Some things in life require a ton of mental toughness to overcome. The passing of a family member, losing your home, and getting diagnosed with cancer are a few that come to mind. A woman by the name of Kameroun Mares had to face the latter at a young age. After being placed in a frightening situation, Mares figured a companion would be best to help her recover, so she adopted a dog. The road was rocky, but things got worse after her new puppy went missing. Continue reading and find out how Mares handled this grim situation...
Meet Kameroun Mares
Kameroun Mares is a woman in her twenties from southern California. One thing she loves as much as anything is surrounding herself with animals-- dogs, horses, cats, basically any loving animal that comes to mind.
In this picture, you see her with a horse as she seems happy with a beautiful smile. The reality is that her life wasn't carefree leading up to this moment. She had been going through a lot, but she persevered...
Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
In the early 2010s, Mares fell ill with one of the most vile diseases ever. She had a diagnosis of acute lymphoblastic leukemia. That's a cancer of the blood and bone marrow that targets the white blood cells.
This type of cancer is a condition that leaves many with a feeling of defeat. Getting past it is tough, and it took a severe toll on Mares. Still, giving up is not the answer in any situation.
Dealing with this illness made Mares depressed as she battled it day after day. Survival was the primary mission, but it wasn't that easy for her. Even with all the madness, Mares remained determined to prevail.
She started her chemotherapy treatment as one of her steps to recovery. Her body responded well to the treatment plan, but it didn't feel that way for Mares. This was one fight where she couldn't let her guard down for one second...
Thoughts Of The Future
The days passed by and Mares entered her final phases of chemotherapy. There were moments when she would daydream about what to do once it was all over. The clock was ticking on her days in the hospital.
Mares knew she needed something to look forward to and dream about once everything finished. She figured that bringing in a new companion would be the perfect thing! Not a boyfriend, but a furry little character with a tail.
A Dog Should Do The Trick
Mares decided that a dog would be the best companion to adopt. Not just any dog, but a husky! Huskies are some of the most sought after pooches, and they're full of love, so it made sense.
Mares figured that the new member of the family would be the exact thing she needed when she went home to Florida. She thought the husky would help her heal slowly but surely, and help her remember what mattered.
His Name Is Semper Fidelis
The time came, and Mares got the dog she wanted! She would name the precious pooch Semper Fidelis, which meant "always faithful" in Latin. She primarily called him Semper for short.
The name was perfect for an animal that's known as man's best friend. Fidelity was something Mares needed at this time of life after overcoming her battle with cancer. What changes would Semper bring into her life? Would it be everything that Mares hoped to have?
Teaching Semper Tricks
The time came to teach her new dog some tricks! That's always a fun, but somewhat aggravating time for a dog owner. You never know how quickly your puppy is going to learn!
Mares was able to teach Semper commands like "sit" and "lay down." She also taught him advanced things like "go home" and "where's your home?" Semper helped Mares help heal her pain, but the joy would only last for so long...
Creeping Back Into Her Life
Sadly, Mares thought the issues with cancer were over, but the disease had other plans. She had to go back across the country, but for many different reasons, she couldn't take Semper with her.
Not only was the cancer coming back, but she couldn't have her faithful pet with her to help deal with it. That's a severe case of tragic bad luck, and Mares didn't know what she was going to do about it.
A Network Of Help
When dealing with something as devastating as cancer, it's essential to have a support network. Without one, your time going through it will only seem longer, and it will be tougher on you.
Thankfully, Mares' roommate in Florida offered to take Semper off her hands while she traveled across the country! Mares agreed and boarded a plane, leaving her new fluffy friend behind. It must have been hard, but she needed to do what was best for her life.
More Bad News
After setting everything up with Semper and making her way across the country, it looked like everything was okay for the time being. That is until Mares received a phone call she wasn't expecting.
Her roommate called her and sounded frantic and sad. She was calling to tell her that Semper was missing! Mares immediately became heartbroken and worried sick about her new companion. Mares' roommate had no clue where Semper was. Meanwhile, his owner had to deal with cancer.
The Hunt Begins
Mares went into full panic mode. She didn't want to lose her precious dog! The best thing she could do was make her way back to the airport and head home so she could begin searching.
When she made it back home, she started looking everywhere! She went to the local shelters, the vets, and the police. Still, no one knew where Semper was, sadly. What was Mares supposed to do now that her beloved canine friend was missing?
