An avid lover of all things canine her entire life, Beth has had the honor of sharing her heart with incredible dogs since the day she was born. Raising Alaskan Malamutes, Great Pyrenees and Newfoundlands her entire adult life, has led to life changing events, including Czar’s Promise. From attending the Alaskan Iditarod Sled Dog race as a spectator in 1992, to learning the show ring, to raising animal assisted therapy dogs, the love of canines are embedded in her heart and soul, every minute of every day.
When Czar, her one-in-a-million Great Pyrenees, was diagnosed with Osteosarcoma in 2012, it was an unexpected, unplanned and rocky journey into a painful unknown. Czar, was by far the stronger one, and lived an active, happy, healthy and full 19 months post diagnosis and amputation, until his passing on December 20, 2013. Czar, who embodied the meaning of community service, was an animal assisted therapy dog with The Pet Pals program at American Family Children’s Hospital, Madison, and other health care locations throughout the area. His diagnosis, his story, one of tenacity, compassion, hope, dignity, and unending love, left an imprint within Beth that began a vigilant fight against this horrific disease that claims so many precious lives each and every day.
13 months after Czar’s passing, his bonded Newfoundland brother, Baby Bear Osa, who was truly momma’s boy, became lethargic in the late hours of February 12. Sleeping next to him to keep a watchful eye, Beth noted Osa’s breathing became erratic, and blood passed from his mouth. A very fast midnight drive to the emergency clinic was made. And within 30 minutes of his arrival, Osa was gone. There are absolutely no words to describe that terrifying and grief filled night. Death left no calling card, provided no warning. Osa passed away from what is suspected to be hemangiosarcoma, or a blood tumor in his lung. The depth of his unexpected and sudden loss, the immense grief, anger, sadness, is still felt to the core, every single day.
Czar’s Promise was born from a promise made to Czar as Beth held him in her arms for the last time on December 20, 2013. It was a promise to never stop fighting to help those who have received a cancer diagnosis. Canine or human. It is a promise made in the memory of both Czar and Baby Bear Osa, so that their fight will not be forgotten, and that we need to help others traveling this long and most difficult road. Both in terms of much needed cancer research, as well as local support for families experiencing this most difficult journey.
Beth and her husband, Gary, live a very rural life, along with their two Great Pyrenees, Tundra and Lucciano, their Newfoundland Amara, and feline companion, Sushi. Canines, hiking and any outdoor activity go hand and paw for the entire family, and every day is a new adventure. For her career, Beth has worked in the IT/Technology field for over 25 years in Madison and throughout the state.
Beth is eternally grateful to Veterinary Oncologist and Founding Member, Dr. Kai Shiu, and each committee member of the Czar’s Promise team, who have supported each other through their individual journeys as well as their commitment to truly make a difference in the lives of those impacted by cancer within our community.