Save Sight of Veteran's Service Dog

$1,360 of $7,000 goal

Raised by 21 people in 47 months
No Longer Accepting Donations
 Share on Facebook
Thank You for Taking the Time to Read My "Tail"
Written by Skoshi the Super Service Dog:

"The Righteous have Regard
     for the Life of their Beast"
         Proverbs 12:10

I'll keep it short (like me), but I'll tell you this upfront: I have rapid-onset cataracts that just started since October. Normally, it takes many years for cataracts to get as bad as mine, but it took weeks for me. I'm now almost totally blind from how AGGRESSIVE the cataracts are. I may have just a matter of a few more months before I'm totally blind — or it could be a matter of weeks.

I'm VERY proud to currently be on "active duty" as a Service Dog to help my disabled Mom, who is a Vietnam-Era Veteran. On the other paw, I'm also very sad for my Mom because she's really devastated over my condition AND she's much more worried over MY suffering than the cold, hard reality that for the first time in over 20 years she could soon be without a working Service Dog if I can't get the surgery that I desperately need to save my vision. I really want my Mom to be happy, and I don't want to go blind — besides, I'm not ready to retire!

The bottom line and reason for this campaign is that my Mom needs financial help to keep me from losing my eyesight completely — and having to retire me. We only have a window of a few more months to do surgery on my eyes while we can still have a positive outcome. We must act before glaucoma sets in or, even worse, my retinas and maculae are damaged. My cataracts are so AGGRESSIVE I may not even get a couple more months — it could just be weeks for me.

The next few paragraphs add just a little more detail. I hope you can spare the next 4–5 minutes to continue reading to understand the plight that is facing my Mom & me:

My name is Skoshi, which is Japanese for "Little One." Mom says I'm her Equal Opportunity Love Bug because I'm so friendly and outgoing with EVERYONE & don't care what race, age, or sex anyone is — I adore meeting EVERYONE! Mom says if more humans were like me the world would be a much better place (go figure — I'm a role model!). Mom also calls me her Goodwill Ambassador because I always put my best paw forward as we educate humans about Service Dogs everywhere that we go (or maybe that should be "GoodWOOF" Ambassador?).

I'm a Miniature Pinscher (MinPin) who was trained over a 1½ year period to be my Mom's Service Dog. A few short months after I took over full-time for my elderly predecessor (Peter Pin, who is now happily retired & enjoying a life of leisure with us), I suddenly lost quite a bit of weight & developed an obsessively unquenchable thirst, all over a 2-3 week period. Mom became alarmed and KNEW that I had rapid-onset diabetes & took me immediately to the Vet. After testing, the Vet not only confirmed that I was diabetic, it was also a SERIOUS case that was off the charts, much to my Mom's anguish. Mom was devastated & continues to blame herself.

My diet and feeding schedule was immediately modified by the Vet, who also prescribed insulin to be administered with each modified meal.

Every time we went back to the Vet, my blood sugar was still terribly high. The Vet kept increasing my insulin, but until recently, nothing worked. With every Vet visit my Mom worried about me getting my sugar under control — and she panicked over coming up with $130 for each glucose test (done every 2 weeks). This has been a real hardship as Mom is on a very small, very tiny fixed income because she's 100% permanently disabled. Mom started getting advances against her disability direct deposits to pay for those tests, but now Mom says "she's behind the 8-Ball" from all the advances & repaying them. I'd like to play with that 8-Ball, but I get the impression from Mom that the 8-Ball isn't a good thing.

No matter how little cash Mom has, she ALWAYS makes certain she has enough for my insulin & syringes and that Peter Pin & I are always well fed with HEALTHY, yummy dogfood & lots of veggies.

About 1½ months after my diagnosis, Mom looked into my face (Mom does this a LOT everyday because she says I'm so cute & adorable), and became alarmed: she saw a little cloudiness in my eyes & KNEW immediately I had the beginnings of cataracts  (Mom was an optician before she became disabled) — a risk with diabetes.

