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This fundraiser ended on 10/27/10

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Balsam has what is thought to be a tumor/polyp in his ear. This stray has just found happiness.


A year and a half ago, my sister got a call from a friend saying a beautiful stray needs a good home. My sister asked me to ride along, knowing my love for dogs. Immediately, we knew we had to take him home. We, however, quickly became Me. He came right up to me and licked my face and stole my heart. He was in bad shape though. His ribs were showing (all he would eat was cat food), his hair matted and patchy, and his ear stunk to high heaven! But I knew he was something special. I named him Balsam after the road he stayed close to. So off to get a good bath and the vet we went. Wow! What a beauty he was! He had worms and an ear infection—quick fix. Or so I thought.

Balsam is a free spirit, kinda like me. He likes to roam, but now knows where home is. I got him neutered and had a chip put in him so no one can ever take him away from me. After my divorce, I had nothing. He taught me to be happy and how to love again. That is why I have this page, to give back to him anyway that I can. Balsam took to car rides very quickly. He owns the back seat and always rides with his butt on the seat and head next to me. Whenever I roll the windows down, it is like being in a snow storm. All that fur! To this day, I have to sneak out of the house or he follows me. Silly dog. When we go on walks, so many people just stare at him and say what a pretty dog he is. Everyone always thinks Balsam’s a girl because he is just so beautiful. Even his surgeon keeps calling him a her!

Well that ear infection I mentioned earlier, that easy fix…turns out he’s prone to them. Always in the same ear. Poor thing has been on antibiotics practically the whole time since I took him in. In and out of the vet’s office, routine ear cleanings, and blasted pills! And yet it kept coming back. I went on vacation for a week and when I got back, bless his heart, he couldn’t hold his head up! That ear just wouldn’t get better. So I started cleaning it daily. That seemed to do the trick.

In August, we were doing the annual Sarge’s dog walk fundraiser and my sister noticed that his fur seemed to come out a little more on his bad side. I felt his cheek and there was a large lump way bigger than a golf ball. We went straight to the vet and it was thought to be a spider or snake bit. A week of antibiotics and squeezing (Yuck! Gagged a few times.) the nasty stuff out made the bump go away, but a couple weeks later there it was again. So, back to the doctor we went. They took x-rays and diagnosed him with rotting teeth roots. Three teeth (all on the same side as that ear) were extracted and the staff said their goodbyes to me. We all thought it was over! Nope. A couple weeks later, the lump was back. The surgeon sedated him again (third time in about a month) and that’s when he found the “growth”.

Next step is a trip to Knoxville, University of TN’s animal hospital, to see what it is exactly. Once I know, you'll know. I might have to raise my goal and extend the date, but I'm hoping not. I am not one who likes to ask for help (except maybe from my daddy) on things that I am responsible for, but I can’t do this on my own anymore. Just this year, I’ve spent over $1000 on Balsam. I don’t have the income for this. But like I said, I will give him anything and everything he needs because he brought me back to life! I know there are people who will say, “It’s just a dog!” (like my daddy) I have to help him, but I need help from others in order to do that. He deserves to be happy and comfortable! Any amount will help tremendously. Thank you for reading Balsam's story.

Ok, Balsam has an appt this Tuesday, Oct 19. He is going straight to the surgeons due to his face still leaking. They will do a CT scan and some type of oscopy, then decide what the next step will be. This will be $900-$1100. So, the next update will be Tuesday.

Well, its not good news :( The doctors do not know what he has. It is either a massive, aggressive infection or a tumor. It is all in his throat and they can't even see his lymph node on that side. They don't know if that's where it started or in the ear. Biopsy would be the next step ($300-400) but I can't do it. I now have to find a way to pay back the $1000 for yesterday, so....
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