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My husband Jeff and our 'Loki Pokey'

We had a wonderful pack of 7 large dogs, all German Shepherds.With these 7 dogs I gained lots

of experience over the years of many issues they could develop, but Loki, was my first with Presumed DM.

With little knowledge about the disease, 10 years ago, in August 2012, I joined the FB Degenerative Myelopathy (DM) Awareness group, a small group of about 50 members at that time, now over 14,000. It was here I shared information with new friends and started to learn about DM, and discovered how best to care for a dog going through this disease.

Loki rose to the challenge of his handicap and met it head on. He still woke every day happy to be alive, to enjoy the day even though it was different. We went through DM a bit differently, as it was a challenge handling him "medically" - he freaked out with that. But we adjusted and made it work. I learned as I went along.

As the DM Awareness group started to grow, 2 years later, I became an Admin in 2014. I had learned so much with Loki, but also to look for subtle differences between DM and other diseases such as lumbosacral stenosis and spondylosis which my Heidi had, similar symptoms, but very different conditions.

In May 2018 I was invited to sit on the board of the Finding the Cure4dm foundation as Event

Coordinator - West coast USA, and organized the first of two Southern California DM Picnics, along with 2 Pet Expos to create more Awareness about DM.

In 2022, combining my DM experience with my past organizational skills as Director on my local Chamber of Commerce, I stepped into the role of Secretary for the Cure4DM foundation.  Sadly the FCDMF closed in February 2023, but not before donating a substantial amount to research for a new drug to help slow DM and then ensuring all remaining funds will be used for research to help Find a treatment or Cure for DM. All my pack of 7 have now passed and we now have a 3 ½ year old Rescue GSD called Mele, but I will fight on for finding that Cure4DM and helping others as they go through this journey. I do this in honor and memory of ‘Loki Pokey’, a beautiful, loving, unique boy who took DM and made it work for him, in his very own way.

"Some of our pack including Loki laying down"

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