- A Bay Area woman needing a kidney transplant
- Another Bay Area woman who happened to be a perfect match
- Two homeless puppies who needed two good homes
Oakland, CA – Susan Reale considered adopting a dog for some time, but she was facing a medical crisis, looking for a kidney donor. Her sister created a Facebook campaign to find a donor, which miraculously turned up willing donor and perfect match Michelle Dunn (a complete stranger). The transplantation occurred in January 2017, and so far, has been successful.
The miracle matches didn’t stop there. Reale was browsing on Facebook during her recovery and saw a photo of a little, jet-black puppy on the Oakland Animal Services (OAS) feed. Kuro and his littermate, Yin Yang, were both diagnosed with a deadly canine disease, Parvovirus, after arriving at OAS. Parvovirus treatment costs approximately $2500 per puppy and requires isolation from other shelter animals. Friends of Oakland Animal Services (FOAS), the non-profit that supports OAS, agreed to pay the treatment cost if foster homes could be found to care for Kuro and Yin Yang during their recovery.
When Reale saw Kuro’s picture, she knew immediately he was the dog she’d been seeking. She contacted OAS and took him home to foster. She fell in love within a matter of hours, saying, “We bonded because we both had to be quarantined – him for parvovirus and me for the immunosuppressive drugs I’m on for my transplant.” She renamed Kuro, “Chipper” (“because he is a chipper little guy”), and easily decided to adopt him.
Paying her good fortune forward, Reale then shared the OAS Facebook post on her own page, where it was seen by her kidney donor Dunn. Apparently she and Reale have more than a blood type in common, given that her reaction to Yin Yang (renamed “Archie”) was identical to Reale’s. When she saw his scruffy little black-and-white face, she immediately decided to foster him. She quickly fell in love as well and decided to adopt him.
Two little parvovirus puppies ended up with two compassionate women and all four have traveled together in a journey of medical support, love, and unexpected connections made through social media. Reale and Dunn also realized that Chipper and Archie were born on the very same day as their transplantation surgery – was it destiny?
OAS and FOAS are grateful for the caring community that came together to support the care of Chipper and Archie. Limited resources mean that OAS relies on the public to provide foster homes and donations to FOAS to treat cases like these. Shelter director Rebecca Katz says, “we are grateful for the support of the community. This is what it means when we say ‘it takes a village.’ ” OAS has been managing an outbreak of parvovirus at the shelter and has several other puppies and dogs currently undergoing treatment and in need of foster homes during their recovery. If you are able to foster please contact and/or donate to FOAS to support the treatment of other animals in need.