Shirley Debose has a special connection with her pitbull terrier Hazel.
"When I arrive home from work, I can't wait to get there to put the key in the door, because her tail is wagging and wagging, and I just pet her pet her."
But the last few weeks have been bittersweet. When we last met with Shirley, she was picking Hazel up from her second chemotherapy treatment at Affiliated Vets Specialists in Maitland. The dog was diagnosed with stage three lymphoma last month.
"I was devastated, because I never thought that this was going to happen to my sweet Hazel!" she said. "Without treatment, survival times are very short. We're talking about one to two months, in most instances."
But the 16 chemo treatments required over the next 25 weeks cost close to $5,000, a cost Debose couldn't take on by herself. After doing some research, she discovered the Magic Bullet Fund, an organization that provides financial assistance for dogs fighting cancer. Now, they're helping foot the bill for Hazel treatments.
"With the help of the Magic Bullet Fund, it's going to be expectation of between 12 and 18 months."
Shirley is just grateful for the financial help that will stop her dog from suffering, allowing her to spend every last moment with her precious pup while she can.
"I was so grateful that I was able to look online and find someone to help me
in Seminole County," said Shirley. "Me and my Hazel."