August 4th, 2021
By Lisa, RedRover Relief Urgent Care grant recipient
In October of 2020, I adopted a dog named Cinnamon from a rescue organization. I was told that she had been turned in to the shelter for being food aggressive. The foster family said that she was a picky eater and that they had not found a food that she really liked.
Once I got her home, I noticed that she would be so excited and wagging her tail when I was fixing food, but once I put it down, she would move it around in her mouth and spit it out and then eat a small piece at a time. I decided to pick up some canned food and try that. She ate it right up and after feeding her this for several days, I made an appointment with a vet because I thought that perhaps her teeth were a problem. The vet said she had severe periodontal disease and a cracked tooth. He said her mouth was most likely very painful. He put her on an antibiotic and pain meds, and we scheduled a dental appointment.
The estimated cost of dental was between $400 and $700. This was way more than I had in my savings account! I filled out the RedRover Urgent Care grant application and was thrilled when they offered to pay $200 towards her dental bill. This would be the happy ending for Cinnamon — her mouth felt better. She is a gentle, smart, and athletic girl.
But this is not the only happy ending. Last July 2020, I had a stroke that left me with a weak left leg. I have always been an active hiker that loves an adventure, and I had not been stable enough to take a hike on a trail with any slope on it at all. Then along comes Cinnamon.
One day, about a month after I got her, we were walking along a flat mountain trail, and I decided to explore a deer trail. It didn’t look too steep, so up we went. However, when we were coming back down, I slipped and fell. Cinnamon immediately came to my side and walked sideways in front of me to help me get down the slope!
Since then, she has naturally figured out that I need some assistance sometimes and all I have to do is call her to my side and hold her vest handle, and she will stay with me navigating down or up the mountain. Because of her, I have been able to continue to have adventures and get the exercise my body needs to recover. I owe it all to her. She is my hero. She is now my official service dog and goes everywhere with me.
RedRover helped our new beginning together be less stressful and I am ever so grateful!