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Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:39 PM

Theft of assistance dog worst than most (owner was in dialysis, has cancer)



It is always sad when a pet disappears, but Robert Runkle's story goes far beyond the usual tale of a runaway pet.

Runkle, 56, is battling chronic kidney disease that requires him to undergo six hours of dialysis four times a week. Two years ago, Runkle got a California certified assistance dog named Lola. The Yorkshire terrier is trained to recognize physical problems, like the onset of physical distress, but her greatest comfort to Runkle was as a social companion.

"I literally got to know everyone on the street because of Lola," Runkle said. "If people didn't acknowledge her, she'd bark until they did."

A week ago, Runkle was at Davies Medical Center near the Duboce Triangle for dialysis and left Lola in his car. When he returned, the passenger window was shattered, Lola's collar was on the seat and the dog was gone.

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Sadly, there's even more to Runkle's story. He has been fighting the slow failure of his kidneys for more than 10 years. But this year he got some good news - he had been placed on the waiting list for a kidney transplant. If successful, it would mean that he could lead a relatively normal life, without the dialysis.

Things were looking up - right up until Nov. 15, when Runkle learned that he had lymphoma. Now he's taking chemotherapy twice a week in addition to the kidney treatment. And his chances of a transplant, as long as he has cancer, are gone.

Four days after Runkle found out he had cancer, Lola was taken. Everyone knows life can be unfair, but this seems too much for any one person.


Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/nevius/article/Theft-of-assistance-dog-worst-than-most-4068495.php#ixzz2DRhVlqBp

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Reply Theft of assistance dog worst than most (owner was in dialysis, has cancer) (Original post)
Liberal_in_LA Nov 2012 OP
Panasonic Nov 2012 #1
pnwest Nov 2012 #2
MADem Nov 2012 #3
joeybee12 Nov 2012 #6
MADem Nov 2012 #8
ellenfl Nov 2012 #4
Liberal_in_LA Nov 2012 #9
ellenfl Nov 2012 #10
ceile Nov 2012 #5
LeftInTX Nov 2012 #7

Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:41 PM

1. That sucks.

 

I hope Lola is found, and the thief is beaten into a bloody pulp for stealing a companion.

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:55 PM

2. Go ahead and flame me, but the story says

his dialysis treatments are six hours long, and he left Lola in the car while he went for a dialysis treatment. Who leaves a dog in the car for six hours? Whoever took Lola might have done so out of compassion.

Flame away.

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Response to pnwest (Reply #2)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 01:08 PM

3. Time will tell--perhaps the dog will turn up at a shelter or police station...

If the dog was an assistance dog, the best place for him might have been on his owner's lap...

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Response to MADem (Reply #3)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 01:36 PM

6. I bet the hospital didn't allow the dog there during dialysis...

For health/sanitary reasons.

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Response to joeybee12 (Reply #6)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 02:09 PM

8. Don't they HAVE to allow assistance dogs to come along?

Hell, I'd go to another dialysis facility if that were the case.

Or do what my friend did, and join a cooperative. He and his friends all got certified as dialysis techs, and they get together and "do" each other, and watch tv/play cards.

He gave up his spot to someone else (after almost ten years) --he got a new kidney and is doing great.

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Response to pnwest (Reply #2)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 01:32 PM

4. the first thing that struck me, as well.

i feel for the guy but you do not leave a living being locked in a car in the sun . . . assuming his dialysis is not at night.

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Response to ellenfl (Reply #4)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 02:11 PM

9. me too. Assumed the car was in garage, not in sun

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Response to Liberal_in_LA (Reply #9)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 09:08 PM

10. hm-m-m-m, assumptions. eom

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Response to pnwest (Reply #2)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 01:36 PM

5. That's what I'm thinking.

I feel for him, but leaving your companion/service animal in a car for 6 hours?! Maybe there's more to the story, but that's just wrong.

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Response to ceile (Reply #5)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 01:44 PM

7. Unattended Yorkies get stolen. It's an unfortunate fact.

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