Please Help Save Our Willow Pillow

$2,768 of $4,000 goal

Raised by 57 people in 12 months
Please help save our precious Willow!

Willow is a 3 year old Siberian Husky whose life is in imminent danger. We adopted this fluffy, joyful girl from the Texas Husky Rescue  less than a year ago as a happy, healthy adult Husky whose attitude to life has been to give as much love and cuddles as possible to her family and friends. We call her 'Willow Pillow' as a result of her incessant desire to be of comfort to anyone she sees. If you are cold, she is there to warm you, if you are sad, she is there to lift you up. Right now, she needs the kind of comfort and care that was unimaginable to us yesterday morning. Today, she is fighting for her life under critical medical supervision.

What happened?

At approximately 7:30PM CT on April 29th, Willow exhibited symptoms of extreme lethargy and fluid loss. Before this point in the evening, all signs pointed to normal behavior and health. However, after attempting to give her some love and home care, her extreme symptoms led us to rush her to the emergency vet next to our apartment. We were incredibly fortunate in our timing as little did we know that she was fighting for her life. The initial diagnosis was sudden anaphylactic shock  from a possible allergic reaction. If not caught and treated early, the condition can be fatal in dogs.

North Texas Emergency Pet Clinic nurses and vets immediately helped us carry her to a medical table where emergency procedures were completed to attempt to stabilize her. After several hours, it was determined that she did not have a guarantee of survival but that everything was being done to help her. It became necessary to keep her overnight in a critical status with constant medical attention. Her condition is still critical and we are supporting her with everything we have.

What now? What is being done and how can I help?

We love Willow and Tolkien like our own family - they are our family - and so we are asking for help with these unexpected and increasing medical costs for our precious Willow Pillow whose life is currently on the line.

Our savings have been depleted. Our plans to purchase a second family vehicle have halted indefinitely. Willow's condition has caught us completely off guard. Her health failed quickly and her recovery is not certain without continuous care. We are attempting to do everything in our power, but we need your support. Everyone has a loved one that they would do anything for. We know we are not alone and Willow is not alone.

Now, we have major medical decisions to make and the harsh reality is that none of them are inexpensive. To continue her care would be financially infeasible for any single family. We cannot explain how much your support means to us. Any contribution will help us offset her medical bills and let us continue to provide her the care she needs. Our goal is not the limit of our costs so far. Any funds over our goal will go to her care until she is completely healthy. Let's see this beautiful smile again and again for years to come!


TL;DR Willow is an adorable, loving rescued Husky who needs your help. She is in critical condition and faces life-threatening symptoms from what vets believe is sudden anaphylaxis. Anything you can contribute will go to her vet bills and help to save her life. We love all of you and we love Willow so much. We want to help her and we need your help to continue to do so.
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The Update We've Been Waiting For: Foremost, Willow is alive and she is making progress to full husky health! She has been at home for more than 24 hours and sleeping during most of that time. Her energy is very slowly coming back and her eyes and ears are far more alert. The signature crazy and funny husky personality is shining through the dark once again!

Willow was scheduled to see her regular vet in Arlington yesterday. We trusted the opinions of the other vets she has seen but obviously wanted to be thorough with her diagnosis and treatment. Dr. Butler at Farrell Animal Hospital was extremely kind and knowledgeable, giving every moment of attention and care to Willow as she deserved. Her diagnosis helps confirm that we believe this was an acute/short-term problem that so far has not shown symptoms of an underlying disease or cancer. While not definitive about the "how" it happened, we can certainly take her blood and liver panels to mind when we consider her long-term treatment.

