Meet Tommy, The Inspiration Behind Tommy’s Holiday Fund
I met Tommy the day he was born to a rescued, one-eyed, corgi-chow mixed mother and a rescued jack Russell father (both of which should have been spayed and neutered…). He looked like a little brown teddy bear and I was in love. Unfortunately, we were not ready for a dog yet. We already had a cat, but the issue was what we didn’t have… money! We had just gotten married, were living in a tiny, cheap rental house, and we thought in no way ready to take care of another animal. We quickly learned that was not true and began a twelve and a half year journey that would change all of our lives for the better.
My mother was a very loving and passionate woman who struggled financially most of her life. More important to our story, she was also very impulsive, sometimes annoyingly so. Jump to December of 2002, this little teddy bear was right at nine weeks old and was now old enough for a new life.
One night, Julie and I were sitting around watching the rock opera, The Who’s – “Tommy” when we heard a knock on the door, followed by a slamming screen door. When I opened the door, I saw my mother’s car speeding away down the road and at my feet, a small, soft-sided pet carrier with little paw prints all over it. We brought the carrier in, opened the front, and waited for whatever was inside to come out. Out stumbles the little puppy I had fallen in love with two months earlier. At one glance, Julie was in love too.
This sweet pup was shy, wasn’t really acknowledging us even though we were calling and whistling at him, and he was still stumbling around on the floor. If you don’t know The Who’s – Tommy, it is a story about a deaf, dumb, and blind kid named Tommy, that “plays a mean pinball”. There is a song in the movie called “See Me Feel Me (listening to you) “. This song just so happened to be playing in the movie around this time, and since this little puppy seemed to not be able to hear us, see us, and was stumbling around kind of dumb, we started singing this song to him. Immediately we knew his name had to be Tommy.
Tommy had many health issues throughout his life. The costs of treating and caring for him was sometimes very expensive. Early on in our time together Tommy developed liver stones and required surgery. This surgery was just too expensive for a couple starting their lives together. Fortunately for us, my mother and father-in-law are amazing, and stepped up to pay for this surgery. A surgery that had Tommy not had, would have taken him away from us ten year earlier.
Later in life Tommy would need surgery two more times to remove cancerous tumors. All of this combined made us realize how fortunate we were to have an amazing family, but also how traumatic life would have been had we not had the means to pay for the last two surgeries.
Within months of the last surgery, Tommy had developed a new tumor, far too large and close to his spine to operate. In March of 2015 Tommy lost his battle with cancer. The pain had started and we had to make the heart wrenching, yet compassionate decision to end his suffering.
The idea for Tommy’s Holiday Fund (THF) came out of this journey and our desire to help families that are not as fortunate as we had been.
Financial hardships often come about quickly and unexpectedly. Families can be left to make the decision to euthanize or allow a pet to suffer due to an inability to afford emergency and preventative care. Our families should not have to suffer with a treatable health issue and euthanasia should only be a method of compassion to end the suffering of a terminal illness.
Please, help the animals and their families that deserve compassion and love like the rest of us.
Donate to THF today.
THF Executive Director