Trying to save my puppy's life

Mattie’s Story

My 12 year old puppy Mattie has been recently diagnosed with liver cancer. When she had an ultrasound done, the doctor said she needed surgery to remove the tumor and the spleen (the tumor was wrapped completely around it), but it was only a 5-10% chance she would make it through. Well, she did and with flying colors. She was out chasing ducks 2 days later. Unfortunately, I found out the tumor has mastisized before they were able to remove it and cancer spread to her liver. They gave her less than 2 months to live. But, it’s been over 2 months and she’s still going strong. She’s already gone through 2 sessions of chemotherapy without getting sick, but the specialist told me last week not to expect too much. He also let me know approx. how expensive this was going to be. Her treatment includes 5 drugs: Denamarin, Doxorubicin, Cychophosphamide, Piroxicam, and Tramadol. Along with these drugs, she has to go in once a week to check blood and have x-rays/ultrasounds to determine the location and or spread of her cancer.So far, with the tests, surgery, x-rays, etc. the bill is up to $5000. The specialist told me to expect at least $8000 more. I just can’t give up fighting for her though. Whatever I have to do to save her I will do. She’s my kid. I’ve never been able to have children so my pets (Mattie and Checkers, her 16 year old brother) have become my children. Who knew you could ever love something so much.

About my kids

I adopted Checkers 15 years ago from a local shelter. On the day I met him, he was to be put down since he had been there over 7 months, so I asked if I could adopt him instead and he’s never left my side since. He has been so great taking care of Mattie. Any time he can sense that she’s hurting, he walks up and starts licking her ears and nudges under her chin to curl up & fall asleep. He never leaves Mattie for too long.

I met Mattie when she was 6 weeks old. Her mother and 5 brothers and sisters were found starving in an alley Austin Texas until a local took them in and fed them until they were old enough to be adopted out. Most of her sibblings were adopted by the time I got there. Everyone wanted the ones that looked like black labs, which were all of them except Mattie. I stood outside the yard and watched for 10 minutes or so, watching her try everything she could to get any attention at all with no luck. All of a sudden this runt of the litter with her bloated belly and ears and feet that were waaay to big for her little body made a b-line through the yard straight for me. She was the most precious thing that I had ever seen in my entire life. Since then she’s gone everywhere with me, even tubing down the Guadalupe River in her own tube… my puppy freakin’ rocks!

The 3 of us have been through everything you can imagine, including almost being homeless. I remember a time when I couldn’t even afford to buy groceries, it was either food for them or for me, so I was able to go for about 5 days without food so my kids could eat. Mattie has even saved me twice, once from a bad boyfriend and once from myself. She has never once given up on me, so there’s no way I’m giving up on her.

Our Goal

So far, We’ve tried to get grants from non-profit organizations but have been turned down by all of them, reasons being: she’s too old, we live in the wrong state, or they don’t pay for longterm medical assistance like chemo.

Now, to try to raise money for Mattie’s bills, I’ve set up The Mattie Cancer Fund on my website. Here you can check out Mattie’s Photo Journal to see her daily progress and make donations. I’ve also designed a cute sticker with Mattie’s photo on it saying “I helped save a life today”. Anyone who donates $20 or more will recieve a sticker in the mail, so make sure to enter your name & address when making your donations. The donations have been set up through paypal for safe and secured transactions.

Also, I’ve put several photos of Mattie and Checkers on tees and artwork on redbubble.com, cafepress.com, and my website. So the more pieces I sell, the closer I can get to giving her the help she needs. If anyone knows of any other ways to raise/receive money, I can use ANY and ALL the help I can get. If you know other animal lovers that may want to help Mattie, please pass this site along to them.

Mattie’s webpage:
http://samitha.org/mattiecancerfund.htm

I f you have any questions or suggestions, email me: samithahess@yahoo.com

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