely expensive choices in several attempts to prolong the life of your personal pet, and now you are asking others to help you pay the bills. I just don't see the logic in that.

 

When and if my animals experience life-threatening illnesses or disease or disability (particularly in their senior years), should I go ahead with treatment *that I can't afford* and expect others to pay for it or part of it?

 

I'm sorry if I don't agree but I think that when you (the generic you) take on the responsibility for a pet, it is *your* responsibility to make the choices that *you* can afford (like the rest of us), and not ask/expect others to help pay for those choices.

 

If you will "never base the care your pets get on money" then do you anticipate asking others for help when and if each of your other pets faces medical expenses that you can't afford?

 

I don't mean to argue, sound mean, or sound uncaring - but I take responsibility for my own animals and for my own choices, and don't plan on asking others to be responsible for my choices. I think most people here would feel the same way, and I don't think it's a matter of whether or not we "understand".

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We incurred a good debt for Tess's vet bill over the last year and I do not expect anyone beside my spouse and I to pay for it. I sold a good portion of my flock as well as two started dogs to help pay for it and we still are paying for it. Tess in our dog and therefore OUR responsibilty. We made the hard decision if something "else major" would happen to her, we would have her join Shiro on the other side. We love our Tess as she is our "child" since we have no children. Yes, she is a dog but we love her dearly. As her "parents" or "owners" we have to make the hard decision to let her go and not make her suffer. On the other side of the coin, the bill is ours to pay and we set our limit. Our cap has been reached and her lifespan is not going to be much longer and while she is here, I want to make her life enjoyable. It was my choice to take Tess to the vet and pay the bills. I don't expect anyone else to pay.

 

What I am saying is, Molly is your dog and your responsibilty. She is worth every penny to you. But don't expect people to pay for your choices. What if no one donates anything....what are you going to do?

 

If I were in your shoes, and I am sorta that way with Tess....I look at quality of life, length of life, recovery and MY ability to pay. My vet expects to get paid at time of service and therefore we put the bill on cards. Tess will long gone by the time I pay it off BUT it is my choice. You need to figure out what you can pay and the outcome of life for Molly

 

I have and will continue to donate to animals in need. I look at the end results and circumstances.....last donation I made was to a Border Collie that was hit by a driver down in CA while she was moving sheep on the road. I also donate a lot to Border Collie rescue for dogs that need surgery so they can be placed in foster homes.

 

A lot of us truely care deeply for our dogs and we dearly love them as you do for Molly. We have been in the same hard spot as you, some folks have been there several times and the choices are not easy.

 

But the end result, is you need to figure out what you can do for Molly. How long will she live, what is her recovery and what dollar limit can you live with?

 

You need to draw a line in the sand. At least that is my opinion. It's hard to do this and often fraught with emotion when a beloved dog is in pain.

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I don't mean to argue, sound mean, or sound uncaring - but I take responsibility for my own animals and for my own choices, and don't plan on asking others to be responsible for my choices. I think most people here would feel the same way, and I don't think it's a matter of whether or not we "understand".

 

I do and have always taken responsibility for my pets and their expenses. This is the first, and hopefully, the only time I will ever have to be in this position. I am not flippantly asking others to pick up my tab. I went out on a limb posting this subject here, with no preconceived expectations, except perhaps no responses. I did not expect the types of responses that I am getting, at least not so many of them.

 

Molly's cancer diagnosis prompted me to get at least 2 of my other dogs health insurance so I will never have to be put in this embarrassing and frustrating position again.

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I see you are a dog trainer - have you considered having a fun day fundraiser? Give folks a chance to get out and try different activities with their dogs with the entry fees going towards the bills you've incurred? Have contests, etc? Maybe dog friends in the area would lend a hand?

 

Personally I'd be much more likely to participate in something like that rather than just donate money. And people like to get out and do something fun with the money going towards what they feel is a good cause.

 

Other ideas -

 

Holding a car wash - talk to different business owners and see if one would allow you to use their parking lot.

