Although she is living in a CAPE hospice foster home after her diagnosis of abdominal cancer, Mary is able to motor around the house and the outdoors under her own steam.
Mary participates in all the household activities - barking at the UPS driver, joyfully partaking in her daily meals, napping with fellow elderly canines. Her energy has been steady although some days she is reminded that her body is not always able to cooperate.
The soft couch with the red blanket is Mary's favorite place to settle her bones. We have watched her pull herself onto the couch many times. But if a person is nearby, she emits a little "Boof" meaning "A little boost perhaps?"
Gently cupping her back legs, we lift her onto the blanket where she rests her head and closes her soulful eyes.
Recently a small, 10 lb. Chihuahua named Princess dropped by for a visit. She brought her own bed and left it in the living room where she could easily find it. Mary found it too. The perfect attribute to this bed was that she did not need a boost to settle in for a nap.
When you've known extreme hunger, every meal becomes a miracle. For Mary, her five meals a day are a wondrous experience.
Mary, although in hospice due to cancer spreading throughout her abdomen, has a healthy, throaty bark, and an excellent appetite. As long as she is able to continue "telling" us how much she loves her meals, and as long as she is able to relish gobbling them up, Mary's life is a thing of beauty.
We hope you will enjoy watching Mary readying herself for one of her meals, and the joy she has in making them disappear. We thank you for your support and for following her story.
Just like you, we have all come to love Mary. She has no demands, but she gives back affection, curiosity, tolerance, and a bark or two. Everyday she accompanies CAPE staff as they walk through the sanctuary, caring for the animals. It never fails that later we will find her curled up on the couch, her favorite red blanket tucked around her.
But Mary is slowing down. In recent days we have noticed that her energy is decreasing. The tumor on her hind end seems a bit larger. We worry that the cancer has spread further.
She still gobbles up her meals, and wags her tail while barking when her favorite people arrive back home. We know that the beautiful life being given to her has not gone unnoticed. Mary drinks it in daily, with Maya, her "hospice nurse" always at her side.
To see Mary stretching her legs during her early morning walk across the sanctuary, anyone would be amazed to learn that she has an inoperable tumor growing throughout her abdomen. Mary came into CAPE's world three short weeks ago after being found starving, flea infested and wandering the streets of Sacramento.
In this short time frame, we at CAPE have come to appreciate her stoic attitude. She is not altered by the cancer. Her daily discoveries of a new bowl of food; a rub between her ears; a fly that buzzes over her nose - are all a dazzling to Mary.
Mary endured starvation, loneliness, and winter temperatures during her time of homelessness. To see her safe, well-fed and enjoying the simple things in a dog's life bring comfort to us all.
This week we are excited to report that Mary has gained 3.1 pounds! There are few things more rewarding than nourishing a hungry animal. When she arrived at the CAPE Animal Sanctuary, Mary was skin and bones. Following the advise of our veterinarian, Mary was given several small meals a day to help her system adjust to being fed healthy food.
Mealtimes to Mary are one of her many new joys in life. She polishes her bowl leaving it sparkling clean. She is patient for treats and is polite while the other dogs nibble their snacks.
We have learned that Mary loves music. While the piano in the living room is being played, Mary will saunter nearby and wag her tail in time to the music.
Mary is enjoying her new found life, and it continues to gain in richness each day. We at the CAPE Animal Sanctuary have gained the most by having Mary as our new family member.
Since she arrived at the CAPE Animal Sanctuary where she will live out the rest of her life, Mary has not caused a single ripple moving into the household.
Each day, she ambles along with CAPE staff as they walk along the quiet road near the sanctuary. Mary is inclined to just soak up the sun, breathe in fresh spring air and lazily watch passing insects.
Tomorrow she will be meeting some of the animals who live on the sanctuary. You will not want to miss what happens as she goes nose to nose with a mini donkey and sees a chicken - for the first time?
Watching Mary enjoy the simple life, free from fear, starvation, or exposure to the elements makes our hearts soar.
