Archive for the ‘Angel Fund Grant Recipients’ Category

Angel Fund Provides Grant to Help Terrier Ralph Get Surgery on Hip

Wednesday, July 24th, 2019

In October, 2018, Marta Kepes was out with her three dogs.  Ralph, a 14-year-old terrier mix, was coupled with one of the other dogs on a leash.   “Nothing unusual was happening and suddenly he let out a sharp yelp,” she said.  “His left rear leg was all twisted and he was in agony.  I’ve never seen any of my animals like that before.”

It was in the evening and she took Ralph immediately to Center Sinai Animal Hospital in West Los Angeles.  The doctor told her that Ralph’s hip had come out of its socket.  The doctor said the hip could be put back in the socket but it appeared that the ligaments were torn and that might necessitate surgery.  A surgeon, who could do the operation, was coming the next morning, the doctor said.

Marta, who lives on a monthly SSI disability check, told the doctor about her financial situation.  “It is pretty grim,” she said in the interview. “I had three elderly dogs.  Ralph was the youngest.  So this was like, oh my god!  The prices of everything have skyrocketed in the last decade.  But I said, ‘Yes, of course,’ to the surgery.“

She said that Center Sinai had permitted her to carry a balance on bills for her animals, between $100 and $200, on which she made monthly payments, with the understanding that she would have to pay off the debt before incurring new expenses.  “I made it very clear that I would have to continue the same system with them to pay for the surgery,” she said. “The person who checked me out said that would be no problem.”

She brought Ralph back the next morning and met the surgeon, who told her she was very glad that she had brought Ralph in.  Marta picked up the dog later in the day.

She got a call after a day or two from the hospital and was asked how she planned to pay for the surgery.  She answered, she said: “I don’t have any other way to pay than the way I’ve been doing it.”

When she brought Ralph back for a checkup, the surgeon was there and berated Marta, she said, telling her that she would not have done the surgery if she had known that Marta could not pay for it on the day of the procedure.

But the person who manages accounts at the hospital told her not to worry about what had happened and asked if she would be willing to apply for a grant.  “‘Of course,” Marta replied.  Soon she was approved for a $1,000 grant from Angel Fund. The grant was matched by Center Sinai.

Marta was grateful for the help.  But about two months after the surgery.  Ralph started going downhill.  “I don’t think it was because of his leg,” Marta said.  But it was clear that he was near the end of his life, she said. She did not take him to a veterinarian because of the bills she owed.  She found a euthanasia service that would come to her home and put the animal down if she made a down payment.

Recently, she called the euthanasia service to come again to put down one of her other dogs.  Today, her household includes two cats and one dog, Stella, a dachshund who is partly blind.

“All of this is really tense for me,” she said through tears.  “Stella is really lonely now.”

When “things get calmer,” Marta said, she will “maybe proctor an older dog from a rescue group that would pay the medical bills.  That I can do.”

Marta said that she had lived on her own all her adult life.  She is 67 and once held a job.  But she has had back issues, including surgery, and has been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis.  A few years ago, she lived in her car with her three dogs and three cats for about three years.

After she receives her SSI check each month, she goes to the store to buy supplies for herself and her animals and she sometimes will put some gasoline in her van – “a gas guzzler,” she said.  She does not drive often because of the high cost of gasoline.

 

Angel Fund Helps Save Life of Feral Cat Trapped in Attic

Wednesday, May 15th, 2019

Sandra Schuelke is a person who cares about animals and the place where she lives.

She and her sister Sherry spearheaded an effort a few years ago to capture and neuter a growing population of feral cats in the gated, single-family condo development where they live in El Monte.

The project did not have the full support of everyone in the homeowners association.

“It took some time to get some of the neighbors on board,” Sandra said.  “They didn’t understand the program at first.  They thought that trapping them and removing them was the answer.  But research shows that you need a stable control group and every time you remove animals there is a vacuum effect and more will come in from the outside.  The stable colony keeps outsiders out.”

Since the effort began, she said, “we have trapped, neutered and released 45 adult cats.  We have been doing this for five years.  We have rescued 47 kittens and all of them have been put up for adoption through three different rescue operations.  I walk through the complex every day and keep an eye on ‘em and make sure there are no new ones.  That’s my daily volunteer work.  All the cats have been fixed.

“We’ve gone through two kitten seasons with no new litters and we’re coming up on our third.”