 

Making dog treats or toys to sell through Etsy

 

Making dog treats to sell at a farmers market

 

Put up ads looking for extra work doing xxx, explain your situation, maybe you could pick up some pet sitting or dog walking jobs? If your husband is retired that could be perfect because he is able to get out in the middle of the day when people are most likely to need a dog walker.

 

I am very sorry about Molly. I was in that position a year ago with my heart dog. It's not easy.

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Joellen,

What happens now if one of your other pets gets sick? What about one of your children, or you or your spouse? What if one of you loses your source of income? If you've already taken yourself and your family to the financial brink (as you seem to describe) for Molly, what's there to spare for any other real need? I don't think pet insurane is limitless--it must have a cap just like some (all?) people insurance does. Even if people donate right and left, it doesn't change the fact that whatever you do for Molly from here on out is likely to be very expensive and not likely to extend her life greatly nor be completely pleasant for her. I think what people are really asking is for you to consider when it makes sense to bankrupt yourself to try to prolong the life of a pet. Because it sounds like that's where you may be headed. I know very, very few of these dogs who live past 15 or 16. The sad fact is that Molly, even as you spend every last penny and ask for more, to care for her, is essentially at the end of her life. As others have noted, we all have to make hard choices when it comes to our beloved pets. One of those is the very real choice of what to do at the end of life. When we get pets one of the covenants we make with them is that we will let them go when the time comes. You can't make her live forever no matter how much money you spend (and yes, I realize you don't want her to live forever, just a little while longer), but you also have a financial responsibility to your other animals and your family. Saving one pet with a "no holds barred" attitude toward the situation just doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

 

I'm not meaning to pile on here. But I have also battled cancer in my now 15-year-old border collie. My first border collie. My heart dog and the one who started it all for me (and the one whose name my farm bears). I put her through chemo and other treatments, but at some point I came to the realization that if I kept going, I was doing it for ME and not for HER. I am exceedingly lucky that even after a severe liver issue brought on by chemo and my subsequent decision to just go with palliative care, she is still with me. I made that decision when she was 13 going on 14 after spending a year and a half trying vatious treatments. I imagine you see how good Molly feels between hospitalizations and treatments, but have you considered how bad she must feel at the times she now requires hospitalization? Is it really worth putting her through that--repeatedly--for just a few more months, weeks, days?

 

Those are the hard questions you need to ask yourself. I understand that you put yourself out here hoping people would understand, and I think people do sympathize, but they don't really understand, at least not the part about essentially bankrupting oneself for a pet. We certainly all understand how difficult it it is to let go. I wish you peace.

 

ETA: I wanted to add that dogs don't think about the future the way humans do. When Molly feels good, she feels good. When she's sick and in the hospital, all she knows is that she feels really bad. She can't think, "Well, if I can make it through again, I'll have a few days of feeling good to be with my humans." This is an essential difference between dogs and humans: We can't explain to them that if they just endure this one more time, they might feel a little better for a little while. Nor can we explain to them why we keep putting them through the things we do.

 

J.

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I see you are a dog trainer - have you considered having a fun day fundraiser? Give folks a chance to get out and try different activities with their dogs with the entry fees going towards the bills you've incurred? Have contests, etc? Maybe dog friends in the area would lend a hand?

 

Personally I'd be much more likely to participate in something like that rather than just donate money. And people like to get out and do something fun with the money going towards what they feel is a good cause.

 

Other ideas -

 

Holding a car wash - talk to different business owners and see if one would allow you to use their parking lot.

 

Making dog treats or toys to sell through Etsy

 

Making dog treats to sell at a farmers market

 

Put up ads looking for extra work doing xxx, explain your situation, maybe you could pick up some pet sitting or dog walking jobs? If your husband is retired that could be perfect because he is able to get out in the middle of the day when people are most likely to need a dog walker.

 

I am very sorry about Molly. I was in that position a year ago with my heart dog. It's not easy.

