Bait Dog to Butterfly
Darla came to me as a foster for another rescue in 2002. She was about 10
months old, emaciated, scared, and had no trust in anyone and for good reason.
An area animal control officer happened upon a situation where she was being
used as a bait dog. She was seized and went to animal control, where so many
Pit Bulls go but never come out. Someone at animal control saw something
special in this frightened young dog and asked a rescue if they could make room.
They asked me to foster her and for that, I will be forever grateful to Andy at
Animal Control and Silvia at A&S Rescue for giving her a shot. As her
foster, I worked
on her plethora of issues. She was afraid of everything,
had no trust, had no manners and the list goes on. She was the epitome of a
Our family worked with her for months and watched her blossom
into a fun, playful, loving family member. She was one of our many ‘foster
Darla was a stocky, squat dog that I always said was built like a
“Hummer” but was the sweetest, most gentle girl you could ask for. She doted
on our son, nurtured foster pups when they came in and was
nothing short of an
angel. Darla looked intimidating but such is the case with most Pitties,
looks are very deceiving. She was an ambassador to the breed, loved her
family, kept all the other animals in
check and took her job as the family
protector very seriously. Everyone that met her, loved her. She was so
popular at the vet’s office that she would run behind the counter and rain
kisses on everyone
there. I could not have dreamed of a better dog.
She had eyes that could see into your soul and would furrow her brow in an
attempt to better understand what you were telling her. Darla was an amazingly
On April 18th of 2010, Darla began acting strange. This was
a dog that had not been sick since the time we adopted her. I knew right away
that something was wrong. I called my husband and took her
right to the vet.
They did tests at the vet and said they thought she had a compressed disc in her
neck that was bulging out and pushing on a nerve, causing her the discomfort and
making her act strange.
They kept her overnight and I picked her up the next day
and she seemed fine. She was running in the yard, picking up sticks (logs)
and acting like…Darla. That didn’t last and within 48 hours, she was
the vet. They kept her overnight again and this time had much more concern. The
next morning, they called me and said she needed to see a neurologist
immediately. Mike, my husband came home
from work and we went to get her
to take her to the neurologist. She had gone downhill dramatically. She could
barely walk, was having trouble holding up her head and at times, seemed to not
us. The neurologist had us leave her overnight so they could run
a battery of tests, bloodwork, more X-rays, MRI, etc. The next day, they called
to tell me she had the worst possible thing….they found an
tumor that had moved out of her brain and into her spinal column, causing her
recent changes in behavior. This was April 29th, 2010. We brought her
home and on April 30th, 2010, we
said goodbye to our beloved baby
girl. She started as a wounded caterpillar and became a beautiful butterfly that
flew away that day, but her legacy will forever live on, The Darla Foundation.
Pet Cancer Awareness
Cats and dogs get cancer at the same rate humans do. Cancer is the #1
disease-related killer of our dogs and cats. Since we think of our pets as
members of the family it is very devastating to hear about
one of our own pets
or anyone’s pet who gets cancer.
The founder of Cause 4 Paws (The Darla Foundation) knows this all too well as
she lost her beloved pit bull Darla to brain cancer on April 30th, 2010.
All of us at Cause 4 Paws ask
that you take a moment to learn more about pet cancer, and to then make your
family and friends aware.
The Blue Buffalo Foundation for Pet Cancer Research, through the Pet Cancer
Awareness (PCA) program, is devoted to raising awareness about the warning signs
of cancer, as well as educating pet
parents about ways to minimize the risk….
Pet Cancer Awareness website
Once at the Pet Cancer Awareness site you may make a donation to help Blue
Buffalo & Petco raise money to fight this terrible disease and to find a
~ This section is dedicated in loving memory to Darla ~