Ryan O’Neal and Ali MacGraw starred in the movie Love Story. That one movie has been characterized as one of the most romantic films of all times. This movie depicts true love between the two main characters in the midst of one of them being plagued with terminal illness. The movie gives the impression about what genuine unselfish love looks like.
The Helen Woodward Animal Center (HWAC) can relate. They currently have the same scenario playing out right in their facility between a family that has a human cancer survivor and a terminally ill six-year old Terrier mix named Dinky. This may be the very first time that Dinky has ever experienced real love!
An animal welfare worker in San Ysidro came across the sick little dog while she was meandering off of the 905 Freeway in early December 2012. Dinky was in very bad shape; starving, dehydrated, shivering and terribly matted. It was hard to tell how long the dog had been homeless.
To add yet another aspect to this dog’s miserable existence, she was terrified of human beings and shrank away from being touched. Even so, Dinky has a very sweet temperament that exudes through her docile gestures and her hopeful eyes.
Over the first six weeks that the six-year old Terrier mix was with HWAC, she seemed to blossom. Her destiny and desire for her very own forever family seemed possible.
As HWAC’s veterinary team prepared Dinky for her future, they discovered something that concerned them. They performed a biopsy on an unusual mass that revealed an enlarged lymph node with a metastatic mass cell grade 3 cancer. What this means is that Dinky is in her final stages of a metastatic cancer and she only has a few months to live. Her chance at a happily ever after seemed to be over before it had ever even begun!
The good folks at Helen Woodward refuse to give up that easily though. After all, they are dedicated to providing a quality life for all orphaned animals so they were determined to give Dinky her dream come true; her love story beginning. Discussions took place about Dinky and Sue Ruiz, an HWAC foster heard the stories and took Dinky’s story to heart.
Three years ago Sue’s husband had been diagnosed with cancer. Currently he is in remission. This family is perfect for Dinky because they realize how not to give up on someone when they need you the most. So when Sue called everyone together for a ‘family meeting,’ they ultimately made a quick decision to take Dinky in and give her the best times possible while she is still here with them.
That one unselfish act has proven to be a positive change in the lives of Sue and her family; a wonderful change for Dinky as well! The result is that the scruffy, sick little pet has finally learned to cuddle, discovered what toys are, what a warm bed means and how to be a perfect little furry family member to this special family.
The ‘Story of Dinky’ just goes to show that ‘happy endings’ are not just for the movies. Happy Valentine’s Day to one and all!