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This fundraiser ended on 03/07/12

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Scarlett is only 15 months old and is in need of surgery that will give her a greater prognosis for a longer, healthier life.

Hi Everyone,

Scarlett is only 15 months old and is in need of surgery that will give her a greater prognosis for a longer, healthier life. Please read on if you are an animal lover:

Scarlett came to me and truly changed my life. When my friend told me her Labrador Retriever was having puppies, I never considered adopting one of them. At the time I had two small dogs, a Cairn Terrier (who has since passed away) and his son, who were elderly and I had always had small dogs. I had no interest in having a big dog in my house, especially since my oldest son had adopted a medium sized mixed breed the year before.

Then the puppies were born on 10/21/10 and there were TEN of them! I was there on the day they were born and almost every day afterward. The mother dog developed mastitis and the puppies had to be tube fed; a few of them almost didn't make it. Thankfully, all ten puppies survived and over the next few weeks, I fell in love. Most of the puppies had been claimed by then, but one sweet little girl had no takers yet. She became Scarlett O'Hara and has been the light of my life ever since.

I made the leap of faith that I could care for 3 dogs of my own and brought Scarlett home on 12/10/10. She immediately fit into our home and family and became the daughter I had always wished for. I have 3 young adult sons and 2 male dogs!! Needless to say, I began buying everything pink from her collar and leash to blankets and bandanas and, much to the dismay of some, she even wore a red velvet dress for her first Christmas. :) She makes me smile every single day!! She brings me more joy than I have felt in a long time.

Early on I noticed that she left little wet spots around my house; this even happened when she was sleeping. A friend suggested that she was just a sleepy puppy who hadn't learned to control her bladder yet. However, as time went on, I realized this was not the case and the leakage was happening almost every day and even after Scarlett had peed outside. Being a "new mom" I was in denial for a while and waited to mention this to our vet until July 2011. Our vet treated her for a urinary tract infection, even though I knew in my heart that this was a much more serious problem. I told the vet that I had researched this online and that it sounds like ectopic ureters. This is a congenital condition in which the tubes that connect the kidneys to the bladder are not connected normally and the urine leaks into the dog's abdominal area and then leaks out in the form of a drip. Our vet contacted a local specialist and we received an estimate of over $6,000 for diagnosis via ultrasound and corrective surgery.

I went into denial again after hearing this because there was no way in the world I would be able to pay for this surgery. I'm a single mom and struggle to make ends meet each month, and was also recently laid off from my job. I began to research charities that may be able to assist with the cost. I first found Labrador Lifeline and they approved my application for assistance with an offer of $500. I then found the Mosby Foundation and they began a fundraiser for Scarlett on their website which has raised $605 to date. ($400 of this was used for Scarlett's consultation and ultrasound.)

I realized that I was still a long way off from my goal, so I researched a bit more and found that the hopsital that is affiliated with the ASPCA in New York city was more reasonably priced than the specialist in NJ. They were very kind and helpful on the phone and I scheduled an appointment for a consultation and ultrasound. This appointment confirmed that Scarlett is in need of surgery and that without the surgery, she will be prone to a life of infections and possible kidney damage or disease.

I went out on a limb and scheduled her surgery for Wednesday, 3/7/12. The estimate they gave me for her surgery is $2,300 to $3,700 and this is dependent upon what they find on the day of surgery. A cystoscope will be performed first while she is under anesthesia so the doctor can determine if one or both ureters are ectopic. If only one is ectopic, the surgery will cost less and if both are ectopic, the surgery will cost more. There are many variables that will determine the final cost of this surgery, but in any case, we are still in need of additional funds to cover the costs.

I have begun a Yankee Candle fundraiser and have "cans" with Scarlett's picture on them at various local businesses. I am hopeful that through all of these efforts, we will be able to go through with Scarlett's surgery on 3/7 and that she will no longer have the "leaky problem".

Throughout this process, I have felt the love and support of friends and family, and even complete strangers. It is truly heartwarming to know there are so many caring and compassionate people in our world who come together when help is needed. Scarlett and I are truly grateful.

With love and wet kisses (those are from Scarlett),

Rosemary & Scarlett

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