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Local woman’s dying wish for beloved dogs goes viral on Facebook

FRIDAY HARBOR, Wash – Kathleen Zuidema doesn’t have much time.

The cancer that first appeared in this never-been-a-smoker’s lungs has spread to her liver and other parts of her body.

Zuidema begins chemo Thursday, but doctors have been clear if the treatment works at all it will only extend her life by a few months.

“This is the hardest thing I have ever had to do,” wrote Zuidema on Facebook Saturday.

But the San Juan Islander wasn’t referring to the looming chemo.

“Things are now progressing to the point where I need to secure a home for the posse.”

The posse or the ‘Aussie Posse’ as she lovingly calls her three dogs need a forever home and Kathleen is hoping she can find that perfect spot before she passes away.

“They are a package deal,” wrote Zuidema. “It is a huge thing to ask of one person but the thought of them being separated is more than l can bear.”

Autumn, Mona and Finnegan have been Zuidema’s constant companion since they were pups.

She not only prays they can stay together, but she hopes they can stay on San Juan Island.

She knows keeping them together and keeping them on the island is a longshot, but she believes the right home exists and that’s why she turned to Facebook in hope her words might find their way to the right place.

Her plan just might work. By Wednesday Zuidema’s Facebook post had been shared nearly 9-thousand times and multiple people had stepped up to offer the posse a place to run.

Zuidema is working with a friend to carefully vet the offers and find the right one.

“They are bonded to me and I hope they will add hope and joy to someone else’s life because they’ve just been my life, my world, my joy,” said Zuidema Tuesday from her home in Friday Harbor.

It’s a final wish, a race against the clock, a completely unselfish effort with one goal.

“I just want them to have a good home.”