Gator, our emotional support dog and family member needs help with hip dysplasia surgery. Please help us save Gator! Link here
The young boy sits on the edge of the couch, his little features pinched as he begins to cry. Quickly, a large dog that seems more fluff than face perches himself in front of the boy, placing a large but gentle paw on the boy's leg. The boy pauses in his tears as he reaches to pet the large head. The dog takes that as his cue, and rests his head in the boy's lap. The boy smiles as he pets the dog, even a laugh escapes. No more tears, thanks to a furry friend.
The boy is three year old Isaiah, who struggles daily with a disorder that results in severe anxiety and panic attacks. The dog is Gator, also three, a Tibetan Terrier that Isaiah's family adopted from a rescue. While now certified as an emotional support dog, Gator received no formal training before coming into the home. He simply saw a need and was there to fill it. Because that's the kind of dog Gator is: kind and comforting. And he is exactly what little Isaiah needs. Even in the grips of his panic, Isaiah can't ignore Gator's immense size, and taking his focus off the fear is exactly what the boy needs. Isaiah's brothers and sister love the canine member of the family, as do his parents.
“Gator has helped everyone,” says Talita, Isaiah's mom. “He's even helped with my depression.”
With Larry, Talita's husband and Isaiah's father, an Active duty Air Force member. Who is regularly away from home on behalf of his country, Gator also serves as protector. When Larry does get time at home, Gator is a frequent running companion. Or he was. Until a jogging session left Gator unable to stand. Talita took Gator to the vet and received the verdict: hip dysplasia. Born with the defect, chronic pain has become part of the routine for this dog. Gator's abnormal hip bone had worn away and was now in danger of losing the joint entirely. While hip dysplasia is not unknown in large dog breeds, his case was the worst the vet had ever seen in a dog so young.
A hip replacement operation is what he needs. However, the surgery costs for Gator is estimated at $5,900, an amount that a military family just doesn't have. Despite the staggering sum, they cannot imagine life without Gator. He is currently on medication to keep his pain down and to help him be comfortable, but a temporary solution. Surgery is his best and only option. Gator's family is asking anyone with a love for animal companions to please help save Gator. Any amount donated helps and is very appreciated.
Gator was diagnosed and is seen at Holloman AFB Vet Clinic and surgery procedure will be performed by Alamogordo Animal Hospital. Please help save Gator!