I’ve made a decision regarding Pruppet of the Month. We need a tear scale. As I put these segments together, I’m going to give it a tear scale rating from one to ten. One? You’re going to be fine at a one, it’s literally just puppies and rainbows. At a 10, you will cry so much that your tears will have shorted out your computer and I will have killed you with sorrow.
Based on this rating system, I’m going to try real hard to stay under an 8 pretty consistently.
Today I have a 6.5, MAYBE a 7, but it ends closer to a 6, I think. I’m telling you this so you can be prepared a little bit. I know last month we had a surprise cry fest in the middle of the segment, which could’ve have been accounted for if I had rated it beforehand. But yeah, just giving you guys the heads up
Today I want to tell you about how our listener Sydney came to know her best friend, the incredible Calli.
Sydney was in college and wasn’t doing great. She had opted to get her degree in 3 years instead of four (sounds like an overachiever, not that I know any), and the pressure really was taking a toll on her mental health. She was kind of floundering and really struggling to feel like her life had a purpose, or she had anything to live for. So she decided she needed something to distract her from where she was mentally, something to take care of and give her life meaning.
So, she went out and got… a bunch of plants. Which, I’ve totally been there.. and her outcome was just as successful as mine: every single plant suffered a tragic grueling death. RIP plants. Sydney then figured the next logical step was…a dog.
She immediately started poking around the local shelter’s website and bugging her boyfriend about all of the cute dogs that were available, but she was never really able to take the leap. What if the responsibility of a dog was too much for her, and it would just make her feel worse if she not only was failing herself but this helpless dog as well? But one day, while driving around town together, her boyfriend, who was tired of hearing about all these dogs, turned around and drove Sydney to the shelter. They looked up and down the aisles and Sydney obvs loved all of them but wasn’t connecting with them. Even as her boyfriend was suggesting them to her, she just wasn’t sure this was right.
Then, she looked into the eyes of this beautiful mutt. Yes, she was sick, underweight, and looked sad, but she was staring into Sydney’s soul with the kindest eyes she had ever seen. That was the moment Sydney knew her life was about to completely change. That sad mutt, maybe an American bulldog mix, known then as Michelle, became Calli from that day forward.
5 years after she adopted Calli the two have them have had a wild ride together. The day after Sydney graduated from college, she and Calli drove for eight days straight from Kansas to Alaska, because Sydney needed to do something that was completely different than the life she had always known. And they thrived there! They learned to hike, camp, and fish together. They even saw their first whales, seals, sea lions, and otters together! Calli was the proudest dog in all of Alaska, and would always hold her head high when they’d walk down the street and tourists would ask to pet her or take pictures with her. She would even wait dutifully outside the grocery store and post office while Sydney was inside, and often when Sydney came back, kids would be hugging Calli and playing with her on the sidewalk. Calli may sound like the perfect dog, but Sydney made a point to let me know, Calli also angered a few moose and bear in her day, and almost got them both killed!
After over 3 years in Alaska, Sydney got sick and was diagnosed with the early stages of cancer. Wanting to be closer to home for her treatment, Sydney packed up, and Calli once again took the road trip back to Kansas with Sydney. She even let her cry on her after every doctor’s appointment. Back in January, Sydney got the all-clear from her cancer, and as amazing as news as that news was, Sydney considers it to be the hardest day of her life. Because the day she got the all-clear, was the same day it was discovered that Calli had cancer. At that point in time, the vets gave Calli two months to live. But Sydney said they didn’t know her Calli.
And this… I want to quote directly from my conversation with Sydney, now (If we aren’t at a 7 yet, this might be where we hit it, folks)…
“You see, I know that she took my cancer from me. It’s the type of thing my Calli-alli would do. She’s pulled me out of the deepest depressions of my life. She’s pulled me up 10,000-foot mountains in the snow because she knew I needed to get outside. She’s warned me of coyotes and moose and bear and made sure I never left the house alone. She’s the protector I didn’t know I needed. And now I get to be hers. Her last act is to save me from something I didn’t even know I had lurking within me. And she’s doing a great job.”
Sydney said that Calli doing so well the vets are amazed at how she’s doing with the diagnosis and treatment. Now that Sydney is working from home recently, she really gets a front-row seat to how strong and resilient Calli is. She’s never been one to give up easily and is a beautiful reminder of that every single day.
This month’s featured shelter is a recommendation from a listener, called Shadow’s Fund. They’re located in Lompoc, California, and have a focus on senior dogs. They also have programs for adoption, fostering (even fostering litters!), and rescuing what they consider vulnerable or at-risk dogs in shelters that have histories of bleak outcomes, like pitties. Shadow’s Fund is an awesome organization with a ton of ways to support and engage with their programs that aren’t just adoption or fostering.
Learn more about Shadow’s Fund here.