AR-News: (US) Update on Josie, the dog hit by car; family gives up Christmas to help her

Snugglezzz at Snugglezzz at
Sat Dec 20 04:35:22 EST 2003

December 17th, 2003

Josie grabs hearts nationwide

Pet lovers reach out to local family

By Bob Fenske

Free Press Staff Writer

NORTH MANKATO — They’ve called from the Bronx, they’ve called from L.A. and 
they’ve called from it seems everywhere in between.

<IMG  SRC="" WIDTH="234" HEIGHT="153" BORDER="0" DATASIZE="6439"> Pat Christman

Josie takes a moment to relax on her bed soon after arriving home from the 
Twin Cities, where she received treatment for injuries suffered when she was hit 
by a pickup truck.

They are pet lovers who want to reach out to Doug and Stella Twedt’s family 
and their dog. Josie, a 60-pound, 4-year-old Australian cattle dog, who was 
struck, perhaps intentionally, by a pickup truck on Dec. 5.

The family decided to spend their Christmas money to save Josie, who 
underwent two operations last week after she suffered back, hip and bladder injuries. 
The Twedts and their dog were the subject of a Free Press story Sunday, and 
two days later, it seemed the entire country wanted to rally behind the Twedts 
and Josie.

“We’re just overwhelmed,” Stella Twedt said Tuesday afternoon. “The support 
we’ve received is incredible. It feels like we’ve heard from people all over 
the country. As soon as we hang up the phone, it rings again.”

The Twedts have been deluged with offers of help. The decision to try to save 
Josie came with sacrifices: No Christmas presents for Stella’s three children 
and a planned Christmas trip by her 15-year-old daughter who lives in Arizona 
was canceled.

The trip is now back on; an anonymous donor purchased an airline ticket for 
Britney Jantz, and she will arrive in North Mankato on Saturday. Mean-while, 
scores of pet lovers across the nation have called the Twedts, The Free Press 
and the Mankato Area Jaycees, which has set up a fund for the family.

Josie’s story first went regional when the Associated Press wire service 
picked up the story. But Tuesday, the story was posted on AOL, and Josie mayhem 

“As a dog trainer and rescue volunteer, I deal with dogs that get left by 
families when they are not perfect. ... To see a family be willing to give up 
Christmas for their pet is amazing,” a Missouri woman wrote in an e-mail to The 
Free Press.

“I just want to help that family,” said New York City resident Mikeal 
Mairlain in a phone interview. “Sacrificing Christ-mas for the dog, that’s 
touching. I think they should have the best of both worlds — the dog and Christmas.”

Angie Danks, meanwhile, has seen a small effort turn into a gigantic 
operation. Danks is a member of the Mankato Area Jaycees, and she decided her 
organization should try to help the Twedts celebrate the holiday. So Monday she began 
calling Mankato-area businesses to see if they would donate gift certificates 
or cash for a Josie fund.

Instead, she found herself in the midst of a storm of e-mails and phone 
calls. “It got a little nuts there,” Danks said, “but that’s OK, at least it 
shows people care.”

Josie’s medical expenses have surpassed $7,000, but Stella Twedt said the dog 
deserves her family’s support after Josie served as a faithful companion to 
her 5-year-old daughter Kirsten after a divorce and to herself after she 
suffered a stroke in 2001.

Twedt said her family will accept the plane ticket and use some of the money 
to pay medical expenses as well as to purchase some Christmas gifts. But she 
also wants to donate some of the money to a fund for families who can’t afford 
to treat their injured pets.

“We weren’t looking for this kind of reaction. We do feel blessed,” Twedt 
said, “but we also want to help people get the same support we’re receiving.”

Josie, meanwhile, is recovering quite nicely. She came home last Thursday, 
and Twedt said she’s already trying to walk. But University of Minnesota 
veterinarians say the dog needs to stay off its legs as much as possible for the next 
eight weeks.

“With Josie, I’m guessing she’s going to try to speed up that timetable,” 
Twedt said.

* * *

More about fund
The Mankato Area Jaycees has set up a fund for Doug and Stella Twedt to deal 
with expenses incurred after their dog was injured earlier this month. To 
learn more about the fund, go to

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