On Saturday, March 8, 2008 life changed for Ann. From the moment she saw Velma behind the desk at the Adams County Humane Society and Velma walked over and buried her head in her chest, she knew that was it; they had found each other. She instantly became Ann’s 100% heart dog who she knew would be an amazing blessing in her life. In that instant Ann became her protector, care giver and loved her with her entire soul.
Anyone who knows Ann knows Velma. Velma is her co-pilot, hiking partner, fellow explorer, napping companion and keeper of her heart. So in December of 2012 when Velma received a cancer diagnosis of mast cell tumors – a lot of them – she was also Ann’s dog with cancer. Suddenly this became their story and getting her better became Ann’s focus.
Whoever said it takes a village was not kidding. Because of the remarkable team of caregivers, oncologists, holistic vets, nutritionists and an ocean of friends and family Velma is surviving, she is strong, she is brave, she is happy, she is resilient and she is a wonder.
In 2018 they celebrated 10 years together so it seems a bit like kismet that it’s also when Czar’s Promise was created. Because of Ann and Velma’s journey, they have become passionate advocates and committed themselves to helping those most vulnerable in their community by raising awareness, providing education and outreach opportunities and funding grants for local and regional research for canine and pediatric cancer.
Ann is a native Madisonian and UW grad, returning after a “brief” time in Vail, Colorado and works for the University of Wisconsin Foundation and Alumni Association. The other piece of her heart belongs to her 24 year old wonder horse Trooper, who is also a cancer survivor. The promise Ann made to Velma and Trooper is the same promise we have all made to our loved ones and companions fighting this disease: to never give up, always have hope and know that compassion and determination can make a huge difference!