So you may have seen some of my previous posts floating around asking for help with vet bills. I think it’s time I made one of those posts where I tell you a little more about myself, my baby, and our situation.
This is my dog Gideon. He’s a rescue Italian Greyhound, and he’s only three years old. I still remember the day I went to pick him up—I had just graduated from my undergrad program and been accepted into a graduate assistantship. Rescuing a dog was my congratulations to myself, a way to celebrate and motivate me to continue pursuing my education. I drove three hours to get him, and when I got there I discovered that he’d been heavily abused and neglected.
He was almost 50% underweight, and to this day he has extreme anxiety, especially in regards to big dogs and small children.
I love my dog. I spent months building his health back up, when the vet wasn’t sure he was going to pull through. That kind of neglect is hard for such a small dog to leave behind. But I watched him go from a trembling, listless puppy into a vibrant and happy dog. He would accompany to my lab and on my fieldwork, nap on my feet, roll in the grass, and chase butterflies. He loves to run, he loves to sleep, he loves to make blanket forts and to wrestle with my cat. He likes to pile up his toys and throw them behind the couch to watch me climb over furniture so we can play. He’ll fall asleep on top of the couch cushions like a cat, or climb in the window to watch people as they pass our apartment. He even loves to watch TV! He gives kisses to anyone who asks for them, and he’s never in his life bared his teeth in anger. Gideon is nothing but cleverness and affection, and he deserves a long life full of joy.
Last week (the end of February, 2014), he suddenly became very ill. He couldn’t walk, he refused to eat, and he began to vomit copious amounts of blood. I rushed him to the veterinarian, and they diagnosed him with something called Addison’s Disease. Long and short of it, it’s a chronic illness caused by a dysfunction in the adrenal glands.
They gave him steroids and some oral medication and sent him home, but there was no improvement. He wouldn’t eat. He was still bleeding. He couldn’t walk. He wet the furniture because he was too weak to climb down to use his puppy pads.
I took him back, and they took a closer look at his blood panel. They rediagnosed him with an auto-immune disorder called auto-immune-hemolytic-anemia. He required a blood transfusion, and was admitted to the hospital. Four days of intensive care, and he’s only just beginning to show improvement. He’s finally begun to eat again. His blood panel is starting to stabilize, and they’re talking about letting him come home soon. I hope so. I miss him.
None of this has been cheap. Anyone who knows a grad student knows that we work long hours for beans. More times than not I work 60 hours a week, and my only income is a small stipend from the university, 80% of which goes to rent and bills. Gideon’s vet work so far has run up nearly $4000.00, and we’re not done yet. Even after he comes home, he’s going to need daily blood panels and steroids to help him continue to improve. Even then, things still look rough.
I’m not giving up on him. Not yet. He started life in a horrible situation, and he’s had two wonderful years with me. I hate watching him suffer and I hate knowing that he’s had so many hard times. My baby deserves so much more. I’m doing everything I can to make sure he’s going to pull through, that he’s going to be healthy and happy again.
He’s still fighting and so am I, but we need help. We can’t do this alone. I’ve maxed out my credit card, sold my library, my dvds, my video games. I’ve begged my family for money, and they’ve done what they can. Now I’m asking you—please help us. Don’t let money be the deciding factor in Gideon’s fate. He shouldn’t have to die just because we’ve run out of money. Please consider donating to my gofundme, or commissioning my friend to draw you your very own Italian Greyhound buddy. Anything helps, even if it’s only $5. Even if it’s only a reblog. Help this get around, help spread the word. Help me save my baby, my best friend.