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, amputation, and chemotherapy, 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.
And if losing Czar and Baby Bear Osa to cancer was not enough, Tundra, the stunningly beautiful and brilliant alpha Great Pyrenees and protector of Beth’s heart and home, was diagnosed with bone cancer in September, 2019. Tundra’s treatment considerations were limited, and amputation was not an option. A crushing journey that is beyond words, Tundra transitioned to join her Czar and Baby Bear Osa, just 72 days after her osteosarcoma diagnosis.
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, Baby Bear Osa and Tundra, 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 Great Pyrenees, Lucciano Armand and their Newfoundland Amara. Canines, hiking, photography and any outdoor activity go hand and paw, as every day is a new adventure. For her professional career, Beth previously worked in the IT/Communications/Technology field for over 30 years in Madison and throughout the state. As Founder, Executive Director and Czar’s Mom, Beth will dedicate the remainder of her life and career to Czar’s Promise, and supporting families whose companion animals have been diagnosed with cancer, and funding research to help find a cure in our children, canines and felines.
Beth is eternally grateful to Veterinary Oncologist and Founding Member, Dr. Kai Shiu, the Board of Directors, and each 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, and who will always, Inspire Hope.