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Amy Herrmann's Fundraiser:

In Memory of Kora

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Amy Herrmann

THE STORY:

In the summer of 2001 I was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. The previous year we had lost our first Ridgeback, Nigel, to neurological problems. One of my best friends and fellow Ridgeback Rescue coordinator, Judy Cato, knew I desperately wanted another Ridgeback.

In early September, Judy and compadres rescued a 2 year old female Ridgeback who was pregnant with her THIRD litter of puppies. The puppies were born a few days after 9/11.

I was having a terrible time going through chemotherapy. Constant nausea left me barely able to eat or drink. Dehydration was a serious concern, as was extremely low white blood cell counts. I was in and out of the hospital nearly every other week.I fell into a deep depression, and only the love of my husband and son kept me willing to fight.

Judy called me in October and told me that she had found my dog. Kore came into our lives like a breath of fresh air. Helping her to discover the joy of being a well cared for and beloved companion gave me something to work for. Just having her with me during the day helped me to heal, whether it was a training session or snuggling during a nap. She and I formed an incredibly tight bond.

I eventually finished chemotherapy, and have been in remission since 2002. Other illnesses followed, but her presence helped me deal with things. We had 8 years together.

In May of 2009 we discovered several large lumps in Kora's neck. We took her to the vet and found that there were additional lumps all over her body. Three days later she could barely breath. Kora was diagnosed with lymphoma herself. Rather than put her through chemotherapy, we chose euthanasia. She died peacefully in my arms surrounded by a family that loved her.

Ridgeback Rescue of the United States (RRUS) was co-founded by Judy Cato and Barbara Sawyer-Brown in 2004. A picture of Kora was used as the organization's first logo. I designed the website, and helped the fledgling group attract other volunteers. RRUS accepts owner surrenders and takes Ridgebacks out of high-kill shelters and places them in new homes. Funds are needed for veterinary care, food, preventive care and transportation.

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