This campaign has been extraordinary and we haven't given up on reaching it's goal. $2,768 went so far in providing Willow's urgent care. Every penny has fought against the tide of rising medical bills. As we've noted before, the first night's care alone was this whole campaign's goal. Since then, we have taken on vet bill after vet bill in the hopes that we could see our Willow recover. Despite the cost though, Willow got a second chance. A second chance that never would have been possible without your help. We know that this kind of event is not entirely possible to predict, and we know that we asked a lot from everyone. To share or donate or just keep us in your thoughts adds undue pressure to you and those you know. We'd definitely agree with you if you said that this past week has been long, sleepless, and stressful. Between going to work full time, going to college part-time and Willow's condition, we have certainly lost more than a few hours of sleep and any semblance of the lifestyle we had before. Even Tolkien was disrupted, but he remained a good boy through it all and somehow knew to comfort us when we really needed it.

My recommendation to those who are reading is still to never take for granted what you have. We each have our precious moments, people, pets or things. And I am sure that we'd each sacrifice something to keep it. I've seen a lot of "I don't know if I would pay that much for my pet", but when you are in the moment, and you have to be the one to pull the trigger, it isn't so easy. It never is and never will be. We don't want to make these decisions for our parents, for our pets or even for our cars or homes but so it goes....I don't know whether to call it luck or something else, but Willow needed you and needed us and we all came together for her when she needed it most. It's an amazing thing what a group can accomplish if each is committed to the goal. We may not ever make our $4,000 goal, but every single penny we have received in donations gave us a better chance of coming home with our best friend. Emily and I believe in honesty, so to help you understand how much you really helped, we added up the totals and determined that you helped us offset more than 36% of Willow's total costs! That is amazing and so, so helpful to us as we go forward into these next few months.

We were challenged to step up and we did. And honestly, I can't be more proud of what you've helped us do.

We saved a life.

It may be "only a pet", but the power is still there; the heart is still here. Please don't forget what you've helped to do. You saved Willow. She may never fully comprehend that, but Emily and I do. We cherish that.

Emily and I are eternally grateful for your efforts in sharing this page, donating and offering support in other ways. Our little family will never forget the kindness and magnanimity that is clearly evident within all of you. Never mind the forthcoming bills, never mind the chaos and the remaining questions. The only thing that matters is that she is alive and well, and that we did this together. Emily and I will manage. It may be tough for a while, but we will. We may have lost our chance to get a car, but what does that matter? When it's a choice between something you love and something you like, it becomes clear to dedicate yourself to the thing you love. We love Willow. And we saw that you care enough about Willow or us to help. It's been a long week. It's been fast week. It feels like months rolled into one incredible crisis after another. And we still have homework to do somehow...

I hope this is the last update on gofundme. I say that because we have hope that Willow will recover to full health in the coming months. The scary part appears to be over and now it comes down to taking care of her long term health. In pursuit of this...we signed up both pups for Pet Health Insurance! I'll be the first to admit that this might have been a good idea before Willow almost lost her life...either way, I'd rather at least try to be prepared for the future.

Thank you for being with us. Thank you for letting us be a part of your lives and thank you for letting Willow continue to be a part of ours. She will get so many extra cuddles and treats thank to you! Thank you, sincerely, evermore.

-Kevin P. and Emily M.
Tolkien is so happy to have her back!!!
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The Home Update: I'll try to keep this update fairly brief. Willow is home with us tonight! We feel so relieved that she has finally been declared stable enough to come back home. And Tolkien has not left her side since we saw her at the vet. He is at my feet, curled up while Willow is resting right next to me as I type this update. She is likely very tired and very stressed from all of those injections, fluids, medicines and people. The picture below might say it all. We are so happy and she is clearly exhausted. But she is home...and that is a huge weight off of everyone's shoulders. For that, I want to give credit to the vets, techs and donors who made her care possible. So much could be said about everyone whose support has been invaluable to us. I feel like we could write a book about the generosity and kindness we've seen over the past few days. Suffice it to say that we cannot ever thank you enough for your help so far.

