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My little Squirrel needs you

Vetarinarian Surgical Bills. Medications. Rehabilitation. Support & Expenses

Jimmy Animals April 24, 2018 at 2:29 am
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Moaning and in pain after the surgery.

Waiting for daddy!!!

I iz ready 2 play the football!!!

  • Dear Friends, acquaintances, and animal lovers,
    Some of you know me and some have just heard of my story through social media. My name is Jimmy Powers and I was in the US Army for 6 years in the 1/61st infantry 5th infantry division (Mechanised infantry). This story is about my beloved dog, but I think it’s important to include some background about myself. While I was in military duty I had several injuries which have caused prolonged pain and surgeries since my retirement from the service. My most recent surgery was February 8th 2017 for my shoulder. My knee surgery has been postponed until late June this year. And I’m scheduled to have back surgery the first week of June. I’m 50 years old and my physical injuries are fully covered by the V.A. due to military disability rating. I’m not asking for money for myself.

    I would like to tell you the story of my little dog named Squirrel. She is 3 years old and she is a Chihuahua and wire terrier mix. She was adopted from a hoarder home and conditions that you would find unimaginable. I saved her once before and intern, she has helped me through some difficult times.

    My little companion named Squirrel (4/21/18) was recently injured by an unknown person or persons. Because of the type of injury she sustained, it is believed to be inflicted by humans. Friday morning at 3 am, I awoke to the sound of neighbors dogs barking and my little Squirrel jumping off of me. (She loves to sleep on my chest). About 30 seconds into the chorus of mine and neighborhood dogs emBARKing on a warning song of their own, I heard the most chilling scream my little baby girl has ever made. She cried so loudly I was confused it was even her! She ran down the hallway to me crying and yelping in a way that still haunts me. I reached for her in the dark and found her standing on her hind legs crying and begging for me to help her. I picked her up, (note that at this time of night it is pitch black in my home), I felt her fur from her neck to her feet completely wet. I turned on my cell-phone light and to my horror, she was covered in blood! She was crying so emotionally and desperate, I saw she was focused on licking a particular area, I shined my light and beheld a sight I cannot easily push from my mind. I saw that her right paw was bleeding profusely and was just hanging by a single vein and the pad from the bottom of her foot. Everything that was her foot including the bone, connection joints (knuckles) and inner flesh was exposed by a 1inch wide gash. I immediately kicked into Combat Medic mode and applied pressure to the wound.

    After slowing the bleeding without cutting off blood-flow, I grabbed my cell-phone and searched for any vet clinics that are open 24hrs to assist. I found one nearby and half dressed myself. I cradled my baby in my arms and rushed to my car forgetting my own pain from my abused and early aged body. I drove to the clinic slightly above the posted speed limit. I took her in and was stopped by a seemingly interested clinic desk clerk. She looked at me and asked if she could be of service. I stood there with my crying sweetheart little 8 lb. blood soaked girl and said, “Yes.” as calm as a combat medic would. I suppose that my manner didn’t project the urgency at hand. However, she noticed that my dog was in my arms and bleeding all over her floor. She picked-up a clipboard and asked me to fill out the paperwork while I still cradled my fur-baby.

    A second vet-tech came from around the back area and proceeded to assist me. She took my dog and gave her a quick once over. She asked if she could take Squirrel to the back room to at least stop the bleeding. The second woman came back to the front and escorted me to a room, she told me that Squirrel’s paw looks like it needs an amputation. Well, there went the strong medic in me, the water-works started. I know from experience with friends who have had amputations how life changing it is. Squirrel may be just a small dog but I didn’t want her spirit crushed after she had already been through so much in her short life. The vet tech said that it is going to be very expensive not counting the walk-in charge for after hours and other things that could arise. I told her I am on extremely limited income and my current bank account was about 7 dollars. She told me I could apply for something called pet credit, which is a credit card for animal care. I tried to apply and was turned down do to insufficient income. She told me that there was another choice. She said I could surrender my Squirrel to the Pima Animal Control Center and that the surgery would be performed at the counties cost but at a cost of no longer having my baby in my family. I was torn, I wanted what was best for Squirrel, yet the thought of losing her was painful, “que the water-works again”. The second woman suggested that I search for another clinic to take Squirrel to at sun-up. She emailed me a list of places to call. I called nearly 20 places and waited what seemed like forever for them to open. Around 4 pm I got a call from a clinic that told me to bring her in Saturday morning to be seen by the doctor so that perhaps a surgery could be scheduled later the following week.

    I brought Squirrel in at 8 am. We waited our turn, about 25 minutes later we were called to go to a room, the tech weighed her and took other vitals. A doctor came in and picked squirrel up and said that he would return shortly. About 5 minutes later the tech came in and said the doctor wants to keep Squirrel and do surgery right away and that he will do what needs to be done without saying what the procedure would be. I was presented with an invoice and asked to make a payment. I explained my situation and the tech talked to their financial manager. She said we could come to arrangements to work off the current bill. I completely forgot I am myself disabled, I had agreed to do landscaping for the company. I can’t in my physical condition even lift a rake. So the tech told me to return about noon to get Squirrel and I waited. I drove back to the clinic and was greeted by the tech saying the doctor saved her paw and that the doctor said the digits should work fine. We made a return appointment for the following Friday, this Friday, to check on the progress. We were discharged with paperwork and medications. And this is our current situation. Little Squirrel will walk on all fours again thanks to an efficient doctor that was able to reassemble her shredded paw, even though amputation would have been easier and cheaper. I’m so thankful for the doctor’s abilities and the clinics willingness to work with me on payment. I just am not able to perform the work they have asked of me so I’m now in an awful predicament.

    As a veteran it pains me to have to ask for help. I’m in a situation that is less than ideal and I wouldn’t ask if I didn’t need it. My little Squirrel, although not specifically trained for therapy, provides a much needed service for me. She has helped me with my rehabilitation from my own injuries and is always there for me with her emotional support. If you can provide even the smallest donation, it will not only be helping my little companion but it extends to me as an injured vet. I truly appreciate your support.

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