Early in January last year, Natalie Valle was concerned about Boss, her year-old Chihuahua.  “He was in a lot of discomfort.  He was hunched over.  And he was peeing out little specs of blood. And every time I would touch him, he would scream.”

So she and her then husband picked Boss up and took him to Mesa West Pet Hospital in Costa Mesa.  “The doctor (Lethicia Lepera) said that he had a bladder stone. It was a big-sized bladder stone – maybe two stones together.”

Dr. Lepera told Natalie that Boss needed surgery. But, Natalie said, “I didn’t have the money for it.” She was a student at Orange Coast College at the time and was not working. Her husband was working but did not make much money. Dr. Lepera gave Natalie a list of organizations that might be willing to help. One of them was Angel Fund.

Both the hospital and Angel Fund contributed $500 for the surgery.  Boss stayed at the hospital overnight and had the surgery the next morning.  And Natalie is grateful to both the hospital and Angel Fund.

“She [Dr. Lepera] was so helpful.  She fell in love with Boss and she did everything that she could to save his life. Her heart went out to him. The hospital was so good to us. There were beyond good to us. Boss was in really bad shape. It would break your heart. The stone was like half the size of a golf ball.  He was only about six pounds at the time.”

Now, a year and a half later, Boss weighs 10 pounds.  “He’s full of life. He’s a totally different dog. He’s like a little kid. He wants to get into everything. His mi His mind is always going,” Natalie said. “He’s so crazy but I love him to death.”

Today, Natalie is single and works as a customer service representative in Costa Mesa. eH When she is not on the job, she and Boss are constant companions.  And, as a reminder of what happened in January, 2013, she keeps that bladder stone in a plastic container.



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