Maya is not my DOG.....she's my DAUGHTER! Since the first day she trotted into my life as an abandoned pup, many times she has been the reason why I get out of bed. I've lived a pretty interesting life, but the last 8yrs have been full of tumultuous ups and downs. Maya has been there through most of it with me. Lots of my friends knew me before Maya, but say to me that they can not imagine knowing me WITHOUT her.
**This is Maya at 4 months, riding shotgun the FIRST DAY I found her in the park while teaching my fitness boot camp!! The class gave her her name and she quickly became our little mascot, attending every class! She was a poster dog for physical fitness!!**
Maya is the sweetest dog that ever lived! She has a chronic kissing disorder that anyone with a face will experience, and a tail/butt wag that will ruin a coffee table display and bruise your calf with one swish!! She is a LOVER...never been a fighter, who will lay on her back for a belly rub if you even LOOK at her like you're willing! Maya is my BEST FRIEND and my FAMILY, in a city where everyone is "too busy", keeps to themselves and it's every man for himself!
A while back, I suffered a pretty traumatic experience, that very few people know debilitates me from time to time. Maya has been my mobility, my air, my joy and my smile! She gave me a reason to be responsible and taught me the TRUE meaning of unconditional love and sincere forgiveness. I cannot imagine my life without her, though I know that day will come....ONE DAY...but NOT TODAY!
Maya is only 4 years old.
About a month ago she was diagnosed with a condition I had never before heard of called Mega Esophagus , which pretty much means big esophagus. The short lamen version, is that Maya's throat is too big and the muscles in there have stopped contracting and releasing to push the food down into her stomach. So she just regurgitates it back. It never makes it to her stomach. Before the official diagnosis, and prior to learning what I should be doing to help her with this condition, Maya lost an INSANE amount of weight!! I was on the verge of losing her due to STARVATION and DEHYDRATION, not the disease! I couldn't let that happen!!!! I had to give her a fighting chance to deal with the actual disease, because a LOT of dogs live with this and have great lives !!! So, in order to get her back up to a nourished level of health, she needed surgery. Maya has just had a feeding tube installed, so that I can feed her directly to her stomach and bypass the esophagus issues!! However, this is a temporary tube, just to get her weight up! As you can see, she was wasting away! :-(
This surgery alone was $6000.
Not to mention all the additional costs for visits dating back to the first time she regurgitated, I don't even want to BEGIN to calculate the amount of money I have spent, borrowed, bartered, bargained, stolen (j/k), been donated etc. Honestly, it doesn't really matter to me, if it means giving her a chance! Another lesson Maya is teaching me...Selflessness.
HOWEVER, the hospitals, landlords, insurance and department of water and power haven't really subscribed to this "selfless" way of life yet!! And thus, begins my struggle to keep a roof over our heads and pay Maya's ongoing medical bills for continuous care! After surgery, there are all kinds of costs associated with post care, as well as the consistent cost to maintain a dogs quality of life with Mega Esophagus!! I currently work 2 jobs, but having to feed my daughter 6 times a day and needing to monitor her every move for signs of progress or regression, makes going to work nearly impossible!!! I have been told she will probably need the tube for 2 months to get her weight back to safety. So for 2 months, my life will not be my own. But I am happy to give her my time and energy and selfless love, as she has happily given the same to me for the last 4 years, wagging her tail all along the way!!
Maya is my girl, yes. But she has been a light to so many others! She is currently in the hospital being monitored after the surgery, but when she comes home tomorrow, she will be my ONLY concern and I will be devoting all my time to her! Please help me help her!!! If you met her you would understand, this dog has SO much life left to live and her eyes say she WANTS to live!!!!
**This is Maya a couple of days out of her SECOND surgery...her energy is all about LIFE!! She just needs a good mommy and great supporters to help her get to 100%! Thanks Auntie Donna for the vid!!**
**Younger, healthier days....
**Summer nights in her own chair....
Anything and everything helps!!! If you can't donate, but live close by and want to come and sit with me while I feed her that would be GREAT!! It gets pretty lonely doing this all alone, as I am a single parent :-) And as always, pass this story along!!! Maybe someone you know, knows someone who has dealt with this idiopathic condition! We've got to all stick together!! It DOES take a village! ;-)
Love & Light from Maya and Mommy,
**Help us get back to our 5mile runs on Fridays!! We were just doing them 2 months ago!!!**
**Spending birthdays and holidays in California 3000 miles away from all my loved ones has been very hard, but this birthday kiss made it all better!!**
Maya needs a Bailey Chair for vertical feedings, which help gravity pull the food down to the stomach! Help us build one! We need materials!!!
Here is a short video showing how it's used! How great of an invention is this??!!
Thank you Donna Koch & Bailey for being innovators & inspirations to us all!!
**In the meantime, I've been compensating by creating a "makeshift Bailey Chair"....what a mother's love will do. Necessity is the mother of all invention!!!**
**Maya's medicines are insane!!! Help us in any way with costs of special food for the tube, medicines, tools for efficient & comfortable feedings and a new plush, elevated bed to assist with her sleeping more upright! We are learning daily, to deal with a previously foreign condition to us! Please help us adjust so that Maya can have the best quality of life possible!!!**
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