The Dandelion Fund
Dan-the-Cat and Dr. Warren met in Northern California the year she graduated college. Dan’s first job was keeping mice away from a country store called Dandelion. When the store closed, Dandelion Dan moved in with Natalie. She worked in the same outdoor mall, and they had come to know one another while bird watching during their lunch breaks. These kindred spirits quickly developed a magnificent bond. A couple of years later, for no apparent reason, they moved to Colorado in a rented Ford van loaded with their stuff.
After meandering in Denver for a bit, they determined veterinary school to be their calling. Dan studied diligently with Natalie. Sometimes he kept the text book pages warm and protected while she tried to read them, but most often he rapidly flipped through the pages himself, since her reading pace clearly lagged behind his. To relax, they gardened together and spent time with the horse they kept on their property.
Dan and his girl moved many times over their 10 years together – the typical lifestyle of a perpetual student and her trusted companion. “Home is where Dan-the-Cat is,” Natalie used to say.
But, when vet school was coming to an end, and Dr. Natalie was entering a new phase of life, Dan’s work was done. During the winter of senior year, Dan started having seizures. After an extensive workup (including a “CAT scan”), an inoperable brain tumor was diagnosed. Dan-the-Cat was put to sleep shortly thereafter. Two weeks later, when Natalie drew up the courage to pay her bill at the Colorado State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital, she shed a new set of tears. Dr. Steve Withrow, Oncology Department Head, had paid the entire bill from his reserve fund. It was then that Dr. Warren resolved to forever work to pay back the gift that had been given in respect to her love of Dan-the-Cat.
And so, the Dandelion Fund was created. For every patient’s life that comes to a close, Metropolitan Veterinary Hospital contributes to the Fund. The hospital also shares a portion of its annual profit with the Fund. When the Met Vet staff recognizes true crisis in one of its client-patient relationships, they have the opportunity to contribute a portion of the Dandelion Fund to help ease the financial burden.
Please contribute, when you are able, and know that you, too, are paying respect to the Human-Animal Bond and all of the Dan-the-Cats of our community.
Thanks to all the care and comfort you gave to my sweet girl. She loved the sleep overs and everyone at Met Vet. She was the sweetest softest kitty in the whole world. - Janice
Thank you for being so gracious with Sweetie. Under the circumstances, I thought Sweetie’s passing was very peaceful. Attached is a picture from happier times. - Mark
Thanks to you and your staff for the card and notes about Loki. Thought you all might enjoy a couple pictures of Loki (with Mario) during her most recent trip to Bozeman. Yes, she is basking in the sun on top of the BBQ. Good way to remember her.
Dear Dr. Warren and staff,
Thank you for your quiet compassion for me and your gentle care of my dog, Taz. It was torture to make the decision to euthanize her, and I miss her terribly. I appreciated very much Natalie's unhurried and tender service, and was warmed by her phone message. I walked several miles after the appointment, alternately crying and cheered by the gorgeous weather and fall leaves, along with greetings from several neighborhood cats and dogs. In the evening after wallowing and waffling about going to my regularly-scheduled dance class I decided Taz would think me a wimp for staying home so I drove off--and THEN a meteor streaked overhead! I thought, "There she goes!" The universe is amazing.
Thank you all very much again for your work. Also for the unexpected and touching generosity with respect to donating those services. If there's anything at all I can do to repay your kindness do not hesitate to ask.
Thank you for the wonderful card regarding Oscar. I cry so hard every day, and this made me cry again of course. :) I miss him so much, it breaks my heart. Everyone misses him, especially Nip, as they were best friends. I thank everyone for being there for him during his illness and after.
thank you again,
Dear Dr. Warren and staff,
Thank you for the care you gave to Jeffrey over the last several years. Before Met Vet, Jeffrey hated going to the veterinarian, but loved coming to the Met to get lots of treats and pets.
We appreciate your support through his last illness, especially your assistance making sure he had a great last day - complete with cheeseburgers, Starbucks, and a little bacon chocolate. Our hearts ache for our sweet puppy, he was a special dog, and a treasured friend. You helped make his last moments peaceful and loving.
Thank you, Naomi and Justin
Dear Dr. Warren and the wonderful staff at Met Vet Hospital,
We are writing to thank you for your incredible kindness and care with our beloved Springer, Duncan, who crossed the bridge in late April. Over the past couple years you helped provided him with the best possible life and your skill, intuition and your concern along with your gentle and genuine approach to veterinary care makes routine care a pleasure and those incredibly difficult life decisions a little less painful. As with our Molly, and now Duncan....we are so greatful to each of you for your compassion and for being "real" with us when that time came. Bless you all.
