As most of you know my Boxer Tripp who is also my registered service dog, has become sick. We were at the lake riding around in the boat late Thursday afternoon, which he loves to be in the front of the boat with the wind blowing on his face and his jaws flapping in the wind. After we got home he became lethargic and would not eat or drink. I thought it was due to him having an episode at the lake getting in the water. I carried him outside, stood him up and he fell over. I called the the emergency vet but they were about to go into surgery so I ended up monitoring him through out the night.

The next morning 8-2-19 he was a little better but I took him to his Vet at Hendersonville Animal Hospital. The checked him out and all his vitals were good. His heart is strong, breathing is good. She said the episode at the lake really didn't have anything to do with what’s going on. They done blood work and it came back bad in some areas. His kidney and pancreatic levels were very high, he was showing being anemic, his white blood count was dangerously high, meaning he is fighting some sort of infection. They done an X-Ray and it showed his bladder and intestine was normal, but there was a big gray area around his pancreas and spleen which wasn’t showing up in the film and should've been. They said it was either his spleen and had a mass on it or it was pancreatic cancer. They wanted an ultra sound to see exactly what was going on. Now in Nov. 2018 his blood work was perfect and he was in perfect health because he had a dental cleaning and a few teeth pulled.

The Vet referred me to Blue Pearl in Franklin, TN for the ultrasound but they charge $435 then another $135 to go through the emergency services because they said they just can’t schedule and ultrasound. $570 TOTAL. RIDICULOUS!!! I told them that most people with Service Dogs don’t have a lot of money and are on disability or fixed incomes. Is there a special program or discounted rate for Service Dogs. They said No. So I said  well y’all should be completely ashamed of yourselves. I understand they have cost but for heavens sake.
The Vet bill this morning for his blood work and X-Ray was $479 and I paid that in full but it almost wiped me out. I can't qualify for Care Credit because after my 2nd neck surgery and not receiving an income I fell behind on everything. After I received a settlement from work comp, I paid everything off and was able to keep my house but my credit took a major hit. I am fighting to get my disability and an attorney has that now. For money, I rent out one of the bedrooms in my house to make utilities and with the work that comes in each month from Real Estate Photography and Drone photography it has been enough to make ends meet.

After calling around all over, I was referred to a Vet in Kentucky. I called them and they said they would do Tripp’s ultrasound that afternoon and give the results to my Vet. So I drove him to Franklin, KY (8-2-19). They only charged $99.11 which I paid that in full. That was about the last little bit I had left. The good news, It's Not Cancer. However there is a Mass on his Spleen and his Spleen needs to be removed ASAP. Time is very crucial and they want to do it first thing Monday or Tuesday. The Vet said since his blood work was perfect in November 2018 and he was in perfect health then, she has a lot of confidence that this will prolong his life. If he doesn't get the surgery then I'm going to lose him. Now before you say he's just a dog please continue to read. The funds raised will be used to pay for his surgery and medicine. Please help save my boy. 

Anybody that has met Tripp knows he's more than just a dog, he’s special in every kind of way and very well behaved. He is CKC Registered and comes from championship bloodlines. His sire, was a Grand Champion and his Grandfather was a 2x National Grand Champion. I saved him from having to go to a shelter when the previous owner took him back after finding out he was being abused as a puppy (how can someone do that to an innocent sweet animal is beyond me). Tripp was very skittish and would not go to anyone.  The owner was losing his house and being forced to rent a place and since he already had Tripp's parents, he needed to find him a home. The guy told me when I arrived, be prepared and not to get my hopes because out of all the people come to look at him he wouldn't go to anyone. When I walked in the house and I first laid eyes on him, I immediately fell in love and knew he was the one. He was very skittish, would walk around me and just stare at me. I asked for one of his treats and got down on the floor and laid on my stomach. After about 5 minutes he finally started crawling towards me, he got pretty close, then he warmed up, let me pet him and took right to me. The guy was completely shocked, he said WOW, over 20 people have come to look at him the past few days and he wouldn't go to a single one of them, not even a sweet little girl.  He really likes you. It was like God brought a Boxer and a man with a shattered broken heart together. Now here's what's kinda ironic, Tripp's Birthday is December 6, that date wouldn't mean much to most people and I didn't really pay attention to it until my Dad pointed out that Dec. 6 was also the day my brother died in 1998. 

The 1st day I had him, I remember I was walking him in the neighborhood when he put his nose in the air, hit the end of his leash, his collar broke and he ran off. I tried my best to catch him, I went and got the car and tried to chase after him but he disappeared. I searched day and night, I called the previous owner and told him what happened, he said when I got a solid lead, let him know and he would come down. I put up over 100 posters, had help from neighbors and prayed that I would get him back. Most people would've gave up after a few days. I just couldn't. He was out there alone and would be cold and hungry. When I wasn't working, I drove around and looked for him. I never gave up, after many false leads and praying to God. One night the phone rang and said he was in his backyard and he had been feeding him. I went and checked it out thinking it was probably another false lead. It was raining but I shined the flashlight and it was Tripp. I called the previous owner and after 14 days God reunited us. He was a little malnourished and dehydrated but the Vet said he was doing quite well.
Ever since that day, Tripp hasn't left my side. He’s been my traveling partner, fishing and hiking buddy, a protector, guard dog and a shotgun rider when I was driving a truck and on the road. He's traveled to 17 states with me. Over the years we moved 4 times and he’s helped me through 4 surgeries, my lower back surgery which put me down for 6 months, my right arm surgery and 2 surgeries on my neck which put me down over a year that left me with a permanent disability. After learning he would help me if I had to use a walker or help me up if I fell. He went through training to become a service dog and the trainer said he went through it with a breeze. So he got on the national registry and became my Service Dog.

Not many know this, but Tripp even saved my life once when I almost died from an opioid addiction, which I became hooked after my back surgery. I remember after I got home, it was 7:30 pm, I took a few pills and that was the last thing I remembered, till I woke up the next morning on the tile kitchen floor with just a pair of shorts and t-shirt on. Tripp was nudging me with his head, licking my face, barking and pawing at me. Which everyone knows he doesn't bark unless you're playing with him. After coming  around and realizing what time of day it was. I felt horrible, looked at him and said yeah I know boy, I have  a problem, I knew I needed to get help. So I did just that. (October 2019 it will be 4 yrs).

Almost everyday Tripp does something to make me laugh. He is very smart, obedient, knows many hand commands without saying a word or when I need help by the tone of my voice. He follows me everywhere.  When I go the bathroom he will push the door open to check on me and sit on the mat and wait for me. I can’t imagine life without him, I know some day I will have to because dogs don't live that long. It doesn't seem right for that time to be now when he has some years left in him. Tripp has been a blessing from God and is part of the family. My Dad loved him. When my Dad was in the hospital he went and sat in the hospital bed or in the chair beside him. When my Dad passed away, he jumped on the sofa sat next to me and started to lick the tears off my face and just laid his head on my chest and put his paw on my shoulder. When he gives me a hug he puts one paw on my shoulder. When I'm in my office working, he is right there looking out the window. To everyone else he might be just a dog, but to me, he’s much more than that and he's been a true blessing. I asked God for a best friend and he gave me a Boxer. He’s been all that as well as a companion and I truly believe I would not be here if it wasn’t for Tripp and the good Lord. Anything you could donate would mean so much to me. Please Help save him.
He saved my life once so I have to do everything I can to save his. #HelpSaveTripp.

Thank you for reading. God Bless!!!

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JD Walker 
Hendersonville, TN
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