The colony does not cause any problems in the housing complex and is not especially visible, she said.   “The cats all have their places.  We have 142 homes in our complex so it’s about one cat for every three houses.”

A bit more than a year ago, however, that tranquility was broken.   One of the feral cats was missing and a neighbor reported that she was hearing the animal’s cries constantly from somewhere behind her house near the home of another community member.

“We searched high and low, in bushes, in peoples’ attics and garages, underneath patios – everywhere,” Sandra said.  “We didn’t find her but we kept hearing her voice from different places.”  The James family was particularly helpful in the search, she said.

“At one point I called the fire department because we thought the cat was in one of the homes.  The people in the house got really upset and wouldn’t let the firemen come into their house.”

A few weeks later, an electrician went into the attic of the house.

“He told the community handyman later that he had seen a cat there.  So I went back to the house and begged them to let me put a trap in the attic.  They let me do it.  But there was no need for a trap.  I was able to grab her.  We immediately took her to Community Companion Animal Hospital in Temple City.  She was severely dehydrated and weighed just 2.9 pounds. Her body temperature was 91 degrees. She was probably just hours from death.”

The cat – The James Family named her Delilah – had been trapped in the attic for about five weeks without food or water.  Sandra believes Delilah may have been frightened by painters and went down a ventilation pipe from the roof and fell into the attic.

The hospital immediately put Delilah on IV fluids and antibiotics and started feeding her with a syringe. She was in the hospital two weeks before she was released.

Sandra expressed her appreciation for the efforts of Dr. Joseph Pavlik, Dr. Joni Nasser, Dr. Neil Bodie and the hospital staff: “They were compassionate and they never gave up on her.  All the help from the hospital and Angel Fund was just wonderful.  I couldn’t have done it without everybody coming together.” Angel Fund contributed $250 to Delilah’s care and so did the hospital.  Sandra paid the remainder of the bill.

Today Delilah has not forgotten her feral roots.  The cat lives in an enclosure in Sandra’s bedroom.  “You usually would see it outdoors, not inside.  But it has two levels.  When I go in for cleaning, she goes into her little hideaway.  She can go there when she doesn’t want to be bothered.  When she wasn’t feeling well, I could pet her but not so much now.”

Sandra has two other cats but they do not have physical contact with Delilah.  “They are face to face with her, through the wire so they are getting familiar with one another.  I’d love it if she were friendly.  But she is who she is and I’m happy that she’s alive.

“I’m sure she is still traumatized from being stuck in that attic for so long and being in the hospital,” Sandra said.  She is hopeful that over time Delilah will become more friendly with her and her other cats and be fully integrated into the household.

Sandra – who works in health care administration in Pasadena – lives with her daughter, Rachel, who will be going to college in the fall, and her mother, Linda.

Angel Fund Helps Homeless Man, Chihuahua Attacked by Large DogGoofy After Attack by Large Dog

Wednesday, April 10th, 2019

Early one cold January morning last year, Martiniano Gutierrez, was walking his Chihuahua Goofy in a park in Santa Ana.  Suddenly, a black German Shepherd mix charged out of the predawn darkness and attacked the smaller dog.

Martiniano did not see the shepherd until it was too late.  He managed to pull the dog off Goofy – but not before it had inflicted serious wounds on the smaller dog’s chest and abdomen and he himself had been bitten.

A 68-year-old man from Puebla, Mex., Martiniano had been living in his car for a year and a half and was not working.  Goofy means everything to him.  “He is my only family. He is my son. He is the other half of my soul,” Martiniano told Ligia Veloz, staff members at Tustin Santa Ana Veterinary Hospital where he took his dog for treatment.  “Even though he was in pain from the attack, he still gave me kisses. Goofy may depend on me for nourishment but my soul depends on him.”

Goofy was calm, even though he was bleeding from his severe wounds.  “He’s such a good boy,” Ligia, a receptionist and technical assistant at the hospital said.  “That’s why we all fell in love with him.“  Dr. Laura Weatherford repaired Goofy surgically and the dog was released to Martiniano that evening.  “We knew he would do better with his dad,” Ligia said. “We saw him the next day and when he came in to be checked over several weeks.”

Martiniano did not have money to pay the bill.  The hospital steered him to Angel Fund, which provided $500, a sum matched by the hospital.  Those funds made the surgery and treatment possible and Goofy and his owner are grateful both to the hospital and Angel Fund.