Unfortunately, we are not out of the woods. We are still unsure of the cause of her reaction which means that tonight we will be very carefully watching Willow's vitals and behavior. We also still have vet bills which are vastly more than the goal of this gofundme. We have been extremely fortunate for your support and we hope that you will continue to share our page to get more donors. We have 100+ shares and more than 50 donors! It's crazy that so much can be done by a small group who really cares to make a difference in someone's life. Your support has really made a difference in our lives for sure. Emily and I are tremendously overwhelmed by it all. We don't personally know everyone who donated, but we love you all for your great hearts. Please consider sharing our post again or having your friends share this since we still have more to go. Every little thing can help, whether it is $1 or $100, or just thoughts and prayers.

I'll save the medical updates for tomorrow. For now, we are going to spend as much time with Willow as possible. We are going to give her all the love she needs (and definitely spoil her with some grilled chicken). She is a good girl and went through a lot. She still has more to go. And we know you'll be right there with us. #WillowsPack
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The Hopeful Update: Tonight Willow is in a MUCH better condition. When we left the ER last night, we estimated her overall health to be around 5%, with a high possibility of not surviving. Tonight we are so pleased to inform everyone that the number is probably around 60-70%. She is not completely healthy and we still have a lot of work to do, but your donations have made better and more care available to her. Without your help, she may not have survived. But because of your tremendous support, we believe that Willow is at a stage where she can not only survive, but begin recovery to full health. We made decisions today to spend more money and it will be tough to come back from this, but we are confident that we spent this money in the right place.

So what happened to cause this?

The short story is that we still don't know what exactly caused her condition to fall so quickly. Vets believed that it was sudden anaphylactic shock but now this is being questioned and we are now looking at potential bacterial infections, specifically Leptospirosis. We might be wrong, but if the test comes back positive, we will have a very good launching point for her recovery. Additionally, if Lepto is the cause it is treatable. We are still having other tests run to determine other possible causes. We will continue to learn about her condition and provide you all with updates as we receive them. Honestly, this is the most stressful and expensive point in our lives so far. I'll admit that we've been extremely challenged to find hope today. We've been challenged to keep going and to keep trying and keep learning. I just keep thinking: "you never know what it's like until you go through it yourself". This has been made so clear to us in the past couple of days. We've donated to causes in the past, be it personal or organizational, but to experience this gives us a whole new perspective. Do not take for granted your friends and family. Don't lose sight of the only thing that is truly important in this life.

Ultimately though, this post is about hope. We hope that she will make a full recovery. We hope that we are looking at the right causes and treatments. We hope that she can come home soon. And we hope that you will continue to support us in this very difficult time. Emily and I cannot ever thank everyone enough for what they have provided to us in terms of financial or moral support. Willow is our family and you have shown us that you love her and us enough to help where you are able. We will never forget this. Willow will never forget this. We hope to give you even more positive news tomorrow.

Lastly, please continue to share this page. We are not through yet and we have spent everything we have to keep our precious girl. Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts!

There is hope.
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Update: Willow has made slow progress so far. The clinic has recommended that she stay another night in the ER to be monitored as her counts are still low. For those who are medically inclined, her PTT is on the low side of normal and her platelet count is between 90,000 and 150,000. We've been told that healthy adult dogs can have between 200,000 and 500,000 and so that is what we are aiming to get back to. She won't eat or drink much water right now but her condition is relatively stable. She will still need additional monitoring by critical care specialists.

We are hopeful that she is making progress but unfortunately she is not at a place yet where we can be sure of her full recovery. Friends and family donating has been a huge factor for Willow's survival and we have all of you to thank for her small successes today. Even so, estimates we have for overnight medical care range from 1,000-3,000 depending on the procedures needed. This means that we are still looking at financial options.

Our greatest thanks goes to all who have donated so far. We can never repay you for what you have given us in terms of peace of mind. Please continue to keep Willow in your thoughts and prayers and please continue to share this page with friends and family who may have a few dollars to donate. #WillowsPack
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$2,768 of $4,000 goal

Raised by 57 people in 12 months
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