Going Back To Treatments
The search was becoming useless, and Mares' time was running out. She finally realized that her dog might be missing for good. With a broken heart, Mares boarded another plane and went back to her treatments.
She wasn't sure if she would ever see Semper again. The situation might've seemed grim, but Mares is a fighter. She wasn't going to give up so quickly! She's defeated cancer, so surely she could find her dog if she had more time...
Continuing The Hunt
Mares didn't want to lose her dog. No one wants that happen, especially after you've cared for a pet for so long. Mares had to increase her efforts.
"For a year, I continued searching… posting up fliers via pet sites, calling 15 vet places around where I used to live over there about him, calling the humane societies about him, shelters," she said. "[I] posted info about him on Facebook, lost dog forums, and pages and groups."
The Phone Never Rang
We can only imagine the stress Mares was going through during this time. Her mind was probably all over the place. Maybe Semper was stolen, and the person didn't want to return the cute dog. There were a lot of possibilities that could've been true.
"Every day I waited for a phone call about someone finding him… His microchip is registered to me…I received nothing. I was worried sick about him, and missed him dearly," she said.
Time For Extra Assistance
Mares was in a desperate place. She wanted to reunite with Semper, no matter what it took. That's when she came up with a wild idea that might've been influenced by Jim Carrey.
Her idea was to hire a pet detective. You read that correctly. There was nothing that was going to stop her from finding Semper, so outsourcing for help wasn't such a terrible plan. Remember, Mares doesn't give up quickly, so this was only the start.
Mares began searching the yellow pages like a woman on a mission, looking for someone to help. She finally decided on Ana Campos, a private investigator who specialized in lost persons in southern Florida.
Campos gladly agreed to help Mares on her hunt for her precious Semper. The detective realized that she was probably the last hope for reuniting the owner with her pet. Only time would tell the results, but Mares kept the optimism alive.
With new help came new ideas. Campos brought a fresh mind to the case; not only because that was her job, but because Mares had already done so much. Campos suggested that Mares revisit her lifetime registration with the AKC Reunite.
AKC Reunite is a program that helps ensure your pets are properly registered with their owners. Campos thought that the program could have provided some additional help that Mares might've missed out on in the past.
Back To The Humane Society
In May of 2017, Mares traveled to the Humane Society so she could check on the registration of Semper's microchip. Hope filled her heart as she asked and waited for the results.
That's when the Humane Society gave her some surprising news. No one could have guessed what they told Mares. How could this happen? Before you find out what the story was, be sure to buckle up, you're in for a roller-coaster of a ride...
Messing Things Up
An odd situation happened with the microchip a year before. Another woman registered her name on Semper's chip, which messed things up. That's not supposed to be how it goes, and this wasn't Mares' fault.
The microchip company apparently didn't check Semper's chip before he got registered to Mares. That's a big mistake, but finding this information out gave Campos the lead that she needed to move forward. Things were starting to brighten up, but would it be enough...
A Craigslist Ad
It was time for Campos to get busy. The investigator began diligently searching for any clues or leads that could help them find the dog. That's when she made a shocking discovery.
There was a person who listed Semper on Craigslist for purchase! They only wanted $200 for the poor dog. That's the reason he never appeared in any shelters, police stations, or vets — another reason why no one responded to Mares pleas she put out there.
It Was The Roommate!
In a shocking turn of events, Campos made a brilliant discovery. She found out that it was Mares' ex-roommate who put Semper on Craigslist and lied about his whereabouts. How low is that?
She stole the dog and kept it a secret, knowing what Mares was going through. It looks like getting the pet detective ended up paying off because who knows if Mares would have found this out on her own. It's crazy how shady people can be...
Finding out your roommate stole a dog that you adopted after beating a cancer battle is gut-wrenching. Who can you trust these days? It was a bitter-sweet moment for sure, but the good did outweigh the bad.
Campos made a handful of phone calls. Soon enough, she got through to the right person and explained the situation of the cancer patient and her stolen dog. A special meetup got arranged, and fireworks were ready to fly...
It was the big day, but Mares knew nothing about was going to happen. Campos had arranged it all without telling her, and all roads led to an empty parking lot.
Mares was confused when she arrived at the random lot. Campos instructed Mares to go there, and that's when a car she'd never seen before came on the scene. After the car opened their door, there he was. Semper sprinted out towards his original owner! After years of separation, the two moved back to California and Mares finally was in remission!