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Debra Crovicz: Treasurer

For several years I kept asking my husband for a dog. After a decade long quest my husband finally gave in and got me my first dog ever. I received the gift of Bailey on Christmas Eve day 2004. She was presented in a basket and wrapped in a plaid wool blanket with ribbon. I was ecstatic the minute I saw her and knew it was meant to be. Bailey was the best gift I could have asked for and the best present I ever received. My husband told me that she would be no larger than 40 pounds and the puppy stage would last no longer than one year. As we journeyed through life, 10 blessed years, she was a solid 95 pounds and never grew out of the puppy stage. Bailey's life centered around us and our lives centered around her, we were a pack.

Bailey was not a pure bread, she was a mutt. Her father was a pure bread German Shepherd and her mother was a mix of pit-bull, chow and who know what else. To us it did not matter, she was strong-willed but a loving dog. Her life consisted of chasing deer, groundhogs , chipmunks and just about anything else that could run. She loved car rides and the snow but hated water and baths. We are fortunate to live in a neighborhood that is surrounded by 400 acres of preserved open-space. The ecological preserve was her home, her playground and her sanctuary. She love to run with the wild life, that is what she lived for.

So in February 2013, when walking through the neighborhood, we noticed her hind paws scraping the pavement. It was sporadic at first but became very pronounced as the weeks went by. Something seemed off so we decided to take her to the local vet. The vet recommended we take her to an orthopedic vet to have her thoroughly checked. We were able to breathe a sigh of relief when the orthopedic gave her a clean bill of health. But to be certain that he did not miss diagnose, he recommended the neurologist take a second look. In recognizing the German Shepherd in her, the neurologist ordered some blood work and informed my husband that she wanted to her for Degenerative Mylelopathy (DM). In June of 2013, the results of Bailey's DNA test came back "Affected/At Risk". The news was more than devastating to say the least. We never heard of DM. Bailey was a mutt, she was not supposed to get sick. We felt like our hearts were ripped from our chest. We were in denial as we began our journey down a unfamiliar path. We knew the outcome but we made a promise to Bailey, as long as she was in the fight we would be beside her every step of the way, we were a pack.

Bailey's progression was very slow and she remained strong and mobile well over a year after her diagnosis. We did what many others do when faced with knowing that one day their dog would become paralyzed. She was exercised daily, she received Physical Therapy, acupuncture and laser therapy. We did whatever we could to help slow the progression. Bailey eventually loss the use of her hind legs in the fall of 2014. She maintained her sense of spirit and spunk. She was still happy and strong running with the wild even if it was in her cart.

Bailey lost her fight from complications due to DM. She passed on January 20, 2015 with both my husband and me holding her in our arms While she is no longer here physically she walks by our side every day. She plays in our hearts and is always close in our thoughts and dreams. Our love for her and her love for us was without measure. Our pack has unfinished business with DM, a disease we did not know or understand, but DM became part of our lives without consent. For that, I am honored to join the Board and keep her fight going.

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