All of this occurred while we, as a family, were celebrating the 4th of July. On her way home she received a voicemail stating her house was on fire. Then her neighbor, using our Mom's cell phone, called me and informed us of what was happening. My brother and I raced over to her house, the house our parents raised us in, to find her slumped in the neighbor's yard. The first thing she said was, "They're gone! Sophie and Bella are gone!" It wasn't my house or my home, it was, "They're gone." As is the case with our Mom her pets/children are her primary concern.
Sophie would have celebrated her 12th birthday this month and for a Great Dane that is quite the accomplishment. She never acted her age, ever. Every time she would see us she would grab one of her favorite stuffed toys and come over, tail wagging, and want a back scratch. She would jump up and down like a puppy when super excited and was quite literally the biggest puppy.
Bella was Mastiff mix puppy that Sophie immediately took to and treated her like her own grandpuppy. She was protective of both our Mom and Sophie. However, once she realized who she was barking at (and if Sophie knew the person) she would roll on her back to get a tummy rub.
Due to several circumstances, there was no insurance on the house. Which means that the costs to clean, repair, rebuild, etc. all fall on her/us.
Right now, we know that both the kitchen and bathroom will need to be gutted and rebuilt as well as the stair hallways. The dining room, living room, and one bedroom will need to be stripped down to the studs and cleaned. Two remaining bedrooms will need to be cleaned. The outside will need to be repaired and painted. She has had several quotes in the tens of thousands of dollars range.
Our goal is to help our Mom get her life back as much as we can. We have been blessed with family and friends helping out with clean up and were overwhelmed by the caring firefighters, police, and ambulance crews. In fact, those that worked so hard to resuscitate both Sophie and Bella and their sorrow in not being able to bring them back is truly inspiring.
Throughout all of this we have had many requests to help in any way possible. If anyone has ever had the misfortune to be in a similar situation you know how hard it can be to accept help because we do not want to inconvenience anyone. It was suggested that my brother and I set up a gofundme as this would be a one-time request.
If a miracle happens and we raise more than needed we have already discussed splitting the balance and pay it forward to several charities in our area. Because, in the end, how could anyone not help those in similar situations that were beyond their control.
Thank you all so very much.
- Joanne Agel
- Sara&Ken Durst
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