February 2nd, 2024
By Savannah Verdon, Development and Engagement Coordinator II
Camilo was simply too old and little of a fella to make the 80-mile trek to the nearest town. Fortunately, he had his best friend and mama Elizabeth for those rare adventures, a comfy lap to sit on as they bounced along the old desert roads. They lived in a small rural town deep in the Nevada desert, where Elizabeth and her fiance both worked part-time jobs for cash and where gas was so expensive at the only local station that any trip greater than a few miles at a time was out of the budget. There wasn’t much to do in their small town, but with Camilo by her side, Elizabeth had everything she needed.
“Camilo is my best friend. He has saved my life by being there for me when no one else was. He was so sweet and loving immediately when I adopted him. He was abandoned by his first family at the shelter after being in their home for the first 11 years of his life. My heart broke when I saw him and heard his story. He is the most loyal and emotionally intelligent pup I have ever been with. We sleep together every night and he comes to work with me every single shift. We are almost never apart and he is always down to go on an adventure. He really is my companion and I love him deeply.”
Because they did everything together, Elizabeth was quick to notice that Camilo was limping a little. She made the long drive to the nearest veterinarian and was absolutely gutted to learn that her baby boy had a tumor growing that had already eaten away most of the bone in his left rear leg. They didn’t know if the tumor was cancerous or not, but there was no doubt that Camilo had a lot of life left in him if they could remove the tumor before it spread. The only way to ensure that would be to amputate his leg.
It was certain to be an expensive surgery, and there were only so many veterinarians in the area Elizabeth could contact for a lesser quote. She had already spent several hundred dollars on his bloodwork, sedation, X-rays, medication, and diagnosis, and she’d need a tank of gas to get to and from his surgery and any follow-up appointments. Living where she did had made her resourceful, and she wasn’t going to let a lack of money get between her and her best friend. She and Camilo headed back into the desert with his surgery scheduled for six days later.
On the Friday before his appointment, Elizabeth applied for a RedRover Relief Urgent Care grant. She hadn’t been contacted yet by any of the other organizations to which she had applied for help, and she had been denied a line of credit too. While she would be able to put a significant chunk of her savings toward the bill, it wasn’t quite enough. Because you and so many others are FurEver Friends to the animals, Camilo was able to count on your support to receive his lifesaving Urgent Care grant.
Elizabeth waited anxiously for hours for Camilo to come out of surgery with one less leg and much more happiness, minus the dreaded cone of shame. He was woozy and adorable, as precious as ever. It took a week after his surgery and his full course of pain medication for Camilo to be himself again. He was active, energetic, and raring to go on more walks so he could explore his desert home. After two weeks, he was the true guest of honor at Elizabeth’s fiance’s birthday party. And as more days passed and he got used to the tri-paw’d life, Camilo could run free without the pain.
Elizabeth was grateful that she had help on the day of his surgery, and we’re grateful that your continued support means countless more families just like her and Camilo can find relief and hope in their moment of need. Thank you for being a FurEver Friend to the animals and making this Happy Tail possible!