Thousands raised for pup with cancer

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Barb Sweet
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Owners launched online fundraiser for Irish wolfhound

A couple devastated to learn their 10-month-old Irish wolfhound has cancer is overwhelmed that donors from around the world have reached out to help send the pup to Guelph, Ont., for treatment.

Maria Maloney is shown with her 10-month-old Irish wolfhound, Mountain, outside her St. John’s home on Thursday afternoon. When they found out their dog has cancer, Maloney and her fiancé, Nick Day, set up an online fundraiser to help pay for treatment. They are overjoyed that donors from around the world have reached out to help. — Photo by Joe Gibbons/The Telegram

When Maria Maloney and her fiancé Nick Day learned that Mountain had cancer at nine months old, they were devastated. Mountain had a poor prognosis and they were unable to afford pricey treatment out of province.

On a whim, they decided to try an online fundraiser, which begins with the following description of the 130-pound dog they adopted at eight weeks of age:

“Mountain is a 10-month-old Irish wolfhound, a best friend and a brother to a cat.

“He likes sitting on humans, swinging his paws and running in circles around the tree in our yard. … He’s a member of our family and we want to do everything we possibly can to give him a fighting chance at battling this vicious disease.”

“Within 36 hours we had $3,000 in our PayPal account,” Maloney said.

“Five days later we have nearly $6,000.”

The couple expected to leave today to drive Mountain to the Ontario Veterinary College in Guelph, which has an oncologist.

According to the Irish Wolfhound Club of Canada website, the dogs are known for their patience and kindness. Maloney, who never had a dog before, said the breed was the couple’s dream dog and they even rented a home with a big backyard for Mountain.

But then at nine months, the Irish wolfhound had a biopsy at a local veterinarian’s  clinic that confirmed the cancer.

When the tumour was discovered close to his spine — where the dog received intravenous antibiotics for pneumonia 2 1/2 months previously — the couple also learned his lungs hadn’t cleared up and they were worried the cancer had spread.

However, when they recently took him to the vet clinic after his stomach bloated, they were told his lungs were clear.

That’s when Maloney, who hopes the cancer has not spread, saw a window of opportunity to hopefully save Mountain and launched the fundraiser.

Maloney is thankful they bought pet insurance soon after they adopted Mountain.

While they were told cancer treatment could cost upwards of $20,000, the insurance will cover 80 per cent — meaning they are left with several thousand dollars to come up with.

“I was going to find a way. I’d sell a kidney to get him the help he deserves,” Maloney said in her living room, as Mountain dozed nearby — tired out from having his picture taken.

He can play for about a half-hour before resting — he is also on pain medication — and had been at the dog park just before the visit from The Telegram.

Maloney said she’s amazed at people’s generosity, including a business that held a bake sale and an airline employee who offered a buddy pass that her fiancé will use to fly back to St. John’s to return to work.

About 400 people shared the pup’s plight on Facebook and there are more than 200 supporters on the fundraising site.

“I’m afraid I can’t give you very much, but Mountain brings me a big smile on Instagram ... so this is from me,” said one donor who chipped in $5.

Maloney will be updating Mountain’s progress on the Facebook group site “Up & Over — The Story of Mountain.”

 

bsweet@thetelegram.com

 

Web/link

www.youcaring.com/pet-expenses/mountain-s-cancer-fund/104092

Organizations: Ontario Veterinary College, PayPal, Irish Wolfhound Club of Canada

Geographic location: Guelph

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Comments

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Recent comments

  • Kingsley and Sophie Snowflake
    November 17, 2013 - 14:34

    There is going to be a walk to raise money for Mountain on the 23rd. For those interested in participating please join Mountain's facebook group. Up & Over-The Story of Mountain. Details can be found in the events tab once you have joined.

  • Seriously
    November 16, 2013 - 09:41

    I thought my comment would get reaction. I had pets, and took care of them. My problem is the amount. If it was 100,000, would you donate? How about 500,000?? If the owners want to spend it, that's their choice but don't ask others to take care of your pet. Yes we can donate to both but any money gone to the dog could feed a lot of hungry people. I know we can't feed all the hungry in the world but with a major disaster, like the Phillipines, I donate to the Red Cross. To the lady willing to sell a kidney, get help. Seriously. If anybody wants to donate 100, go to the SPCA and see how many animals that could save.

