Zelman was born to a Poodle father and a Cocker Spaniel mother on Thursday November 10, 2005. I first met this adorable bundle of love on Wednesday December 23, 2005 and he became all mine on Wednesday, January 4, 2006. Zellie was into absolutely EVERYTHING!! With the exception of being an incredibly overactive puppy, he lived a relatively normal puppy/dog life for 4 years. Over those years I noticed he had a very sensitive stomach and had diarrhea intermittently for no known reasons. After meeting several dog owners in the neighborhood who were paying out $1,000s for their old and/or sickly pups, I decided to get Zelman health insurance when he was 1 years old. I hoped never to have to use it..

Sunday July 10, 2010 I noticed Zelman was tired and lethargic, but because it was an extremely hot summer in the Philadelphia suburbs, I did not read much into it. In hind sight I should mention that he vomited earlier in the week, but did not seem sick. Zelman always slept in my bed and jumped up to the bed on his own. Sunday night Zelman slept over the air-conditioning vent in the bathroom. Monday morning I walked him before work and although he seemed tired, he was OK (or so I thought at the time). When I came home from work he was stretched out ON the glass coffee table!

This lethargy, sleeping in the bathroom and on the glass table was a little concerning and by the time I got home from work on Tuesday July 13, 2010 he was very, very weak. He did not want to walk and could barely stand up on the tile floor. I called my vet (a 24 hours emergency care facility) to let them know to expect us. It took about 15 minutes to diagnose him. I was in shock. They told me that dogs diagnosed with IMHA are given about a 50/50 shot at surviving the first 2 weeks after diagnosis. They wanted to be sure that I understood the gravity of his situation.

My first questions were is this treatable and are we going to treat this? I was told yes. They kept him that night for a transfusion and I went everyday to visit. When my phone rang Wednesday night around 1:30AM my heart stopped. It was his doctor calling to ask me if Zel could have another transfusion because he had labored breathing and a heart murmur. I told them to give him anything he needed (thank God I have insurance for him)! I also told them not to scare me in the middle of the night again unless he was gone or I needed to get over there to say goodbye. 9 days and sleepless nights, constant worry, and 4 blood transfusions later Zelman came home on Thursday July 22, 2010 to re-begin his life.

I had to learn about his cocktails of medicines, plan proper timing and feeding, and watch him like a hawk. Azathioprine, Prednisone, Atopica, Reglan Aspirin, Pepcid, Fortaflora and later as the side effects kicked in РMetronidazole, Clavamox, Cerenia ..what a new vocabulary I got. Again, thank God for his insurance!

Slowly Zellie came back to me. He went off his Prednisone in January 2011 and his Azathioprine in April 2011 and has been free of medicine ever since. He is happy and healthy and except for a few pounds still to lose, he is back to his old self! I on the other hand, have been completely changed. You see Zellie is my child, my little boy, my heart, my everything. Every time he sneezes, looks at me funny, doesn’t want to eat, breathes a little heavy, goes to sleep a little early I panic. Thank God hes still with me. It all seems like a bad nightmare and I really cant comprehend that it all really happened; but, it did.

I am so thankful for everyday for my little guy. We need to stop this awful disease from taking our fur-babies away from us and making them so sick. We need to educate, research, and give money to end this and end it soon!

Editor’s Note: To those interested in donating to an organization researching this disease, there is a particular branch of the Morris Animal Foundation, called the Meisha’s Hope AIHA/IMHA Fund #338, which has been set up to look for solutions and uses donated money specifically for that purpose.


On May Day 2000 a Cockapoo was born,
Little to my surprise she would eventually honk my horn.

June 30th we lost little red with a kind and gentle soul,
The loss of our brother Jeff left our hearts with a hole.

On the 4th anniversary of the loss of this soul,
A little red and blond pup was sent my way,
And I opened my arms, and my heart became whole.

Sugar Pie Honey Bun was her tune,
As I became her Mama late in June.

She loved Gracie so so much,
They could not resist each other’s touch.

Gracie tickled her tail and offered a giggle,
Honey would run away very quickly with a wiggle.

Barky, barky, barky as she heard a knock at the door,
Honey went running on her furry four.

Miss Honey Bun Bunches was a nickname given one day,
And many kisses were always sent her way.

Such a sweet and gentle face,
I could not resist and had to embrace.

A trip to the bank we go for a treat,
As she jumped on my lap with her furry feet.

She loved to fill her tummy,
With her favorite nummies.

A run in the park and as happy as can be,
She ran so fast but always came back to me.

Her Gracie was her favorite playmate,
So much so they often met for a date.

Papa’s hands were quite full with his 2 favorite girls,
Especially when they jumped and gave many whirls.

Her Aunt Nicole said it best,
Honey had a permanent little smile,
Always waiting for a few crumbs on her tile.

Diggy, diggy, diggy, there she goes again,
Usually just before the clock ticked ten.

She was her Grandpa’s furry lil sidekick,
And often gave him a gentle lil lick.

She gave her Grandpa so much love and joy,
And always wanted him to play with her favorite toy.

She had 2 adoring pals, Landry and Bently,
They both adored her so and treated her quite gently.

Enjoyed frolicking in the winter snow,
She often missed her favorite beaus.

Is your tummy full? Mama asked with delight,
Although we all knew she couldn’t resist sneaking a bite.

Often tears came to my eyes,
Dreading the day when it came to say our good byes.

Lying on her pillow beside me, nigh nigh she goes,
I would gently give her a kiss on her wet lil nose.

Today my heart is broken over the loss of my Honey Bun,
I can still hear the pitter patter of her feet as I call you Hun.

She will not be a memory in my mind,
But will remain in my heart because she was very kind .

Mama could not love her anymore,
Because this sweet pup was to adore.

On her passing day, her Aunt Nicole gave her a kiss,
To this sweet little Miss.

She gave us one last little wiggle,
Which I will never forget,
Because she was the most loving pet.

Moments before we part,
I held my baby and felt the last beat of her heart.

On your Mama’s birthday, I held her on my chest,
And she went on her journey and final rest.

Honey nestled in my neck and gently sighed,
It was then we said our good byes.

As I held her in my arms,
I whispered ever so softly,
My girl, my girl, my girl, I love you so much,
She was at peace as we had our last touch.

She is my angel that taught me to love,
I sure hope that she can see me from up above.

I often said to her as she looked into my eyes,
Do you know how much your Mommy loves you?
Your Mommy loves you so so much,
I can’t love you more than I do,
Because you will always be, my Cockapoo.