Aging Guide Dog's Medical Fund
Meet Noki, a ten-year-old German Shepard
from the Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation. https://www.fidelco.org/
She has been my partner for eight years. From the first day she arrived, my life began to change for the better.
Noki has developed some medical issues in recent years and this campaign is designed to help cover the costs of treating those issues and insuring that she has the necessary diagnostics and treatments to keep her healthy and happy and able to work as long as she is able to do so.
Some of these issues include: a low-functioning thyroid, surgery for a hematoma in her left ear, a joint infection in her right wrist, allergies, arthritis and a nodule on her spleen. She is overdue for another ultrasound of her spleen, which can cost between $600 and $900, plus the cost of vet visits.. I am still paying on her last ultrasound as well as her most recent treatments for the wrist infection. She could also benefit from having her teeth cleaned, but I simply cannot afford to do these things at this time.
I have incurred $8,000 in medical costs since we became partners and this does NOT include the cost of food.
This dog has given her entire life to make it possible for me to get around safely and easily. I would like to be able to provide her with everything that she needs to be healthy and happy as we head into our last phase of working together. I plan to keep Noki with me even after she retires and want to provide the best care for her. While I would like to be able to cover the expenses for her care, she has developed some unexpected issues that simply do not fit into my budget.
If you are able to help and feel called to do so, please know that I will be forever grateful for your kindness. I look forward to the time when I will be able to lend a helping hand to those who need it and will follow your example of giving just as soon as I am able. If you cannot help at this time, perhaps you could share this page.
If you would like to know more about how Noki and I work together you can read below.
Thank you in advance for your gift of support,
Why Do I Have Noki
I have about 10% of normal vision with light perception and shadows in my right eye and 20/200 in my left eye. This means that I can see from 20 feet what someone with normal vision can see from 200 feet away. But I don’t see something that is 20 feet away the same as someone with normal vision would see it. My vision allows me to see that there is something there, but does not provide much information about what it is. Any detail that I might see at close range decreases as the object gets farther away from me.
I don’t always pick up on bumps or cracks in a sidewalk and can’t usually tell if it is an up or a down bump. Many times I will think that a shadow is a bump or a hole.
Crossing streets at a lighted intersection presents potential problems as I am not able to accurately judge the distance or speed of turning cars. Crossing streets where there is no light can be dangerous if I misjudge whether or not a car is coming or how far away it is. How much I see is dependent on the level of light and the amount of contrast that is available. Too much light is extremely difficult and not enough light is hard too.
Noki takes all of the guess work out of getting around in the world, and even more importantly, gets rid of a tremendous amount of stress that goes along with trying to figure out what is in front of me and what I need to try to move around. She automatically avoids objects in our path; even small ones such as part of a stick that has fallen onto the sidewalk, trash can lids or a child’s toy. My girl can even stop me from running into an over-hanging branch, which is a wonderful thing, particularly if it has recently rained. She watches for traffic and stops to point out curbs, steps, people and even irregularities in a sidewalk that could easily cause me to trip or fall. She can find doors going into or out of a building, elevators, escalators, stairs and even empty seats.
Routes that we use often, or have used only one or two times are easily remembered by this wonderful dog and we can quickly and easily make our way to where we need to go.
Recently I wanted to be with family while someone was having surgery. This meant that we had to figure out how to catch two different busses to get to and from the hospital and find the patient’s room once we got there. When we found the room to be empty we then had to locate the nurse’s station and asked where the surgical waiting room was. We were told that there were two possible waiting rooms (on two different floors.) We found both of them. My family wasn’t in either of those places so I proceeded to try to find the cafeteria and walked around in a maze of tables, chairs and people, hoping that my cousin would see us. I didn’t find my cousin, but did find a friend who told me how to locate the smoking area, which was the last place I could think of to look for my cousin. We made our way through an outdoor eating area and down a narrow sidewalk to the smoking area where my cousin was found. A month later, another surgery was required and Noki and I sailed through the many steps of that journey and were able to be there to support our loved ones.
Noki does her level best to get me where I need to go every time I put her harness on her. She keeps me safe and greatly reduces the stress that can go along with being legally blind. All that she asks for in return for her fine and loyal service is dinner and love.
The vet has suggested trying a new pain medication and I’m hoping that helps her be more comfortable. One of her liver enzymes is a little high but we’re going to watch it for now. She is currently on a heavy dose of antibiotics for a nasty sebaceous cyst. I don’t think she’s hearing as well as she used to and her cataracts have gotten worse. My wonderful vet comes to the house once a week to give her a shot to help stop the progression of the arthritis.
Noki is officially retired after 10 years of remarkable service. I’m doing my best to keep her comfortable during her golden years. Thank you all so much for the help you’ve given with her care.
We are currently trying Adequan, which is thought t help with arthritis. I think it is helping a bit. She gets injections twice a week for another week and then we go to one injection a month. I am so grateful to her vet and to all of you who have supported her throughout her journey of aging. Thank you.
She wasn't happy about a short session on the underwater treadmill, but got happier when the vet offered some wet dog food. We could still observe abnormalities with her walking while she ate, but there was less drama about doing doing it. What can I say, she is a German Shepherd. I love her so much. Thank you for all of the help to keep her healthy and strong.