Working with old friends to help my kids

Published 10:51 am Wednesday, May 3, 2023

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There are two times each year when the same dynamic of donations to Lennie’s Kids occurs. From mid-April to mid-May I always have a long dry spell, which I attribute to tax season. At year’s end, the reverse is true and I receive a bountiful influx of donations.


A few weeks ago a dear friend, Dr. Iain Fitch of Bonnie Brae caught up with me after church.  

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“I have a client who is in very bad straights financially,” Iain said. “His dog has severe heartworm and it needs nail trimming desperately. Can you help?”  


“Sure doc,” I said smiling. “Just make him one of Lennie’s Kids and take care of the pup.”  


The dog, Prancer,  has received some special meds to take for one month to strengthen him before beginning heartworm treatment, which will be extensive. I paid $260 for the meds and my fee for treatment will range from $1,000 to $1,200.


Two days ago,  I sent off $2,400 to Upstate to finalize the bill for Toby, the pup who had a chicken bone lodged in his esophagus.


Last week at Landrum Vet, Dr. Donna Raines called me in to meet Miley, a one-year-old female found on the side of the road and brought in by a Good Samaritan. Miley, it seems, had been struck by a car, and though there weren’t any broken bones, her hip and shoulder were out of place.


I call Dr. Raines my surrogate daughter and it always pleases me to work with her.  Donna brought me over to meet Miley and the sweet girl stole my heart with the first tail thump.  


“How can I help Donna, what do you need?” I said.


“She’ll probably heal as is but there’ll probably be problems down the road,” she said.


Dr. Raines explained to me what she’d probably need and Upstate would be the place to do it.  “Can you afford it?”  


“Set it up with Dr. Allen, I will call Keith and ask him to handle it personally,” I told her.


“He’d be perfect for the job,” Donna said tearfully.


Dr. Allen and I have worked together on lots of animals and I’m proud to call him a friend. Dr. Allen is the head of surgery but more than that, when it comes to injured or broken bones, he is the Rembrandt of surgeons.


I have called Upstate and set it up for Miley. Dr. Allen will see her on the 15th of May.

I haven’t received an estimate for Miley yet, but when it comes I will beg and plead for as much help as I can get, for when it comes to my kids I don’t have any shame.


In the meantime, please don’t forget my kids; if enough people pull together, we can accomplish wonders. Thanks for listening.


Miley, a one-year-old female found on the side of the road

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