If you're seeing this post on Erica and Joey Manypenny's Facebook page, chances are, you know well the names Apollo, Zsa Zsa, and Hendrix.
Chances are, you know about Zsa Zsa's pom-pom tail, Apollo's silly smile, and that Hendrix's mammoth size just so happens to match her equally gigantic heart.
You may have had the pleasure to meet these darlings yourself. And if so, you know exactly what I mean when I mention Apollo's spin moves as his way of saying he's so darned excited to see you; Hendrix's way of sneaking a (heavy!) paw into your lap if you chance a seat next to her. And Zsa Zsa? She was as regal and refined as a lady Pomeranian could possibly be. A fluff ball of sweetness.
But more about these crazy fur-babies in a minute...
If you're friends with Erica on Facebook, I'll bet there's something else you know about my dear friend. She's not just a a caring person when it comes to her own animals, she's an advocate for *so many* animals in her community!
She's used the power of social media to reunite lost pets with their owners; she's spread awareness about animal kindness, and advocated against animal abuse. She's even worked with her own dogs to raise thousands of dollars to benefit local shelters...
Yep, Hendrix, the 'calendar girl,' raised $3,200 in the past 4 years, 100% of those proceeds having been generously donated to the Beaver County Humane Society.
Now if you work with Erica, you probably hear the words of Vanilla Ice playing in the background as she walks by: 'if you've got a problem, yo, she'll solve it!' Erica is one of the most resourceful professionals I know. If she can't find a solution for you, she uses her boundless network of contacts to locate someone who can.
Local business owner? She's your number one customer, advocate, social media marketer, and fan.
Community events? She's planning, fundraising, organizing, and out there lending a hand herself.
And if you just so happen to be lucky enough to call Erica 'family' or 'friend' (or 'best friend' like I do!), chances are you've used her shoulder to lean on because it's the best one in the tri-state area. In my own grief after losing my brother, I am awed by her unshakeable commitment to still be my rock almost a decade later.
And now here I stand, watching her fall to pieces at the loss of the ones she loves the most...
In just over 365 days, Erica has lost not one, but ALL THREE of her dogs
to one swift and silent illness or another.
Zsa Zsa, suffered a stroke, and found her way to heaven on March 22, 2017.
Almost exactly one year to the day, Apollo fell ill to kidney failure and was put to sleep on March 23.
Just two weeks later, and still knee-deep in grief, Erica found herself having to make yet another difficult decision after getting a phone call from the neurologist...Hendrix's MRI revealed that she was suffering from perhaps *the worst case* scenario...an aggressive cancer growing on her spine that would undoubtedly spiral into worse suffering, and eventually, a painful death.
If you have pets and you love your pets, you know that they are far more than an animal in the house. They're family.
And losing them is life-altering.
Erica and Joey have done everything they can to bring their fur-babies comfort during this troubling past year and a half. They've spent thousands of dollars because they put the love for their dogs first. No dollar sign was going to keep them from hanging on to Zsa Zsa's tail-wag, Apollo's cuddles, or Hendrix's gentle-giant demeanor...
I've put together this GoFundMe despite Erica's resistance because I know how taxing on the heart this year has been for her, how financially difficult it can be when a loved one is ill, and because if I can't take her pain away, at least I can provide her some relief and uplift by rallying each of you to help her out.
A community leader, a skilled professional & masterful networker, a loving daughter-sister-neice-wife, an amazing fur-mommy, and a damn good friend.
Raise your hand if Erica has ever helped you.
I know she has because that's the kind of person she is. Now it's time to help Erica.
PLEASE, if you have even one dollar to give, generously donate it. Any gesture you make will offset the costs Erica and Joey have endured through this painful process of losing Zsa Zsa, Apollo, and Hendrix.
“It's not how much we give but how much LOVE we put into giving.”
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