In Loving Memory of


August 2nd 2003 to February 22nd 2012

Berner-Garde Dog ID =78936

"Just after 6AM this morning, wrapped in a warm blanket - and endless love and gratitude - as Kalu and I laid beside her, Pinuki took her last breath...and a piece of my heart that became hers the moment I saw her."

After a heroic battle that seemed as though it would last forever with endless rallies, Pinuki finally succumbed to whatever her mysterious ailment was. No one could have done more or tried harder to save this little girl's life, to find out what was wrong. And despite accumulating $35K in debt, we still don't know. She leaves Ileane deeply, deeply grieving and her friends with her.

In lieu of flowers and other condolences, please consider a donation to Puniki’s medical debt:

See below for Pinuki's story and how to donate


Pinuki is an eight year old, female, spayed Bernese Mountain Dog who suffers from persistent epistaxis (nasal bleeding). She has been bleeding daily since March 3, 2011. Despite extensive diagnostic testing and procedures, the cause of the epistaxis remains unknown. Since the bleeding started, Pinuki has been desperately ill and faced the threat of severe anemia, even death. She has had two blood transfusions and surgery – a ligation of her left carotid artery. Although the surgery successfully reduced the amount and duration of the left-sided bleeding, Pinuki has now started bleeding out of her right nostril. She is again at great risk of dying. Except for the epistaxis, Nuki is healthy in all other ways. She is a hardy, happy dog.

If you are so inclined, here are several ways you can help:

1. Review the results of Nuki’s tests and doctors reports and send me any thoughts or information that could lead to diagnosing the cause of the epistaxis.

In early February 2011, Nuki woke up in excruciating pain. Her primary care veterinarian found a large mass on the left side of her neck. A cytology, MRI and CT scan all determined the mass is a lipoma. On March 3, when Nuki was given anesthesia for the MRI, she had her first unilateral nose bleed (left-sided). The bleeds have continued ever since.

ATTENTION VETERINARIANS: Nuki has excellent veterinarians. They are open to ideas and welcome them. They are fully aware I am soliciting information and support my efforts. They are “stumped,” but not giving up.

REPORT: Orthopedic Consult with Dr. Sherman Canapp

REPORT AND DOCTOR’S NOTES: MRI [Nuki’s first nosebleed]

DIAGNOSTIC TEST RESULTS: From February 8, 2011 - the day the lipoma was discovered through June 1, 2011 – in that order. [The CBCs done on April 19 and May 10, 2011 were run the days she ultimately received transfusions after severe nasal hemorrhaging]

REPORTS: Doctors’ Reports (again, from past to present)

SUMMARY: Current Medications/Supplements

SUMMARY: Health History

SUMMARY: Current Health Issues

REPORT Abdominal Ultrasound

2. Make a donation to Pinuki’s medical care. Her life will be changed for the better as a result of a financial gift from you. With your support, and the support of other caring sponsors, Pinuki’s guardian will work with her veterinarians to provide her with the medical care she needs based solely on quality of life and to prevent re-homing Pinuki, or worse, economic euthanasia. To make a donation, please go to Pinuki’s Chipin page at or scroll down to Pinuki’s widget on this page.

3. Copy Pinuki’s widget: and post it on your websites, including your Facebook pages.

4. Get the word out about Pinuki and her plight. Send the link to this page to as many people as possible and ask them to pass it on and, if possible, make a donation. Tell her story to as many people as possible and ask for their help.

Here is a list of Pinuki’s medical “team”:

Dr. David Saylor, Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist
Dr. Monique Maniet, Holistic, Primary Care
Dr. Mark Haverkos, Chiropractor
Dr. Sherman Canapp, Orthopedist
Dr. Barron Hall, Dentist

Thank you in advance for your generous expression of concern and caring.

With warm regards,

Ileane, Pinuki and Kalu

Update December 10th 2011

Here is Nuki pre-surgery, video clips and saying "Thanks!"

"Say Hello" "Speak"

Do you believe how healthy she is when not bleeding?

Dr. Saylor: The most effective way to stop the bleeding would be a rhinotomy with complete removal of all nasal tissue of the left side or both and then spray the site with SurgiFoam. Cost would depend upon time in surgery and postop recovery especially if a transfusion is needed. Uncomplicated and home the next day would be ~ $2500. Nuki just had this surgery done - It ended up being just short of $5000

The surgery has now been done, from Dr. Saylor - "solves the epistaxis in most cases of intermittent epistaxis of unknown origin:

Paws crossed that this the answer and this girl will now do well!

Thanks to you all and generous donations towards her surgery, $3181 raised and this girl is now on the way to recovery but her Mom is still up to her neck in debt!

Please can you further help Ileane and her care of this very special girl!

From Ileane, December 11th 2011 - First, thank you. I am grateful for all we have received and recognize times are difficult for all of us. So I know what I am asking when I say please, if Pinuki's story has touched your heart, make a donation to her. You can contribute through PayPal using the widget below. If every person who has reached out to Pinuki gave even one dollar, it would make a significant difference in her life. Every single penny will be used to pay off her veterinary bills making it possible to keep her in her home.

You can also send a donation to: [Please make sure you let them know it is for Pinuki]

VCA Veterinary Referral Associates/Dr. David Saylor
500 Perry Parkway
Gaithersburg, MD 20877
Melody Mendelsohn, Client Services (accounts receivable) 301-926-3300, extension #1114
or via e-mail at

In the last nine months, I have paid and incurred debt equal to a year's salary attending to Pinuki's health needs.That does not include the generous donations Pinuki received from you. I applied for financial aid to several animal welfare foundations and only one was able to make a small contribution. I still have not replaced my heat-pump and am using a space heater to keep us warm. Kalu is still not spayed. If I sound desperate and begging, I am...and grateful in advance.

December 11th '11 - Catching Up

Nine months and three days after the bleeding began, Pinuki had a rhinotomy. All nasal structures within both of Pinuki's nasal cavities were surgically removed in hopes of resolving the chronic epistaxis (nosebleeds). The decision to have the surgery was a difficult one. I based it on the following facts:

When I dropped Pinuki off for the surgery, she was greeted by several strangers inquiring about the breed, cooing over how beautiful she is, and expressing shock that she is eight years old. Because of her small size and behavior, they thought she was a puppy. It was exactly the affirmation I needed that I had made the right decision. But when I first saw her after the surgery, my heart broke yet again for her. She looked awful and I was filled with regret A lot can change in five days. Nuki is getting stronger each day and appears to be healing nicely. Her appetite is returning. Her stools are less dark. She has not had a nosebleed. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers. This has been such a long journey so I struggle to remain even cautiously optimistic this will work.

Update December 15th '11

OMG, she is doing so well today! unbelievable! Minimal nasal discharge. Her face is not inflating and deflating as much (I think that means she is breathing better). she is not as congested, not so much gurgling. Her gums are less pale. She is able to sleep on her side and she is sleeping more (at first she was too uncomfortable to sleep). She is rolling over for tummy rubs. Her mood is fabulous! She did not want to come inside this morning – kept walking like lets go mom!!!!! And then, when I was leaving the house to take kalu to get her nails clipped, she wanted to go!!!!!! so I took her with us to Dogma and they loved her and gave her treats. She sneezed a few times and did not bleed!!!! I am so grateful. she is such an amazing dog. Honestly, it will take weeks of no bleeds to believe this has worked, but today I am optimistic!

Nuki the day after her rhinotomy surgery

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Nuki yesterday!

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December 24th - Nuki's video, Day 17

<click to view>

For more pictures of Nuki on the Friends Gallery
<click here>

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