Help Kuma

It pains me greatly to write this.
My furry companion is in need of help and right now, so am I!

A few nights ago, Kuma, my 9.5 year-old little Yorkie (and best companion ever) started bleeding from his mouth, for no obvious reason. At first, I thought maybe I brushed his teeth a little too abrasively (I admit, I can be a little obsessive at times as a dog mom). But when his gums wouldn’t stop bleeding, I had to rush him to the emergency room. After several expensive tests, I found out that he has zero blood platelets and his blood won’t clot. It’s a significantly dangerous condition for dogs. Not to mention, the bills. Oh, the bills! His prognosis, however, is quite good!

This isn’t the first time I’ve taken on credit card debt for his survival and hospital bills. Not only does he have epilepsy that requires ongoing, specially compounded medication due to his small size and routine lab work, there was also a time when he was a teething puppy, he found some wooden potpourri to chew on and started throwing up. Everywhere. Uncontrollably. And then there was that one time when I was chopping onions and garlic… before I could bend down to pick up the pieces that fell off the cutting board, he scarfed them up (this dog will eat anything, OMGosh)! Both of those times were overwhelming but we made it through them and after several crying nights and thousands of dollars later, on both occasions, he returned home.

I’m not one to ask for help and it’s quite humiliating to admit that this time I don’t have the financial ability to pay for something I feel is my responsibility. In fact, I spend a lot of time thinking about how I will take care of myself for the rest of my life. On top of Kuma’s bills, I have medical expenses and obligations of my own that I’m dealing with. I have a Chronic Kidney Disease called FSGS (Focal Segmental Glomerular Sclerosis). With it comes good days and bad days. And throughout them all, Kuma continues to be the brightest spot on my darkest days. I love him and I want to bring him home again.

Some of you might be thinking that it’s time to throw in the towel on this little “money-vacuum” that I own. But when I took him home on July 3, 2008. I knew we were going to be a team.

His unwavering devotion is like no other. He likes everything about me and he loves to please. He follows me everywhere — as close as my own shadow. He supervises my daily activities and snores away while I am on conference calls. I cannot tell you how many times I’ve been on a phone call and someone pauses to say: “is that Kuma I hear snoring in the background?” He’s tiny in size but leaves a big impression on everyone he meets. He’s been with me through thick and thin and I owe it to him to help him out.

When I was in kidney failure, Kuma was my Superman. For several months, I didn’t have much of an appetite and neither did he. Most days it was hard for me to walk from the severe edema I was experiencing. Kuma didn’t walk either. People would offer to walk him for me and he’d decline. Instead, he would run outside, do his business and run right back inside (which is totally unlike him. If you know him, he’s the neighborhood socialite and he prefers a walk every four hours). 

Probably once a day, someone from our neighborhood drives or walks by and cheerfully calls out “KUMAAAAAAA!” when they see him. He stops. We both smile (yes, he smiles too). Then he does a little dance and curls his butt under to invite a back scratching if the person is close enough. I don’t think I’m the only one who has benefitted from his joyful glow and cheerful disposition. So, I’m asking all of you  –  your friends and your friend’s friends – to help me help him. 

We need about $6,000 to cover his 3 overnight stays in the ICU (so far), his IVs, chest and abdominal x-rays and ultrasounds, his blood transfusions and blood panels and his veterinary care.

I know this little guy wouldn’t want me crying like I have for the past few days from the stress of trying to pay his bills and mine. If you’d like to contribute to Kuma’s case, I’d appreciate it endlessly. As a matter of fact, I’d probably cry some more (this time out of gratitude).

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Kristen Merry 
Los Angeles, CA
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