Even though she is in hospice care, Mary is enjoying a beautiful life. Thanks for your support.
On Monday April 23, Mary was diagnosed with anal cancer that had spread throughout her abdomen. Although the news was not good from the veterinarian who examined Mary, the decision was made to take her home. And that's where her story begins.
For the rest of her life, all of us at CAPE have dedicated ourselves to giving Mary enriching, fun and loving experiences. In this blog you will be treated to seeing Mary as she meanders through her days living at the CAPE Animal Sanctuary with our executive director JP Novic and her husband Josh Novic.
On the couch with her are Maia and another foster Dottie. Mary is settled in, comfortable and carefree.
On a recent day while JP Novic, CAPE's Executive Director, was visiting a local shelter to rescue several dogs, two women pulled their car next to the CAPE truck. They motioned to JP asking for help. They had found a female dog wandering the streets. She was all skin and bones and covered in fleas. Her nails were inches long, and she had what looked like a few tumors under her skin. The dog was very sweet, mellow but clearly weak and exhausted.
JP assisted the women to make sure the dog was properly checked into the shelter. The staff assured JP they would contact her once her stray period was over.
A few days later, it was determined that the shelter could not put her up for adoption, so the dog was slated for euthanasia. On Saturday, April 21, "Mary" became a CAPE dog. She was picked up and immediately bathed and had her nails trimmed. CAPE consulted with a veterinarian on the best and most appropriate way to feed her. An appointment was scheduled for Mary to receive a full medical evaluation.
Once she arrived at her new foster home, Mary found a comfy couch, crawled into its soft warmth, laid her head down and slept for 12 hours.
Since then she has been enjoying several meals each day. She is house-trained and the family dogs have fully accepted her.
Her first veterinary appointment is Monday afternoon, so we will give you an update then.
Overall, Mary is a sweet, soulful, non-demanding girl. CAPE is honored to have saved her life, and we could not do so without your support.
Like a bag filled with fast food trash, a small dog and her puppy were tossed from the window of a moving car. When the car was long gone, the mother dog remained on the side of the road, not daring to leave in case her puppy should wake up.
Santa Cruz County Animal Control discovered why the mother dog did not run away. She was not willing to leave the side of her dead puppy.
CAPE brought the mother dog, now named Beverly, into a foster home where she was enveloped in love and comfort. Her traumatic story appeared in both television and print news. People were outraged over the heartless act that killed Beverly’s puppy. Offers to adopt Beverly poured into the CAPE office.
The day of her adoption to Monterey resident Paul Bennett, Beverly was composed and curious. Her new canine family member, 15 year old Dobby, excitedly welcomed Beverly, renamed Olivia, into their home.
Paul says, “Since her arrival I have suffered the loss of both my father and my partner. These dogs kept me going and helped me get through this difficult time. Olivia is fully adjusted and keeps Dobby going strong. He is now 17 and thriving thanks to her.”
In honor of CAPE's 25 year anniversary join us in another walk down Memory Lane as we check in with Sadie, a dog who CAPE found a loving home for so many years ago...
Many years ago CAPE heard about a dog referred to as “the mac & cheese dog.” We learned that for five years this small black dog had been living under the bushes along a road median in Watsonville, CA. A kind-hearted woman took pity on the dog and started feeding her macaroni and cheese. Her husband would not allow the dog inside their house, so the “mac & cheese dog” did her best to survive outside alone.
At last she was brought to the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter then placed into a loving CAPE foster home. Today, many years later, Sadie lives with a wonderful family who dotes on her every need. They tell us, “Sadie made her way
into our home and hearts. She has blossomed into our ‘little gnome’ who gathers her blankets and tennis balls like a squirrel preparing for winter!”
It is clear that Sadie knows to cherish the people and things she once never had. Lucky, lucky ,sweet girl!
“Until we extend our circle of compassion to all living things, humanity will not find peace."
~Dr. Albert Schweitzer