Update on Gemma 9/27/12

First off we would like to thank Anita's mom Kathleen for donating $350 via check to go towards Gemma's care. There was an error originally in how much Mr. Salvatore paid towards the surgery. He paid $2,916.70 not an even $3,000 so we have adjusted the chipin amount to reflect the donation minus the difference of $83.00. Therefore it went from $1,661to $1,394. We later had to add $9 for medication, the other small balance was covered by an anonymous donor once again changing the amount to $1,403.

Immediately following Gemma's surgery, it was a miracle she could see. The foster mom Anita sent me a text saying that she thought Gemma would want to sleep after her surgery but instead she was walking around "looking at EVERYTHING". Anita and I had a conversation 4 days following the surgery in which she said that Gemma can now walk up and down the stairs instead of having to be carried and that she watches TV :) How cute is that? I personally took Gemma to her follow up appointment and let me just say that she is now a completely different dog. She has confidence and no longer shakes or shows fear. Ms. Gemma walked into the Vet's office as if she owned it. She happily greeted every single person in the waiting room as well as every dog there. She sat next to them so that she could get attention and love. Gemma also explored every inch of the waiting room. Dr Mineo examined her and stated that she was concerned with her left eye. She said that she wanted to add a medication and to alter some of her current medication's because it looked as though she might be developing an ulcer. A very nice anonymous donor had come into the Vet's office previously donating $60 so her $40 medication bill was covered :) Thanks so much...

A week later she had a 2nd visit in which the Vet confirmed that Gemma was indeed developing an ulcer. She said that if it couldn't be controlled that the progress of the eye could go down hill rather quickly so she added in some more prednisone tabs and slightly switched up her medication's. On a good note the pressure in both eyes had gone done tremendously. We had a $20 credit so we ended up only having to pay an additional $9 which has been added to the chipin making it $1,403. She has another appointment today, we hope that we get some good news about her left eye and that hopefully after three weeks Gemma's cone can be taken off. Good luck sweet girl!

This is the story of Gemma the BLIND Cocker Spaniel found in the middle of the street:

BPC received a call from a concerned citizen outside of the state asking if we would please consider taking in an 8 year blind Cocker Spaniel who was found by animal control in the middle of the street while traffic zoomed past her. "Please call them the lady pleaded!" Kristy called the Lancaster animal control to inquire about the dog. She was told that Gemma was a diamond in the ruff and that this special girl surely needed saved. Her previous owner (found on the rabies tag) had stated to animal control: "I gave her away a long time ago" and then hung up. Gemma possibly needed expensive surgery preformed if she was ever going to see again. Although we were concerned about the cost, we couldn't just let her sit there.

We were told by the animal control officer to contact a woman by the name of Karen who was offering her help for Gemma. Kristy called her and spoke with a very nice and compassionate woman who volunteers her time at the kennel. She said that she fell in love with this dog. Said she would hold Gemma and that she shaked uncontrollably. Despite her fear, Gemma was very sweet, submissive, loving, and special. Karen was nice enough to say that she would pay for the Vet visit at Animal Eye Care of WNY and that even though on disability she would borrow the money for part of the final costs from her daughter and would pay her back monthly. Once Kristy told her that we had already decided to take on this dog, when no other rescue would, there were tears of joy! Gemma was going to be saved!

Kristy went to pick up Gemma from animal control and there she stood sad and frightened. Kristy could immediately smell the stench coming from her filthy little body and could see all of the fleas jumping off of her fur. Although scared, she seemed happy to be going somewhere. She was given a nice bath which was much needed being that she had feces stuck to the fur on all 4 paws. Gemma was a very compliant and patient girl during this. She was then flea treated, had her nails clipped, and was crated for the night. The very next day she went to Seneca Animal Hospital for a check up, blood worm, heart worm test, senior blood work, and vaccinations. While there she also needed an ear smear because the Vet thought that she might have an infection, which she did. We were given Otomax to apply in her ears daily. This Vet bill came to $221.00. Anita, one of our wonderful foster mom's met us at the Vet that day and took Gemma home for some much needed TLC.

The next day Anita text: "Hi! Gemma had a great night. During the day she is either out with us or in the kitchen. She ate well. No crying in her crate overnight. She loves to be near a running dishwasher or dryer. Like a sound machine to a baby! She loves outside and the kids." "She has def had some anxiety. She gets stuck in one place and quivers and shakes. That's probably what saved her in the middle of the road. We sit on the floor and hold her and talk to her. It's just awful." We weren't to worried, because we knew that Gemma was in safe hands with her foster family. We had set up an appointment in a week to take her to the eye doctor, but received a call from Karen, the volunteer. She said I have great news please call me. Kristy called and was told that she had written a letter to Mr. Russell Salvatore about Gemma and that he had called her back stating that he would like to pay for her Vet visit and would like to personally come to her appointment.

A week later, the foster mom, Gemma, Karen, Kristy, and Mr. Salvatore all met up at the Animal Eye Care of WNY for her big evalutation. We met with Dr. Mineo who did some diagnostic testing. We were told that Gemma was in fact completely blind and that she had mature cataracts. After her evaluation including a fluorescein stain in both eyes, we were told that she was a good candidate for eye surgery. First she needed drops to help control the inflammation so she was given Dexacidin solution drops. Mr. Salvatore paid for the $145 Vet visit and showed genuine concern for the well being of Gemma. We were given 2 options while there. One would be to have surgery on one eye, which was better than not having surgery at all. This would lower the cost if we did not or could not afford to pay for the costly bill. The estimate for just the one eye was $2,916.70. Or we could do the surgery on both eyes in which the cost would be $4,440.05. Dr. Mineo said that after the surgery, Gemma would immediately be able to see so how could we pass up on this opportunity for her? This estimate included surgery as well as a small eyelid mass removal, and multiple drops to take home for recovery, as well as many follow up appointments. There are complications that can occur and she will forever need eye drops, but her being able to see at this point meant that we would have to move forward with the surgery. Mr. Salvatore agreed to pay for one eye at $3,000 ,which is a huge blessing for all involved. We now need to raise funds for the the previous Vet costs from the primary as well as the additional $1,440 for the other eye.

Gemma's appointment is tomorrow 9/6/12, please pray for her and wish her luck. Please donate even $5 if you can and share her story. Gemma says that its worth it to be able to see and to live a life free of being frightened due to all of the sounds around her, to prevent her into bumping into things, or just for the ability to see the smiles on her foster family's face when they look at her. There is a whole new world out there that Gemma would like to be able to see, please help her because she is counting on all of you to be the support she needs. Gemma may not have had the best life previously but she will forever be loved, adored, doted on, and cared for until the day she takes her last breath. We heard yesterday that the nice animal control officer stopped by the Vet and asked about Gemma. There are many people out there on the sidelines rooting for her. We need to raise a total of $1,661.00. Thank you to all of her supporters and followers!

"Our task must be to free ourselves... by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty." Albert Einstein