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 — “This is going to be her forever home,” said Liz. The puppies, Teddy and Sophie, are going to be hard to let go of, but the family knows that’s the whole point of fostering — to get dogs ready for their new families, and Teddy has a family waiting. Liz tried to convince her grandparents, Mary and Ralph Owens, to adopt Sophie, and the whole family is grateful that SPCA foster families get first chance to keep the dogs they are caring for.

According to SPCA director Andrew Bell, many of the rescued Pomeraneans have homes waiting, once their medical needs are met, including being spayed or treated for dental issues and slipped joints. Even better news is that all the attention the Pomeranians received has increased the number of people looking to adopt dogs and cats at the SPCA, he said.

For the Stricklins, fostering and adopting have proven to be a win-win, Cindi said, cradling Teddy in her arms tenderly as he slept, oblivious to the conversation and laughter that circled around him.

As she looked down tenderly at the puppy’s furry little body, she recalled the darkest days of her cancer diagnosis, which came in June after she began experiencing dizzy spells and extreme exhaustion.

Once she received the diagnosis and began treatment, the bills began to pile up. After a radiation treatment so potent no humans or pets could be within three feet of her, she had to undergo five body scans recently to see if the cancer had been defeated. The scans showed the cancer had spread to her lungs. Her out-of-pocket expenses for just that single day of treatment were an insurance co-pay of about $6,000.

With all the uncertainty ahead, the fostered Pomeranians are like a balm to soothe the family’s worries. “Things have definitely been more chaotic,” said her husband, Shane Stricklin, a health care staffing administrator, said of the fostering. “But I think it has lifted our spirits at the same time, because we’re doing something good.”

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