It was my pleasure to finally meet Aisha, a 13 year old pit bull who was rescued by a dear friend of mine and fellow Pasado’s Safe Haven volunteer, Helen Anne. It was shortly after learning about my book that Helen Anne discovered that Aisha had cancer, a synovial sarcoma tumor on her leg. As with many of us who have received cancer diagnoses for our beloved dogs, Helen Anne was overwhelmed and saddened when she learned the news. And in Aisha’s case, she has health complications that prevent her from having surgery to amputate her left hind leg where the tumor is located. Aisha has COPD, which is chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. In this disease, the bronchi, or tubes that pass air between the lungs and the trachea, are constantly inflamed. COPD would make the surgery very risky and her veterinarian advised against taking this risk. Helen Anne has taken a hospice path instead, relying on both her personal support network and The AHELP Project as a local resource to learn about hospice alternatives.
I very much wanted to meet Aisha, a dog who once suffered under the hands of a ruthless abuser until she was rescued by an organization called Collar of Hope. Although her abuser served four months in jail, it was not long enough to repent for the incomprehensible way that she was treated. For two years, Aisha has lived a wonderful live with Helen Anne since her rehabilitation and has never shown aggression to any other animals or humans during this time. The name, Aisha, was given to her by her rescuers, and means, “She Who Lives.” She has such a strong will to live and I wanted to meet this beautiful dog. The minute Aisha came over to greet me, I was immediately moved by her sweet nature and strong will. She was no longer able to put weight on her left hind leg, which she holds up and only occasionally uses to provide a little extra balance when needed. While she has learned to compensate for the lack of use of this limb, it is clear that there are side effects, such as tightness in her neck and shoulder areas. The day that I met Aisha, she was scheduled for an in-home acupuncture treatment, administered by Dr. Sara Hopkins of Compassion 4 Paws, whom Helen Anne was thrilled to find, after talking to almost a dozen veterinarians about the possibility of house call visits. If you would like to learn more about Dr. Sara Hopkins, I have added her information to the Resources page.
If you are interested in learning more about Aisha and Helen Anne, you can visit Aisha’s Facebook page. And if you are so inclined to send a donation on her behalf, please do. I have contributed to her fund, as I fully support what Helen Anne is doing and I want her to be able to provide the best treatment possible for Aisha during this time.