SUMMIT COUNTY – While abounding bodies acquisition abundance in their beastly companions, 14-year-old Kelsey Bohman and her acquaintance Sandy, a 9-year-old aureate retriever, accept a decidedly abnormal bond. They both are blight survivors.
In fact, it is through their abstracted struggles with blight – and a affairs alleged Youth and Pet Survivors (YAPS) – that they met.
Three years ago, Bohman, who lives in Glenwood Springs, was diagnosed with astute myeloid leukemia – a rapidly advanced blight of the claret cells. She and her ancestors spent best of the abutting nine months at Children’s Hospital in Denver area she went through acute chemotherapy and again a cartilage bottom displace to action the illness.
A assistant told her about YAPS, a affairs through which accouchement and animals with blight are commutual calm as pen pals.
The affairs was developed by Anne Ingalls, a assistant at Children’s Hospital, who believed that the accord would advice kids accord with their affliction in a beneath advancing way.
“You can acquaint dogs anything,” Bohman said. “It’s aloof addition to allocution to that doesn’t say annihilation negative.”
“Kids sometimes accept an easier time talking about their anxieties with an animal,” said Frisco citizen Patti Burnett.
Burnett and her husband, Dan, accept aloft and accomplished Sandy, a search-and-rescue dog for the Copper Mountain Resort ski convoying and Summit County Search and Rescue.
Bohman has been autograph belletrist to Sandy for added than a year. Of course, she’s old abundant to apprehend that it isn’t Sandy autograph aback to her, rather it is Burnett who is penning the accord for her basset companion. So she generally writes to both Sandy and Burnett.
Though YAPS was developed primarily to accommodate abundance for the children, the accord amid Bohman and Sandy has helped the Burnett ancestors as they faced the achievability of accident Sandy anon as he underwent anaplasty to abolish advancing tumors from his adenoids and hip.
“I anticipate apparently as pet owners (and) search-dog handlers, we get appealing affecting about our dogs and their well-being,” Burnett said. “It’s put things in angle – that it’s way, way added important with how Kelsey is accomplishing than how Sandy is doing.”
Learning about Bohman’s attempt and seeing the band amid her and her ancestors has accustomed the Burnett ancestors a greater acknowledgment of life.
Fortunately for the Bohmans and the Burnetts, both Bohman’s and Sandy’s belief are of survival. The brace is acceptable its action with cancer, and their consistent accord continues to blossom.
Lu Snyder can be accomplished at (970) 668-3998, ext. 203, or