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This fundraiser ended on 10/10/12

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10 year old Collie, Lily, has been stricken with Canine Degenerative Myelopathy. Your support can help her live the best life possible.

About 10 years ago I encountered a tiny spark of life in a bundle of golden, silky fur. That was Lily.

A Collie from a family in Troutman, North Carolina, she had five other siblings romping around with her and I was drawn to her immediately. Those of you who know Collies are aware of their exotic almond eyes, the amazingly soft and silky coats and their tender, laughing expression. She had all these qualities and a special tranquility, under all that puppy exuberance, that told me she was going to be a part of my life forever more.

That was 10 years ago and Life with Lily has been filled with laughter and joy. Even in the hard times, she's given us affection and silent strength to keep ourselves going. Now, it's my turn to do whatever I can to keep her time with us as healthy and happy as possible. Lily has been diagnosed with Canine Degenerative Myelopathy (DM). It's a brutal disease that is unrelenting and completely destructive as you watch your loved pet slowly become completely paralyzed.

At first we thought the symptoms were arthritis. And x-rays pointed in this direction. However there came a day that I woke up to find she could no longer stand up. She struggled to gain her feet, but she could not get her left hind leg to obey. After a series of vet visits and an MRI at the Red Bank Veterinary Hospital in NJ (Dr. Glass is our neurologist) we were told that she had DM. I am not ashamed to tell anyone who reads this about the massive amounts of tears that my wife and I shed.

As the disease ravages her spinal cord, she will become entirely paralyzed. There will come a day when we will have to make a difficult decision, but until then, I want to give her the best life possible. Dogs with DM need supervision and advanced caregiving, but they can still lead a happy and healthy life for a short time.

Medical bills for anyone, animal or human, are always costly. Charges for her MRI are $2,600; Rehab Therapy for her will average $100/week. A special wheelchair will net in the neighborhood of $600. That is not including medications and treatment for issues like blood sores or additional issues that develop as the disease progresses. If this were to happen to myself or my wife, our medical insurance would cover it. However, we don't have that option with Lily.

I've explored all our options and we are in a moment in life where something unexpected like this has left us unprepared. That is why I am turning to the center of my social and financial universe - the Internet and sites like Giveforward.com. I've grown up with the development of the web. I’ve built a career in working with the web. And now I am looking for answers to this difficult time from those who interact with the web.

Whether you know me personally, or if you are a complete stranger, I hope that you can help in any way possible. If you can't donate, words of kindness will go a long way in helping us through this. I will be keeping a blog of Lily's Life as we go through the days.

I've read a blogger's description of DM as the longest goodbye. I hope there are others out there that can help Lily say her farewell with dignity & love and let her have more good memories as the days go by.
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