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National, IL - 2014

I’m a single mom and in the summer of 2003 my two children went to Missouri with their grandparents for vacation.  Much to my surprise this was the souvenir they brought me back.  Jack was a puppy approximately 9-12 weeks old when we got him.  Jack went with me everywhere.  He loves going in the car.  

In August 2013 I lost my job of 12 years.  I have not been able to find a new one.  I was able to collect unemployment however it wasn’t enough to pay the mortgage and the bills and therefore my home is now in foreclosure.  In February 2014 my unemployment expired and I now have no income.  One never believes this could happen to them I know I never dreamt anything like this would happen to me.   At the same time as my unemployment ran out I discovered a hard mass on the back of Jack’s neck the size of a baseball.  Jack has always been very healthy until now.  I could not afford to take him to the vet.  Friends all told me this is normal for labs they all get them, they are just cysts. 

I waited a couple of weeks and kept an eye on it only to watch it grow to the size of a softball.  I borrowed a hundred dollars so that I could take Jack and have this thing checked out.  The vet told me it was a cyst and it needed to be surgically removed and that could cost approximately $400.  I just started crying because I had no idea how I was going to come up with the money to help my best friend.  The vet said she wanted to see if it was full of fluid or hard.  It was full of fluid and she drained it down to nothing.  However she said without the surgery it is only going to come back.  Sure enough within 2 weeks it was back and growing larger every day.  I called around to several vets to see if anyone would do the surgery and let me make payments or would they help with a reduced rate but to no avail.  I called my vet back and asked for a written estimate so I knew exactly how much the surgery would cost. 

The estimate was $500-$700.  I then turned to the internet to see what I could find.  I came across a place and phone number and left a message.  They called me back and said they couldn’t help but suggested some other foundation.  I again turned to the internet and found the one they referred me to so I completed their online application only to be turned down but referred to another one called Red Rover so I found them online and completed their application only to be turned down again but they referred me to Brown Dog. 

So once again I went online and completed their application.  By this time the mass had grown to the size of a cantaloupe and when ever Jack moved he would whine because it is now hurting him and he wasn’t eating very well either.  At this time I had also contacted the Animal Welfare League.  The lady at the welfare league said if the vet could do the surgery it would be less than the $500 my vet wanted.  They had me bring Jack in for the vet to look at however he said due to the size of the mass he couldn’t do the surgery.  I am now very scared for Jack. 

I called my vet and told her what was going on and she had me bring him in to be checked.   After seeing Jack the vet said it was now an emergency and Jack really couldn’t wait any longer.  I immediately called my children’s grandparents and asked them if they would please help Jack.  They graciously agreed to pay a portion and surgery was scheduled for the next morning.  The morning of his surgery I received a response from Carol saying that I prequalified for a grant.  I sent them the additional information they needed to make their determination.  Jack’s surgery went well and he was able to come home that same night.  Several days later I got the great news from Carol that I was approved for a grant to help pay for Jack’s surgery.  Jack is doing great he is back to being his old self and it’s only been a week since his surgery. 

I am so grateful to Brown Dog for helping me during this devastating time of my life.  Once I start earning an income again I will be making donations to repay the funding they helped me with so that they can continue to help other pet owners in need.  I have also asked all of my friends and family to please make a donation on behalf of my Jack no matter how large or small it is.  Thank you again Brown Dog.