Hello fellow dog lovers and artists. My name is Ashley Milburn. I’m a visual artist living at Artists' Housing Incorporated, a co-op in Baltimore, Maryland. At 71, I'm officially retired, but still work part time as an art teacher at a charter school. My main income is from S.S.I and the teaching job. I have a live/work studio that I share with Adee, a rescued dog that I was blessed to adopt seven years ago. Adee is a mixed breed (terrier, pit bull).
I have lived and worked among 23 other artists for the past 8 years. All of us have enjoyed Adee’s kindness and claim kinship with him. Adee is one of those dogs whose mission is to spread love and caring to as many as he can. He has elementary student fans who stop by on their way to school to greet him daily as we take our morning walk. Adee has co-owners-in-spirit at Artists' Housing, Inc. who frequently treat him and the six other resident dogs of our creative community to biscuits. Adee is the one in the pack who provides mature guidance for the other dogs. His gentle, unconditional friendliness is central to the community spirit of our artists' housing cooperative.
Last Sunday Adee began to drag one of his rear legs. The condition rapidly became debilitating. Within just six hours, he was unable to use both of his rear legs. He wasn’t in pain, but was obviously confused about his sudden loss of mobility. That evening, I took him to the vet, where he was diagnosed with a Fibrocartilaginous Embolism (FCE). This is a serious condition involving necrosis (cell death) of a region of the spinal cord. Its cause is unknown. He is at the Falls Road Animal Hospital in Baltimore under "managed care", which consists of the bare minimum of services needed to keep him stable, pending payment in advance for further treatment. One of Adee’s artist friends loaned me most of the $1000 required for his initial exam, diagnosis, and the first days of his managed care plan.
I have come to you to ask for your help to save Adee. I am unable to pay for his further diagnostics and treatment, which entail an MRI of his spine, costing $3000, expected to be followed by surgery that will cost an additional $2000. So the vet estimates the cost of further treatment to be $5000 due up front.
Adee is family. If you own a dog, you know what this means. I am doing everything that I can think of to save him. Any amount you can contribute to his treatment will be received with abundant gratitude.
For donations of $100 to $499, I will be giving a signed print from the my upcoming exhibition, E-quine, which features ink wash drawings highlighting the power and sensitivity of horses. For gifts of $500 and above, you will receive an original work from the show. The exhibition opens May 6, 2016 and closes May 29th. Your original unframed drawing from the show will be available for pickup, or, if needed, mailed to you by mid-June.
Adee's name is pronounced "a day," and all the residents at our artists' housing cooperative would undoubtedly join me in saying "What a difference Adee makes!" If you knew him, I'm certain you'd agree.
- Marie Blackburn
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