Richmond family loses dog, home, and job all within a month. CBS 6 stepped in to help out

Posted at 7:21 AM, Nov 28, 2023

RICHMOND, Va.-- A Richmond family received some help in their time of need after losing their beloved dog, home and a job all within a month.

CBS 6 investigative reporter Laura French learned of the family’s misfortunes when she walked into Partner Veterinary Urgent Carein Richmond to surprise a patient with a CBS 6 Month of Giving. She met Oncologist Dr. Melissa Miller and found out about a special bond with a dog named Moo Moo Milkshake.

“Moo Moo, Milkshake has become one of our favorite patients here at Partner, [she] was unfortunately a four-year-old female spayed, one eyed Pitbull that went through surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, everything that we could for this dog and unfortunately just continued to succumb to cancer when we lost her,” said Dr. Miller.

“[Moo Moo’s family] They went through a lot of hardship over the last several months in addition to Moo Moo’s diagnosis, and anything that they can do to help the community, to help her,” said Dr. Miller. “They're the perfect family to give back and they're the ones that I would advocate for in a heartbeat to give some help to,” she added.

Ryan and Lauren Nottingham are the proud adopted parents of Moo Moo Milkshake.

“This dog in particular was rescued from Ring Dog Rescue. So, we just we all had a very special attachment, and the family is lovely,” said Dr. Miller.

French paid part of the Nottingham’s vet bill to help the family out and then traveled to Lauren’s office. After introducing herself to the couple she handed them their new invoice and receipt and said, “We wanted to take care of part of your bill!”

“That’s really special. Thank you so much, thank you, thank you!” Lauren replied. “They are the best people over there. They really took good care of our girl,” she added.

“Back in March we noticed a growth on her [Moo Moo] face,” explained Ryan Nottingham.

Moo Moo Milkshake was eventually diagnosed with cancer and underwent surgery and the couple drove to Northern Virginia weekly for her radiation therapy, but it eventually spread to her lungs.

“She had fluid and two tumors in her lungs and that was it,” said Ryan.

“We had a tree fall on our house and we’re not able to live at home for the next 9 months so the house is in disarray and in shambles and exposed to the elements but we didn’t want her to go anywhere else other than home so we brought her there in our living room in our broken empty house,” said Ryan. “We built a pile of blankets which was her favorite thing and we said goodbye to her there with the vet in our home,” he added.

The couple said they depleted their savings on Moo Moo’s veterinary care, but they said she was their everything.

“It’s been tough it’s been tough for sure even with both of us working and owning businesses and working two jobs,” said Lauren.

“I got laid off from my job a couple weeks ago,” Ryan said. “She was my best friend. I had 20-plus dogs growing up and the connection I had with her was stronger than anything,” he added.

“There’s no dog ever like her. A real lover,” said Lauren.

They were so grateful for the surprise in their time of grief and struggles.

“This is super helpful. Every little bit helps. Thank you so much,” said Lauren.

“You are so welcome,” said French. “I wish I could have done more.”

The CBS 6 Month of Giving made possible by Virginia Credit Union is underway. Watch for a new surprise every day in December on CBS 6 News at 6 a.m., 4 p.m., and 6 p.m. Have an idea about who we should surprise next, click here to email our team.

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