Good Samaritan Funds Give Dancer a Chance at a New Life
"Dancer" with "Gismo," also a rescue and
Dancer's closest four legged friend
"Dancer," a 7-year-old Powder-puff Chinese Crested, wasn't always as healthy
and happy as she is today. She spent the first 6 years of her life in a puppy
mill in Oregon. When she came to live with Tracy and her family in Idaho, all
her toes were dislocated from being confined to a wire cage. Her teeth had
rotted, she had a cyst, and an injured back.
"She was in such bad shape, we really debated if the journey to get well was
worth the pain she would go through," said Tracy.
After numerous medical treatments, Dancer began to thrive and settle into her
new home. She even helped gently care for a 3-week old Chihuahua the family was
raising in their home.
"But one of biggest gifts Dancer gives us is the connection with our son with
Asperger's," said Tracy. "The other animals shy away from him, but Dancer gets
up on his lap and makes that connection with him."
"Dancer" with Misti Nuxoll (DVM '12)
Then came the cancer diagnosis.
"We thought we might lose her, so we took her to a specialist who referred her
to WSU," said Tracy.
But with nearly $9000 in veterinary medical expenses over the year, the needed
radiation treatment seemed financially out of reach.
"We didn't have the money, but knew she could be saved," said Tracy.
So they applied for help from the Good Samaritan Fund, created to help animals
in need of special care, but who were ownerless or whose owners could not afford
"Receiving this money was just enough help for us to be able to get her the
treatments to save her," said Tracy.
Tracy and her family have helped hundreds of animals like "Dancer" over the last
20 years, taking in some of the hardest cases. But their kindness and
generosity is boundless. Tracy and her husband are loving parents to four
special needs kids.
"We chose not to have natural children, but instead to provide a home for hard
to place children," said Tracy. "Fostering these animals was really good for the
children. It showed them how to care for animal with special needs and find
them a forever home."
Although she'll tell you that her kids and the dogs they foster have given more
to their family than she and her husband have given to them, the kind of care
and devotion they've shown is extraordinary.
"I've been blessed with special needs kids and animals," said Tracy. "Dancer
experiences snow for the first time, and we experience snow for the first time.
They are a blessing to us."
After 6 weeks in the hospital receiving radiation treatments during the spring
of 2011, Dancer's prognosis is good.
"We sing your praises," said Tracy about the WSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital.
"Everyone there was absolutely wonderful."