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Jacob the hound's story on NBC 3, CW 6, CBS 5 and CNYCentral.com
OSWEGO COUNTY, NY - As Sue Fisher rubbed the neck of her basset hound Jacob she looked at the nine year old and quietly said, "Thanksgiving and Christmas, those are the best holidays." It was the kind of conversation an owner has with her dog as they pass time in a waiting room before a beloved pet's life saving surgery.
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Jacob is a basset hound from Altmar, "He's a real important part of our lives." Fisher explains, "I don't know what we ever did without him." Fisher and her husband Marty rescued Jacob three years ago. They had run into the Mexico dog control officer at a market. Dog control had recently taken in a cruelty case. The hound had been chained outside so frequently the chain had embedded in his neck. Sue and Marty had always wanted a basset hound so they took in Jacob.
Over a few months they nursed Jacob back to health. He became an intimate member of the family. "He thinks he's a lap dog gotta sit in your lap," said Fisher. He became even more important this year when several setbacks hit the Fisher home. Sue lost her job, Marty learned he had cancer and one of their children was away at college on scholarship. When Marty would go for treatments, Jacob was waiting at the door for his return.
On top of those serious setbacks Jacob the hound got sick. His neck began to swell. He was examined. There was concern about a potentially malignant tumor. The Fisher's didn't have the money for an operation costing hundreds of dollars. They turned to the Shamrock Animal Fund for help. "We're faithful watchers of channel 3 news," said Sue. "We're seeing the stories followed you blogs about your dog Shamrock . And we happened to be under financial strain with my husband being sick. And my being unemployed. A friend said why don't you give them a call to see if they could help you."
The Shamrock Animal Fund, co-founded by news anchor Matt Mulcahy and his wife Jamie Pomilio-Mulcahy, said yes. The fund offered to pay part of the bill. The Fishers said they could borrow the rest from a family member.
Dr. Peter King operates at his Mexico Veterinary Hospital in Oswego County. He offered an affordable surgery option to remove the mass. Before Jacob left the waiting room he sat like a lug in front of Marty, waiting for a rub of the head before he would walk to the exam area. A pat and a wave and Jacob reluctantly followed the hospital staff.
Dr. King's staff prepped Jacob. As the highly experienced veterinarian put on gowns and gloves for surgery he outlined what needed to be done, "this is most likely a tumor, a malignant type. A necrotic center that has become infected." He laid out his cutting tools and went to work. He resected a section of Jacob's neck the length of a football. Among the discarded tissue was that tumor. Dr. King neatly stitched up the patient with a promising prognosis.
Jacob was mended and so was this hole in the Fisher family. They had endured enough in 2010. Sue said, "with Marty being sick and the stress we have in the household right now, knowing that there's people and funds out there is a real big relief for us." Now she can again rub Jacob's neck and say Christmas is the best holiday.
Find out more about the Shamrock Animal Fund including online donation. You can also send donations to assist with the care of Jacob and other animals by sending checks to: Shamrock Animal Fund 7815 Karakul Lane, Fayetteville, NY 13066.