 

Maralynn

 

Thank you for the compassionate and constructive reply. It is greatly appreciated. My friends and clients have helped out. I am going to do a fund raiser training day at one of my client's company that has a very dog friendly work environment. Also considering an Agility fun day, just trying to figure out parking as I only have enough for about 8 - 10 cars.

 

I am going to pull my post from this forum.

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Joellen,

What happens now if one of your other pets gets sick? What about one of your children, or you or your spouse? What if one of you loses your source of income? If you've already taken yourself and your family to the financial brink (as you seem to describe) for Molly, what's there to spare for any other real need? I don't think pet insurane is limitless--it must have a cap just like some (all?) people insurance does. Even if people donate right and left, it doesn't change the fact that whatever you do for Molly from here on out is likely to be very expensive and not likely to extend her life greatly nor be completely pleasant for her. I think what people are really asking is for you to consider when it makes sense to bankrupt yourself to try to prolong the life of a pet. Because it sounds like that's where you may be headed. I know very, very few of these dogs who live past 15 or 16. The sad fact is that Molly, even as you spend every last penny and ask for more, to care for her, is essentially at the end of her life. As others have noted, we all have to make hard choices when it comes to our beloved pets. One of those is the very real choice of what to do at the end of life. When we get pets one of the covenants we make with them is that we will let them go when the time comes. You can't make her live forever no matter how much money you spend (and yes, I realize you don't want her to live forever, just a little while longer), but you also have a financial responsibility to your other animals and your family. Saving one pet with a "no holds barred" attitude toward the situation just doesn't make a lot of sense to me.

 

I'm not meaning to pile on here. But I have also battled cancer in my now 15-year-old border collie. My first border collie. My heart dog and the one who started it all for me (and the one whose name my farm bears). I put her through chemo and other treatments, but at some point I came to the realization that if I kept going, I was doing it for ME and not for HER. I am exceedingly lucky that even after a severe liver issue brought on by chemo and my subsequent decision to just go with palliative care, she is still with me. I made that decision when she was 13 going on 14 after spending a year and a half trying vatious treatments. I imagine you see how good Molly feels between hospitalizations and treatments, but have you considered how bad she must feel at the times she now requires hospitalization? Is it really worth putting her through that--repeatedly--for just a few more months, weeks, days?

 

Those are the hard questions you need to ask yourself. I understand that you put yourself out here hoping people would understand, and I think people do sympathize, but they don't really understand, at least not the part about essentially bankrupting oneself for a pet. We certainly all understand how difficult it it is to let go. I wish you peace.

 

ETA: I wanted to add that dogs don't think about the future the way humans do. When Molly feels good, she feels good. When she's sick and in the hospital, all she knows is that she feels really bad. She can't think, "Well, if I can make it through again, I'll have a few days of feeling good to be with my humans." This is an essential difference between dogs and humans: We can't explain to them that if they just endure this one more time, they might feel a little better for a little while. Nor can we explain to them why we keep putting them through the things we do.

 

J.

 

J,

 

I have never kept an animal alive for me. I always ask myself that question anytime I decide about treatment.. I would say since Molly's diagnosis she has had only about 10 - 12 bad days, including her two recent hospitalizations. So her quality of life has been great! I had placed a limit on how far I was going with this last episode, but Molly improved before that point came. She is feeling really good now, just still a little weak from having been off food and laying around. I also have very realistic vets who would not put Molly through anything just for me. If at any time I feel she is "done" I will let her go. I want her go out with a sheep in one paw and a Frisbee in the other, body used up, saying wow, what a ride.

 

No, we will not go bankrupt, just will be in debt for a long time. I'm just trying to keep my head above water by asking for a few sticks so I can start to build a life raft, not be rescued.

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An agility fund raiser sounds like a great idea. Have people donate in spirit if they cannot attend. Have people bring items for a raffle. I bet you would have a good success at this.

 

A raffle is an excellent idea.

 

Also, if you have Agility equipment, maybe you could rent your field/building to small groups for training time when you aren't holding classes. That would solve the parking problem. Perhaps some of your students would volunteer to be on hand to supervise/assist.

