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We all know what a willing heart Itzl has.  He's a generous, loving, anal-retentive, hard-working 4 pound Woozle.

Office Worker

He is a service dog, trained to alert on the sounds I can no longer hear, the upper ranges, the high pitched sounds of alarms, doorbells, ring tones, back-up beeps of large vehicles, emergency sirens, tornado sirens, microphone feedback, and so on. Because of his small size, he couldn't alert effectively if he was on the ground - he was too busy dodging people's feet.  So we designed a carry pouch that put him up high enough to effectively give his alerts.  This made him a very proud and happy woozle.

More than that, he adores pooties and has dedicated himself to teaching them all about woozle love. He's very small, and speaks fluent Cat, so pooties who normally don't like dogs at all are puzzled by him.  This gives him the opportunity to woo them to the woozle side.  After just a few visits, the pooties look forward to this odd puppycat visiting them, and they start to play - a bit.  And Itzl is thrilled. He plays back, and has gained another pootie conquest, convincing them that woozles are fun and friendly.

And beyond that, he willingly helps search debris after tornadoes to search for living people and animals.  I don't know if he listens for breathing sounds or for faint cries of help, but I like to believe he listens for their hearts. He's alerted on several people and many more pooties, woozles, and other pets trapped after a devastating storm.

He accompanies me practically everywhere.  There are some places I go that would be dangerous for him, or where he'd compromise the sterility, but for the most part, he goes where I go.  The only time he's more than 3 feet away from me are when he's toileting himself or if I've given him a break and he's off-duty and playing or exploring.  He stays close even then, so he can alert if he feels he needs to - and he most always feels he needs to.

On February 2, he injured himself jumping up the stairs.  I had him at the vet's within 5 minutes, and he was placed on pain meds and anti-inflammatories.

That didn't work.  The vet said his knee cap was locked on the side of his knee and she couldn't manipulate it back into place. That meant he'd need surgery to move his knee cap back into place or he'd be crippled for the rest of his life.

So I posted a diary here on DKos on February 10th sharing that his leg wasn't getting better and he'd probably need surgery.

Itzl, Limping

And 24 willing hearts said they wanted to help.

I didn't ask, these people offered. I was trying to think of ways I could raise the money, what I could sell, taking a loan out on my car, or whatever I needed to do to get this done and wondering how I'd pay the loan back since we had another round of budget cuts at work and my mortgage got sold and the new mortgage holder added so many fees that my mortgage payments went up over $50 a month, the first time since I bought this house 15 years ago that my payments went up.

And people offered to help Itzl.  I was gong to go it alone, the way I always have, and these people here at DKos said, "Let us help you."

I don't cry at Hallmark movies because I know they're meant to be tear-jerkers and knowing that they want to tug your heartstrings in advance just dries up my tears.  But this is real life, not some fictional story. I've teared up so many times Sunday, and choked up when I talked to the vet and told them about the funds all y'all were raising for Itzl.

Nurse Kelley talked to me about how I had to let other people help.  And I did hesitate for a day before I admitted I might need to take people up on their offers.  And then, when I did have to ask.

Honestly, I never would have thought to ask for help.  I thought of what things I had that might have value that I could sell.  The family heirlooms are mostly sentimental pieces of china, but might have brought in $100 or so.  I might have been able to get a loan against my 14 year old car.  Maybe.  Whatever I did, though, would have taken time and delayed his surgery.  But people here offered, and Nurse Kelley talked to me, and I'm so wildly grateful.

I'm not used to being on the receiving end. I've always before managed to pull things together for me and my family. I never thought of myself as poor (although, technically, I suppose I am), or of needing help (because I'm the one who does the helping). And when I was up against the wall and needed help I didn't know to ask for, some of y'all offered, and some of y'all explained how it was going to be, and so I did it.  I asked.

And what an overwhelming and wonderful response!  I will never be able to say Thank You enough times.

Itzl's not some major hero dog, and I'm just an ordinary old woman, and y'all have made us feel so loved with this huge outpouring of well wishes and prayers and blessings and - yes, money. Itzl's going to get his surgery in time to get back the full use of his leg, and in a month or two, he'll be able to pee standing on his favored leg, and to prance about my office at  work, and be pain free.

And it's all because people here offered to help.

That's the magic and the beauty of DKos.

Itzl, however, may feel quite differently come Friday.  He won't understand that all of you are helping him.  He won't even really understand that we'll be hurting him in order to make him better. All he'll know is that he will be hurting for a while, and have to hang out in That Place for a day or two.

