In November 1996 a woman named Calleen was kidnapped near her San Diego, Calif., home and repeatedly assaulted over the course of nine hours before she managed to escape. Calleen’s assailant was eventually sent to prison, but Calleen, now 32 and living in Missoula, has suffered from a debilitating anxiety disorder ever since.
Calleen is agoraphobic, which basically means it takes an act of courage for her to leave her home. Simple chores that were mundane prior to the assault now require considerable willpower.
“I had become a prisoner in my own home and skin,” says Calleen.
About a year after the assault, Calleen (she prefers not to use her last name) was caught in an accident that changed her life. She was driving in the rain when her car struck a 6-month-old mutt named Zeus that had run into the road. She talked Zeus’ owner into letting her take the pup to the animal hospital, and ultimately she ended up keeping him. Calleen nursed Zeus back to health and over time trained him to be her service dog.
“Zeus has helped me ever since by making it possible for me to go outside and even back to school,” says Calleen. “I still struggle with agoraphobia, but Zeus made it less intense.”
Calleen recently discovered a tumor on her K-9 friend, but because her agoraphobia limits her ability to work, she says she doesn’t have the money to take him to a vet.
“I figure just for the testing…it will cost $200 to $300,” says Calleen.
So she’s resorted to unconventional means for raising the money to try to save her “angel.”
Calleen plans to sell her “prized possessions” on eBay in order to cover the cost of Zeus’ treatment. She’s hawking everything from original artwork to bib overalls in an effort to raise enough money to get Zeus to a vet.
“Without him I don’t know what I’m going to do,” she says.
To view Calleen’s auctions, got to www.ebay.com, click on the “Community” button and then type in her username, “jcdonlan”, and click “Find A Member.” When you get to her member page click the “Items for Sale” link.