Not many of our friends and family have had a chance to get to know our puppy Charlene Bunny Rabbit (aka Charlie) and you haven't seen many photos of her on social media. Trust us when we tell you it is not because she is shy or that we aren't the typical photo obsessed pet owners. Basically we've refrained from putting her photos up until we could tell her whole story and now we finally can!
Since February 1st she's been in recovery from a major surgery on incredibly rare bone cysts in her two front elbow joints. Although the cysts themselves aren't extremely rare, her surgeon was only able to find TWO OTHER CASES in the country where the animal had these cysts in more than one leg. These cysts created big cavities where her joints couldn't develop and caused the otherwise happy puppy a great amount of pain. We started noticing that she seemed to whine after hikes or rambunctious play only a few weeks after we rescued her for Jason's fortieth birthday and had a strange feeling that something wasn't quite right. After a few months it was clear we needed to have her X-rayed and took her to Colonial Vet Clinic. Her surgeon, Dr. Soha, actually used the word MIRACLE when describing how surprised he was that she hadn't already broken her legs (the cysts left her with the thinnest layer of bone, highly susceptible to breakage) he performed surgery as soon as he could get the synthetic bone matter needed to fill in these huge holes in her little legs. That is when the work really started. She was under extremely strict rest, confined to a kennel as much as possible and could only go out on a 4 foot leash to use the bathroom. Recovery took a total of three long months. Until the bone matter adhered to her bone she was still at very high risk of breaking her legs without any chance of healing. INSANE RIGHT? Even though she had just had surgery Charlie was there for us to lift our spirits when we lost our little Bug in the midst of all of this stress. She is finally on the other side of the healing process and is a wild, sweet, and healthy 11 month old puppy. But of course, when surgeons use the words RARE or MIRACLE you can bet that it won't be cheap.
And cheap it was not. Even with some discounts (because these Cornell vets were so interested in the rarity of this condition) this has totaled to a cost of over $7000. Yes, that is three zeros. Not that most people have that much money just lying around, but with this being the year that Jason started fresh in a new Real Estate position and myself opening a brand new small business we were only able to come up with about $1500 toward the huge bills on our own. However, a veterinary surgeon does not take payments. That is when Salty Dog Rescue, aka Barbara Cook, aka MOM came through for the pups yet again. She used money from her personal account to pay the $5500 remaining balance in order to save Charlies legs and give her a normal life. Not because I'm her kid (although I'm sure that helped a little) but because her heart is always with the underdog! Is anyone surprised? Of course not, because somewhere along the way, whether it be with your pet or even a sick relative she has helped you too. Now is your opportunity to say thank you and pay it forward!
Jason and I aren't asking for the $1500 that came out of our pockets, instead we plan to raise the full $7000 (OR MORE) which will get Barbara her money back and help replenish the Salty Dog Fund for the next people (and pup) in need! We know that when that safety net was there for us it made a very difficult situation a lot easier, plus fundraising is a great reminder of all the good that exists in this messy world! SO LETS DO IT people! Thank you for letting us share our story with you! Love: Jennie, Jason, and Charlie too!