Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

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February 23, 2013

Lockport family dealing with cancer finds time for rescued dogs

Family and friends of woman fostering rescued Pomeranians plan to help her with battle against cancer

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — When Cindi Stricklin and her family decided to foster three recently rescued Pomeranian puppies, they didn’t realize that the puppies might also rescue them.

But that’s what seems to be happening at the Stricklin household these days, where two tiny teddy-bear shaped puppies and their equally tiny mother, have been staying since they were removed from a dirty, overcrowded breeder’s home by the SPCA of Niagara.

“Puppies make people smile,” said 15-year-old Liz Stricklin, holding one of the puppies close to her face and, of course, smiling. Despite how little they are, or maybe because of it, three Pomeranians rescued by her family are bringing some much needed happiness to the household as the Stricklins face their greatest challenge. Liz’s mom, Cindi, was diagnosed with stage two thyroid cancer last summer and, after extreme radiation treatment in September, doctors recently found a spot on her lungs.

The family has been waiting for Cindi to have another round of scans in March, so the dogs are providing a much needed distraction. And the family is providing the dogs with some much needed love and attention.

The three Pomeranians were among 64 rescued recently when Niagara County SPCA agents removed them from a Royal Parkway South home that was alleged to be a puppy mill. The dirty, undernourished trio were among dozens jammed together in stacked cages and as soon as Cindi heard about them, she went to the SPCA and offered to foster one of the dogs. She came home with three — two tiny teddy bear-like puppies and their mother, who herself is just over a year old.

The family already has a 10-year-old Pomeranian, Penny, and has two cats, but despite all the fur, the Robinson Road home is bright and tidy. The Stricklin family, which includes Cindi, her husband, Shane, Liz and her brother, William, 13, have already decided to keep the Pomeranian mom, who they call Gracie, and who came to them very anxious. Gracie, also was malnourished and extremely anxious, but is just now beginning to respond to all their affection. Gracie, hopefully, will stay with the Stricklins.

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