in memory of CINDY


Cindy - Our Cinderella Girl

Cindy does look like a Princess

Cindy's miracle make-over began with Jennifer Dickson of Okanagan Animal Welfare Foundation in Vernon BC in 2003:

When Cindy came to me she was an obese 57 pounds. She had been seized by the SPCA and turned over to one of its approved rescue groups. I had offered myself as a foster home to the SPCA, but was refused. I was contacted by the foster person who also had Cindy's brother, George, because she worried that Cindy was suffering unrelieveably from her weight, and was tossing around the notion that Cindy might be better off dead. I offered immediately to take both dogs.

No one had taken her to a vet for bloodwork to test her thyroid. I strongly suspected that hypothyroidism was the cause of her obesity, so I so off to the vet we went, and lo!, her bloodwork came back as hypothyroidism. I started her on thyroid supplements, and put her on a home cooked no carbohydrate diet of cooked chicken and veggies. The weight started to come off, but time was pressing - I was in the middle of trying to relocate from the Okanagan to Vancouver, and had no- where to live but my mother's when I got there. I had eight dogs when I arrived at my mother's!

Although Cindy had lost a significant amount of weight in the few weeks I'd had her, who on earth was going to adopt an old, obese cocker spaniel who needed med- ication, regular blood rechecks, and a special homecooked diet? The odds were not good! But out of the blue came one of those miracle homes that happen too rarely.

Wonderful, wonderful Allan and his partner Sonny, came out of that treasure box of perfect homes that I wish I had the keys to (the box, not their homes). If we could clone them, all our problems would be solved.

Allan and Sonny had one dog already - a cocker spaniel named Charlie, who had been in multiple homes, due in part I think to chronic food allergies. So they were no strangers to the special diet. I explained to Allan all that was involved in Cindy's recovery, and he dove right in, medicating, rechecking blood, and cooking up a storm for that lucky little dog. He didn't hesitate one bit. He simply loved her for who she was, and coped with whatever extras she required. I wish there were more people in the world with those two simple abilities.

Cindy blossomed in her new home - she made her way down to a healthy 24lbs!!
The only side effect was the excessive skin that took a long time to shrink after the weight loss - but no matter what, Allan always thought she was beautiful.

Cindy had the life every dog deserves with Allan and Sonny, and I can never
thank them enough for it. And when her quality of life worsened with age to the point where it was no longer fair to her to keep her going, they bravely stayed with her to say goodbye.

Safe travels dear Cindy, until our paths cross again, and many many thanks and hugs, Allan and Sonny. You truly are one in a million.

Jen Dickson


Cinderella! by Sonny and Allan
1993-Dec 6-08
She really was a little princess.   Our little Cindy came to us on May 15, 2004, twice the normal weight of a cocker spaniel, with very little hair and black spots all over her skin.  She was probably 10 or 11 years old, and we  honestly couldn't recognize the breed of dog when we first saw her.   She hadn't been properly cared for by her previous owners, and she was rescued by the Jen Dickson in Vernon.  In two months she dropped from 57 to 47 pounds under the care of Jen, and then we fostered her from that point on.   We were afraid to become too attached to her at first, since we didn't think she'd make it through the first summer....we were sure wrong about her.   Cindy's day to day progress made us smile so many times, and she got to a normal cocker spaniel weight of 25 pounds, which allowed her to run, perhaps for the first time in her life.
After only two months with us, she had managed to struggle up and down every stair case in the house, and on her strict diet she was dropping a pound per week.  With that wonderful personality and that long waggy tail, it didn't take us long to fall for her...she had us hooked.   She spent every Tuesday afternoon with her companion Charlie at the Inglewood Care Hospital where the residents quickly fell in love with her too...after all, she was quickly becoming a svelte princess with a big "Beyonce" type booty which she loved to wiggle to make you smile.


When she started to go deaf and blind a year ago, she still insisted on going out for the walks with Charlie.    Cindy was a wonderful road traveller and enjoyed the 10,000 km trip across the prairies to Ontario in September, where she got to sniff out so many new houses, kitchens and yards.  But alas, her body started to shut down in November, and she topped eating-her most treasured activity throughout the 4 and 1/2 years she spent in North Vancouver.


Cindy was sweet natured, and always wanted to please her masters.   She was great company for Charlie.
Our precious time with Cindy taught us the value of rescuing a dog, especially one that has not been well cared for in its earlier years.  Cindy was truly an ugly duckling when we first laid eyes on her, and she developed into the most beautiful swan we could ever have hoped to see.



We will truly miss her!  Allan, Sonny and Charlie

You can help to pay AAS's vet and rehab bills so that we can go on doing this for the dogs that have only us. All donations go directly to real animal welfare.

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