I tried not to leave anyone off, but I'm sure I have. The first 24 were the ones who offered without being asked, and several (koff koff Nurse Kelley, logger's brat, chimene, texasmom koff koff) talked to me and explained how I had to let others help. Here's my list of Willing Hearts:

StateofGrace
logger's brat
wide eyed lib
allensl
myadestes
Sandhillcrane
Statusquomustgo
texasmom
rebelgal
markdd
alguien
Joy of Fishes
lillith
KelleyRN2 (Nurse Kelley)
SanFernandoValleyMom
tn mountain girl
petesmom
carolanne
Sara R
chimene
Youffraita
vclib
leu2500
scarolinamom

weck
scarlet slipper
MA liberal
CuriousBoston
triciawyse
sidnora
aitchdee
Dr. Erich Bloodaxe RN
ybruti
annetteboardman
peacearena
4Freedom
Lightbulb
not4morewars
Dragon5616
jennyp
viennablue
Noor B
mrsgoo
NMRed
figbash
StateOfGrace
jpmassar
belinda ridgewood
sow hat
grog
ZenTrainer
ShoshonnaD
nomandates
ridemybike
LucyGoose
Denny in Seattle
second gen
pittie70
Blue Sue
zett
broths
Ebby
emeraldmaiden
luvsathoroughbred
eeff
mollyd
mayrose
grelinda
Bustergirl
Christin
cooper88
mcronan
AntKat
freesia
Persiflage
llbear
nannyboz
RainyDay
bumbi
translatorpro
allergywoman
Zoskie
KrazyKitten
kaliope
Mr. Robert
left rev
Thousandwatts
nervousnellie
Muskegon Critic
magicsister
gchaucer2
emmasnacker
SmartAleq
FarWestGirl
asym
paxpdx

And here's the list of all you wonderful people who rec'd this (at least I think this is the list, and I hope I have everybody on it).  You all did something to help and your hearts are every bit as willing, and I deeply thank you all:

    oceanview, Scottie Thomaston, weck, Horace Boothroyd III, CuriousBoston, KibbutzAmiad, leu2500, Lightbulb, bubbanomics, blue jersey mom, StateOfGrace, peacearena, JanF, Margd, triciawyse, Glen The Plumber, jennyp, IndieGuy, slksfca, implicate order, ursoklevar, Dragon5616, left rev, RhymesWithUrple, Noor B, politik, middleagedhousewife, arizonablue, raina, jwinIL14, Lizabet, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, nomandates, not4morewars, carolanne, Gowrie Gal, Sara R, Amber6541, PurpleThistles, allenjo, navajo, sidnora, old wobbly, mrsgoo, MazeDancer, NMRed, winglion, figbash, poco, Dr Erich Bloodaxe RN, ridemybike, txcatlin, hoolia, Lorikeet, broths, kyril, Empower Ink, allensl, kerflooey, Alma, One Pissed Off Liberal, Lusty, labwitchy, ashowboat, Ice Blue, lovespiral, Denny in Seattle, markdd, snoopydawg, second gen, Jeanni, linkage, Pinto Pony, lineatus, Getreal1246, BlueSue, pittie70, jadt65, mamamorgaine, Youffraita, sillia, translatorpro, Ebby, Dreaming of Better Days, zett, emeraldmaiden, stormicats, mimi2three, Iron Spider, bythesea, luvsathoroughbred, belinda ridgewood, Thomasina, eeff, CJB, Otteray Scribe, dotsright, Christin, mayrose, mollyd, muddy boots, joedemocrat, jayden, high uintas, swampyankee, cpresley, grelinda, 1864 House, ms badger, historys mysteries, houyhnhnm, WiseFerret, Ekaterin, petesmom, john07801, emmasnacker, thomask, googie, cooper888, Observerinvancouver, coolbreeze, zerelda, AntKat, salientwhisper, Carol in San Antonio, PeterHug, RunawayRose, freesia, llbear, maggiejean, bumbi, Wordsinthewind, whaddaya, angelajean, MNGlasnant, DRo, trs, Turbonerd, Texnance, NYmom, sb, johanus, Debbie in ME, GenXangster, grog, RainyDay, sow hat, Statusquomustgo, asterkitty, KrazyKitten, SanFernandoValleyMom, mofembot, HoosierDeb, Alice Venturi, Village expects idiot home soon, fishwars, GollyMissMolly, Tunk, aitchdee, texasmom, glendaw271, TiaRachel, allergywoman, maybeeso in michigan, anodnhajo, nannyboz, defluxion10, Joy of Fishes, kaliope, JekyllnHyde, LoreleiHI, BlueDragon, Mr Robert, congenitalefty, GreyHawk, fumie, luckylizard, roses, DollyMadison, CoyoteMarti, Karl Rover, Black Max, marathon, BMarshall, vigilant meerkat, MuskokaGord, mskitty, Catte Nappe, radarlady, magicsister, Pam from Calif, ybruti, Larry Bailey, gchaucer2, annetteboardman, MA Liberal, skohayes, rebel ga, pfiore8, 4Freedom, Lorinda Pike, Piren, vgranucci, FarWestGirl, Spirit of Life, asym, petulans, murphy, ca union goon, SadieSue, Onomastic, Justina, NonnyO, Damnit Janet, Steveningen, 2thanks, Aquarius40, Larin, democracy inaction, tofumagoo, revsue, ladybug53, princesspat, limae, corvaire, wide eyed lib, Lilith, Oh Mary Oh, TokenLiberal

And these people, too!  I don't want to leave anybody out, and so some of you are listed in every place because you did everything!

