Sometimes certain stories really touch my heart and this is one of them that I wanted to share with you, about a dog named Ukiah who was given a second chance at life and who is now fighting for his life once again.
This is Ukiah, a gorgeous Malamute whose story begins when he was abandoned at the end of a road in March 2008. As the heartless person in the truck drove away, Ukiah just stood there in the middle of the road, looking around — unsure of what to do next or where to go, and surely not understanding why he was now totally and completely alone in the world.
Fortunately for this innocent, half-starved pup, there was someone nearby who saw what had happened, and who came to his rescue. A kind woman named Pam. Pam went up to the sick and confused dog and called out to him. And with the trust and optimism so often found in dogs but so rarely seen in people, he came to her immediately. Maybe he could sense that in her hands he would be safe, and forever loved.
Severely neglected, Ukiah had heartworm, hookworms and pneumonia when he first met Pam. But, with her determination to nurse him back to health and his innate will to survive, he made it through and became a permanent part of her loving family along with her other dog Tanner. The years since being have been happy years where Ukiah has been well cared for and thoroughly loved.
Now, Ukiah faces a new battle as he was recently diagnosed with Malignant Melanoma, which was found after a teeth cleaning. His mom Pam has asked for our prayers as she struggles to find help for her sweet angel. But, getting him the treatment that can save his life has not been easy. Pam is disabled, living on a small pension, and has few people around her to help during this crisis for her family. While she has been searching for every conceivable option to pay for the treatment Ukiah needs – Care Credit, increasing limits on credit cards, applying for financial assistance programs, even refinancing her home – his future is still in doubt because of the mounting veterinary bills. But, she will not stop looking for help because she loves Ukiah and knows that he deserves the chance to beat cancer.
With luck, Ukiah will be eligible to receive the Melanoma vaccine and will be spared radical surgery on his jaw. They will find out next week if this, or chemotherapy is an option. Although melanoma can be very aggressive, it can also be treated with success if caught early enough and with the right treatment. Pam hopes and prays that somehow Ukiah will be given more time to enjoy the live he now lives – where he loves to play in the yard and steal tomatoes off the vine in the garden and chase his sister Tanner. Today, Ukiah feels good and is acting like his normal, happy, energetic self. Hopefully help will arrive in time to ensure that he continues to feel this way for a long, long time.
Georgia’s Legacy extends thoughts and prayers to Ukiah and his family and if you would like to offer any words of advice or support for Pam, please post your comments here or email Pam at email@example.com.
Ukiah’s story highlights the constant need for more options for families in similar situations, who cannot afford the lifesaving treatments their dogs need to fight cancer. Groups like The Magic Bullet Fund, Paws 4 A Cure, Fetch A Cure and Canine Cancer Awareness are all fantastic organizations who work to raise money to help people like Pam and dogs like Ukiah, who deserve the chance to fight and beat cancer. But, these organizations can only help others if we help them. Without adequate support, they have to turn down applications like Pam’s, because there just isn’t enough money to help all of those in need. What a terrible choice to have to make – your financial security, or your beloved family member’s life. If you can, or if you have been fortunate enough to be able to afford your dog’s cancer treatments, please consider donating to one of these organizations so they can help create happy endings to stories like Ukiah’s.