The Mexican native has lived in the United States for 37 years and is now a U.S. citizen.  He worked for years as a tire man in a garage owned by his brother. But the brother died a few years ago.  Martiniano worked in the same garage for his nephew – but his pay was cut back and he had to live in the tire shop. He sought work elsewhere but was unable to find another job because of his age and the fact that he has difficulty walking and standing for long periods of time.

Today he lives on a Social Security disability check.  But he no longer is living in his car.  He now owns an RV, purchased a year ago through a state program that friends told him about.  It provides much more room and he and Goofy are more comfortable in it.

Martiniano recognized the dog that attacked Goofy.  He had stayed overnight near the Santa Ana park frequently and knew the house where the shepherd lived.  So he went there after his dog was injured and told the owners what had happened.  They refused to help and seemed to blame the event on Goofy and his master.

Ligia acted as interpreter in an interview with Martiniano, who speaks little English.  She said that her hospital helps him as much as possible.  “We have clients who donate bed and food and we always contact him because we know that he appreciates it.  And we love Goofy.”

Martiniano and Goofy plan to continue living in the RV because of money issues.  But there is not enough income to pay for a space in an RV park so they will continue to park on the street at night.

But they are happy together.  And Goofy is “really good,” Ligia said.  “He’s always got his tail wagging.  And he’s always looking for his dad.  He’s just a happy guy.”

Sweet Angel

Tuesday, January 15th, 2019

SCVMA member Monarch Veterinary Hospital in Laguna Niguel, CA received a grant for the Angel Fund to help the Frost family afford needed veterinary care for their cat Angel.  Thank you Monarch Veterinary Hospital!

Surgery Returns Baby Kitty to His Idyllic Outdoor Life

Thursday, July 12th, 2018

Baby Kitty – a beautiful Siamese cat – had “a few issues with eating and tummy problems” in 2016, owner Cherry Simkins recalled in an interview.  “I didn’t worry about it that much.”

But the two-year-old feline’s condition worsened.  And one day, Cherry could not find him, despite a long search of all his favorite haunts in the yard of her Torrance home.  By this time Baby Kitty had stopped eating entirely, she said, and she was worried.  Her veterinarian, Dr. Alice Villalobos of Pawspice and Animal Oncology in Hermosa Beach,  suggested that she search places “where you know he couldn’t be – every crack and crevice.” And she found him in a stack of wood that he had crawled inside.

“He realized that he couldn’t eat and he had crawled in there and decided that he would die there,” she said. “He was turning into a skeleton and his food was not being processed by his body.”

She took Baby Kitty to Dr. Edward M. Leeds at Surgical Group for Animals in Torrance, referred by Dr. Villalobos, who had diagnosed the cat with a diaphragmatic hernia.  Cherry thinks that the condition may have been the consequence of a fall.  Many of his abdominal organs had crowded into his chest cavity, impinging on his lungs and heart and threatening his life.

The Surgical Group performed corrective surgery and guided Cherry to Angel Fund, which provided a grant of $500.  The hospital contributed $1,938.  “It wasn’t something I could take care of,“ Cherry said. “I had had some really hard times financially.”

She was told that the likelihood was that her cat would not survive. But she said, “everyone was pulling for Baby Kitty. There was no doubt in my mind that he would pull through.”  He did.  And now, she said, “he is a much sweeter cat.  He’s the most loving cat.  It really shows how thankful he was that he was saved.  He’s really touched a lot of hearts and that makes him all the more special.”

Baby Kitty’s recovery was not without its problems.  He and his brother Poofa are outdoor cats and they want to keep it that way, Cherry said.  He hated being in a cage where he needed to be confined for a month, she said.  “He just went crazy.  It meant I couldn’t work like a needed to.  He needed a lot of love and care. I had to hold him and calm him and keep him settled because he wanted out.  Even wearing a cone, he figured out how to get out of that cage. He was able to lift the edge of it and slide out – and it was a heavy cage.  He flattened his body like a rat.  He didn’t want to be in there.”

Today, life is back to normal for Cherry and her two cats.  “They’re pretty spoiled,” she said.  “They have lots of places to go, here and at the neighbors, I’m sure.  They share a big lot with possums, raccoons, rats and the occasional coyote.

She doesn’t see coyotes as a problem for Baby Kitty and Poofa, who previously lost a leg to surgery.  “I have amazing crows here who love the cats. After the surgery, a coyote came to eat cats on my property. Believe it or not, the crows went insane.

