From Bait Dog to Butterfly
Darla came to me as a foster for another rescue in 2002. She was about 10 months old, emaciated, scared, and had no trust in anyone and for good reason. An area animal control officer happened upon a situation where she was being used as a bait dog. She was seized and went to animal control, where so many other Pit Bulls go but never come out. Someone at animal control saw something special in this frightened young dog and asked a rescue if they could make room. They asked me to foster her and for that, I will be forever grateful to Andy at Animal Control and Silvia at A&S Rescue for giving her a shot. As her foster, I worked on her plethora of issues. She was afraid of everything, had no trust, had no manners and the list goes on. She was the epitome of a ‘project dog’. Our family worked with her for months and watched her blossom into a fun, playful, loving family member. She was one of our many ‘foster failures’.
Darla was a stocky, squat dog that I always said was built like a “Hummer” but was the sweetest, most gentle girl you could ask for. She doted on our son, nurtured foster pups when they came in and was nothing short of an angel. Darla looked intimidating but such is the case with most Pitties, looks are very deceiving. She was an ambassador to the breed, loved her family, kept all the other animals in check and took her job as the family protector very seriously. Everyone that met her, loved her. She was so popular at the vet’s office that she would run behind the counter and rain kisses on everyone there. I could not have dreamed of a better dog. She had eyes that could see into your soul and would furrow her brow in an attempt to better understand what you were telling her. Darla was an amazingly intuitive dog.
On April 18th of 2010, Darla began acting strange. This was a dog that had not been sick since the time we adopted her. I knew right away that something was wrong. I called my husband and took her right to the vet. They did tests at the vet and said they thought she had a compressed disc in her neck that was bulging out and pushing on a nerve, causing her the discomfort and making her act strange. They kept her overnight and I picked her up the next day and she seemed fine. She was running in the yard, picking up sticks (logs) and acting like…Darla. That didn’t last and within 48 hours, she was back at the vet. They kept her overnight again and this time had much more concern. The next morning, they called me and said she needed to see a neurologist immediately. Mike, my husband came home from work and we went to get her to take her to the neurologist. She had gone downhill dramatically. She could barely walk, was having trouble holding up her head and at times, seemed to not recognize us. The neurologist had us leave her overnight so they could run a battery of tests, bloodwork, more X-rays, MRI, etc. The next day, they called to tell me she had the worst possible thing….they found an enormous brain tumor that had moved out of her brain and into her spinal column, causing her recent changes in behavior. This was April 29th, 2010. We brought her home and on April 30th, 2010, we said goodbye to our beloved baby girl. She started as a wounded caterpillar and became a beautiful butterfly that flew away that day, but her legacy will forever live on, The Darla Foundation.
Pet Cancer Awareness
Cats and dogs get cancer at the same rate humans do. Cancer is the #1 disease-related killer of our dogs and cats. Since we think of our pets as members of the family it is very devastating to hear about one of our own pets or anyone’s pet who gets cancer.
The founder of Cause 4 Paws (The Darla Foundation) knows this all too well as she lost her beloved pit bull Darla to brain cancer on April 30th, 2010. Read Darla’s story below by clicking on her picture. All of us at Cause 4 Paws ask that you take a moment to learn more about pet cancer, and to then make your family and friends aware.
The Blue Buffalo Foundation for Pet Cancer Research, through the Pet Cancer Awareness (PCA) program, is devoted to raising awareness about the warning signs of cancer, as well as educating pet parents about ways to minimize the risk….
Once at the Pet Cancer Awarness site you may make a donation to help Blue Buffalo & Petco raise money to fight this terrible disease and to find a cure.
~ This section is dedicated in loving memory to Darla ~