Thank you!

JekyllnHyde, Alma, CJB, murphy, slinkerwink, Christin, NYmom, PeterHug, eeff, scribe, Justina, nyceve, KibbutzAmiad, Village expects idiot home soon, fishwars, JJG Miami Shores, deb s, Aquarius40, roses, Larry Bailey, limae, poe, mollyd, oceanview, navajo, high uintas, sidnora, aitchdee, revsue, NMRed, Oke, Getreal1246, emmasnacker, figbash, MA Liberal, TiaRachel, johanus, hoolia, Damnit Janet, texasmom, Steveningen, defluxion10, houyhnhnm, Catte Nappe, zett, zerelda, ybruti, Black Max, Gowrie Gal, sb, maybeeso in michigan, historys mysteries, marina, radarlady, chimene, democracy inaction, vgranucci, Alice Venturi, labwitchy, triciawyse, Pam from Calif, Sara R, GreyHawk, ladybug53, blue jersey mom, markdd, kaliope, Tunk, Naturalized Texan, coolbreeze, loggersbrat, sillia, Ekaterin, JanF, RainyDay, kishik, Denny in Seattle, poco, irishwitch, mcronan, Debbie in ME, Patriot Daily News Clearinghouse, vigilant meerkat, emeraldmaiden, mskitty, 4Freedom, bubbanomics, SadieSue, tapestry, plf515, middleagedhousewife, llbear, Turbonerd, bumbi, BlueSue, Persiflage, Dreaming of Better Days, nannyboz, 1864 House, Statusquomustgo, ms badger, slksfca, NonnyO, AntKat, cpresley, One Pissed Off Liberal, old wobbly, Noor B, john07801, marykk, pfiore8, dotsright, tgypsy, grelinda, linkage, joedemocrat, jayden, second gen, gchaucer2, Empower Ink, jwinIL14, mayrose, HappyinNM, Youffraita, bythesea, skohayes, lineatus, tofumagoo, TokenLiberal, ashowboat, petulans, KrazyKitten, KimD, luckylizard, Piren, Karl Rover, magicsister, HoosierDeb, Wordsinthewind, maggiejean, Fonsia, Carol in San Antonio, asym, Lacy LaPlante, Dragon5616, jpmassar, rebel ga, Nannyberry, Amber6541, mamamorgaine, RhymesWithUrple, rb137, psfinla, politik, Observerinvancouver, luvsathoroughbred, klompendanser, angelajean, alguien, scarlet slipper, peacearena, Texnance, Otteray Scribe, leu2500, petesmom, Oh Mary Oh, txcatlin, not4morewars, translatorpro, Onomastic, kerflooey, allenjo, salientwhisper, Im a frayed knot, implicate order, freesia, cooper888, FarWestGirl, asterkitty, kiwiheart, trs, deeproots, ca union goon, princesspat, Ebby, mrsgoo, Lusty, Lorikeet, thomask, Muskegon Critic, muddy boots, worldlotus, mimi2three, MuskokaGord, corvaire, peregrine kate, ilovecheese, whaddaya, StateOfGrace, wide eyed lib, lovespiral, Bustergirl, jadt65, googie, CoyoteMarti, allergywoman, BlueDragon, AnnetteK, Pinto Pony, Thousandwatts, GenXangster, ridemybike, stormicats, MNGlasnant, anodnhajo, sow hat, ursoklevar, Aji, winglion, swampyankee, 2thanks, congenitalefty, Horace Boothroyd III, Lorinda Pike, Mr Robert, DollyMadison, scarolinamom, carolanne, belinda ridgewood, radical simplicity, pittie70, Margd, james321, jennyp, Noddy, arizonablue, LoreleiHI, raina, Glen The Plumber, Spirit of Life, ShoshannaD, left rev, tn mountain girl, Lizabet, allensl, Lightbulb, nomandates, Dr Erich Bloodaxe RN, Thomasina, SanFernandoValleyMom, broths, weck, Joy of Fishes, Coastside Scout, Vienna Blue, Scottie Thomaston

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