  • Roxanne
    November 15, 2013 - 18:11

    What a beautiful story and I am so happy to see there are so many people who are helping with funds so Mountain can get the help he needs. I have a dog and believe me there is nothing I wouldn't do to ensure she is cared for, as fr serious get a grip. You obviously don't have a pet how could you understand ones love fr their family member. And YES we who have dogs or cats treat them as family and would do what it takes to ensure they are loved, healthy, and cared for.

  • Disgusted! A dog above children?
    November 15, 2013 - 16:03

    Yes! Disgusted! Maria Maloney, its ok now to solicit money for a DOG in the face of the ongoing fundraising campaigns for the tens of thousands of people who are perishing in the Philippines?? I am beyond disgusted with you, and with the Telegram for helping you petition money for your dog while millions of PEOPLE perish! $200 will provide shelter to SAVE THE LIVES of an entire family in the Philippines right now! I’m busting my back to do something to assist with the Typhoon effort day after day and then I see this! My God, this is enough to shake my faith in humanity!

    • Rational
      November 27, 2013 - 23:56

      You see it as a DOG and she sees it as her best friend and family member. Would you chose to help people in other countries over your best friend? Just because you don't understand the connection she has with Mountain, doesn't mean it isn't worthwhile. You know the 10 minutes you spent ranting about this could have been spent benefiting the people affected by the typhoon, right?

    • Disgusted, do you mean simple-minded?
      November 28, 2013 - 00:00

      You see it as a DOG and she sees it as her best friend and family member. Would you chose to help people in other countries over your best friend? Just because you don't understand the connection she has with Mountain, doesn't mean it isn't worthwhile. You know the 10 minutes you spent ranting about this could have been spent benefiting the people affected by the typhoon, right?

  • Robert
    November 15, 2013 - 15:06

    The most compelling aspect of a foolish old dog is that it totally sells out to its "master"; nothing is kept back. For those who love their dog they have already come to grips with the fact they will never out love their dog. These good people know this to be true beyond measure. Please finish this story with good news!

  • yvette butt
    November 15, 2013 - 14:01

    I love my dog too.....and would sell a kidney to help him....People, I don't care for too much at all.....and I most certainly would contribute to a dog before a human.

    • david
      November 15, 2013 - 18:42

      Are you Kissma's sister?

  • Kent
    November 15, 2013 - 10:22

    @ Seriuosly…. Get a grip… There's always someone like you riding around on your moral high-horse chiming-in about how the rest of us should be saving the world. Listen pal, there will always be injustice and hardship somewhere in the world. It's called reality. Everyone does their little bit to make it a better place in their own way. If people choose to donate to this dog’s care; so what? It’ i their prerogative. If you don’t like it, then don’t give. Just don’t pontificate; it’s very sickening.

    • tim
      November 17, 2013 - 20:49

      bwahahaha I guess kent can have an opinion but no one else! haha why stop with dogs? Let's be fair and look at chickens and turkeys too. An animal is an animal. Love pets but this story is too stupid.

  • Kent
    November 15, 2013 - 10:19

    @ Seriuosly…. Get a grip… There's always someone like you riding around on your moral high-horse chiming-in about how the rest of us should be saving the world. Listen pal, there will always be injustice and hardship somewhere in the world. It's called reality. Everyone does their little bit to make it a better place in their own way. If people choose to donate to this dog’s care; so what? It’ i their prerogative. If you don’t like it, then don’t give. Just don’t pontificate; it’s very sickening.

  • skennedy
    November 15, 2013 - 09:42

    In response to "Seriously??": Did you not read the article? They have invested in pet insurance which covers 80% of the treatment and have already spent a ton of money -- nowhere here does it say they are unable to take care of their pet. While I understand the logic of your frustration maybe you could channel it into fundraising efforts for those in the Phillipines rather than trying to bring down people who are fundraising for something near and dear to their hearts. The dog is a member of their family and I commend them for their fundraising efforts, having hope and not giving up in such a difficult situation.

