Make A Wish Come True!
I am writing this with tears in my eyes and a broken
heart. One of our best volunteers, Leona – 58 years old, vibrant,
and beautiful -- has received the devestating diagnosis of ovarian
cancer which has spread.
Leona (along with her husband Keith and son Chris)
has volunteered at our shelter for over two years, traveling all the
way from Jonestown, PA to Pottsville at least four times a week to
walk our many “special needs” dogs.
3 year old, housetrained, spayed, pit bull mix, Ava
whoo has been with us at the Hillside for over 2 years is one of
those “special needs” dogs that has found a special place in
Leona's heart. Ava needs a home without other dogs or young children.
But Ava loves people, and she especially adores Leona and her family.
Devoted and affectionate Ava returns the love she
receives two-fold. Ava loves car rides and Leona takes her for
hamburgers. Since Leona came into her life, Ava has been the happiest
I've ever seen her. Ava knows when Leona is even approaching our
parking lot and howls with excitement to be with her. Ava has the
capacity to love someone unconditionally – if just given the
Leona's devotion to the animals here in our shelter is tremendous,
and especially to Ava. It is a beautiful moment seeing them together
and witnessing the happiness they find in each other. Leona is now
fighting a tremendous battle and is going to undergo chemotherapy and
major surgery – without any promise of the outcome. But she is
courageous and wants to continue on for her family, Ava, and all her
buddies here at Hillside.
Not only concerned and worried for what she will
personally face and what her family will have to endure, Leona is
afraid she may no longer be physically able to come see her beloved
Leona has a very special wish – it is not to visit
Disney World, or take a cruise, or go sky-diving. Leona just wants
to see Ava get a good, loving home – to know Ava is cared for and
loved – before Leona's personal nightmares begin. Leona is even
going to cover Ava's adoption fees for her new “parent(s)”!
And so, I'm begging, not simply asking, for someone
to make Leona’s dream come true NOW, so no matter what happens,
Leona will know and be able to see that Ava got her second chance at
life. Leona has given so much of herself for animals, I will do
everything in my power to see that her wish for Ava to find a forever
home before something happens to Leona is granted.
There is no way for me to explain to Ava that her
“mommy” is sick and might not be here to love her. I will just
have to watch her face as she patiently waits for Leona to come, and
that is unbearable for me and our staff. I cannot imagine looking at
Ava's face waiting to be loved like Leona loves her, and I can't
imagine not seeing Leona have her dream come true. They both so
deserve it. Please, if you have room in your heart and home for Ava,
won't you make Leona's wish come true and make a miraculous and
glorious moment happen now for both Leona and Ava to cherish
If you are interested in adopting Ava but are not in
our immediate area, we do offer out-of-area adoptions to qualified
households. Simply visit
to complete and submit the required pre-screen form.
We are open 7 days a week. Door to door driving
directions are available on our website at
Please, come and visit Ava or phone us today at 570-622-7769 if you
can make a very special wish come true.
~ Barbara Umlauf, Manager