Esther Trethewey is 64 years old, on a disability pension and lives on her own. Life hasn’t always been kind to Tretheway, yet she has overcome any and all obstacles put in her way. She experienced horrendous abuse throughout her lifetime – though is very much a survivor. She had a recent severe heart attack, has had major heart surgery, has arthritis (worsened by a severe fall she has experienced) and lives with diverticulitis and irritable bowel syndrome that acts up when she is stressed. And lately, Tretheway has been extremely stressed.
One of the loves of her life – her dog Goldie – has recently been diagnosed with diabetes. Goldie is an eight-year old toy poodle that Tretheway has had since Goldie was born. In fact, Tretheway owned Goldie’s parents and grandparents. Goldie also gave birth to Whitie, who also lives with Tretheway. Her dogs have been the one constant throughout her life, and have helped her through many a tough day.
“My dogs have helped me through many, many difficult times,” Tretheway explains. “I don’t know where I’d be if it wasn’t for the unconditional love my dogs given me.”
Goldie in particular holds a special place in Tretheway’s heart.
“One time there as man waving his arms about and Goldie though he was attacking me. She jumped up and took a nip at him. She was ready to lay down her life for me. And once I forgot to turn the kettle off, and it was starting to burn, and Goldie was the one who alerted me to it. She saved my life.”
“I always wanted a red poodle – most of my toy poodles were black – this was the first red one I had. The way she can tell me what she wants, the way she looks at me. When I’m depressed, not feeling good, I just cuddle with Goldie. She just makes me feel better.”
Even lately, when Goldie has been ill with diabetes, the bond remains. “She has been throwing up a lot, she’s been very lethargic and she has lost seven pounds. It breaks my heart to see her suffer. But she also knows when I’m not well, and she still makes an effort to come to me and lick my face, and cuddle up with me. I’m trying to help her because she’s so sick, but she’s still always trying to help me.”
Tretheway constantly worries about Goldie’s well-being. Throughout Tretheway’s life she has proudly taken care of her dogs, just like they have taken care of her. Being on a fixed income, however, she is unable to afford the medications for Goldie’s diabetes and the specialized diet required. She worries what will become of Goldie as a result.
“I try not to think about it,” Tretheway admits. “It’s just too painful.”
Tretheway also has explored other options. “I spoke to the SPCA, and they can take in Goldie and take over care for her, but I love her too much to do that. She’s my child, and it would not only hurt me to give her up, but it would destroy her to be separated from not just me but the other dogs too. We’re a family.”
Tretheway is hoping for community support help save Goldie. “I have managed my own life on my own, and it’s tough for me to ask, but I don’t have anywhere else to turn.”
Tretheway is hoping for community support to help cover the costs of Goldie’s medications and specialized diet. Donations can be made through Moving Forward Family Services. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 778-321-3054.