Thursday, April 2, 2009
A letter to you from Karen Tracy
I was trying to figure out how to post an email to thank everyone who is helping me with donations and I can't seem to figure out how to do it so could you please post this email for me?
Tomorrow it will be four weeks since we had a propane explosion at my place that took the lives of 10 of my chows and 5 boarder dogs. The next day, another of my chows died from smoke inhalation as I was on my way to the hospital to see them. The day after that, I had to make the decision to put another one down as her kidneys were starting to fail and she was severely burned. Several days later, a girl that I bred and co-owned had to be put down. I still have two dogs in the hospital. One is Iris, a permanent boarder. She has some burns but she is mostly there till I can take her back. And then there is Cyrus. His mother and a brother of his were lost in the fire. His sister Kampbell survived the fire. She was bred shortly before the fire so I don't know how that will work out. She was singed across the top of her body from her head to her tail but she was released from the hospital. Cyrus on the other hand is still in the hospital. All four of his feet were burned, his face, parts of his legs and big burns on his sides and back. He gets lazer pain therapy treatments and debribed every other day. Three times during this ordeal I talked to the vet about putting him down. She told me he wants to live, all his organs have remained vital through this whole ordeal. Cyrus is my "hope" for right now. I am concentrating on him right now. I have not been able to think about or deal with the dogs that died that day in the fire. Not yet.
There are some people who have dogs and then there are some who absolutely love and adore their dogs and would walk to the ends of the earth for them. I am one of the people who would do the walking and that is why I am taking this so hard. My world has been turned upside down. Those dogs were my life. I had my very first chow die in that fire. She was going on 15. I had 6 generations of chows that died that day and a breeding program that I had been working on for close to 15 years also died that day.
This is such an emotional journey for me and sometimes I don't know how much more pain I can take. I cry every day many times throughout the day. I have had nightmares about fire every night for the last two and a half weeks. I thought I was a strong woman but this is devastating and overwhelming for me. I wish I could tell all of you that things are getting better, but that would be a lie. It is going to be a long hard road for me emotionally and a long road to travel for my dogs that were burned.
But out of any tragedy, some good comes along with it. And you people are the good in this story. Because I did boarding, I was considered a commercial kennel and the boarder dogs bills were covered, but not my dogs and the bills are astronomical. I had six dogs that were getting round the clock care. Extra vet techs were brought in on all shifts just to work with the "burn dogs". All of the dogs were on oxygen and morphine drips, and all kinds of antibiotics, etc. The money that you people donated will help toward the vet bills and I appreciate it deeply. There is a saying that is, "I thank you from the bottom of my heart". Well, I THANK YOU from my whole heart. I was always the kind of person that donated to things, put money in the collection jars at the grocery stores for people who had cancer, lost their homes due to fire, etc. But, I looked at it as just one person helping, and thought it was not much of a help. But, when you are the person being helped, you realize that the one person helping is just a part of the whole picture and it is amazing how much can get done when we as individuals come together to give someone aid. Not only are you helping me with money but you are such a strong support for me. I have had so many emails and phone calls that I have not returned yet because I cannot deal with talking about it over and over. I get on the computer and answer two or three emails and by then my tears are covering the keys on the keyboard and I just can't take anymore so I turn the computer off. Same for the phone calls. But I want you to know that even though I have not contacted most people personally, it is still so comforting to know that you care and I hope you understand that I am trying to deal with this as best as I can. So please don't be offended if you have not heard from me. I appreciate each and every one of you more than you will ever know. Besides helping me financially, you are my support, you are my strength that gets me through each day, as rough as they may be and when I have a day where I can't handle it anymore, I talk to Sandra and she guides me through it. She has been my pillar and without her, I don't think I would get through this.
I will end now but I would appreciate if you would do yet another thing for me. Please hug your dogs tightly and tell them how much you love them. We just never know what happens in life and enjoy them every day that you have them.
Again, thank you so much for your emotional and financial support.