Welcome To Paws4Potter
Greetings, and welcome to the Paws4Potter community!
If you are reading this, you are witness to the first P4P Blog . . . so, please bear with me!
For those of you who may not know me personally, my name is Kyle Ann Stevenson, and I officially created Paws4Potter in 2016 when I decided to host a dog walk - “Making A Mark On K9 Cancer” - at our community’s park to raise money for the National Canine Cancer Foundation.
Now, let me back up for just one minute . . .
Why did I decide to do all of this in the first place?
My very best friend, Potter, who also happened to be my Doberman/Shepherd X that I adopted (or maybe he adopted me?) during my third year of veterinary school, developed a very aggressive heart-based cancer in May of 2015. I lost him on June 12th, 2015, just two weeks after his diagnosis.
Potter was my soul dog. I bet many of you reading this have (or have had) a soul pet . . . the one that just “gets” you, the one that you would do absolutely anything for, the one that surpasses all of your expectations, the one that you can’t imagine living without. That was Potter to me . . . he was my best buddy.
When I lost Potter, I was absolutely devastated. I felt incredibly helpless and guilty that I had all of this medical knowledge behind me and still couldn’t save him. For a pet “parent,” it hurts so much not to be able to shield your best buddy from harm’s way, from death itself.
I suppose that one of the reasons why I created Paws4Potter in 2016 was a selfish one. I was trying to take all of the sadness and guilt that I was feeling and channel it into something more positive . . . to help myself through the grieving process and to honor my best friend. I didn’t want everything that he (and I) went through, including his passing, to be for nothing at all.
1/3 of our dogs and 1/4 of our cats will develop some form of cancer in their lifetimes. This is a devastating and alarming statistic, in my opinion. I wanted to find a way to help reduce these statistics. Paws4Potter gave me the platform to do that. The inception of Paws4Potter may have started out as partially selfish in nature, but it quickly morphed into so much more than that. While still a very small organization, Paws4Potter has helped to raise awareness for pet cancer in several communities throughout New York State. I believe that knowledge truly is power . . . and, if pet owners are made aware of what symptoms of cancer to watch out for and what treatment options are available for pet cancer, then veterinarians are likely to see pets with cancer in its earlier stages, and hopefully treatment can be more effective, if not curative.
Okay, so I guess I am rather wordy . . . I know that took longer than one minute to read!
In any case, I wanted to that this opportunity to welcome you to the Paws4Potter community! Paws4Potter wouldn’t be able to spread awareness about pet cancer to as many people as possible without YOUR help and support! I am hoping that this blogging space will help to open the doors for even more people to be educated about pet cancer. My goal is to create a space here where I can share not only ideas and news that I have but also information about pet cancer. It will also give readers the chance to comment, as well.
Thank you for being so patient and managing to read through this introductory blog. I have never “blogged” before. But, I have been wanting to try it out on behalf of Paws4Potter for about a year now. I am hoping to be able to share posts with you at least once a month (hopefully more) in order to bring you up-to-date information about pet cancer as well as events and happenings with Paws4Potter.
Thank you for reading . . . and thank you for your support, always.
Kyle Ann Stevenson, DVM