“All of them descended on this area and I came out [wondering] what is all this ruckus? And they were telling me that the coyote was there, glaring at Baby Kitty and Baby Kitty was glaring back. I shooed the coyote off.  It happened one other time. And I came out and sure enough there was a coyote here again.  So the crows take care of the kitties and the kitties catch rats for them.”

She said that her cats are the welcoming committee for her clients who visit the office she built outside her house.  And, she said, “Babby Kitty loves to make me laugh.  He’s a funny creature and he has personality.  He loves to play tag.  He wants you to pet him and if you try to step away, he’ll reach around – without claws – and whack you, like you’ve got to pet him some more.  It’s a game.”

Her experience with Angel Fund, Cherry said, “has helped me to share with all my clients the benefits that are out there – the people, the loving way that they went about it, their generosity.”

Angel Fund Helps Paulina

Friday, July 28th, 2017

The Los Angeles Veterinary Center was approved for an AHF grant to help the Munoz family’s 10 year old Paulina with her curtiate ligament repair surgery!

We hope Paulina a doing better after the surgery and will be back to her sweet self soon!

Sweetheart Fights Cancer With Angel Fund’s Help

Monday, July 24th, 2017

In September, 2015, Elaine Leonard’s 14-year-old cat, Sweetheart, was not feeling well.  She was coughing and lethargic and Elaine decided she should take her to see her veterinarian.

She lives in Orange and OC Veterinary Medical Center, owned by Dr. Jeffery Horn, was not far from her home.  Doctors there ran tests and examined Sweetheart, a Maine Coon breed.  They found respiratory problems and a large mass in her chest. They suspected cancer and lymphoma.  She also had some other physical issues.

Dr. Cooper (a veterinarian who no longer works at the hospital) told Elaine that “this is serious.  Sweetheart has a very large mass and you’d better think about things and what you want to do.”  She added that the animal might need surgery.

“I told them that I was not going to let my 14-year-old cat have surgery,” Elaine said.  She was concerned because of Sweetheart’s age and because of the expense – she did not believe she could afford an operation.

Dr. Horn prescribed antibiotics and pain medication and referred Elaine to Veterinary Cancer Group in Tustin, which has several oncology specialists on staff.  Sweetheart was examined there in November by Dr. David Bommarito, who is board certified in both oncology and radiation oncology.

Dr. Bommarito told Elaine that her cat might be treatable with chemotherapy.  But she chose to provide palliative care.  “My option for choosing palliative care was that   I couldn’t afford the expense of chemo treatment and didn’t want her to suffer any possible side effects,” Elaine said.

A retiree on a fixed income, she applied to Angel Fund for help with her bill.  Her request was granted.  Veterinary Cancer Group also contributed.  Elaine said that “of course” she appreciated the help and said that she also appreciated what Angel Fund has done to help many other pet owners.

She took Sweetheart home – although she had regular appointments with Dr. Horn.  The cat did pretty well for a few months.  “She was walking around and eating and drinking until shortly before she died” on March 25, 2016, Elaine said.  “On that last visit to Dr. Horn, he said to bring her in when you’re ready” for euthanasia.

But, she said, Sweetheart seemed to be doing OK. “I had her on morphine and I just wanted to keep her comfortable. She was eating and drinking and responding.  A week before she passed – she was a big cat and she’d never done this before – she pawed her was up on my bed and she got very close to me and she lay down next to my body.  She never had cuddled with me before.”

Within a few days Sweetheart was gone.

Angel Fund Helps Mango Overcome Chronic Disease

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

 

Some five years ago, Linda Lockwood found a stray cat outside her home in Vancouver, British Columbia.  “She was nobody’s cat.  I contacted shelters and looked around the neighborhood.  Nobody claimed her.  The shelter asked if I could keep her.  I had another cat but I thought I could take care of two.  So I said, OK, fine.”

Linda named her new charge Mango. She soon discovered that the new family member had some chronic health problems, particularly constipation.  “She had to get enemas once or twice a month,” she said.

Linda came to Southern California to go to school in June, 2014, with Mango in tow on the airplane.  (Her other cat had died.)  She enrolled at Pierce College in Winnetka, intending to become a veterinary technician because of her love of animals. But she ran into some trouble with a chemistry course and decided to change her major to computer science.  She did well – all A’s and one B –but decided to enroll at California Institute of the Arts to pursue her first love, music.  She will complete course work this spring on a master of fine arts degree.  Earlier, she had earned a bachelor’s degree of music in jazz studies from Vancouver Island University in British Columbia.

