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She nearly surrendered her best friend until she found Mission

We know that pets provide us with companionship and improve our mental and physical health. And that was absolutely the case with Christina and Pajama Sam. But when he became ill, Christina was distraught - she thought she might lose him because she couldn’t provide care for him.

Christina had never had a pet before. She’s a senior, living alone, and found herself very isolated during the COVID-19 pandemic. And then one day in several months into the pandemic, her daughter came for a visit and told her to close her eyes and hold out her hands. She then placed the tiniest fluffball of a puppy into her hands. Christina was smitten.

A dog would provide Christina with companionship, and something to focus on, her daughter thought. And he did.

Christina had never had a dog before, or any kind of pet! She named this little bundle of joy Pajama Sam, and he quickly became her constant companion and best friend. Christina uses a wheelchair to get around, so a larger dog would have been more difficult for her to handle. Pajama Sam, a Maltese Mix, was tiny, and perfect for her. “He just grew up on my lap,” Christina said of her sweet puppy. They were bonded.

New to having a dog, and being largely home-bound during the pandemic, Christina turned to the Internet and friends to learn to care for her new friend. She fed him by hand to train him. A year and a half later, Pajama Sam is just six pounds and accompanies Christina nearly everywhere.

Recently, she noticed Pajama Sam had become lethargic and began vomiting, she was very concerned. He just wasn’t himself. “He lost his happiness, so I knew something was wrong.” She was troubled by not knowing how to make her furry best friend feel better.

Finding a veterinarian that was available to see her sick pup only added stress to Christina’s situation. Because of the rise in pet ownership during the COVID-19 pandemic, short-staffing, and other challenges, many animal hospitals in the Twin Cities are at capacity and cannot take on new clients. Christina went to five animal hospitals who could not see Pajama Sam. Then, she found Mission Animal Hospital and our walk-in Urgent Care service.

Finding a veterinarian was only half the battle–Christina was also not sure how she would pay for Pajama Sam’s care, as she has limited monthly income. She considered that she may need to surrender her best friend so he could get the care he needed. The idea was devastating.

“He’s only been here for 19 months, but I can’t imagine not having him with me.”

Thankfully, Mission was also able to make Pajama Sam’s treatment plan affordable, and helped Christina access additional resources for Pajama Sam’s care.

Now, the only battle that remained was for Pajama Sam to get better.

Christina and Pajama Sam came to Mission Animal Hospital for two days in a row for Pajama Sam to receive fluids and medications.

Pajama Sam’s condition improved rapidly. “He’s now back to his spunky self and I’m so happy!”

Though the exact cause of his condition wasn’t fully identified, Christina is grateful for the care Pajama Sam got at Mission. “We wouldn’t have gotten here without Mission.”

Christina and Pajama Sam have a strong human-pet bond that is important to both Christina and Pajama Sam’s wellbeing! They provide each other with love and affection. It’s that bond that Mission worked to maintain. By helping Pajama Sam get better, Mission was able to help Christina keep her constant companion and best friend with her.


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