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A raffle is an excellent idea.

I agree. CBCR has a volunteer that makes great baskets for us to raffle; doggie baskets, handler baskets, movie night baskets, etc. Joellen, maybe you could make something like that? Another good item to raffle off is a homemade dog quilt. We use to have a volunteer that would make quilts for us with dog prints to raffle. The key would be to hold the raffle at a high traffic area. Do you know of a dog event that’s coming up in your area? Maybe a mom & pop pet store would let you keep the item at their location and will help you sale the tickets? Maybe they will even donate an item for you?

 

Another idea is asking your vet if you could put up a donation jar with Molly’s picture and a little bio in their reception area.

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I have to admit I am split on this subject.

But I have to imagine that it is not easy to ask for help in such a public way. I have no doubt that Molly was worth it to her owner to put herself out here like this. In a sense I suppose it is the choice of each individual if they want to contribute. But how could anyone make the choice if no one knows about it?

There are so many small things that make me choose (and because money is always tight I have to choose carefully) to donate or not. Stupid little things like immediate need, are they local, what are the chances, who else could help, who owns the animal, breed, what happened, will my small donation help make an impact, and so on. And no, it is not always Border Collies either! But how can I make a choice if I don't know about the causes?

 

In this case, when I first read it, I made the choice not to donate. Simply because money is tight and I doubt that I would make the choice (for the same reasons many gave above) if Molly was my dog. But in my case a large consideration are my other pets. I have only so much to go around. And in the posters responses she acknowledges some of those concerns. So I wish Molly and her the very best with many happy days to come for the two of them.

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<br>I have to admit I am split on this subject.<br>But I have to imagine that it is not easy to ask for help in such a public way. I have no doubt that Molly was worth it to her owner to put herself out here like this. In a sense I suppose it is the choice of each individual if they want to contribute. But how could anyone make the choice if no one knows about it? <br>There are so many small things that make me choose (and because money is always tight I have to choose carefully) to donate or not. Stupid little things like immediate need, are they local, what are the chances, who else could help, who owns the animal, breed, what happened, will my small donation help make an impact, and so on. And no, it is not always Border Collies either! But how can I make a choice if I don't know about the causes?<br><br>In this case, when I first read it, I made the choice not to donate. Simply because money is tight and I doubt that I would make the choice (for the same reasons many gave above) if Molly was my dog. But in my case a large consideration are my other pets. I have only so much to go around. And in the posters responses she acknowledges some of those concerns. So I wish Molly and her the very best with many happy days to come for the two of them.<br>
<br><br>

 

Thank you for your post. Yes it was/is VERY hard to put myself out there. It is not a decision that came easy. My attitude became as you said "But how could anyone make the choice if no one knows about it?". I felt I had to get the word out, and those who chose to and could help would donate, others would not. I just put it out there so people would know, and could choose. I expected a few posts, probably more like yours, G., was hoping I might get some from those who would do the same, but was surprised by some of the initial ones I did get.

 

As far as being able to make a difference with a donation (and this is NOT directed at you, G, or anyone else), every dollar does make a difference. If even half the people who knew of Molly, whether through postings or word of mouth, donated just $1, the cumulative effect would be huge. This also came into play with my decision.

 

I do appreciate the suggestions made, and will put as many as I can into action.

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Why were your surprised by the responses? You asked people to help you with your finacial burden and people want to know more details.

 

If I had put a similiar plea out I would expect a wide range of responses and as a result, weigh each one carefully as people have different opinions. I would not get mad at anyone response.

 

I think if you had added you were doing a raffle, fund raiser as part of the plea, it might have made it easier for people to donate or buy tickets.

 

Either way, enjoy the time you will have with Molly. Life is too short with these wonderful dogs.

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I hope you get the support you need to do what you think is best for your girl. May her treatments be successful and give you both more quality time together. Give her a scritch behind the ear for me. :)

 

Thank you! She's stronger and more full of herself every day. Scratches delivered! :)

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