A Writer Donates Book Proceeds to Veterinary Scholarship
Jill and Jessie
Whenever Jill Strickler walked into the
WSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital
with her dog "Jessie" they would always hear "Hi, Jessie Strickler" from a staff
member behind the reception desk. "Jessie," a blond Cocker Spaniel coming for
cancer treatments, would give a quick bark in reply.
"Jessie loved going there even though not such pleasant things were happening to
her," said Jill Strickler, Jessie’s owner and a published writer.
In 2003 when Jessie was 6 years old she became critically ill after being
bitten by a tick. Her liver failed, but with devoted care she recovered. Then,
just a few years later she was diagnosed with gastrointestinal cancer that had
spread in her already weakened body. For nearly a year and a half Jill and
Jessie would make the trip from Spokane to Pullman to get regular checkups and
"Everyone went way beyond the call of duty," said Strickler. "When we thought
we were out of options, Dr. Tripp would come up with other things to try. That
gave Jessie and me a lot of time."
Jessie passed away in May 2009 at the age of 11 after a hard-fought battle.
Moments before she died of heart failure in the ICU, a resident put out a call
for help. When Jill walked in she found more than 30 WSU Veterinary Teaching
Hospital residents, interns, and staff veterinarians standing near Jessie and
"I wanted to repay the amazing gift they gave us with a scholarship to help
students follow their dreams and become veterinarians to help pets like Jessie,"
So Jill established
The Jessie Strickler Scholarship to support WSU veterinary residents and
interns. But as a writer, Jill knew she could do even more. She decided to
write a series of books to honor Jessie and everyone who cared for her at the
WSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital. All the proceeds from the books go toward the
"Jingle Bell Bride," which came out in
late 2012, is the first book in the series. The sisters in the book were named
for Jessie’s veterinarians at the WSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital. The book is
also dedicated to Dr. Chelsea Tripp, a former WSU veterinary resident who is
currently on staff at the Animal Medical Center of Seattle. There are many
other references about WSU to spot in the book.
Sticklers’ hope is to write at least 20 additional books as part of the series
for each veterinarian, resident, and intern who cared for Jessie. Her next book
in the series is due out later in 2013.
"The kind of love they gave Jessie is an amazing thing," said Strickler. "I’ll
never forget the amazing kindness given to the dog I loved so much."
When this profile was written in early 2013, six $1000 awards had been given
to an intern or resident in oncology or cardiology since it was established in
2010. To make a donation go to
The Jessie Strickler Scholarship