Mom started checking my eyes EVERY day to ensure things were stable and HOPING the cataracts would grow SLOWLY, over YEARS, thus giving her TIME to SAVE up for cataract surgery. She also sought a Veterinary Ophthalmologist  to evaluate me.

Just a couple weeks later, Mom looked into my eyes and got upset — she then started crying, hugging and kissing me, saying she was going to do everything in her power to fix me: My cataracts had rapidly spread over both my eyes, completely shrouding my lenses in a murky, milky opacity. It was so fast that it was like it happened overnight — which may have been the case. The cataracts were even MORE AGGRESSIVE and out-of-control than my blood sugar!

As soon as Mom was paid, she got me in to see to the Veterinary Ophthalmologist. Everything the Vet told us was very grim:

• The longer we wait on the surgery increases the risk that my vision can't be restored or have other less than optimal results.

• Waiting increases my risk for glaucoma  that can further rob me of my vision, even with surgery.

• Waiting also puts me at risk for retinal damage or detachment & macular degeneration , which would then take away any hope for surgery to work.

• We must wait until my diabetes is under control with the correct insulin dosage before I can even have surgery.

• I was put on steroid eye drops to control eye inflammation. I must stay on the eye drops for the rest of my life.

• Surgery is my ONLY HOPE: I am going blind — without surgery, there is nothing that can be done to stop or reverse that hard truth short of a miracle.

The full cost for surgery on both of my eyes, which includes all of the pre-op diagnostic tests & medications, post-op care & treatment and, of course, the implants that will serve as my new lenses, is quite steep. The cost is $6000 to $7000, which is so out of reach for Mom on her tiny fixed income that it just as well could be $7,000,000 instead of $7,000 for all Mom could do to afford the surgery.

That is what this campaign is all about. Even if Mom could manage to put away a few dollars every month to save toward surgery, it would take MANY YEARS for her to save up such an enormous sum — and it would be too late for me since I need the surgery ASAP if my vision is to be saved so I can continue to help my Mom! I'm young, just 8 years old, and could be Mom's Service Dog for many more years to come since the MinPin lifespan runs 15-20 years — and I want to live that long (or longer) with Mom, both as a Service Dog and later as a retiree!

To be honest, we just don't know what will happen, or when. But, there are 2 things that are absolutely 100% certain in my life:

1) Whether my vision is restored or I end up totally blind, I'll live the rest of my life with my Mom and I'll be just as cherished, loved & cared for by her! Mom says dogs are forever — or should that be FURever?

2) I will be totally blind SOON if I don't get the surgery in time to save my vision. I want to see & continue my important work as Mom's Service Dog!

These last few words are from my Mom:

Thank you ever so much for taking a few minutes to read Skoshi's short "tail" — the reference has a special second meaning since MinPin tails are docked at birth (long before nerves & blood vessels could fully form, which is in adulthood) — and MinPin lovers call their short tails a "nubbin" (Makes her sound even cuter & more adorable, doesn't it?). If you're against dogs being docked or cropped, please don't hate me (or Skoshi) — ALL my Service Dogs have been rescues, either through a group or an individual rescuer (which often make for some of the most awesome Service Dogs like Skoshi). My little Skoshi was rescued twice, and as a result, came to me already docked & cropped — and chock full of the absolute best temperament & smarts I could ever hope for!

Skoshi is also quite vocal and talks to me a LOT (which keeps me laughing). She also has a crazy cross between a Basenji yodel & a Beagle howl that is just hysterically funny to hear come from a MinPin since "PinHeads" aren't known for such a uniquely silly vocalization — I often double over in laughter when she excitedly sings to me!

Just so you know, it was quite a big challenge for little Miss Skoshi to clack away on my keyboard, but as a Service Dog she insisted on sparing me all the grief, hard work, heartache & pain (What a GOOD girl!). Too bad they don't have Siri for Dogs!

As of March 2015, Skoshi's diabetes has stabilized. She has put back on a little weight (muscle mass) and is now lean & sleek without the protruding ribs & bones. As wonderful as this news is, it does nothing to restore her vision as the damage has already been done — the cataracts are there to stay, to continue to grow & cloud her vision until there's nothing left of her vision OR she's blessed with the restoration of her vision. I'll gladly accept her being healed through prayer & miracle, or through the surgery — it doesn't matter as long as she can see clearly again and continue being by my side as my beloved Service Dog & BFF!

