Our story began in the Fall of 2006. Mitzi came into my life at one of those moments where you realize God has bigger plans for you than you have for yourself. I had just began Veterinary Technology school, and one of the faculty members was looking to rehome Mitzi. Because she was a mix of two of my favorite breeds, Great Dane and Labrador Retriever, Mitzi came home to live with me as my first dog on my own.
I quickly realized that the ideas I had in my head of snuggling with a dog in bed, going for nice walks, and socializing with other pets and their owners, was something that wouldn't be happening right away. Mitzi had clearly been abused and was fearful of many things. It took me years to successfully rehabilitate her, when other Pet Industry Professionals said she had no hope. She gradually learned to trust, love, and enjoy the life that every dog deserves to have. Mitzi taught me more than I taught her, she became my pride and joy.
In December of 2011, Mitzi was diagnosed with Oral Melanoma, deemed the worst form of cancer in companion animals. She was turned down by Cornell University twice, as patients with this form of cancer are typically unresponsive to any form of treatment and prognosis is documented as extremely poor. Mitzi and I disagreed, and so we traveled all across the U.S. looking for advice and a cure. We met many Oncologists, Surgeons, and Veterinarians, many of them helping to slow the cancerous growth down and buy us more time with our baby girl. Mitzi was so brave, she met every person willing to help her with a wagging tail and a relaxed personality.
The thought of losing her scared me more than anything. I saw her fight cancer the best that she could, she was so strong and determined to beat it that no one could tell her otherwise--and most tried to. She refused to give in, she refused to lose, she refused to leave behind the life that she struggled so hard to have from the start. The love we shared proved greater than the cancer in her body, and her medical specialists were amazed. Mitzi and I knew that cancer wouldn't easily break her down.
On October 15, 2012, I had to say goodbye to my best friend. The manner in which she left was peaceful and quiet. I thank God so much for blessing my life with her and bringing us together. She taught me how to love, trust, understand animals, laugh, enjoy life and to cherish every precious moment we had together. Not a day goes by that I don't think of her. My heart aches for the daughter that I lost, and I cannot wait until the moment when we can be reunited, together again, just like we were always meant to be.
Mitzi is no longer here on this earth with me physically, but she is in every memory, intuition, and thought that I have. She was a great sister to our ever-growing pet-family, and she continues to be the inspiration in my life throughout everything I do. This effort is for her, in her honor. I know she would be proud. Helping to rescue and rehabilitate other dogs who were just like her is a way to carry on her legacy, a way to give other people a chance at finding hope, love, and great friendship for years to come.
And so, on December 4, 2012, Mitzi's Mission was born. All because we promised eachother,
"Forever & Always."