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Hero Dog Saves Owner, Thanks to Pongo Fund and CANIDAE

By Julia Williams

The Pongo Fund Pet Food Bank in Portland, Oregon is a non-profit charity created to help people who are unable to buy food for their pets. They opened in November 2009 with a donation of $125,000 worth of premium pet food from CANIDAE. In just one year, the Pongo Fund Pet Food Bank has distributed more than one million meals to help feed hungry dogs and cats in Oregon and southwest Washington! 

CANIDAE continues to support The Pongo Fund Pet Food Bank with large donations of its premium dog and cat foods. The charity then gives the food free of charge to anyone who expresses a genuine need. The goal is to keep families and pets together in challenging economic times, and judging by a touching letter The Pongo Fund received recently, they are succeeding in ways they couldn’t even imagine.

In August, Gayle Jewell and Danny Fincher (former saxophone player with Paul de Lay Band) were at home with their beloved dog, a 14-year old lab mix named Ceili. They noticed that Ceili (pronounced Kaylee) was acting strangely concerned about Danny and wouldn’t leave his side. Ceili kept smelling Danny’s breath, licking his arms and legs, and whimpering. At around 11:30 p.m., Danny wasn’t feeling well and decided to go to bed. Ceili would not let him go upstairs, however. She got in his way and started tugging on his shorts and yipping at him. 

Ceili tugged on Danny’s socks and pulled off one of his shoes. When he sat down on the stairs to put his shoe back on, Danny suddenly felt like he was on fire, and he couldn’t breathe. Ceili began barking and running back and forth from Danny to the room Gayle was in, alerting her to Danny’s predicament. Danny was rushed to the emergency room where tests revealed he had suffered a massive heart attack.

Ceili was a “hero dog” that night – she saved Danny’s life by preventing him from going upstairs and alerting Gayle to the heart attack. It could have ended in tragedy, however. You see, Danny and Gayle were going through a rough period financially and couldn’t really afford to buy dog food. As a result, they had been considering the heartbreaking option of giving Ceili up. Thankfully, they learned about The Pongo Fund Pet Food Bank and were able to get some CANIDAE food for her, so she could remain in their family. 

In her letter to The Pongo Fund, Gayle said “Thank you for providing such a valuable service for everyone who loves their furry four legged family members and is struggling to keep them at home. Life can be “ruff” sometimes, but you folks sure do help so many of us!”

When Larry Chusid, Founder and Executive Director of The Pongo Fund Pet Food Bank, relayed this wonderful story to the folks at CANIDAE, he included a heartfelt message of his own. “This is a real testament to CANIDAE and their generosity. As I make magic kibble!”

Our Holiday Pet Food Giveaway

In the spirit of the season, we’re having a little giveaway of our own! Four lucky readers will each win a coupon for a free 5lb. bag of CANIDAE dog food or 4lb. FELIDAE cat food – any formula, winner’s choice.

Entering the giveaway is easy: leave a comment on this post about your own “hero” pet, or tell us what you love most about your pet. In short, just let us know you want to be entered in the giveaway. Please include your email address so I can contact you ASAP if you're a winner.

Want some extra entries? Here's how:

*Blog about your own “Hero Pet” with a link to this RPO post (include a link to your post in your comment below)
*Add a link to the RPO blog on your blog or website.
*Post a link to this giveaway on your Facebook page.

You’ll receive one extra entry for each of the above (optional). Giveaway begins today and ends at midnight Pacific Time on December 4, 2010. Contest open to residents of the USA and Canada only. Void were prohibited. Good luck!

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