When I met Lori she was patiently sitting in our lobby. What surprised me is that she didn’t seem worried even though I had been told her dog had a problem and was bleeding on the floor.
One look confirmed it … there was blood. Still, Lori sat nearly motionless while she gently pushed her hand across her dog’s head.
A lot of times, people with a pet in trouble are here at SNKC because they’re pretty desperate. It can be frantic, emotional, and overwhelming. When you’re the last stop for someone in dire straits, the floodgates can open wide. And maybe they would’ve been had there been more blood or it was more of an emergency.
It wasn’t. Thankfully.
But as I got to know Lori and learned more about her situation, it occurred to me that her brave face was also likely a product of the life she lived. My guess is that remaining unemotional is a requirement to remaining safe; that putting forward a calm, confident front makes you seem less vulnerable.
“I live in my car right now,” she said matter of factly.
Lori’s dog, Baby, is not just a friend, she’s what Lori described as her “therapy dog for PTSD.” And because of the way she lives, a dog – even one as sweet as Baby – would help ward off any dangers that might come around.
Problem was, Baby had a growth on her backside that had kept getting larger. Lori was worried because she couldn’t afford to have it removed and Baby kept messing with it and causing it to bleed.
“She’s been with me for 10 years,” Lori added. “She’s my baby.”
Here to Help
Although our name has been Spay and Neuter Kansas City since we began in 2002, we’re really a pet resource center. Regardless of what the situation is, we try as best we can to help people. If we can’t do it or help with it financially, we’ll try to find someone who can.
“At the end of the day that’s why we’re here,” said SNKC founder and CEO Michelle Rivera. “When someone like Lori comes by, we want to help. Our staff is empowered to go above and beyond for clients no matter what it is.”
For Lori and Baby, we decided that we could take care of the procedure here. Although we lack a lot of the equipment full-service veterinarians have, Dr. Jess decided that removing the mass would be minimally invasive and require nothing beyond a few sutures.
The good news is that Baby went home later that day acting as if nothing at all happened. The not so good news is that pathology on the growth shows that it’s a form of cancer. Though, according to Dr. Jess, it’s the kind that doesn’t grow fast so the news is not good but also not bad.
It’s not exactly the news Lori hoped for but it’s also a blessing just to be able to have Baby treated for something that was getting worse. “I appreciate what you’re doing,” Lori said.
Not So Long Ago …
A woman showed up at our clinic first thing in the morning. She was in a daze and she held fast to a beautiful black puppy that clung to her just as tightly. Not an hour before, she explained, she was awakened by a fire that ultimately burned her house down. Her family lost everything but, luckily, everyone came out alive – except the puppy. When firefighters found her she was hiding under the bed, breathless and limp. With some CPR and oxygen, they got her back.
Like Lori, the woman ended up without the resources she needed (for obvious reasons). That happens plenty of times here at SNKC. When it does, we don’t judge. If a dog or cat is in a loving home, we’ll provide support in whatever way we can. We understand that things happen. We also understand that pets need us. They don’t care if we have money or don’t. It doesn’t bother them if we smell like dirty socks or a bar of soap. They aren’t particularly concerned about where we happen to live either. They just want to be our friends. No judgment, no hesitation, no worries about how we look. Just pure love.
And that’s why people need pets.