Angi is a survivor. With patience, grace, and determination, she has overcome an abusive childhood, debilitating health issues and a difficult divorce, leaving her unable to work and feeling profoundly lonely. Five years ago when a friend of hers found a little puppy severely abused, Angi took the puppy in and nursed him back to health herself. She named him Buddy Lennan, “because I knew he’d be my Buddy.

Despite her limited resources, Angi always gave Buddy the best care and attention possible. They shared a once-in-a-lifetime bond of warmth, depth, and mutual reliance. Angi suffered cardiac arrest earlier this year, and it was Buddy’s barking that got the attention of a neighbor to call 911, saving Angi’s life. Now, every night Buddy sleeps with his paws resting on Angi’s heart to monitor her breathing. 

Before her divorce, Angi was able to manage Buddy’s chronic canine atopic dermatitis with medicated shampoos and visits to the veterinarian, but it became increasingly difficult once her income was limited to SSDI benefits. Buddy recently experienced a flareup that was causing secondary fungal infections in his ears and on his feet. The usual home treatments weren’t working, and Angi was scared of what would happen next if she couldn’t take him to the veterinarian. 

I came to the heart-wrenching decision that I’d have to part ways with Buddy Lennan, and I resigned myself to the fact that I’d have to take him to the local animal shelter. When I called a dear friend I’ve known since I was in foster care as a teenager last night to tell her, I could barely say the words, and I couldn’t even sleep last night. My eyes are red and swollen from crying, just thinking of it, and I know that Buddy feels it, too. Simply put, I don’t want to say goodbye to my “Buddy.”

That night, as Angi shared turkey, pumpkin and yogurt with Buddy, she knew that parting ways with Buddy wasn’t really an option: “Watching Buddy’s tail wag as he gobbled up the treats has been the joy of my day, and I can’t imagine a day without that tail wag. He even got a bit of pumpkin on his nose and watching him try to get his tongue to it made me laugh, something I don’t do very often.”

With the same patience, grace and determination that made her a survivor, Angi reached out for help to be able to take Buddy to the veterinarian. She applied for and was awarded a RedRover Relief Urgent Care grant –  and not a second too soon! With x-rays, the veterinarian realized Buddy’s infection was much worse than expected. Had they waited any longer, Buddy could have lost his hearing or died. 

I’m ever so grateful for the monetary assistance from RedRover to help pay for his visit to the veterinarian. Buddy Lennan is resting now, after a very eventful day, and I believe I’ll be hugging him a bit closer than I usually do tonight. The thought of how sick he had become and what may have occurred had your organization not “stepped up” is a bit overwhelming at the moment. 

Now that they will be together for many more years, Buddy wanted to tell us in his own words how meaningful a RedRover Relief Urgent Care grant was to him and Angi:

Hello. My name is Buddy Lennan and I am a 5-year-old Labraheeler. My human “mommy” is named Angi. When I was first born, I was abused and other people burned me and beat me and had me in bad places. I didn’t know it at the time, but Angi had a story similar to mine. She was a victim of child abuse and she was sent to live in foster care homes when she was a child. Maybe that’s why we fell in love the instant we met – we saved each other as kindred spirits. Mommy Angi is 100% permanently disabled and she is terminally ill. She needed someone to care for her and I needed someone to care for me. She got me to an animal hospital when I was only five weeks old and they told her that I would need to be bottle-fed and nursed to health and that she could take me to a shelter or the pound. Instead, she took me home and she loved me. I still get hand-fed yummy things like yogurt and baby carrots because I’m still my mommy’s baby boy and her Buddy. That’s how I got my name.

A few weeks ago, I got really sick and Angi didn’t have the money to take me to the veterinarian. She was very sad and she started getting sicker because she couldn’t take me to the doctor. I am her “service animal” and I look after my mommy. I love other humans and all animals, but Angi and I have a very special bond. In June, she went into cardiac arrest and I barked until a neighbor heard and called 911 so she could go to the human hospital. Since then, I sleep next to her chest in the bed so that if her breathing isn’t right, I can wake her up. We have always needed each other and we always will. Angi called people and went online to find help to get me to the animal doctor because she can barely pay for her own medical bills. Everyone said “no.” 

Two weeks ago today, a very nice lady named Nancy called from RedRover and told mommy that they would help. I went to the veterinarian and got the medicine that I needed – steroid shots and some medicine in my ears and special shampoo that Angi has been bathing me with every day when I get my bath with my own blue rubber ducky.

Today, I am feeling so much better and Angi isn’t crying like she was when I was so sick. We both wanted everyone to know how grateful we are for the generosity of RedRover’s donors. And now, I am able to take better care of Angi, just like she takes care of me. She said that maybe sharing my story may help others to know how their money and efforts help both the animals and the humans who love them. I hope that everyone sees this so that they can see how much they helped us both.

Thank you.

– Buddy Lennan and his human mommy, Angi

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