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This fundraiser ended on 12/01/10

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Rusty has two ears that have cauliflower, and also a growth that could be a tumor, cyst, abscessed tooth, in his mouth

My best friend, my pet, Rusty is a German Shepherd, part Golden Lab. He's only about 7 or 8 in human years. When I was younger about 13 years old, when I wasn't able to get a real job, I was walking around my neighborhood, and there was puppies at one of the houses. I'm a big time animal lover, and immediately ran over to see the puppies. When I see dog's or cat's or any animal in this case in cages, I cry because I feel like I'm the one that has to save them, and if I don't they'll get euthanized, I never been in a shelter before because at pet shops, I cry. If I seen so many animals in cages that will actually be put down if nobody wants them, I wouldn't be able to forgive myself. When I first seen Rusty, I knew that he was the one I wanted. He was very playful, the only one who nibbled on my fingers, jumped on me, he seemed full of energy. He only cost $200.00 dollars, and it was near my birthday. I asked my parents, and of course they said no, but they did give me a chance. They said if I can get up the money, not using my birthday money then I would be able to have him, since my birthday was a few months away. From that moment I was determined to make that money, plus the money to get his shots and etc. I took my grandmothers lawn mower, and everyday for a week, I went out looking for grass to cut. I guess it was meant to be, because I ended up making the money in 4 days, but he was still to young to be adopted, I was so inpatient, the people selling the puppies told me that they weren't allowed to sell the puppies until they got them their shots. Usually a mixed dog is not worth more than $100.00 dollars, these puppies were $200.00 and if I wanted him right then and there I also had to pay the vet bill. The only reason I wanted him so fast was because this one kid also wanted the same exact puppy I wanted, and was best friends with the sellers kid, which I wasn't. I talked to the owners of the puppies and he told me first come first serve, and he really didn't want to sell the puppy until he got all of them their shots and checked if they were okay. I showed him the money I raised up and told him that I would pay for the vet bill myself with the money I raised. So he couldn't believe I offered to pay for all the vet bills and everything when he offered to pay for them, he let me buy my puppy "Rusty" and then I took him to the vet to get his shots the next day. I was the happiest kid, It felt like Christmas. After the years passed, and the seasons changed, my father ended up having to pay for his dog food because I couldn't cut grass anymore because one I broke my grandmothers lawnmower from using it so much, and two nobody wanted me to shovel their snow everybody had a snowblower. I was still too young to have a job, but I was going to get a job soon as I turned 15 so I could take care of my best friend Rusty, who literally was my best friend. I really didn't have much friends when I was little, not many friends in school either. I was always playing sports with my brother, and spending time walking my dog. I been taking care of my dog since I was 15. I'm now 22 years old, Disabled, with a 2 year old daughter that I have full custody of, I take care of my daughter 24/7, the only help I get is from my parents, but they both work so it's really just me and my girlfriend, but she too, has a job. I can't work anymore, because of my disability, and the fact that the economy is so bad right now that I can't even do side jobs. My dog is going through a lot now, He has problems with his ears, and his mouth. He has cauliflower in both ears, looks like they are completely swollen and it irritates him and when he itches his ears he cries, and it kills me. I took him to the vet, because I was getting General Assistance, $320.00 dollars a month, which was for my daughter and myself. It's not a lot but my dad did help me because he was working two jobs at the time, making around 45,000 a year, still not a lot because of the size of the family, but my dad would do anything for our animals. They told us that it was going to cost $1,400.00 dollars to remove what was in his ear, $700.00 dollars a ear, which completely was out of our price range, and he then told us, that it wasn't guaranteed that it wouldn't keep it away, he told us that another German Shepherd, that was owned by a construction worker had the same problem, and had the operation 3 times. After the first one, the next ones were worse to the point that it actually grew out of the ear. I asked if we could just have his ear removed, and he said we could, but it would still grow since it was in the canal. He told us if we didn't have that type of money, just to use this type of ear drops, that would sooth him, make him not want to itch it because it wouldn't bother him as much. He also told us that people put down their dogs because of this problem because they couldn't take the crying anymore, which to me is not an option. I try and clean his ears as often as I can, I try to get behind the cauliflower and clean what I can because since the air doesn't hit his ears, I know there has to be something irritating him thats making him itch, because the vet said the cauliflower itself is not what makes him itch it, it's what's going on behind it, but it still does irritate it a little, but not for him to itch all the time. So I do what I can. He's had this problem for awhile now, and