March 8th, 2022
By Savannah Verdon, Development and Engagement Coordinator
With her squishy face and impossibly floppy pink tongue, Maggie Mae the English Bulldog was a sight to behold – and the true love of Cindy’s life. Over three years together, from the earliest days of Maggie’s puppyhood to the present, they have formed a special bond. For those of us who feel that pets are family, their connection may sound familiar:
“Maggie Mae, aka Boogie, has been my rock and by my side since she was a pup. She knows when I am down and sad. She lays with her head on me every night. She comes to me if I cry and hugs me. She is very in tune with me and my issues. She gets her shots and heartworm meds. I look after her folds and try to take care of her as well as she takes care of me.”
In a word, they were inseparable. Because Cindy paid such loving attention to Maggie, she was quick to notice any changes to her sweet girl’s health. The folds of an English Bulldog’s face make them prone to dermatitis and bacterial skin infections if not cleaned regularly, so Cindy was especially vigilant about anything unusual with Maggie’s skin. While Maggie would get the occasional pimple as she grew, Cindy was taken aback when one near Maggie’s eye just wouldn’t go away.
Not only did the blemish seem here to stay, but Cindy soon noticed that it was growing in size. It occurred to her that she and Maggie Mae might be facing something much more serious than a pimple – with, perhaps, a more serious price to pay for treatment. To make matters worse, Maggie would scratch at the growth in her discomfort, leaving it an open wound with a high risk of infection.
While Maggie’s veterinarian did not believe the growth to be cancerous, the risk of it negatively affecting her vision was cause for concern, and surgical removal was recommended. With some of her fear for Maggie alleviated, Cindy was now faced with the cost of the surgery.
Cindy had been navigating life with a disability that made it difficult for her to work. She received different types of government assistance to cover the basic costs of living, but she was left with little to nothing for unexpected expenses like Maggie’s surgery. Even though the growth wasn’t cancerous and wasn’t yet large enough for it to pose a problem for Maggie’s vision, Cindy didn’t want to delay getting the surgery and leave her baby in pain and discomfort any longer – so she began her search for help.
Cindy submitted an application to every organization she could find that might offer help with Maggie Mae’s surgery, and she persisted despite being denied a line of credit. On her application for a RedRover Relief Urgent Care grant, she shared about her and Maggie’s joyful relationship, as well as the distress she felt for not being able to afford the surgery right away:
“It pains me that I must scramble to try and have this growth taken off. I can’t see myself without her and I am praying I have her much longer.”
As she awaited responses from different organizations, hopeful that someone would understand what was at stake if she couldn’t help her Maggie Mae, Cindy was overjoyed to receive a call from RedRover letting her know her application had been approved. She scheduled the surgery and anxiously counted down the days until her beautiful, squishy-faced baby would get the treatment she needed.
Cindy reached back out to RedRover with a happy update once Maggie Mae had returned home and begun her journey toward recovery:
“I cannot express my gratitude enough to your organization. Because of you and your donors, Maggie Mae was able to have the growth below her eye removed. Maggie was the hit of the office, as she is everywhere she goes. The doctor got all of the growth and it did not affect her eye or eyesight at all. It took a little longer to get her balance back after surgery than expected but within two days, I had my Maggie Mae back. Maggie Mae means the world to me. She comforts me, entertains me, and loves me. I could take care of her growth because of your donors. I will forever feel blessed because of your assistance.”
We are filled with hope and gratitude for the Happy Tails our supporters make possible. Thank you for your commitment to the belief that pets are family and for bringing Cindy and Maggie Mae – and hundreds of others like them – from crisis to care!