This story starts with Marika Meeks, a 41 year old wife and mother diagnosed with Stage 3 breast cancer. Living in Indiana, she traveled to Scottsdale, Arizona for a grueling, two-year treatment, including a lumpectomy, radiation and a mastectomy.
Understandably, there were moments when she was certain she was going to die. Focused on simply surviving cancer, Marika had forgotten how to live and was immobilized with anxiety, guilt and isolation. The stress and anxiety of her illness affected her family, driving her youngest daughter to the brink of suicide.
Enter Sweetie Pie, a mixed-breed dog who gives Marika a hug and awakens something deep inside her. Her intuition was giving her a message and she knew that adopting a dog would help her and her family. She contacted an Indiana dog rescue and met Stella, a beautiful little seven-month-old caramel-and-white puppy who was abandoned on the side of a road left to die. Marika immediately felt a connection to Stella and the Meeks family decided to go through with the adoption.
The change in Marika and her daughter was almost instantaneous. They went from being totally self-absorbed, shipwrecked in a post-cancer sea of fear, worry, anxiety and guilt, to having a bright new focus with their new pup. Dubbed the Incredibull Stella, Marika was inspired to have a new life purpose. With the help of Stella she began to advocate for rescue and adoption shelters, prompt spay and neuter initiatives, and the rescue and fostering of puppies and adult dogs until a “forever family” can be found.
We have seen examples of this time and time again. Pets are a conduit of hope and the power that pets have on our well-being is undeniable. See the Meeks family video story at http://bit.ly/StellaTheDodo and check out more about Stella on Instagram and FB @incredibullstella.