Who is Abby?
Abby was rescued from a local shelter in September, 2008 at 2 years old. She was beaten, used as a puppy maker and abandoned, tied to a shelter fence on a cold Pennsylvania night. She went on to live with her adoptive mom for the next 9 years and 8 months, bringing joy and leaving happiness where ever her four paws took her.
Abby gained a four legged brother, Bentley, in 2012 and loved him more than anyone else. 2014 brought a four legged sister, Prada, who was rescued from New York after being poisoned and developing pyometra. Early in 2015, a hospice foster entered our home and began our passion for hospice fostering. Frenchie, a 2 year old Staffordshire Terrier, had a balloon valvuloplasty surgery to help heal his malfunctioning heart. Frenchie had tricuspid dysplasia, pulmonary stenosis and congestive heart failure. The valvuloplasty afforded him 14 months with us and Abby, before he passed on February 28, 2016.
In 2015, Abby was diagnosed with Mast Cell Cancer. She underwent surgery to remove four masses. After a successful surgery and recovery, she beat cancer. Her “I beat cancer” photo was shared on Facebook and went viral. We were contacted by the Dodo for an interview and she was featured as an article on their website.
In 2017, Quinn, another hospice addition, came to live with us. Quinn had a severely malignant diagnosis of Mast Cell Cancer. She had surgery on her back leg in February to remove a huge tumor and was given a grim diagnosis of maybe 3 months. She arrived in March and in June had emergency surgery for pyometra. During her surgery, a mass was found in her spleen. It was biopsied and was not cancerous as had been thought, and her prognosis was thought to be better than anticipated. We had aspirations done of a few bumps on her head and body in July, and unfortunately the cancer had become even more vicious. We planned for surgery to remove the sites, but they just kept spreading rapidly. We lost Quinn on August 6.
Throughout all of the fosters, temporary stays and new additions, Abby loved and accepted every single being who stepped over our threshold. She viewed life as a playground filled with love and happiness and did her best to brighten the lives of all she met.
In April, 2018, Abby had a devastating seizure that lasted over 20 minutes. She lost her ability to see and hear for over 4 hours. She was in a panic and nothing we could do could help her. We rushed her to our vet who gave her medicine to help her. We were afraid that after such a long seizure, her brain would be affected. She came home the next day and was more or less back to herself for a few days. A week later, she had another seizure. We started her on phenobarbital in hopes that we could get ahead of the attacks and improve her quality of life. She improved for a few weeks and then again we lost ground. She lost the ability to control her movements, her appetite was sporadic and she lost her sense of self. She could never get comfortable and whined constantly, not knowing if she had to go outside, was hungry, wanted to sleep or wanted to be held. We did all we could to comfort her and help her, but felt helpless.
In late May, we woke up in the morning to her having extreme vomiting and diarrhea. She could not even lift her head. We cleaned her up, made her comfortable and gave her pain meds. I left for an hour to get work situated so I could come home and spend the day with her. When I arrived back home, she was laying in her own vomit and diarrhea and could not move. I cleaned her up and laid down beside her. I stroked her head and told her if it was time for us to let her go, it was ok. We would be ok. She would be ok. And that we loved her more than life. She got up, licked my face and went to wait for her leash. We spent the day together doing all the things she loved, seeing the people she loved and making her last day, the best day.
That afternoon, I said goodbye to the best soul I had ever met. That afternoon, I lost most of my heart and most of my own soul. That afternoon, I vowed to live the rest of my life honoring her in the best way I knew how.
This is how I can do that. Saving lives, wanting to make this world a better place for animals, giving them a chance....that is my purpose. That purpose was inspired back in 2008, when I laid eyes on a scrawny, almost hairless, long tongued Boston Terrier-Pit Bull Mix who stole my heart and showed me my life’s passion and my reason for being.
Abby’s Angels Animal Haven is now her legacy. We specialize in hospice care and terrier & bully breeds, although we will love and accept any breed. We thank you for reading our backstory, and for all the support. Without people believing in our purpose and donating time and energy as well as monetary and physical donations, we couldn’t fulfill our mission. So thank you. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for helping us remember our girl the best way we can. Thank you for choosing to help us save as many lives like hers as possible.