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Super Blue’s Gift

What’s in a name? For Blue, a two-year-old Newfoundland with big brown eyes and a majestic black coat, a simple bit of family history. “When our first Newfoundland, Bella, whelped her litter of eight, we placed a blue Velcro collar on the firstborn puppy,” says Katie Dolan, A08P, a member of the Board of Advisors for Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine and wife of Peter Dolan, A78, A08P, chairman of Tufts’ Board of Trustees. “The name just stuck.”

And after what Katie calls a miraculous recovery at Cummings, she says, “We nicknamed him Super Blue.”

Last year, one of Blue’s hind legs had swollen with infection and his breathing was labored. With great effort, he would try to sit up to fill his lungs with air before slumping back to the floor in exhaustion. Cancer, pneumonia, and sepsis were a few of the terrifying possible causes.

After taking Blue to the local vet in Connecticut, who said he needed special treatment, Dolan drove him to the Foster Hospital for Small Animals, where he was immediately admitted. Dr. Claire Sharp and her staff tested him for every possibility, but found no cause for his symptoms. However, Blue healed under a close watch with plenty of fluids. And Dolan was grateful that the Cummings staff had left no stone unturned.

“The care was just amazing,” says Dolan. “Someone called every morning for an update every day he was there. He made it home and now he’s healthy as a horse.”

Dolan, a conservationist and animal advocate, has been a fan of Cummings for years. And because of the exceptional care Blue received, she has given $250,000 to the Foster Hospital renovation. “The Cummings School and Foster Hospital is a one-two success story,” she says. “The school produces incredible graduates with a great track record of caring—and caring globally. They understand wildlife conservation as well as domestic animal care, and they’re trained with Tufts’ mission of making a difference in the world.”

As a retired health-care executive, Dolan especially appreciates the efficacy of the hospital and its plan for renovation. “It’s one of those investments that is going to be sustainable for long-term improvement,” she says. “It’s nice to be a part of something where the benefits are so clear and where I know so many people and animals will benefit.”