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Tu needs Surgery. Thanks to this campaign, we were able to get the diagnosis. Now, I need help funding his surgery.
Danette Citti
Petaluma, California
United States
1 Team Member

Tu Needs Help

My name is Danette Citti, and I live with my elder mother, two cats, and my dog Tu in Petaluma CA.

Since my mother became ill last year with severe heart disease and other repertory conditions, I have been the primary financial provider for the household. Initially, my mother’s health declined due to a respiratory condition. Given the decline in her health, I opted to move back to CA and complete my dissertation in absentia. I have been with her since then and have decided to stay here, to help look after her as her overall health was compromised. It was a good decision because her health did decline even further.

Last November my mother suffered a heart attack and needed a triple bypass, but my mother was not a candidate for the surgery because one side of her diaphragm is paralyzed. For the next several months her condition was treated with medication, until late April when she had another heart attack, only this time medication was not resolving it, and without some surgical intervention she was going to die. Her on-call cardiologist called every heart surgeon at the hospital in Santa Rosa that has an outstanding cardiology unit. None of these doctors would take her; every one of them was turning her down, except one finally agreed. The plan was to ease her suffering before her death by giving her a stent or two – but we ‘dodged a bulletthat day, and the doctor found a few sites to give my mother life-saving stents. While her condition is still complicated, and we’re on top of her diet, exercise, and medications, she is no longer teetering on a precipice between life and death. Why am I telling you all this, when this campaign is about my dog Tu? Well, because any dog owner will tell you that when you’re going through such tough times, a canine companion is the best friend who gets you through it.

Tu did get me through all of it. It wasn’t just that he was there to comfort me in a big soft, snuggly sort of way, but he helped take my mind off of my worries. We have always taken walks together, long walks, sometimes two hours long. When we take these walks I, for the most part, focus my attention on Tu. I pay attention to him, watch what he does and doesn’t do –I notice how smart he is – He knows to ‘unwrap’ his leash from around a tree or a pole at just one phrase from me, “Other way Tu.” He knows to turn toward a different direction when I saythis wayand turn my body in the direction I want to go. He knows to “leave itwhen I tell him, he can sit, stay, lay down, wait, stop and drop, put his toys away, and he can heal… Well, that last one he doesn’t always do very well. He understands the phraseLet’s go see grandma.” A phrase I’ll use when he is resisting the walk home. He sometimes does that he will stop and just stand there as if to say “I’m not ready to go home yet.” He lets me know what he wants. The communication is not one direction – Tu lets me know when he needs to go out to ‘do his business’ by ringing a bell that hangs from the door knob. He lets me know when it is time for his dinner or his water bowl is empty and needs filling. He does this by pointing his nose at his water or food bowl. When I give him a long rub on his chest, he communicates his appreciation with a gentle lick of my hand or on my arm.

He is an amazing dog, and while many dog owners frequently mention the unconditional love they receive from their dog, I tend to be in awe of my dog, don’t get me wrong, I am 100% in love with Tu. However, I am also in awe of this amazing relationship and bond that people can have with animals. That we find ways to communicateespecially with dogs, who have lived with humans for so long that their ability to anticipate us is so extraordinary honed that we people don’t even notice it. He has amazed me since the first day we met -

We’ve been together for nearly 7 years now. We first met when he was 3 months old. He had been abandoned in a nearby field along with another puppy. They were both flea and tick infested and terrible sick with tick fever and intestinal parasites. I took them in, initially as a foster, and did my best to care for them. I lost the other puppy to the tick fever, but Tu made it.. I had originally planned to give him up for adoption, but after several months of caring for him, I fell in love with him. We’ve been together ever since. He doesn’t know life without me, and I’d been heartbroken if I had to give him up, and that is ultimately what this campaign is about.

I am currently unemployed and am actively seeking full-time employment, yet in this economy finding full-time work is hard, but I’m on it. Unfortunately, though, “timing” is not on my side. Tu recently injured his knee and my unemployment check just doesn’t cover enough to pay for veterinary care.

This campaign was originally started to help Tu get an x-ray and diagnosis. It was my hope that he all he would need is to rest and some medication. Due to the generosity of the contributors to this campaign, I was able to get Tu to the vet for an x-ray, and get a diagnosis and treatment recommendation. Unfortunately, my hope for a simple diagnosis and treatment plan was not in the cards for us. Tu has completely ruptured his ACL, and he Tu needs surgery. Out here in California, with our high cost of living, such procedures are not, well, cheap. The cost tends to run between $3,500.00 and $4,500. My veterinarian gave me an estimate of $3,800.00. We have an appointment with the surgeon on Thursday, so I’ll know more then. Suffice it to say, that surgery is urgently needed. The longer the longer treatment is delayed the harder it is to repair the ACL, and there is a risk of injury to his other knee.

In the meantime, I am keeping this campaign up as an avenue to raise the funds I will need to pay for Tu’s surgery. Any contribution, no matter how small, gets me closer to my goal. I have to find away. The only other alternative is to surrender Tu to a no-kill shelter or rescue non-profit that would be able to afford the care he needs. I just can’t imagine life without Tu, and I fear what giving him up would do to him, after all, He’s pretty attached.

Tu needs Surgery

The diagnosis is in. Tu needs surgery to repair the rupture to his ACL. We have an appointment with the surgeon on Thursday, but my vet suggested that the recommended procedure for Tu will be TPLO --

The Impact

The surgery will repair his ACL and put Tu on the road to recovery. Once fully recoved, Tu can enjoy a full and active life.

Other Ways You Can Help

If you are unable to contribute, and I'll completely understand, would you mind forwarding this campaign on? Perhaps share it on your Facebook page or other social media?

Thank you very much.


Danette Citti

raised in 1 month
305% funded
No time left
$500 USD goal
Fixed Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on January 17, 2013
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