Kali’s Wish is a non-profit organization in Calgary that provides support for those whose pets have been diagnosed, or passed away, with cancer.
Losing a dog or cat to cancer can be devastating and Kali’s Wish is there to support scared, upset or grieving pet owners through online information, support and guidance from veterinarians and a buddy program for those who want to talk to someone who can relate.
Jackie Moore’s 7-year-old British Golden Retriever, Emma, passed away from lymphoma four months ago. Dr. Dekens put her in touch with Kali’s Wish.
Below is her story of how the support and love she received through Kali’s Wish has and continues to help her through this tough time. She was able to access information on the Kali’s Wish website about her dog’s specific cancer and was put in touch with a ‘buddy’ who talked to Jackie over the phone and helped her cope with her guilt and her grief.
Q: When were you put in touch with Kali’s Wish?
A: Dirk is my vet and he told me about it right away because I was just devastated – really devastated.
I did go on there (website) for information about her cancer and I found some stuff that told me what was going on and what to expect. So, we knew it wasn’t going to be very long.
They asked me if I wanted a care package, but I said no because I knew Emma wouldn’t be using it. I wanted to leave it for another dog that could enjoy it. Cause Emma had so many toys, she was so spoiled.
I talked to my buddy a few days before we let her go and then I called her the day I let her go. She’s a very wonderful lady. Shes very compassionate and she feels with people. She has a very good heart.
You know I could feel that she lived it with me, which is amazing because she doesn’t even know me. She said I can feel your pain. I was very grateful that she was willing to do that with me.
You do need somebody who really knows how you feel and I could really feel that with her, it wasn’t just like a talk. I didn’t feel like I was just talking to somebody. I felt like I was connected and I could let myself go. I don’t know where you find people like that that are so good and so sweet and understanding.
Q: How did talking to someone else about your feelings help you cope?
A: I felt really happy I had her because with family they are grieving to and because she was an outsider, I could open up to her completely without hurting the family. Because when you talk to your kids they just start bawling too and sometimes they don’t understand how deep the grief goes.
Most people, like I talked to friends, and they were sad too, but after a few days they are like oh yah, well I think you should be feeling ok about it now because they don’t have a dog and they don’t understand. I talked to another lady, a friend, and she said ‘Jackie, my dog has been gone for years and I still get sad.’
Q: How are you doing now?
A: I’m doing ok, except there are some days when it is still hard. Like two days ago I woke up and just bawled and bawled. You have to have time to grieve. You have to have time to cry. You can’t hold it back. It’s not healthy to hold it back.
I can still talk to my buddy if I need to, but I don’t bug her too much because I know other people need her.
I am really thankful to Kali’s Wish and my buddy for being there for me and my husband is really grateful too. I was able to talk it out with my buddy and not add to his grief.
Q: What would you tell other people about Kali’s Wish?
A: I would recommend it to anybody. If I hear about any who has a dog with cancer, I will tell them about Kali’s Wish right away because I found the support amazing. It really helped me a lot and it still does because I know if I need anything I can still call my buddy.
To contact Kali’s Wish click here.