The Fight of the Century

You’re probably wondering why a topic like this is appearing here. The “fight of the century” is a tagline that is usually connected to boxing, martial arts, or even politics. It would be fitting time-wise for an article about the Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao fight. This fight has nothing to do with any of that. This fight has to do with a fight for life by two very determined souls. One of those souls is Kay Van Hoesen, the founder of this network / site, and the other is Mandy, Kay’s dog.

A Little History About Mandy

Mandy's fight


Mandy came to live with Kay when she agreed to foster the dog temporarily until the shelter could find a proper, loving, forever home. Kay was not a dog-lover at the time. She loved her cats and had not considered adopting a dog, but she agreed to give Mandy a temporary home. Mandy had been badly abused. When Mandy received her initial vetting, there was evidence of broken bones, and even gunshots from her x rays. It was determined when she was found wandering the streets that she had chewed her leash in two to escape her horrible home. During the first weeks with Kay, Mandy didn’t utter a sound. She had been so traumatized by her previous owners, she cowered in fear anytime anyone other than Kay would approach her. Little by little she began to trust Kay. But, trust in any other human came very slowly.

A Temporary Separation and Homecoming

For (then) personal reasons, Kay decided to take Mandy to a friend’s house in North Carolina. There was a yard and room for Mandy to roam. The next morning after leaving her there, Kay’s friend called to say that Mandy was gone. She had bolted out of the house and run deep into the woods. When Kay’s friend tried to get close, Mandy retreated deeper in the woods. Kay quickly drove back to NC to see if she could find Mandy. On the edge of the woods behind her friend’s house, Kay began calling Mandy. It was extremely upsetting to Kay that the little dog had been rescued only to be lost again. The thoughts of her former abuse, and the potential for harm that may lie ahead was overwhelming. Then she saw the little black and white dog leaping over the brush, dodging the trees and running as fast as she could toward Kay. Mandy leaped into Kay’s arms, licked Kay all over her face, and she has not left her side since. This was over a decade ago.

Over the past years, Mandy has become much more sociable. Other than biting a couple of repairmen, she will normally gradually warm up to other humans. She has little patience for other dogs, barely tolerates the cats, but has become Kay’s protector. She will always position herself between anyone, friend or stranger, and the person who saved her from a life of torture. She will bark her warnings with ferocity, and should one not heed those warnings, she will bite. I know this to be true from personal experience. There is a bond between these two that becomes obvious to all who encounter their presence. Enter cautiously and heed the warnings!

Mandy’s Failing Health

Lately Mandy has been in ill health. Her failing kidneys have taken away her quality of life, but not her determination to live. Mandy’s determination is only matched by that of her loyal master guardian, Kay Van Hoesen. The veterinarians gave Mandy’s prognosis as terminal.

Kay and Mandy

Coming home from Charleston after two blood transfusions

But Kay spent countless days and sleepless nights researching her disease, and looking for hope. She found some out-of-the-ordinary experimental treatments, and alternative methods that gave her a glimmer of hope. Kay has methodically administered Mandy’s medications and treatments for several months, and then Mandy suffered what appeared to be a series of strokes leaving all four legs paralyzed. One would think this might be the beginning of the end of the fight, but these are not ordinary souls. Diving back into research mode, Kay discovered other stories of dogs that had suffered strokes and lost the use of their legs but later learned to walk again. Kay began giving Mandy physical therapy only to learn there were even more problems ahead. A veterinary internist determined that Mandy would need a blood transfusion to survive. Her kidney condition includes many side issues including ulcers, which apparently had caused a severe loss of blood. She was taken to Charleston, SC and actually received two blood transfusions before returning home.


Although she is very weak and still has a long way to go, her blood tests are showing a slight improvement toward her battle with kidney disease. As for her paralysis … you have to watch the enclosed video. Kay and Mandy have been relentless with physical therapy and she is once again walking. Still stumbling, and falling, but nevertheless walking again. The first signs of her regaining mobility came when she dragged herself using only her front legs to be beside her trusted master. This fight is far from over, and these two are determined to win.  Winning begins with hope and the determination to find a way to win.  Never give up! Here’s to hoping Mandy heals to once again run on the beach, something she dearly loved to do.  Cheers!