PLEASE: If you can't donate, could you at least spread the word about this campaign? Post about it to Facebook, Tweet it, on other social media, share it at the office over the water cooler, share it at Starbucks, at your church or synagogue (prayers would be VERY appreciated, too), at the gym, at your favorite Dog Park or Beach, or while you're out on an organized community or group Dog Walk — the more, the merrier!

You can verify the veracity of this campaign and the dire straits of Skoshi's fading vision by contacting the Veterinary Ophthalmologist  & asking about Skoshi, the MinPin Service Dog:

Eye Care for Animals
Orange County, CA
9 4 9 . 7 3 3 . 8 2 7 1

Eye Care for Animals  is a Veterinary Ophthalmology practice with branches across the USA.

You can also read a little more about Skoshi's plight in these two articles published by our local newspaper:

Fountain Valley Veteran Seeks Help to Pay for Dog’s Surgery

F.V. Veteran's Retired Service Dog Dies
(Skoshi's mentor & predecessor passed away the same day the first article was published)

Your kindness in this matter is deeply appreciated!

Thank You — and May God Bless You!

To my Christian Visitors to this Page:
Have a Merry & Blessed Christmas!!!

To my Jewish Friends: Chag Sameach!!!
Nes Gadol Hayah Sham!
A Great Miracle Happened There!
(Maybe Skoshi will also get a Great Hanukkah Miracle Happening Here!)

Don't Litter! PLEASE: Spay  or Neuter  Your Pet!
Click for the Myths & Facts of Spaying or Neutering!
+ Read More
I wish I could figure out how to contact everyone with this update via email. Since I can't, here goes:

First Off: Thank You Ever So MUCH to EVERYONE who so GENEROUSLY, GRACIOUSLY & KINDLY Donated Funds for my Beloved Little Skoshi!!!

I was hoping to get Skoshi her surgery this year, but things have dramatically changed:

I'd been quite sick & struggling with what I thought was my end of life, believing the doctors couldn't help me. When I was struggling & gasping for breath, I called 911 & was hospitalized for several days. My neighbor/friend cared for Skoshi. I was discharged, but several days later, I got even worse & was hospitalized even longer -- and again, my neighbor cared for Skoshi. I was diagnosed with congestive heart failure & put on home oxygen. While still in the hospital, my neighbor frantically contacted me to inform me that Skoshi was seriously ill & she was unable to transport her to a vet. I went into overdrive at the hospital & badgered the entire medical staff to discharge me ASAP so I could take care of Skoshi. In spite of how relentless I was, it still took them over SIX hours to finally discharge.

The moment I got home, I bundled up Skoshi & called for a cab to take us to the emergency vet. Sadly, as hard as they tried, they could not save my little girl. They told me it was her heart.

I went from congestive heart failure to a broken heart in a painful instant. I am in so much anguish over Skoshi's passing to the Rainbow Bridge. I'm terribly lonely while feeling empty & numb.

I wanted to let all you kind donors know & hope this campaign is properly shut down. I've applied the donation funds to my emergency vet costs -- I begged the emergency vet to try everything to save her, but the expense was all for naught (it would have been so worth it had they saved Skoshi). I still owe a couple hundred dollars on the bill & am making payments over the next 2 months to cover that final expense. After I pay them off, they'll return Skoshi's cremains to me.

If you object to my application of your donation toward the vet bill, please let me know so I can eventually return your money to you. Being on disability, it will be a slow process for me to scrape together any funds, but it will be done if requested. I won't think any less of you & still appreciate your generosity towards my Little Skoshi!

