Outpouring of support for therapy puppy

A recent story in the Mining Journal featured a front-Kado-Kibou, AKA “Kado,” a local puppy-in-training to be a therapy dog that was recently diagnosed with a rare liver condition that will require a costly surgery.

Many community members are banding together in an effort to raise funds for the procedure in hopes the service animal will be able to fulfill his potential to help others.

Kado was named for his dancing-like behaviors and way of inspiring hope, said Lisa Fleet, a retired special education teacher who adopted Kado last spring as a therapy dog.

“Thanks to the love and support of beautiful people, I think he may just make it,” Fleet told the Journal. “Hopefully with regained health, he can use his life to bring joy and hope to others.”

Fleet said she was grateful to have Kado come into her life while she was recovering from surgery last spring, but she was heartbroken to discover he had a rare liver condition that causes unfiltered blood to remain in his system, leaving him dizzy, disoriented and with a limited lifespan.

Because of this condition, Kado needs a surgery at Michigan State University, as he is only expected to live one to two years without the procedure, said Dr. Tracy Nyberg, a veterinarian at Bayshore Veterinary Hospital in Harvey who worked with him.

“He’s got so much life in him … He is on a special prescription diet and a couple medicines, which have helped his liver some, so he can still be quite puppy-like at 6 months old, but it’s only a temporary fix right now,” Nyberg said.

Nyberg said she immediately recognized the joy and comfort Kado was capable of providing, and encouraged Fleet to consider setting up a fundraiser to cover the expense of the surgery as the procedure could cost $8,000 to $10,000.

“I’ve seen with other cases and a million examples in our community, we are very lucky to be in such a giving and caring community … If we all contribute a little bit, it won”t be hard to reach that goal,” Nyberg said, adding that Kado “needs Lisa and us to be his therapy right now so he can do his therapy in time.”

They hope to raise enough funds to get Kado into surgery by January, they said, noting that the purpose of this surgery is much bigger than one dog and one woman — it’s about caring for an animal that could enrich the lives of many community members for years to come.

“I have no words, I just know that it’s bigger than me, it’s bigger than my dog, and it’s my prayer that through this that it can be used for the greater cause and mission, because our world is really hurting,” Fleet said. “I can see that in our mental health crisis, and suicide and all of it, and I think pets offer a gateway to the unconditional love that’s lacking.”

Just a few weeks ago, the Journal featured an article about an abused dog in Delta County named Chevy. In very little time, the community there raised more than enough funds to get Chevy the medical care he needed. Now, it is our turn. This season of giving extends not only to our friends and family, but the loved ones of our neighbors as well — including the furry ones. If you are able to give toward Kado’s procedure, we ask that you please do so — to help solidify both his future and Fleet’s.

To make a donation or learn more, visit www.gofundme. com/coils-for-kibou.

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