Helping Maylin and Monica

Published 1:13 pm Thursday, January 19, 2023

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Many of you pet owners and lovers are well aware that our four-legged family members are just like our human children in many ways. Case in point: far too often they will get into what we consider a ‘no-no’ before we have a chance to react. Thank God in over 99% of these cases we are on it before any serious damage is done.


I received a call from Lani, a dear friend that I had worked with many years ago at the FHS shelter. My nickname for Lani was “Bulldog” because when she got a case she held on to it tenaciously. Today, Lani owns and operates “Love You Critter,” an excellent pet-sitting service that I personally use when the need arises. Things between Lani and I haven’t changed through all the years. I still rely on her judgment in all things animal related.

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Maylin is a 5-year-old Malamute/Husky mix who is the subject of today’s tale. Monica, her owner, had worked with Lani at the shelter after I retired and has worked at Love You Critter.


It seems that while at an Airbnb, Maylin and her two siblings got into some rat poison. All three became violently sick, but Maylin ate the most. They were rushed over to Western Carolina Emergency Hospital. Monica did not have the money for all three, but she could handle the two lighter cases that were treated and sent home. Maylin would need more extensive care and the fee would be up to $1,500.


Lani contacted me and gave me the rundown. I promised I’d help her friend and co-worker. I had seen the photos of Maylin and was blown away by this beautiful creature. That was an aside though; I’d have helped Lani’s friend no matter what. My problem was that I haven’t been able to work with Western Carolina in the past. I asked Monica to contact Western, tell them who I was and have them send me an invoice so I could handle Maylin’s fee.


The next morning I received the message, “We’ll be glad to work with you, Mr. Rizzo.”  After a short conversation on the phone in which I offered any sort of reference they might need, they answered, “That won’t be necessary, Mr. Rizzo, the invoice has been sent out, and it is an honor working with you.”


As I pen this tale the invoice has been received and a check for the fee has been mailed out, along with a note of gratitude for helping Maylin and for trusting me. As we speak, Maylin is home and recouping just fine. All the pieces have been picked up and the family is intact.


I can’t help but believe that somehow the “bulldog” sunk her teeth in and made all this happen. As a smile lights up my face I say to myself as I think of Lani, “Seems like old times my friend.”


Thanks for listening.


Leonard Rizzo is the founder of Lennie’s Kids, a nonprofit organization that helps sick and injured animals in the Foothills, promotes animal welfare and works to find homes for pets.


Maylin, a 5-year-old Malamute/Husky mix, is now at home and recovering from her recent sickness.