In November of 2015, Mango’s chronic constipation became a very real problem.  “She would poop everywhere – on my bed, on the floor,” Linda said.  “Sometimes, she’d try to poop and she couldn’t, so she’d cry. She was losing weight. She was extremely bloated because her colon was impacted.”  Linda had little money to spend but she took Mango to Happy Pets Veterinary Center in Valencia.

“They took x-rays and they told me how severe the problem was.  I just didn’t know what I was going to do,” Linda said. “Eventually, Dr. [Jane] Kelly told me, Mango was going to require surgery to remove almost the entire colon. She said she would have to refer me to a surgery specialist and that could cost more than $5,000 – and I just didn’t have that kind of money. But Dr. Kelly said that Mango’s life is at risk.  If you are unable to afford it, she’ll have to be put down.”

Dr. Kelly put Mango on intravenous fluids, multiple enemas, laxatives and pain medication for three days to stabilize her condition and suggested that Linda apply to Angel Fund for help. She did and received a grant of $275, a sum matched by Happy Pets.

But Mango still needed surgery.  “I found myself looking on the ground for coins, when I walked on campus,” Linda said.  “It only cost $1.20 to get rice and beans at my school, so that’s what I was eating.” Dr. Kelly suggested going to a low-cost clinic.

Linda talked to several clinics before selecting one. She raised money on a website, the largest contribution coming from a friend in Canada.  Mango got her surgery but the stitches holding the incision together quickly came out. “It was a gruesome thing. Her intestines came out,” Linda said.  “Everybody thought she was going to die.  I took her back and they sewed her up again – and the stitches came out again.”

This time, Linda found another veterinarian (on Christmas Eve), who repaired the damage and ordered Mango confined to a cage for a month as she healed. “After that month she was cage free and was as good as new,” Linda said.  “Today, she’s doing very well.  I give her everything that I can.”

And, she added, “I can’t believe I went through all of that.  I had to get extensions on all my essays and I had to leave classes early to pick Mango up.”

Linda believes that Angel Fund played a major role in saving her cat’s life. “Without them, I don’t know if Mango would have been in condition for what came next. The time she was in the hospital [at Happy Pets] bought some time for me to make plans for what to do.  I’m very grateful for what Angel Fund did for Mango.”

She also praised Dr. Kelly: “She is very compassionate and very caring.  I know she did it for Mango.”

And, she said, “It’s amazing how people, even if they don’t know you, they love animals.  I’m very grateful for what everyone has done for Mango.”

 

Young Shepard‘s Life Saved With Assist From Angel Fund

Thursday, February 23rd, 2017

In October, 2015, Tamar Goldberg took Lily, her young shepard mix, for some exercise to a dog park near her Balboa Lake home in the San Fernando Valley. Lily was young – a little more than a year old. And she still had many of the instincts of a puppy.

Later, she was “eating a lot of grass and trying to throw up,” Tamar said. “She was unable to jump up on the sofa. She hadn’t pooped. Clearly, she was not acting right. I didn’t know what was wrong.”

So Tamar took Lily to VCA McClave Animal Hospital on Reseda Blvd. “The vet [Dr. Nada Khalaf] believed she had a blockage and tried a lot of things to treat her without surgery, which was going to be expensive. Nothing showed on her x-rays so we didn’t know what was causing it. After two days, she wasn’t any better and she wasn’t eating. So we decided to open her up.”

Dr. Khalaf found a rubber nose off a stuffed animal. “It looked like a pig snout. Lily swallowed it whole. When it got to the small intestine, it couldn’t pass. It was like a cork,” Tamar said. “Part of her intestine had started to die so Dr. Khalaf had to cut away the dead tissue before she sewed her back up.”

Lily healed quickly and today at the age of two she is a normal, healthy dog. “She is great. No problem,” Tamar said. “But we don’t go to the dog park any more. Now we do a lot of hiking.”

Tamar and husband, Darren, a transportation captain who coordinates drivers for shoots of television commercials, applied to Angel Fund for help when they knew that surgery was needed. “I had not been working and we were a little bit short,” Tamar said. “Angel Fund contributed $600 and so did the hospital and we took out a personal loan.”

