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Anything But a Dog! The perfect pet for a girl with congenital CMV (cytomegalovirus)
by Lisa Saunders

Special Edition to benefit The National Congenital CMV Disease Registry and Research Program


This is the story of a mother’s humorous and moving search for one pet to suit two very different daughters-one a tomboy, the other mentally and physically disabled from the # 1 birth defects virus, congenital CMV (cytomegalovirus). Lisa Saunders says “no” to her daughter Jackie’s pleas for a dog, fearing it will be too rambunctious around Jackie’s disabled little sister Elizabeth. But she does make her a promise she thinks will never come to pass: “If God brings a dog to our door, then you can have it.” In the meantime, the family wrestles with a series of dysfunctional pets: a flesh-eating hamster, an attack cat, killer ants and a very stinky rabbit. Then one day, the unexpected happens: a shivering, dirty puppy shows up at their door. But is this dog really Heaven-sent?
The latest news on how to prevent the far-reaching but under-reported effects of congenital CMV, the #1 viral cause of birth defects-more common a cause of disabilities than Down syndrome. It also contains highly useful sections with Resources, Contacts and Support for anyone whose life is touched by CMV.


Lisa Saunders is the author of Ride a Horse, Not an Elevator and Ever True: A Union Private and His Wife, and she is a writer for the State University of New York at Rockland Community College. She speaks at universities, libraries and clubs about writing and publishing, and performs her play, Ever True: A Civil War Love Story, which is based on her ancestor’s Civil War letters. She is the Congenital CMV Foundation parent representative and a graduate of Cornell University. Lisa and her husband, Jim, reside in Suffern, New York, with their beagle/basset hound. Visit Lisa at


The National Congenital CMV Disease Registry and Research Program in Houston, Texas includes members from many disciplines and specialties who conduct clinical and laboratory research studies on congenital CMV disease, including ways to better define and promote awareness of the public health problem, the long term effects, and the treatment and prevention of congenital CMV disease. Visit them at

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