  • Seriously??
    November 15, 2013 - 07:38

    It's a dog!! We have people that just died in the Phillipines. They have no food, no water, no shelter, and people are spending thousands on a dog???? Go to the SPCA and get another. They have loads. Dogs are great pets, as are cats but spend your money on people that need it. We have towns that have no drinking water. We have kids living on the street. If you can't take care of your pet, you shouldn't have one.

    • Lisa
      November 15, 2013 - 09:57

      You obviously aren't a dog owner. And, you obviously have never had a dog that developed cancer. It is up to the donors how they spend the money they earned. And the people who helped out this family see it as a worthy cause. If you want to donate to the Philippines, then go right ahead. That is up to you.

    • That guy
      November 15, 2013 - 10:10

      No one said these people can't give to both the very worthy causes you have brought up. Donate to Mountain and to the people suffering in the Phillipines. Double good karma on a Friday!

    • david
      November 15, 2013 - 10:36

      You aren't allowed to say that...didn't you get the memo? There is a higher priority and more concern over getting a cat's teeth cleaned than to assist fellow human beings. The best way to raise money for the Phillipines is to tell people that many dogs and cats are going hungry there now.

    • To: Bleeding Heart
      November 15, 2013 - 10:43

      This is a place for opinions, but that is completely unnecessary. It's not a matter of what is a more noble cause. There is always going to problems in the world like famine and natural disaster, and people are free to choose their causes. Unless you have given up all of your monetary possessions and donated the funds to charities around the world, you are in no place to point fingers. Get another? Clearly you have never had an animal, as they become part of your family. And lastly, it's cancer. It's not fleas or something an animal gets from neglect. It's cancer, so I don't really see how being able to "take care of your pet" is relevant.

    • Haven
      November 15, 2013 - 10:51

      you are disgusting. and clearly not a dog owner otherwise you would never say someones dog is 'just a dog'. did you even read the part where it says they have insurance but it is still going to cost thousands? everyone who is a pet owner should have disposable income of thousands of dollars?

    • Seriously.
      November 15, 2013 - 11:07

      Yes, it's a dog. It's a member of their of family and most people would go to great lengths to save their loved ones. You're trying to make them feel selfish for trying to save a life? That's really sad. I hope the surgery works out for Mountain! Best of luck, Maria.

    • Henny
      November 15, 2013 - 11:14

      There are two kinds of people in this world: those that see a heartwarming and hopeful story and are warmed, and those who see a heartwarming story and feel the need to point out that there is always something worse/more deserving. Honestly, be happy for something good happening out of a tragedy. This isn't taking any money away from the Philippines.

    • SW
      November 15, 2013 - 11:21

      Keep your ridiculous comments to yourself, please. No single person donated thousands of dollars to these people to help their dog, it was multiple people pitching in whatever they could afford to help. If you don't want to donate, then that's fine, but other people wanted to help these people and their dog and that's their prerogative. Furthermore, I'm willing to bet that you haven't donated a single cent to assist in the recovery of the Philippines, and I'm sure that several of the people who donated to help Mountain have also donated to that cause as well. As well, dogs aren't disposable, and you seem to think it's ethical to get a pet but let it die if it's sick, and then go get another at the SPCA? I sincerely hope you have no pets in your home if that's your way of thinking. And I would hardly say that these people can't afford their dog based on the vet care they have provided him so far. Not many people have $7000 just sitting around for these sorts of things, and you can hardly predict a 9 month old puppy to have cancer. They're doing what they can to help their dog and from my understanding they are willing to do whatever it takes, regardless of how much money the raise. If it were me, I would max out all my credit cards if I had to to save my cat or dog, and worry about it later. They are part you my family, and if you are too cold-hearted to understand that, then I feel sorry for you.

    • Robert
      November 15, 2013 - 15:12

      I wonder how many people will be pulled from the ruble of the Philippines by rescue dogs? They are much more then pets sir; get your facts straight!

  • Andrew Ward
    November 15, 2013 - 05:36

    Mountain brother, best of luck! You've got the best people in the world looking out for you. Nick and Maria, all the best and drive safe. We're with you guys every step of the way.