Shadow needs cancer surgery!

The news of cancer hits like a high speed train on your heart and leaves you with a confusing jumble of thoughts and emotions. My name is Caryn Solomon. Today I found out that my best buddy Shadow has cancer and needs immediate surgery. She has a large mass in her spleen and the organ can rupture at any moment.

Shadow has been my best friend, my adventure partner, and my family for the last 9 years. I rescued her while I was finishing school and working as an archaeology intern out in the middle-of-nowhere Utah desert. Through some volunteer work with an animal shelter and a series of serendipitous events, Shadow crossed my path.

Her abandonment story was one I deeply identified with. When Shadow came into my life, she was about 2 years old, emaciated, depressed, and was on track for euthanasia. She refused to eat, drink water, or interact with anyone. When I came to see her at the shelter, all she did was sit down on my foot, raise her head into the palm of my hand, and stared deep into my soul. In that moment we both knew that we had found a safe home within each other.

In all honesty I had no business taking care of a living thing at that point in my life, but I did it anyway. I was a person that was living one train wreck to the next, but in all the chaos she was the one consistently good thing in my life. Shadow gave me a reason to get up every day and make something of myself. She patiently loved me through my struggles and I patiently socialized her. Shadow attended my classes with me, went to nursing homes to comfort elderly citizens, and together we solo hiked the backcountry of the Zion canyons. We lived in a tent together, hitchhiked through towns, crashed on couches, and told campfire stories with trail friends. She has been the copilot on my wild one woman adventures and the built in furry heater in high elevation camps.

Many people will read this and dismiss it as another sad story about a very good dog. But for me, this is about saving the life of a family member and soul mate. She is a constant pillar of support and a source of comfort. Asking for help has never been one of my strengths, but at this moment I am humbly asking for any support you can give to help Shadow. With this surgery she will be able to return to long hikes in the high Sierras. Every good dog deserves to spend their golden years happy on a trail in the woods.

Thank you all for your support.


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Caryn Solomon 
Los Angeles, CA
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