My mother's senior pug, Ringo, passed away on July 15, 2016 after a long battle with chronic lung disease and bronchitis. Ringo had been battling lung issues for the last 4-5 years, and my mother did everything that she could to keep him as healthy and comfortable as possible. Along with his lung issues, Ringo was also completely blind, nearly deaf, and had extreme arthritis & dementia. Despite his disabilities and illnesses, Ringo was a sweet, gentle soul who simply loved everyone and wanted nothing more than to snuggle and enjoy a good snack.
My mother adopted Ringo at the age of 8 from Dakin Humane Society. At the time he was severely underweight, malnourished, and had half of his teeth missing, but our family fell in love with his sweetness and knew that we could give him a loving home. It is likely that many of Ringo's health issues that began to show themselves not long after his adoption resulted from the years of mistreatment he endured with his former owners. My mother worked hard to bring Ringo to a healthy weight and keep him as strong as possible, but Ringo’s health was never perfect and he often struggled despite the loving care he was given.
Over the years, Ringo's veterinary care and medications have cost my mother at least $7,000 (likely more), and just over the past few months alone his emergency room bills, long list of medications, and follow-up visits have cost $2,500.
Ringo's passing has been a great loss for our family, but particularly for my mother who scheduled all of her days around Ringo's unique schedule. Ringo was almost never left alone due to his extreme separation anxiety, which caused him to have panic attacks. My mother made certain to plan every appointment and outing around Ringo, ensuring that if she could not be home a dog sitter (usually me) would be with him. She also tailored her sleep schedule, wake time, and meal times to suit Ringo's internal clock in order to make life easier for him. As you can imagine, losing him has brought not only the grief that comes with the loss of a loved one, but the disorientation of suddenly having no one to plan her days around. It’s a painful loss that these words can hardly describe.
Prior to Ringo’s passing, this year was already difficult for my parents. My father became disabled two years ago after falling off of the roof of our family home while clearing snow after a storm. His resulting brain injuries have permanently changed his abilities, and he is currently out of work fighting to receive disability benefits. Those who have been through this process know that it is a difficult and grueling undertaking. Unfortunately, my father has been without pay since April, and will remain without pay until his case is resolved. My mother is also disabled, having had an accident at her former job that left her with several permanently damaging injuries. She is on a limited income, and that combined with my father’s current lack of income puts them in an awful position.
Despite their current financial difficulties, my parents have always been generous and kind to all. They are the first to offer help when anyone needs it, and they always put the needs of others before their own. They are the embodiment of the question “why do bad things happen to good people?” This year has been beyond stressful for them, and I truly admire the courage and strength they have shown while navigating this difficult time. Even when they could not afford Ringo’s veterinary care, they made sure that he had the best care possible, and used credit cards to pay for his special needs.
I have started this GoFundMe in the hopes of easing some of my parents’ burdens by, at the very least, paying off the veterinary care debt that remains from Ringo’s treatments over the past several months. This $2,500 will just about cover the remaining balance on Ringo’s CareCredit account, allowing my parents to pay this bill before astronomical interest fees are applied.
I know that compassionate animal lovers who treat pets like family will understand my parents’ situation. Please know that we appreciate any help that you may be able to give.