Happy Veteran’s Day! I am so thankful for all those who have served and are currently serving in the military. While the definition of Veteran can vary, this is the one that resonates with me. “A veteran is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to “The United States of America,” for an amount of “up to and including my life.”
During difficult times it is comforting to be near home with your friends and family for support. However, it often doesn’t work that way, especially if you are a military family. Photographer Mercedes Snow and her husband have fostered a lot of dogs and been active in helping homeless animals. Recently they were transferred to Italy, which has it own perks, but their two year old dog is facing a very tough time. Thousands of miles away from home and their community of other dog lovers, Roxy needs surgery.
From Mercedes: “We helped rescue animals while we were in South Carolina. We fostered, we rehabilitated, we loved. We rescued a puppy of our own, and later, a kitten. In South Carolina, the rate of strays, cruelty, and overall lack of empathy is unbelievable and ghastly. So, we’re thankful to be in Italy, where it’s almost the complete opposite. But now it’s our very own dog’s turn for help.
When Roxy was growing she suffered from Panosteitis, a painful inflammation of the bones that most often affects German Shepherds and causes limping and lameness. The limping can jump around from leg to leg, and most outgrow it by 18 months old. And on the day she was 18 months and still limping, we were told to wait it out a few weeks longer as she may not be completely done growing. We were also told that she had hip dysplasia (also prominent in the GSD), but it had gone unnoticed because of the Panosteitis. Unfortunately, in the next few weeks Chad received quick orders to Italy, and everything else was put on the back burner.”
It’s disheartening because we’ve bent over backwards to help strays and abused animals, but now that it’s my own dog’s turn, we find ourselves useless. Her surgery costs are estimated to be $7,000 which would have been covered by our pet insurance if we were still in the United States. Every day that passes that she limps or is sore and stiff, we feel more and more guilt. Quite a few people have said, “She’s just a dog. I’d never spend that much.” True. She is just a dog. But at only two years old, she has such a long life to live. And maybe I’m sappier than most (probably so as I’m crying while I type this), but this dog is family. This dog is and forever will be our first baby. This dog taught me patience while she learned not to chew everything in our house. She taught me to handle anger when she ate our entire laundry room floor. She taught me how to nurture while she outgrew car-sickness. She taught me how to forgive when she ran off and I was overwhelmed with the fear she’d been stolen or hurt. She taught me how to be excited over the little things when she gifted me a dead bunny, but a gift nonetheless. She reminds me to make time for those I love each time she drops a slobbery, wet toy in my lap. She reminds me to love all and abundantly while she serves as a therapy dog. She has made an excellent guard dog, babysitter, and friend. And she’s incredibly too smart for her own good. Roxy holds a huge part of our hearts and many of the memories since the start of our marriage. She deserves to be a happy, pain-free, normal dog. It’d be the greatest Christmas gift there ever was.
And if you could, say an extra prayer for Chad and his eyes that pop at the cost, for me and my heart that breaks for the both of them, and for our sweet girl that she understands why she must wait a just little longer.”
If you can help Roxy (even $5.00 helps) please give to her fundraiser. Even if you can’t donate, if you share her story, we might be able to help her a lot!
You can read more about Roxy on Mercedes’ blog.
About Mercedes Snow Photography: Currently based in Aviano, Italy, Mercedes is a destination wedding, portrait and pet photographer. She prefers to work on location with natural light. Mercedes and her husband live with a dog of their own. Mercedes volunteers her time photographing homeless pets.
Dy Yellowhorse says
I personally know Roxy, Mercedes and Chad. Thank you so much for helping them!
These photographs are beautiful; and Roxy has such a sweet face! Wishing Roxy and her humans much support through this difficult time.