The Life She Thought She
Giving birth is usually a time for celebration. But for Lisa Carver, age 25, it was devastating. She was given an epidural during labor and suffered a stroke. The result was permanent blindness and short-term memory loss.
Joy turned to anger and then despair. She would spend the next 15 years of her life in what she describes as "hate mode." The world was her dumping ground for all of her grief.
And by her own admission, she was not very good at accepting help. "I was just so angry," Lisa told us. Living in the small town of Raleigh, North Carolina with limited resources didn't help, either. After a time, Lisa decided to move to Clearwater, Florida.
"I wanted a bigger city to gain more mobility," she said. It proved to be a good move. There she met a priest who encouraged her to get a service dog. At first, Lisa shunned the idea. But the more she thought about it, the more it intrigued her.
"If I'm going to do this, I want a Doberman," she told her clerical friend. But he encouraged her to get a Standard Poodle.
"What? I don't want a foo-foo dog," Lisa scoffed. And then the priest told her a few facts about Standard Poodles.
"Poodles are smart and very protective," he told her. "Standard Poodles were also used as guard dogs during World War II."
Lisa was impressed. That's when Remington came into her life. A black Standard Poodle just 6 months old, he was happy to be Lisa's eyes for her. The two bonded immediately.
Suddenly Lisa's life opened up. She was no longer afraid to venture outside of her house. The world became a friendlier place now that she had true mobility. Lisa shed her hostility and embraced a whole new world because of Remington's single-minded devotion to her.
For 7 ½ years, Remington taught Lisa how to trust a world through his caring eyes. Finally in 2004, she felt ready to move back home to Raleigh, North Carolina and reclaim her old family ties. Once again, it proved to be a good move.
Lisa found a job working at the Raleigh Clinic For The Blind. She and Remington settled into small town life. But on August 4th of this year, Remington suddenly got sick. He tried to vomit but couldn't. Fearful, Lisa felt his stomach and found it was swollen.
Something was terribly wrong. Her neighbor called an emergency vet and took them to the Veterinary Specialty Hospital of the Carolinas. The news was not good. He needed emergency surgery for gastric dilation and volvulus, commonly known as bloat.
The down payment for the surgery was $2500, an astronomical sum for Lisa. The technician advised Lisa to simply put her dog down. "It would be the humane thing to do," she told her.
Clearly the technician did not understand that Remington was not just a pet, he was Lisa's lifeline to the world! She asked to speak to the chief surgeon, who thankfully had a different take on Remington's very valuable life.
The surgeon told her not to worry about the money right now. The important thing was to save Remington's life. And he did. There was no down payment, no exchange of money of any kind.
Dr. Camille Sherrod, a veterinarian with the clinic, found The Mosby Foundation online and contacted us for help. "I am hopeful that the Mosby Foundation may be able to assist a very special dog, Remington, who is a priceless companion and service dog for his blind owner, Lisa Carver," she wrote.
We agreed that Remington was vital to Lisa's independence and were happy to make a donation to the clinic in support of Remington.
Upon Remington's discharge, Lisa, her friends and family were also able to pay a fraction of the bill. She took Remington home and spent weeks nursing him back to health. "I took care of him just like he takes care of me."
When Remington came into Lisa's life, she was angry and depressed. Remington gave her the love and encouragement she needed to get back the life she thought she had lost. Now Remington needed Lisa's love to pull him through this life-threatening illness.
And she was more than happy to give it. "He's just like my child," she told us. We are thankful that Remington is back on the job and loving every minute of it. But Lisa has not forgotten the kindness of the veterinary clinic.
And neither has The Mosby Foundation. Lisa is coordinating a fundraiser with The Mosby Foundation in Raleigh to help raise funds to cover Remington's hospital bills. We are actively seeking donations here, too.
As for Lisa, she says, "I am so grateful to The Mosby Foundation for helping Remington and me. Remington is much more than a dog. He helps me keep my independence. And I love him for it."
That's what makes love so rich. It doesn't care whether you're animal or human, rich or poor, strong or weak. It gives just for the sake of giving. And that fills us up, weaving a bond so strong we can only honor it by passing it on to others.
If you would like to contribute, please make your check out to The Mosby Foundation and put in the memo section, "Remington." Our mailing address is: P.O. Box 218, Deerfield, VA 24432.
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