She added that the hospital was very helpful. And, she said, ”for sure” the surgery saved Lily’s life. “If she hadn’t had the surgery, she wouldn’t have made it. There’s no question about that.”

Tamar now is working as a special education teacher for an LAUSD charter school. Lily and her sister, Awesome, are best pals to her two children. Awesome is seven-year-old son Zeke’s dog and sleeps on his bed. Lily is 10-year-old Ariella’s dog and sleeps on her bed.

With Help From Angel Fund, Lillie Tries to Get Back on Her Feet

Thursday, November 24th, 2016

 

aAnn Champion, a production designer in film and television, has “always had animals and the one promise I always make them is, if their lives are at stake and they can continue on with quality of life, I’m not going to arbitrarily end their lives because I don’t have money.”

That promise was put to a severe test last summer.  Her Greater Swiss Mountain Dog, then about 9½ years old and a picture of health, suddenly and inexplicably lost the use of her legs.

“Lillie had always been very fit,” Ann said, “so it was devastating to find her collapsed on the floor beside her bed when I went to get her to go for our walk [one August day]. She was completely alert and could raise her head and wag her tail, but even though she was trying to move all four legs she could not get them underneath her to stand up.”

Lillie weighed 110 pounds, “almost as much as I do,” Ann said.  So it was almost impossible to move her.  But Ann managed to get her in her car, with help from a neighbor, for a trip to an emergency hospital. The doctor did x-rays and blood tests that showed nothing wrong. He recommended taking her to a neurologist at a specialty hospital.

The neurologist recommended putting Lillie on steroids to reduce inflammation in the discs in her neck, which she thought were causing the problem.  That sounded better to Ann than the other option – expensive surgery.  “It would be a reasonable course of treatment and we could expect a good outcome,” the  neurologist told her.

Quickly, Lillie was doing better.  After a few days, the hospital wanted to send Lillie home to recover with outpatient physical therapy.  “That created a whole new set of problems,” Ann said. “She was a very big girl and there was no way to get in or out of our Studio City home without having to negotiate steps. While there was a lot I was capable of doing to help her to continue to improve, I could not lift her.”

So Ann found a rehabilitation hospital. Lillie was fitted with a harness that made it easier to help her. The doctor at the rehab hospital said that he expected a full recovery.  “The only negative in all this truly blessed and positive news was that it would take time – and time was money that I didn’t have.”

Ann had maxed out her Care Credit card and she applied for a higher limit. She also asked about Angel Fund and applied for help.  She recalled visiting Lillie and taking her for a walk in the corridor with the help of the special harness a few days later.

“She was doing really well.  I didn’t have to support her front end at all and she was placing her hind feet correctly and she was pulling me through the corridor.  And I was thinking: ‘Yes! A couple more weeks of this and we’re gonna be home and walking up the hill.’  Then Lillie started doing less well, running a fever  . . . and she started back sliding.”

The rehab hospital wanted Lillie to have a checkup so Ann took her to a nearby hospital, which found nothing wrong besides the disc problem.  Ann decided to take her to the veterinarian in Pasadena who had treated Lillie in the past. He found liver problems, including a lesion.  “So that was it,” she said, “there was nothing more that could be done. It was such a shock. Several vets had said: ‘You should have a full recovery’ or ‘You should expect a good outcome.’  Nobody said, ‘well, she may not make it.’ So I made this huge leap of faith and took on this enormous financial commitment.  I‘m going to be paying for the rest of my life.”

Expenses for Lillie’s care totaled more than $9,000, including euthanasia and aquamation.  She used her Care Credit to pay the balance owed to the rehab hospital – less $500 provided by Angel Fund.  She also tried to raise money through an online website but after Lillie had to be put down that did not work.  “I was very grateful for the help I got from Angel Fund.  In this kind of situation, everything is a help.  It’s a wonderful program.  It was a godsend.”

Ann is struggling financially because working in the film and television industry is erratic at best.

Ann had given a home to a Swissy named Rozie before Lillie came into her life.  She had lived with Rozie for six years after acquiring her at age six.  So she had expected to have more time with Lillie, who had come into her life at four and a half years old.

Greater Swiss Mountain Dogs “are, without a doubt, the most wonderful dogs you can imagine in terms of their disposition,” she said.  “They are beautiful and they are just absolutely incredible. But as much as I love the breed, I will never have another.  They are so wonderful and you love them so much and their life span is so short.  When they die, they just rip your heart out.”