When you look at the photos below, to most of you I may look perfectly healthy. I may even look happy. Well the truth is, I am not perfectly healthy. I have been challenged to deal with SEVERE anxiety, depression, PTSD, chronic migraines, and my favorite one of all, vertigo. I use the word challenged because I know that God is challenging me because He knows that I am strong enough to fight back and won't give up. Though, there was a point a few short months ago where I did want to give up. I did not want to fight back anymore. I decided I was going to attempt to take my life. I would have succeeded if my Fiancee had not walked into the bedroom at that very moment. She literally saved my life. I bet you couldn't tell from those happy photos below right?
Though I endure countless (and I mean countless) doctor visits, medications, and other sources to try and get myself better, there is one thing that has proven itself a fact to heal me. A Service Dog. Of all the different medications, and such, my doctors have advised, encouraged, and medically referred that it is in my absolute best interest to have a Service Dog. For those who do not know, a service dog is a dog that is highly trained to alert and mitigate to several kinds of illnesses; such as the ones that I have. Not only are they trained to alert to these illnesses, they are trained to perform several tasks that I am not able to do on my own when my illnesses are ripping me apart. - FYI, an Emotional Support Animal is NOT the same as a Service Animal.
The dog in the photos below, his name is Baby Groot. He is 5 months old right now, and though he is still a puppy, that does not stop him from doing his job! He has been in training since he was 8 weeks old! Since then he has learned and performed so many different tasks and skills that has helped me so much in keeping me in a good medical state! I have been working with him every day and he is such a quick learner! I could not be more proud of him!
Because of Baby Groot, I have had LESS anxiety attacks, less migraines, no longer skipping meals (Groot makes sure that I eat because he has learned that if I don't, I get an instant migraine, which then triggers dizzy spells), and my depression has decreased TREMENDOUSLY! Groot can detect when these illnesses are going to effect me before I even know! He does this by smelling my breath so he can sniff out the cortisol level that our bodies give off. (Though we humans cannot detect this scent, dogs sure can!) Cortisol is basically the stress hormone. My cortisol level raises frequently throughout the day on a daily basis. Some days it doesn't get too high. Other days its as if its trying to get into the guiness book of world records with how high it can get. BUT! With Groot around, I am able to prepare myself so it doesn't get so high and Groot knows how to distract me by playing with me and making sure that I am focusing on that and not my stress levels.
Before Groot came into my life, on a daily basis I would experience multiple anxiety attacks. I couldn't go a day without having a minimum of 4 different attacks. Some would be very small and minor, others would make me feel as though I was literally going to die. For those who do not know about Vertigo, it is basically a type of chemical imbalance that pretty much makes you feel dizzy all the time. Dizzy spells happen frequently. For me, I am dizzy every second of every day. I have learned to cope with it, but some days are much much harder than others. I have no idea when my vertigo is going to decide to really kick my ass, but when it does and it really acts up, it typically causes me to collapse. - This actually happened the other day. Baby Groot knew what was going on and he did alert me but I was stubborn because I was determined to continue on with my plans and ignored his alerts which eventually wasn't the brightest idea because I did indeed collapse. - When Groot gets taller and stronger, he will be able to put his weight up against me so that I can be stabilized and I will be able to grab hold of his harness and he will guide me around safely and will keep me from falling.
Groot has changed my life so much. He makes sure that my illnesses don't get worse than what they already are. And when they do act up, he makes sure to let me know before I even realize that they are acting up so I can take immediate action! Of all the medications and remedies I have tried, Service Dog Groot has by far proven himself the BEST medication! Because of him, I am FINALLY able to go back into the theme parks without fear of the crowds because he knows to make sure I don't have a melt down. And if he senses it, he immediately lets me know and will redirect me so I won't have a melt down!
But here's the thing. I need YOUR help. In order to make Groot my own service dog, I need to pay for him. And well, a Service Dog is certainly NOT cheap!! My finances are embarrassingly terrible. But I NEED this service dog. I cannot live my life anymore in the pain that I have been in. I just want to be better. I want to be normal. Groot makes me feel better. If you have made it this far down my novel, know that that means the world to me. Understand that even ONE DOLLAR can bring me closer to keeping Groot forever!
If your finances are bad like mine and you can't help me, I understand! Just knowing that you took the time out to read this and learn how truly important keeping Groot is, means so much to me! I thank you all who've read and I hope there is someone out there who is able to help me!
I wish you all a happy life!
- Cynthia Rivera
- Carolyn Bentley
- Maria Franqui
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