I been trying to save money, but it just seems like every time I get close to the amount I need, something else happens, that seems more important, like my daughter needing clothes, sneakers. Or prescriptions for myself, and I don't have insurance. Paying out of pocket to see a doctor and for prescriptions is very expensive. Not being able to work and only depending on 320.00 a month, is very hard to save money anyways. Well now, I'm in another problem with Rusty, He has a growth in his mouth, I have no idea if it's an abscessed tooth, tumor, cyst, a growth, no idea, but it's not painful, I can touch it and he doesn't even react. It's pretty big, and I can't believe I didn't see it sooner. The worse part is that my dad don't have two jobs anymore, he don't make $45,000 a year anymore, because he don't have two jobs. He only has one full time job now, and they take money out so that my mother, brother, and himself have health insurance, and only brings home $300.00 something a week. We can't even pay for our house anymore, and with the debt he has from when he was making pretty good money before his job relocated he can't even pay his debt, or get credit to help Rusty, because he would. I had a job before and now I can't even work, and with just 320 a month for my daughter and myself I can't save any money. My girlfriend is getting a job though and we are going to attempt to save up the money but I honestly feel that we need it sooner. I been doing everything I can with donation jars at stores, even though basically no store wants the donation jar in their store, because I think they don't think it's really going towards Low Income Families that can't afford Pet Medical, because everybody is a Stereo typical. I honestly just want help for my dog, without having to put him down, or giving him away. The only option I know where he would receive the help he needs is giving him away to Angels Gate in NY, but I don't want to lose my best friend, but if it comes down to it, I'm going to have too. His growth in his mouth is getting bigger, and I honesty getting more scared not knowing what it is. I'm looking for Animal Clinics, Hospitals, that would do cheaper surgery's, because I want his ears done, along with his mouth. I want my dog to live the rest of his life without pain. I think the vet told me that one story because he knew we didn't have money and he just wanted for us to put him down, because he didn't want to give us a payment plan and make himself look bad, instead he wanted us to feel bad that we couldn't take care of the issue, and thats the only choice basically instead of making him suffer, even though he's still a happy dog, and nothing else was wrong until this growth in his mouth. It kills me that we can't take care of him, because of my disability, and because my dad don't make the money he used too, and the economy sucks so bad that nobody wants to help, but no matter what's going on in the world I'm going to continue to blame myself for my dog's problems, because I should of thought about all this, I should of got Animal Insurance, when I did work, but I didn't know about it until I just started doing the research. I'm asking everybody and anybody, please help me save my best friend. I know it's a lot of money I'm asking for, and I honestly don't know what's wrong with his mouth because I don't even have the money to pay for the vet visit itself to find out what it is, but if it's cheaper than the ear problem, then I would get his mouth fixed. His mouth to me is my main priority, but now that I know their is fundraisers that help make money for things like this, I'm going to try and get him all the help he deserves. He's a great loving dog, anybody would love him, he's full of life, very disciplined, and will protect you with his life. I honestly feel the same way towards him, I would sell my soul, if I was promised he could live the rest of his life without pain, and problems. I'm so scared to hear that he has a tumor that could be cancerous. I'm scared to hear that he might have cancer, because I don't know what this growth in his mouth is. I don't know how much it's going to cost to get it removed, but I know it's going to be a lot. It just sucks that Vets can say no to animals, but hospitals can't decline people without insurance, I feel it should be the same way, because Animals have feelings just as much as us, they feel pain just like we do. It makes me sick that people can fight dogs, murder dogs, and go to jail for only 2 years, and they don't even take into consideration how many dogs they fought or killed. If I'm a bad person for not having the money to pay for my dog's issues, then I guess I'm a bad person. If I should put him down because of the pain he's in, even though when he's not scratching his ears he's the happiest dog ever, and can still live a long life, then I guess I'm a bad person. Will I ever get a dog again, the answer is no, I'm not going to get a dog again until I know I can afford the vet visits. It's just right now, with all the problems going on in my family I can't afford these things. I wish I could just be accepted for social security, so I can receive my lump sum for the amount of time I been disabled and not able to work, so I could have the money to pay for his problems, but most likely it's not going to happen so I'm asking all the people out in the world to help me, because I would help you if I had it. If I had money, I would donate it to people like myself that our going through all the pain I'm going through by just watching their best friend suffer. Please, just help me out.
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