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Pet lovers are such good people...

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
This story is in today's online Minneapolis Star-Tribune. It's about a dog, not a cat, but I thought it was a really good story.

Pet lovers show support for North Mankato dog owner
Staff and wire reports

A North Mankato family who decided to spend their Christmas money on medical care for their seriously injured dog is getting a lot of support from other pet owners.

Stella Twedt's dog Josie, was hit, possibly intentionally, by a pickup truck on Dec. 5. The dog had a broken back, dislocated hips, bruised bladder. The tab for emergency care in Mankato and surgery at the University of Minnesota is more than $7,000, Twedt said today.

Paying for Josie's care meant making some sacrifices.

Twedt, 36, borrowed $3,000 from her father and raided her Christmas savings. The family -- husband Doug, and Stella's three children from an earlier marriage, Britney, 15, Brandon, 14, and Kirsten, 5 -- decided they wouldn't buy Christmas presents this year. And, they wouldn't buy an airline for Britney to fly to North Mankato from Arizona, where she lives with her father. She said she was OK with that.

But a lot has changed since a local paper wrote about their decision.

More than 60 people have called or stopped by to drop off gifts or checks. There are presents for the kids under the tree. And Tuesday morning, someone from the Twin Cities volunteered to fly Britney home for the holidays, and the U of M called to say someone had paid $200 against the balance of their bill, Twedt said this morning.

"They're all usually dog lovers," she said. "Most of them have had to do this with their own dogs. So they know the expense."

Josie's troubles began on Dec. 5 while Stella and Doug Twedt were out of town. A white pickup truck hit the 4-year-old, 60-pound Australian cattle dog. Later, Brandon and a family friend who was staying with the kids, noticed tire tracks on the grass, leading them to believe that the driver tried to hit the dog intentionally.

By the time the Twedts returned to North Mankato on Dec. 7, their dog was in excruciating pain.

Veterinarians in Mankato suggested the Twedts take Josie to the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities. The veterinarians there gave Stella Twedt options: put the dog down, let it live as a cripple, or perform surgery. Twedt took the latter.

The vets performed two surgeries on Josie -- one on Dec. 8, the other on Dec. 10. Josie returned to North Mankato on Dec. 11.

Josie, whose full name is The Outlaw Josie Wales (named for the Clint Eastwood movie), seems to be returning to form. She's eating again and has begun trying to get up and move around. Her back has been repaired, but some nerve damage is still affecting her hind legs: the right is coming back, but the left still drags, Twedt said. Josie needs 24-hour care and is supposed to be down for eight weeks. After that, she'll go back to the U of M for a check-up. Eventually, she should be able to walk again, Twedt said.

A lot of trouble and expense, but, she said, Josie's worth it.

"They do so much for you,'' said Twedt, a gunsmith who suffered a stroke in 2001 and had Josie with her during her recovery. "Most people think they just lay around. Well, they don't. They're constant companionship. And for me that's what this dog has been.''

Twedt, who hasn't asked for donations, said that besides the airfare, money paid to the hospital and gifts, people have contributed about $300 to Josie's care. So far, she said, she hasn't received any calls criticizing her decision to save the dog.

"We're appreciating everybody who has shown compassion for the family and the dog, and for their own animals,'' she said. "They aren't expendable. People think, 'If my dog or cat gets I'll hurt put it down and get another one.' It doesn't work that way. Not when you have them for so long."

Still, she wishes there was a way to help others with injured pets.

"I would feel better if people set up a fund for people like that,'' she said. "I was lucky enough to be able to borrow money. There are other people that can't do that. So a fund for other animals in distress would be something to give back to the community.''
post #2 of 5
What a heartwarming story.
post #3 of 5
The dog,Josie, is quite a survivor. The poor animal suffered for 2 days before being brought to the vet! Glad everything is turning out well for Josie!
post #4 of 5
Is there any way we can contribute?
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Originally posted by NewtoCats
Is there any way we can contribute?
That's so nice of you - I would think you could contact the Star Tribune (a link to the paper is on the first post) and ask them how to contribute if you like.

FYI - I didn't post this story to solicit contributions from anyone - I just thought it was a heartwarming story. I know so many people who get a pet and then have it put down just because it becomes inconvenient, and here's a family who all agreed to give up their holiday to save their pet. But if this post discussing contributions is not OK, will one of the moderators please delete it?

I also thought it was nice to see the media covering this type of story, otherwise the person who is purchasing the airfare for the daughter (as well as most of the other people who have contributed) would probably have never even heard about this happening. The star-tribune is the biggest paper in Minnesota, and this was one of the top stories on their website.
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