November 8th, 2021
By Savannah Verdon, RedRover Development and Engagement Coordinator
In Debra’s home, no birthday can pass without a celebration. Her cat Louie and two dogs, Peanut and Isabelle, know this, and while the balloons and streamers may make little sense to them, they could hardly say no to treats and love from mom.
Throwing a birthday party for your pet may be a little unconventional – unless you believe that pets are family. Any pet parent knows that whether you have just one furry friend or ten, you love each of them with your whole heart and more. Debra and Peanut were no exception. When asked about her bond with the handsome, 11-year-old boxer, Debra shared this:
“He came to me late in life, but after knowing him for over three years, I wish I had known him forever. His last birthday was celebrated with a party, and it was an event filled with family and simply pure joy. He tap dances for me daily, and puts his head back and howls if I move too slowly plating his meals. He is the first face I see in the morning, and I tuck him in bed each night.”
With such attentive love and care, it’s no surprise that Peanut was in excellent health for his age. But just a month after leaving the veterinarian’s office with good news and peace of mind, Debra noticed Peanut had a growth on his scrotum.
The growth was later determined to be a mast cell tumor, and because Debra had caught it so early, Peanut’s prognosis was good. If they didn’t remove the tumor, however, they risked the cancer metastasizing throughout his body. Whether that would mean undergoing chemotherapy or receiving palliative care, Debra couldn’t allow that to be Peanut’s fate, and she saw no option but to remove the tumor as soon as possible.
Removing the tumor required surgery. With bloodwork, anesthesia, pain medication, and a histopathology report, the quote Debra received was just short of a thousand dollars. Debra was in between jobs because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and earlier in the year, Louie the cat – another furry family member – had needed two procedures that depleted the savings she kept for her pets’ needs.
She approached finding the money for Peanut’s surgery with the same dedication and zeal she had for planning Peanut’s parties – no stone was left unturned to ensure her sweet boy would have the happy life he deserved. When she was denied a line of credit, she started a fundraiser online. When she was approved for assistance from one non-profit organization, she applied to more. Day by day, she was inching closer to having the full amount she needed. Finally, with the help of a RedRover Relief Urgent Care grant, she had reached her goal.
Only nine days had passed between discovering Peanut’s tumor and having it removed. Not only was his surgery a resounding success, his histopathology report confirmed that the tumor would not be returning. Peanut was home and back to his tap-dancing and howling ways in time to celebrate yet another special day with his family:
“We had such a day of joy yesterday – our Peanut, the 11-year-old boxer, was the honorary guest at his little corgi sister’s 2nd birthday party! When I heard the news of his mast cell diagnosis, I felt a pit in my stomach and worried if he would even make it to the end of the month. Not only did his amazing surgeon help him fly through surgery like a puppy, but his recovery has been right on schedule. His histopathology report sent me through the moon because it showed that they got it all. It really was the best possible outcome! Now that the summer heat has subsided, I have some exciting hikes and day trips planned for him. He is being spoiled with never ending snuggles, games like his snuffle mat, and good old fashioned roughhousing with family and, of course, Isabelle the Corgi. My most heartfelt gratitude goes out to everyone at RedRover for making all of this possible, and for all of the assistance you provide for dogs just like Peanut, who just needed a little boost to get over one of life’s hurdles. Peanut sends his utmost love.”
For the help our supporters offered in his time of need, Peanut would like to share his birthday cupcakes with you…if only he hadn’t eaten them!
We are so grateful for the support of our generous donors who help RedRover keep families like Debra and Peanut together through crisis!