Barbara Fuscsick is the founder and illustrator of Puppy Paws Productions, a whimsical note and greeting card company for dog-lovers and friends. Based in San Diego, her 15 year-old adopted Aussie-mix holds the position of CEO. Her recently rescued Cocker Spaniel, Carmelle, serves as the company vice president.
Nena Zamora, a beloved honorary member of the Puppy Paws Productions pack, left us too soon for doggy heaven on August 4, 2009. At only seven-years-old, she was diagnosed with AIHA (Autoimmune Hemolytic Anemia), a blood disorder in which a dog’s immune system destroys his or her own red blood cells. The onset of Nena’s disease was dramatic and sudden. Though she was given every possibility to win her battle against this often-fatal disease, she did not beat the 50/50 odds, and succumbed to the peaceful eternal universe in the loving arms of her human, Mama.
Her unique personality endeared her to us deeply. She had a penchant for hiding her little toys in whatever territory she claimed as her own (and all territories were hers). It was not unusual to find a latex piggy under a sofa pillow, a stuffed horsey under the Christmas tree skirt, or a bunny nestled in the folds of the bedsheets. All seats she believed to be her throne—from the couch to a camp chair to a hammock. She had a disdain of her feet being touched, more than likely from an unpleasant nail-clipping memory. She loved to plow her nose through the sand at Coronado Dog Beach, but cared little for the ocean. She spent many happy times with our CEO Pepper frolicking at Grape St. Park, and though Pepper considered her a pesky little sister, secretly she was rather fond of her adoring ﬁrst little sister. She obligingly sported Ladybug, Chef and a Cheerleader costumes for Halloween, and was a fashion trendsetter in her summer sundress and winter wool sweater. As brothers were added to her adopted family, she ensured, with her alpha dominance, their adherence to pack rules. Her adventurous nature found her enjoying a road trip to San Francisco, camping in Cuyamaca Park and lounging by a dog-friendly resort pool in Palm Springs.
Her private memorial was held in the backyard. We laid her for one last time in the hammock she loved to share with her human, and surrounded her with Black-Eyed Susans. Her bright ruffian spirit will remain with us always.
For more information about AIHA and the research being done to eradicate this disease, visit the Morris Animal Foundation.