Kay Sheils always knew she wanted a dog, but she was patient about the process. In fact, she waited almost a decade to pull the trigger on adoption because she wanted to give her new pooch the care, space and time that he or she deserved. For Kay, it was all about giving her dog the very best quality of life.
Kay’s thoughtful approach paid off. In 2011, she decided she was ready to adopt a dog. She began her search using PetFinder, looking in the greater New York City area, where she lived, and throughout the suburbs of North Carolina for “the one.” Her family lived in North Carolina, so since she was frequently there to visit, it made for an equally convenient location to pick up her future fur baby. She sat back and waited for a spark to happen; a sign that the time she had been waiting for had come.
Kay Found Her Dog & a Larger Calling
It was in North Carolina where she met Frances, a border-terrier mix on the brink of being euthanized, just 48-hours away from a terrible fate. She was a young pup, but not too young, no longer still in those early weeks. For Kay, it was a no-brainer; she snatched up little Frances and never looked back.
“I fell in love with her. She was my first dog as an adult,” Kay reflected. “I come home from work and from my day in the concrete jungle to this amazing piece of nature waiting for me, waiting to interact with me.”
It was around this time that Kay became more entrenched in her dog search and in the animal shelter world. She learned of the atrocities happening at the county pound in North Carolina. Unspeakable acts of abuse to innocent animals; dog fights; inhumane behavior that led Kay to get involved in rescue organizations at a local level, lending her skills in finance and business to organizations trying to do right by animals. Kay was hooked—Frances had her heart and so did charities such as Where Hope Lives Animal Rescue (Jamesport, New York) and North Mecklenburg Animal Rescue (Charlotte, North Carolina).
Frances and Her Mystery Disease
Life went on as usual until May 2017, when Frances broke her little toe while romping through a field. At first inspection, this was no biggie: doctors just put it in a splint and Kay was advised they could soon move on to the next adventure! However, Frances’ toe did not heal. Time passed, weeks turned into months, and the tiny bones just refused to mend.
What began as a complication was actually the beginnings of a doggie medical mystery. In parallel, Kay kicked off a move across the country to San Francisco. Throughout that year, she took Frances to numerous doctors, from general veterinarians to oncologists, radiologists and urgent care. While these doctors were all incredible to partner with, unfortunately, they were forced to take repeat tests along the way since information across doctors today tends to be stored in silos.
Tumors were initially the suspect; and then the idea of a rare disease was explored; various theories tested. Adding to the mystery: in one x-ray, it appears that Frances’ toe has literally disappeared—it does not show up in the pictures! Finally, this past February, doctors made the tough decision to amputate Frances’ toe—10 doctors. $10,000 in medical bills, and almost a year later. Kay’s persistence and dedication to her pet came through.
Today, Frances is still in healing mode, but she’s a trooper. She’s off her pain medication, is resting and also spending time with Kay’s other dog, Grace, that she adopted about one year after Frances.
“I would do anything for her,” Kay said. “I would give her my kidney if I could. She is such a joy.”
The Future of Pet Care is Coming
While Kay’s dedication to her pooch is admirable, Scollar knows not everyone can afford to pay $10,000 in veterinarian bills. We get it. This is why we’re working hard to create a cutting-edge smart collar platform that will eventually allow all of your pet data to be stored in one place, accessible by you and every doctor. We see a future where incredible pet care is easier to achieve, where communication is accelerated and everyone involved with your pet can make smart, fast decisions.
In the meantime, thank you to Kay for being such a role model dog mommy, and thank you to the fantastic team of Frances’ doctors for their huge hearts.