Happy Birthday Cody!

As some of you may know my Australian shepherd Cody died a week before Christmas after battling with lymphoma. It pummelled us, and though I can't speak for my family, I am a different person indeed. I've had a blessed life and never experienced watching a young, innocent, and scared loved one go through such a ravenous and merciless disease. I still go through the stages of grief all these months later - bargaining, denial, depression, anger -- you name it. My father has bred and owned many different breeds of dogs, and says that none came close to Cody. Yes, he could have quite the attitude, and silly antics, but he had, like most wise dogs, a quiet way of letting us know he was always concerned, and always constant. He was a gift.

On June 20th, I will be running a marathon in Anchorage, Alaska. I've been training for the past 6 months with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's Team in Training, and I've raised over $5,000 to go towards cancer research. I received a promotional postcard from them in the mail a few weeks after Cody died. I'd never heard of them, and never thought of running a marathon, but it seemed like a sign.

In honor of Cody on his birthday, please stop to give your pets and loved ones a few extra hugs and kisses, and don't hesitate to get your animal medical care at something seemingly small. Also, DON'T except "there's nothing wrong," take him/her back, and/or get a second opinion - you know when there's something really wrong.

Best to you and yours.
xoxo - Ashley

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