Therese & Tony Ortega
Dear Dr. Warren,
Thank you for the wonderful care that you and all your staff gave Oliver in the few days he was with you. I appreciate all your efforts. Thanks for taking the extra time to talk to me when his health started deteriorating. Thanks for your honesty and for making sure he was comfortable. I appreciated your card and the special donation in his honor. That special gesture meant a lot. The pin enclosed is something to remind you of Oliver. He was such a special cat!
Thanks again for all your effort!
Best Wishes, Kim Williams
For Abraham Lincoln Schultz, June '01 - February '09
Thank you for your kindness and your attention during Lincoln's illness and passing. You took such good care of him (and me) when he was at the clinic -- and I still insist it was made better for him by his undying love for "Dr. Natalie." I don't know that I've ever told you that a big part of the reason I chose Metropolitan Vets was because of the story of Dan-the-Cat and the Dandelion fund; your story touched me deeply and I knew that you all care for animals beyond a simple patient relationship. I knew that when it was time for my kitties to move on to their next adventure, I'd have the kindness and support that is obviously part of your mission. I was just hoping it wouldn't be so soon for my beloved block-headed little guy. I am glad he chose to depart on that adventure from the quiet of his own home and bed -- it gave me and his sister Betsey the chance to say goodbye, to arrange to meet him someday, and to warn him about PetuniaDog who is the Great Cat Huntress of the sky. (It's okay, though, because he'll also get to meet BetteFinch and at the end of every day they will all share their kibble and drink from the goldfish bowl.) Thanks so much for everything, and I look forward to many many many more years of torturing - I mean, visiting - you with Miss Betsey.
Sparky (who will be missed dearly) 1/1/91 to 1/1/09
When my dear old Sparky decided that New Year’s Eve was his time to go, Dr. Warren didn’t hesitate for a second to come to my home and help us both through the process. That came as no surprise. I know where her heart is. It was important to me that when it was time, he not be in an unfamiliar place with well-meaning strangers. Sparky could not have had a better release from his long-term gradual decline, and I am so grateful to Dr. Warren not only for caring for him during his lifetime, but for helping to make that evening a sweet and comforting memory. He was surrounded by love.
I miss him dearly, but will always be grateful that he told me when it was time, and that Dr. Warren cares as deeply as I know she does. We are so fortunate to have her in our lives.
In Loving Memory of Molly 6/25/95 - 12/11/08
Dr. Warren and Staff,
Thank you so much for taking the best care of our furry family members and especially for the genuine interest, concern and health care for our Molly. It is because of your progressive and insightful practice that we were able to love her for an additional wonderful year. We really appreciate the research and extra effort your made to keep her comfortable and in the best health she could have - she had many challenges and you guys provided the medical guidance and ultimately the compassion we needed.
Thank you, The Ortegas
Rest in Peace sweet Winnie 8/16/93 - 9/3/08
I just wanted to tell you how much we appreciate your kindness toward Winnie and us when the time came for our "girl" to leave us. We are glad she was able to be in such a loving and safe environment. I wanted to share with you her grave site, located among the ferns and bear grass outside my window. Her sister, Red, likes that she is still near us, too. Thank you for everything.
~ Jerry and Ida
To Our Beloved Pets:
On behalf of Sara and Guppy - this poem is dedicated to Mittens the cat
They will not go quietly, the cats who've shared our lives. In subtle ways they let us know their spirit still survives.
Old habits still make us think we hear a meow at the door. Or step back when we drop a tasty morsel on the floor.
Our feet still go around the place the food dish used to be, And, sometimes, coming home at night, we miss them terribly.
And although time may bring new friends and a new food dish to fill, That one place in our hearts belongs to them. . . and always will.
- Linda Barnes
A poem for Mihn – you are missed. 8/30/2006
The House Dog's Grave
I've changed my ways a little; I cannot now Run with you in the evenings along the shore, Except in a kind of dream; and you, if you dream a moment, You see me there.
So leave awhile the paw-marks on the front door Where I used to scratch to go out or in, And you'd soon open; leave on the kitchen floor The marks of my drinking-pan.
I cannot lie by your fire as I used to do On the warm stone, Nor at the foot of your bed; no, all the night through I lie alone. But your kind thought has laid me less than six feet Outside your window where firelight so often plays, And where you sit to read--and I fear often grieving for me-- Every night your lamplight lies on my place.
You, man and woman, live so long, it is hard To think of you ever dying A little dog would get tired, living so long. I hope than when you are lying
Under the ground like me your lives will appear As good and joyful as mine. No, dear, that's too much hope: you are not so well cared for As I have been.
And never have known the passionate undivided Fidelities that I knew. Your minds are perhaps too active, too many-sided. . . . But to me you were true.
You were never masters, but friends. I was your friend. I loved you well, and was loved. Deep love endures To the end and far past the end. If this is my end, I am not lonely. I am not afraid. I am still yours.
-Robinson Jeffers, 1941