British Columbia

Vancouver's Reddit community offers dying dog a place to play

A Vancouver apartment dweller who took to Reddit to ask strangers to allow her terminally ill dog to roam their properties says she was blown away by the community's response.

'She's everything to me. She's my best friend,' says owner, blown away by community's generosity

Seven-year-old Skore was diagnosed with terminal bone cancer in August 2013. Veterinarians gave the Rottweiler less than six months to live at the time. (Danielle Meraz-Alvarez)

Danielle Meraz-Alvarez moved to Vancouver from Ontario last year, where her three-legged Rottweiler, Skore, would roam freely on the family farm.

Now, Meraz-Alvarez lives in a Vancouver apartment building with no place for her terminally ill dog to play.

"I just feel helpless, because there's not much that I felt that I could do for her, or there's not many places that I could take her," she said.

"I've brought her to dog parks and stuff like that, but because I'm pregnant, she's really overprotective right now. With anybody around, she gets really anxious.

"I just wanted to bring her somewhere like where we used to be."

Reddit community's outpouring of generosity

As a result, Meraz-Alvarez took to Reddit, asking if any strangers would be willing to open up their property and allow Skore to roam there a few times a week for a couple of hours.

Vancouver resident Danielle Meraz-Alvarez turned to Reddit users for help because her dog Skore is 'everything to me. She's my best friend. I really see her as my daughter.' (Danielle Meraz-Alvarez)

The community's response blew her away.

"I was just awestruck to see how many people — a random person is just posting a request on the internet, and so many people have such nice things to say, or so many people want to go above and beyond."

Besides opening up their homes, Reddit posters offered to drive her to and from those places. 

"I never experienced anything like that.

"I'm grateful, because I've been missing home," she said. "I've been missing the farm and opportunities to take her there.

"Now, there's so many places that I can take her."

Possibly a month left to live

Skore was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, or bone cancer, at the end of July 2013. Meraz-Alvarez brought her to the veterinarian after noticing a limp in Skore's gait, which she thought was merely a sprain. 

Veterinarians said Skore was lucky her leg hadn't yet snapped in two. 

"The cancer had just eaten away at the bone. It was just barely being held on," Meraz-Alvarez said. 

They gave Skore less than six months to live. That was two years ago.

Skore battled through an emergency amputation, a full chemotherapy treatment and then a few more grim diagnoses.

While the seven-year-old Rottweiler is fighting as hard as ever, Meraz-Alveraz admits Skore likely has less than one month left to live. Now they can both make the most of it, she said.

"I just want to take her to a whole bunch of different places, if she's up for it," said Meraz-Alvarez.

"I really see her as my daughter and my best friend. I have PTSD [post-traumatic stress disorder] and a bunch of other problems. I honestly feel like if I didn't have her, I wouldn't have made it. She's just everything for me."


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