For anyone worried about the current canine void in my life, please know I've taken steps toward filling my heart again. No dog could ever replace Skoshi (or any of the other dogs I've been owned by in nearly 63 years). I've been in contact with the "Lucky Dog" TV program that rescues shelter dogs, trains them, then matches them with a deserving family -- and I'm hoping the will choose me for their upcoming season so I can once again have a best friend, bosom buddy, beloved companion & loyal Service Dog at my side.
Precious Little Girl
Nothing Inscrutable Here: I'm just CUTE!
Someone Talking 'bout Me?
+ Read More
Skoshi's eyesight is nearly gone. She runs into me, my lift recliner & my mobility scooter. I try to protect her, but due to my own physical limitations I fail miserably & it is totally heartbreaking.

With her vision so dim, she struggles with the visual cues that are necessary for many of the tasks she has faithfully performed for me. I've eased off on many of her duties & focus on what she can do.

No matter what, Skoshi has been & will remain my precious Best Friend & Bosom Buddy. She is loved & cherished no matter her condition or ability to help me. She is the best part of me & I'm glad to have her in my life!

Please spread the word about my little girl! Thanks!
Awwww... Mom, you're embarrassing me!
Cataracts: NOT a "Cool, Rare" Eye Color
+ Read More
Today was a very bittersweet day for us. Our excellent local newspaper, the Orange County Register, did an in-depth article about us, highlighting my struggle to raise the funds for my beloved Service Dog, Skoshi, to get cataract surgery to save her failing eyesight before she goes permanently & irrevocably blind. The link to the article is below:

The above article kickstarted this campaign & has brought in some donations.

Why is this a bittersweet day? Skoshi's mentor & big brother, the elderly Peter Pin, passed away in his sleep just this morning. I knew he was near the end, but it doesn't make my pain any less​.

Please enjoy the pix I've included of my Little Guy & have a smile in his honor. He was such an awesome dog, outgoing & friendly, a great companion and he did so much for me as my Service Dog. He did a wonderful job of mentoring Skoshi through her training as he eased into retirement, although he never tired of wanting to go everywhere & do everything with me.

I miss you Peter — I hope you're enjoying all the squirrels you're now chasing (but can never catch) @ the Rainbow Bridge!
A Very Young Peter Pin in his Heyday
Young "Potted Peter" Catching Some Rays
Skoshi & Peter Pin :: Better Days
+ Read More
Skoshi is losing more of her vision at a much faster rate now, although she still has some very limited vision left. Not having the best control of my hands, I could always count on the ever-watchful Skoshi to be there to scoop up food morsels that I drop — now I have to direct her to every little fumbled tidbit. On the flip-side to her vision & food, she's SO eager to get to her food & so joyfully jumps that she often knocks into her dish as I put it down & she upends it as she can't clearly see it — poor baby.

I've been thinking through the BEST way to care for Skoshi post-op, and I think for the first couple weeks I'd like to board her at the local vet for safety's sake (if the funds are raised). Skoshi is a boisterous, joyful jumper, especially to sit with me on my lift recliner, and I'm concerned she could easily fall & dislodge the lens implants as she heals or do the same by running into things with an outsized E-collar. She won't like being away from me, but I'd be able to visit her daily by riding over to the vet on my mobility scooter.
Patiently Waiting to Save my Eyesight!
+ Read More
Read a Previous Update
Be the first to leave a comment on this campaign.

$1,360 of $7,000 goal

Raised by 21 people in 47 months
No Longer Accepting Donations
 Share on Facebook
Created November 13, 2014
Your share could be bringing in donations. Sign in to track your impact.
We will never post without your permission.
In the future, we'll let you know if your sharing brings in any donations.
We weren't able to connect your Facebook account. Please try again later.
Jeff Henscheid
35 months ago

Good luck!

35 months ago
christine cotter
35 months ago

As a life long dog/animal lover and owner of an 18 year old YorkshireI know how wonderful and important pets are. Good luck!

35 months ago
36 months ago (Offline Donation)
Be the first to leave a comment on this campaign.
Use My Email Address
By continuing, you agree with the GoFundMe
terms and privacy policy
There's an issue with this Campaign Organizer's account. Our team has contacted them with the solution! Please ask them to sign in to GoFundMe and check their account. Return to Campaign

Are you ready for the next step?
Even a $5 donation can help!
Donate Now Not now
Connect on Facebook to keep track of how many donations your share brings.
We will never post on Facebook without your permission.