Silver is this darling 5-month-old Pitbull baby. Like many Pitbulls and Pit mixes, Silver was a rescue girl. Two weeks after adopting her, Silver’s mom learned of her heart mumur. Silver was diagnosed with Severe Pulmonic Stenosis, which is an obstruction of the flow from the right ventricle of the heart to the Pulmonary artery.
Silver’s mom is a single mother of three human children, ages 6, 5, and 1, and three dogs. She works two jobs in order to make ends meet – one as a veterinary assistant, and when she gets home from that, she goes to work as a cook. She and her family qualify for food stamps. So, it was quite a stretch to think she would be able to afford the $4,000- $5,000 surgery needed to save Silver’s life.
Even with all of the other things demanding her time and attention, Silver’s mom took action on her behalf. She began a fundraising campaign in conjunction with her vet’s office to raise money for Silver’s surgery. Here is the flyer she made:
At the time Silver’s mom applied for aid from The Big Hearts Fund, she had raised about $800 from her t-shirt fundraiser, and been promised a $500 donation from a Pitbull Rescue foundation. That’s right – on top of running her own fundraising campaign, working two jobs and taking care of three young children and three dogs by herself, Silver’s mom somehow also found time to research and apply for aid from foundations that could help her dog.
Silver’s mom applied and was qualified for aid from The Big Hearts Fund. BHF was able to grant her $1,000 towards the cost of her surgery, which was the final piece in being able to afford the procedure. Silver’s mom made the appointment the day she received notification of the grant. Surgery was to take place January 8th.
Meanwhile, the holiday season was upon us. On Thanksgiving, Silver’s mom wrote me to say Happy Thanksgiving to everyone at BHF, and thank you.
Four days later, Silver died. She passed away during the night, surprising and devastating everyone.
Silver’s story reminds us that unfortunately, things do not always work out the way we want them to. Sometimes, matter what we do and how hard we work, precious life can be taken from us in an instant.
It is difficult to predict how dogs and cats with heart disease will fare with their conditions. But one thing is certain – those of us who love these animals will do everything we can to save them all, even if we know we can’t.
Now, the grant that was to go to Silver will go to some other beloved pet who needs it, and a different life will be saved. And through stories like this one, maybe some owners will feel empowered to action by what Silver’s mom did with the resources she had. Maybe others will hug their babies just a little bit tighter. In the end, precious and fleeting life flourishes when we stop to recognize it. And today, we are recognizing Silver’s short but beautiful one.