June 10th, 2022
By Savannah Verdon, Development and Engagement Coordinator
When Crystal first adopted Gunny in 2016, it was only because one of her children had fallen head over heels in love with the little chihuahua and her expressive eyebrows – or at least, that’s how Crystal reasoned to herself that Gunny absolutely had to come home with them. Soon everyone in the family adored Gunny (and her eyebrows), and the feeling was mutual.
In fact, Gunny was more than a loving companion. Crystal’s partner at the time suffered from seizures. Despite not having formal training, Gunny was skilled at alerting them to an impending seizure and comforting Crystal’s partner throughout the ordeal. Long after Crystal and her partner went their separate ways, Gunny remained an enduring source of emotional support for the family through their ups and downs.
Gunny began to have problems with her eyes in 2019. The whites of her right eye had turned red, and she would squint frequently as the eye wept and began to swell. The veterinarian prescribed eyedrops to alleviate the symptoms, which seemed to work for a short while but, unfortunately, Gunny’s eye problem progressed to glaucoma. She lost vision in her right eye, and vision in her left eye was impaired. Crystal could tell that her normally happy-go-lucky pup was anxious and sad, and the pressure in her eyes was causing her pain.
Crystal had been unemployed for some time due to the COVID-19 pandemic and money was tight, but she wanted so badly to take Gunny back to the veterinarian and do whatever was necessary to ease her pain. This time, Gunny’s right eye was extremely swollen, and eyedrops alone would not be able to bring the swelling down and rid Gunny of her pain and discomfort. Crystal spent a considerable amount of money, more than she could comfortably afford, to have a veterinarian examine Gunny once again.
The veterinarian was concerned that the pressure in Gunny’s eye could cause a rupture, and that the safest course of action would be to surgically remove the eyeball. The surgery could cost well over $1,000, and there was a chance Gunny would need both eyeballs removed since glaucoma was beginning to develop in her left eye as well. The staggering cost was a shock to Crystal. It would take her several months to save up enough for the surgery, but Gunny didn’t have that long to wait when she was in pain every day.
Crystal dedicated her time to making sure sweet little Gunny would get the surgery she needed as soon as possible. She found organizations in her area that could help, and as she researched online, she learned about the RedRover Relief Urgent Care grant program. With her Urgent Care grant application pending, Crystal crossed her fingers hoping for something positive.
The good news came via a phone call from one of RedRover’s compassionate case managers, letting Crystal know that her application had been approved. She had already scheduled the surgery with an eye specialist on a leap of faith, and knowing she would be able to afford helping Gunny dissolved the fear and uncertainty she had been living with for years.
Gunny had both of her eyes removed during the surgery to ensure she would not experience the same kind of pain in her left eye in the future. Though losing her eyesight entirely was a huge change, she was resilient, and she quickly learned to navigate the world without it. As Gunny healed, Crystal noticed that Gunny had more energy than ever since her eye trouble first began. She was delighted to have her girl back home healthy, happy, and with her expressive eyebrows intact.
We are so grateful for these opportunities to keep families together through crises, and we are thankful that we can count on the support of the FurEver Friends each month to make that possible.
From families like Gunny and Crystal and all of us here at RedRover, thank you! We couldn’t do it without you!