Leroy's Fund

$5,755 of $5,000 goal

Raised by 113 people in 30 months
Jennifer Zifcheck Costello  STRONGSVILLE, OH



Hi there family and friends. 

As most of you may already know, Leroy isn't doing so well. He hasn't been doing well for several months now and he took a turn for the worse earlier this week. He's currently in intensive care at a local animal hospital and a lot of tests are being done to figure out exactly what is wrong with him. 

What we know right now from tests that have already been done is that he has severe GI disease and dangerously low albumin levels. He has a scary amount of fluid accumlating in his body and is having it drained regularly. 

He is having an upper and lower GI scope done on Friday that should give us some more answers.

This is my first time creating a fundraising campaign and to be honest it's not something that I ever thought I would need to do but here's the thing, I don't have all the money right now to cover the cost of all these tests and treatments and I need to swallow my pride and ask you for help. I need to stop being selfish and step up for Leroy, my family and for you. Leroy's a very special member of our family and he deserves the best chance to beat this. 




A very good friend told me this the other day and it stuck:

"You share all his adorable moments and successes and the happy times, please let us share this too."

And the answer to that is I want to spread happiness not sadness and right now this is heartbreaking but in the end I hope it will be all happiness.

Does that make sense?





And just because I feel the need to explain more of why I'm not financially prepared for these type of costs. My husband and I both have full time jobs and are raising 2 amazing children and 2 dogs. We work hard but life throws us curveballs, one after another.... as I'm sure it does for most people. I won't bore you with the details because I'm sure you get it. 

I did have pet insurance on both Sherman and Leroy a few years ago but then cancelled it when life threw us one of those curveballs. So then I set up a small savings account for the dogs and then Sherman got sick and we wiped that out.

Before I was able to get the savings account back up, Leroy ate the rocks and had to have surgery and ever since then it has been down hill for him and we can't catch up. 


We've exhausted all funds on his current treatment and have since applied for personal loans and are waiting to hear back. 

That's our story. I'm sure it's more than you needed to know but it's what I had to say.

My family and I greatly appreciated all of your support and thank you to my special friends for encouraing me to do this. 

-Jen

p.s. Leroy is curently hospitalized at Animal Clinic Northview in North Ridgeville, Ohio, because you should know that too:)

** Go Fund Me does charge a small fee for each dontation so if you feel more comfortable making a direct donation to the clinic mentioned above, that works too. 

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Update 6
Posted by Jennifer Zifcheck Costello
30 months ago
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Each day it seems like Leroy continues to improve. He is still eating well and we've even been able to get out and go for short walks.

The main concern right now is his weight and muscle loss. Leroy is definitely not the dogs he was a few months ago. He goes for a recheck on Friday and I'm hoping he's been able to put a few pounds on over the last week.

We will be checking his albumin and protein levels and hopefully we will be able to begin to taper down his prednisone dose a bit.

I'm super nervous of what might happen when the dose gets lowered, like the edema will come back, but we won't know unless we try.

We are currently working with a canine nutritionist on a diet plan for Leroy. From what I understand it could be a lot of trial so we will again hope for the best.

I will update again after Friday to let you all know how the appointment went. Keep your paws crossed for good news!

Thanks so much,
Jen
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Update 5
Posted by Jennifer Zifcheck Costello
30 months ago
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What a difference a day makes!

Everyday Leroy is improving! He is able to get up easier and seems so much more comfortable than he was at this time last week.

He's getting the "Leroy" look back in his eyes and this weekend he woke me up way too early on both days but I'm not complaining because seeing his face on my bed was a welcome and missed sight!

Sunday night Leroy was even letting the neighborhood know he was back with his bark. His bark isn't the same. It sounds a little rough and off-key but I'm sure in a few more days it will be back to normal.

Our biggest concern right now is still to get some weight back on him because he is skin and bones. That will hopefully all come in time.

He's not the Leroy that we are use to seeing but we're confident we will see him again soon.

The steroids are giving him a ferocious appetite so we are continuing to feed him several small meals a day and he is gobbling them up with no problem.

I've been educating myself as much as I can on IBD so that we can be aware of what we are dealing.

It's gonna be a long and scary road but so far it looks like Leroy is on track!


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Update 4
Posted by Jennifer Zifcheck Costello
30 months ago
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Today Leroy had his recheck appointment and it looks as though we are moving in the right direction!

On the outside we can tell that Leroy is starting to slightly improve. While he is obviously thin, his strength is coming back and he has a ferocious appetite. He's getting fed small meals 4 times a day and hopefully we will be able to get some weight back on him soon.

On the inside he seems to also to improving which is such a big relief!



Leroy weighed in at 138 pounds today. Last week at this time he weighed 182 pounds so he has lost a majority of the fluid which is a good thing. Leroy's normally a bit on the thin side at his normal, healthy weight of 150 pounds so that will be the weight that we will look to get him back to over time.

His albumin levels are still in the "dangerously low" range but they have went up from last week by almost 50%! His protein levels are also on the rise!

Biopsy findings were consistent with IBD. Lympho-plasmacytic IBD, which I was told is the most common form of IBD seen in dogs.

