August 4th, 2023
By Savannah Verdon, Development and Engagement Coordinator II
If it weren’t for Bug and Gumdrop, Sandy would have felt terribly alone after her husband passed away. Bug was her 11-year-old Chihuahua, and Gumdrop was Bug’s cat (even though Sandy filled the food bowls). Six years ago, she had rescued Bug from a bad situation, and now Bug was such a part of the family that she had a pet of her own! Gumdrop was practically three times her size, but every night they would make space for Bug so the two could be rocked gently to sleep in Sandy’s lap.
For such a tiny gal, Bug sure left big paw prints on Sandy’s heart:
“Bug is my breath. She is with me constantly except for appointments and showering. I never leave her overnight. She goes with me or neither of us go at all. People love to meet her and tell me how sweet she is, especially for a chihuahua, and she never barks at anyone. We cuddle and rock, we cuddle and sleep, we cuddle and walk to get fresh air. She’s my loveBug, cuddleBug and sometimes stinkBug. I couldn’t possibly love her any more than I do now.”
When Sandy was still married, it had been easy to take care of her pets’ veterinary needs, and she was fortunate that her pets had never needed extensive treatment to begin with. But once she was widowed and herself no longer working due to a disability, she was all the more vigilant to Bug and Gumdrop’s wellbeing. Bug was healthy, but like many older pups, not quite as healthy as she once was.
Bad news struck twice: Bug was diagnosed with glaucoma in one eye and injured the other by running into something around the same time. The injured eye began to dry out, leaving Bug with partial vision loss while mounting pressure in the other eye caused her tremendous pain. No matter what, Bug would very likely be blind in both eyes, but she didn’t have to be in pain. And as lost as Bug would be without Sandy there to guide her, Sandy would be just as lost if she couldn’t find a way to help her little girl.
The cost to remove the eye with glaucoma was about half of Sandy’s fixed monthly income. When the veterinarian determined it would be best if both eyes were removed and the cost of surgery increased, she was prepared to use the money she had budgeted for groceries if it meant Bug wouldn’t have to wait any longer. She was immensely grateful to see friends and family contributing to her fundraiser, and after reviewing her finances, she realized she just needed that last bit of help so Bug could feel like herself again. Sandy applied for a RedRover Relief Urgent Care grant as Bug reluctantly finished her pre-operative course of antibiotics. When the day of the surgery finally arrived, Bug had plenty of people in her corner rooting for a smooth recovery, including the FurEver Friends that make our Urgent Care grants possible.
Bug may have lost both of her eyes that day, but she found a love and gratitude for Sandy deeper than she had known before. With Gumdrop cuddled up next to Bug, Sandy knew her baby was safe so she could sneak away to share this update:
“Bug had her surgery yesterday and is doing well! She ate and went potty today but mostly she’s just sleeping. I will let her sleep all she wants. I’m so glad that this surgery is over and done with! Bug is a little trooper let me tell you. Thank you and everyone that helped Bug get this surgery, I couldn’t have done it so quickly without your help. Y’all are awesome. I love this lil’ ol’ lady so much.”
Families like Sandy and Bug and all of us here at RedRover would like to say thank you! We couldn’t do it without the compassion and generosity of our FurEver Friends. ♥️