By Gord Bowes, News staff
Therese Robert figures Lexi was waiting until after her mastectomy to get sick.
Through months of chemotherapy earlier this year for an aggressive form of breast cancer, Robert’s German shepherd was there for her.
“She’s been my rock,” says Robert. “I wouldn’t be here without her.”
But about nine days after her mastectomy on Aug. 15, she noticed Lexi was bloated and acting strangely.
It turned out to be gastric dilatation volvulus, or twisted stomach, a life-threatening condition.
Robert says she recognized the problem quickly and on Aug. 24, a Saturday night, she rushed Lexi to to a veterinarian. The next day, her eight-year-old companion was getting emergency surgery to correct the stomach problem. Lexi’s spleen also needed to be removed.
“It’s like she was waiting to make sure I was okay before she got sick,” says Robert.
The bill for the emergency surgery came to $4,105.31 — a hefty sum for someone who has been out of work. There was another $400 bill the next day for post-surgery care.
The west Mountain resident says she wouldn’t have asked for money to help Lexi — she was ready to sell her car in the parking lot of the vet’s in order to bring her pooch home — but her friend and neighbour was a step ahead of her.
Shawn Leslie had met Robert at the Ancaster dog park and, being neighbours and both in the dog rescue business, they became friends.
Knowing Robert’s breast cancer battle and hearing of Lexi’s emergency, Leslie wanted to help out her neighbour.
“Therese is always there to help others, fostering homeless dogs and always adopting the harder to place ones,” Leslie says. “Now more than ever, she needs a helping hand. I knew she’d never reach out for help on her own.”
Leslie set up a campaign with an online fundraising website the next day. She spread the word via Facebook and other social media networks and within two days donors had given more than half the $4,200 goal.
Robert says Lexi, like herself, appears to be on the road to recovery. Which she figures is the way it’s meant to be.
“We have a pact — if I beat this cancer she will live to be 14.”
The fundraising site can be found at gofundme.com/saving-lexi.