Since we now know what exactly is going on treatment will continue and more medications have been added in. Along with the Prednisone, Famotidine and Carafate, Leroy will also be on weekly B12 injections, Folate and an antibiotic because the poor guy also has a UTI.

His levels will be rechecked again in 2 weeks with hopes that he continues to improve.

There's no cure for IBD but with any hope we will be able to gets Leroy back on track and carefully managed.

I will continue to provide weekly updates here so you can see Leroy's progress.

This is an amazing community we have here and I will never be able to thank you all enough for helping to save Leroy. He was in bad shape and I think even the vets are surprised that he is here today. I know for sure we couldn't of done it with out you and because of you he will continue to go on and hopefully create many more memories for you and us!

We exceeded Leroy's donation goal that was set in a very short amount of time and just so I'm being honest with you the donations that you so generously gave are a little over 1/2 of his medical costs and has hugely lifted a great deal of stress off of us as we were able to get Leroy the best care possible to get where he is right now. Every single dollar helped. Every single prayer helped.

My family and I continue to be touched beyond words.

-Jen


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Update 3
Posted by Jennifer Zifcheck Costello
30 months ago
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Leroy is home!

I'm sorry for the delayed update today but Leroy came home last night and we've been spending as much time with him as we can in between his well needed naps!

He was gone for 5 days but it felt so much longer than that and we are so happy to have him with us!

I'm going to be honest, it's kind of bittersweet to have him home. He's not the same Leroy. He's still very sick and that was apparent to us the first few minutes he was home.

He's weak to the point that he needs help getting up and walking. Once he's moving for a bit he's more stable. He's thin to the point that you can feel his spine and he has bleeding pressure sores on his elbows from trying to hoist himself up.

It's so hard to see him this way but we are doing everything in our power to make being home as comfortable as we can for him.

On a good note he is eating very well. Well, he doesn't like the special veterinary diet but he does dig the boiled chicken.

We're feeding him several small meals a day and also giving 3 medications prescribed by the vet. He will be going back to the vet Wednesday to recheck his protein levels and for an assessment.

We wouldn't be where we are right now without everyone's support. Whether it be prayers, good thoughts, emails, texts, donations, letters, social shares and phone calls they have all gotten us here.

Have you ever cried so much that you've actually become dehydrated? That's the point that I am at today. Tears of sadness, happiness, fear, love, loyalty and every other tear that there is.

What you did here is amazing. It will never be forgotten and it will be talked about for a long time.

I will continue the updates here for the rest of this journey and will do my very best to express our gratitude to all of you.



p.s. Forgive me for no recent pictures. I know that if I was Leroy the last thing I would want would be a camera in my face right now

-Jen
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Read a Previous Update
Caren Gittleman
30 months ago

All of us here are praying with all of our might!!! You bring so much joy to all of our lives, we adore Leroy and Sherman and ALL OF YOU!!!!!! Praying that handsome boy will be back to himself soon!!! We love you! Caren, Dakota and Cody

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Rosemary Camp
30 months ago

He is beautiful..I am praying............ Dear Lord, please come to Leroy's side and comfort him, heal him, ...give him the strength to overcome this battle he is fighting. In Your mercy, I humbly ask ......

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$5,755 of $5,000 goal

Raised by 113 people in 30 months
Created September 17, 2014
Jennifer Zifcheck Costello  
SS
$5
Susi Szeremy
28 months ago

Bet better, live long and prosper, Leroy!

DC
$20
Donated to clinic
30 months ago(Offline Donation)
A
$500
Annoymous
30 months ago(Offline Donation)
BD
$15
Beth Devore
30 months ago

Barley and I are sending Leroy and your family love and good, healing vibes!

DD
$20
Debby & Kirby the Dorkie
30 months ago

We love reading your blog about your sweet newf boys. Prayers of healing for Leroy.

$55
Anonymous
30 months ago
$20
The Walters Family Walters
30 months ago

Jen - Your blog and adventures with your family (human and furry) has been so great to read over the past years. It had a lot to do with me going forward with even getting Bear. Our whole family sends lots of get well wishes and love!

MM
$20
Michael McCarthy
30 months ago
TS
$100
The Team at Natural Stride
30 months ago

Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your entire family Jen!!! May healing and answers come your way very soon and may Leroy be on the road to recovery. -The Team at Natural Stride

SS
$50
Sue Smith
30 months ago

Dear Jen and family, We are also owned by "two brown newfies" and so enjoy your posts. You seem to capture the trials, tribulations and all the joy of sharing a home with these amazing creatures. All our best to you and your family as you LOVE Leroy back to full recovery.

Caren Gittleman
30 months ago

All of us here are praying with all of our might!!! You bring so much joy to all of our lives, we adore Leroy and Sherman and ALL OF YOU!!!!!! Praying that handsome boy will be back to himself soon!!! We love you! Caren, Dakota and Cody

+ Read More
Rosemary Camp
30 months ago

He is beautiful..I am praying............ Dear Lord, please come to Leroy's side and comfort him, heal him, ...give him the strength to overcome this battle he is fighting. In Your mercy, I humbly ask ......

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