Ken Pope, Ph.D., ABPP

We thought we were saving Dharma's life, but he was the one who ended up saving lives.

a little white dog is lying on the couch and smiling at you

Suffering from an atypical seizure disorder, Dharma intuitively knew when Ariel—a blind and deaf kitten with epilepsy and problems coordinating her muscles—was about to have a seizure.  If we were close by, he would bark to alert us and run to lie on her legs to keep them from paddling.  Twice he woke us in the middle of the night when she was having a major seizure in another part of our house so that we could rush her to the emergency room.  She would have died if not for Dharma.

He kept Phoenix (and the other special-needs cats and dogs who live as a family in our home) safe when we adopted Phoenix.  The first-responders found Phoenix, barely alive, at Ground Zero in the smoke and rubble of the 9/11 attack. Pregnant, she had immediately lost her kittens. Phoenix survived but had asthma, eye and ear damage, and other problems from the explosion and aftermath. She was terrified and would attack anyone who came near.  Fearless, Dharma kept a careful eye on her, helping to calm, reassure, and socialize Phoenix for the first couple of weeks she was in our home until she felt safe and comfortable.  Whenever another cat or dog moved too close in those first weeks and Phoenix threatened to attack, Dharma moved calmly but instantly between them, gently backing the other cat or dog away.

He was everyone's friend, playmate, comforter, and protector.

Here's Dharma with some of his friends...

Calypso, a blind cat, naps on Dharma:

a blind orange cat is sleeping with his head lying on a white dog

Dharma with Milagro, a dog with a heart condition (PDA), mild neurological problems, and a collapsing trachea:

a tiny white dog stands next to a little white dog (who, though small, is still larger than his tiny friend)

Dharma playing with Ariel:

a small white dog seems surprised as he wakes up besides a cream-colored cat

Dharma snoozing with Ursa, an elderly blind and deaf Lab:

a small white dog sleeps next top an elserly blind & deaf brown lab

Timmy, a cat with no back legs, sharing a moment of closeness with Dharma:

a small organige cat without beck legs puts his head against his friend, a little white dog

Dharma napping with Sirius, a dog with a progressive fatal disease (granulomatous meningoencephalitis):

2 white dogs snuggle together as they sleep

Dharma resting with Faith, a blind cat:

a brown and black cat lies next to a little white dog

Dharma sharing time with Lilian, a cat with FIP (feline infectious peritonitis), a progressive fatal disease:

a cream-colored cat with brown nose & ears lies against a white dog

Farewell, Dharma.  We are so thankful you became part of our family and lived with us so many years.  We will always love you.


Please follow this link to the family of special needs dogs and cats who live in our home.


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