Achilles: A Companion Through the Darkness
Our animal companions impact us in profound ways. Whether it’s because of the company they provide, their endearing personalities, their unconditional love or all of the above, our pets mean the world to us, just as we mean the world to them. Companions in Crisis
For Ashley Shoemaker, her animal companion came into her life under extremely difficult circumstances. After her brother, Corey, passed away unexpectedly, Ashley adopted his dog, Achilles. In the three years since, she has loved nine-year-old Achilles with every ounce of her being.
To Ashley, this loving pup is one of the last pieces she has of her brother.
“Achilles has been my rock and companion for some very hard moments of my life these past 3 years,” she writes. “He was there for me when I lost my brother, Corey, and helped me cope during one of the darkest times I’ve experienced.”
Achilles was also there for Ashley when she lost her golden retriever named Bristol to kidney cancer two years ago. He’s been there through other hardships and changes in her life, providing his companionship through every bit of it.
“He has also taught me what unconditional love is, and how to be happy again,” Ashley says.
Quality Over Quantity
On December 20th of 2017, Ashley was given more difficult news. Achilles was diagnosed with stage 3 lymphoma.
Although his life expectancy is less than six months, Ashley is hoping and praying that they will be the best that he’s ever had.
As a Companions in Crisis recipient, a portion of Achilles’ chemotherapy costs will be paid for as the compassionate professionals at The Oncology Service work to give him and Ashley more quality time together.
FETCH a Cure’s Companions in Crisis program strives to provide hope and the priceless gift of time to pets and their owners. Additional time with our best friends is something we can all treasure forever. It is our hope that Ashley and Achilles can spend this time continuing to love each other and make new, happy memories.
Of course, Ashley wishes Achilles could be there during every journey that life brings her through. But as Ashley’s friend told her, it isn’t about the quantity of time we get with our dogs, but the quality of time they get to enjoy with us. That is exactly what Ashley plans to give Achilles – quality time with those who love him most.