A group of people who had never even scratched behind Gypsi’s ears quickly rallied to cover the ailing dog’s veterinary bills this week after her cash-strapped owner posted on social media about her critical diagnosis.
Gypsi, a 9-year-old gray terrier mix, has been with Michael Jump for many of life’s ups and downs. He raised her from a pup. She is his first and only pet. She was diagnosed with diabetes about three years ago and as a result has gone blind. Most recently she’s been by his side through the loss of his job and the death of his father, both in the past few weeks.
But when she contracted a potentially fatal uterine infection, Jump, who was just laid off as a Segway tour guide on the Balboa Peninsula in Newport Beach, didn’t have the $800 it would take for a veterinarian at Corona del Mar Animal Hospital to remove the diseased organ.
He scheduled the surgery for Tuesday, but with only enough money set aside for this month’s rent and not knowing what else to do, Jump reached out on the online social network Nextdoor.
“Just found out my dog Gypsi needs surgery. Currently experiencing financial difficulties and cannot afford the surgery she so desperately needs and deserves,” he wrote Monday above three photos of Gypsi. “Any recommendations or suggestions are greatly appreciated. God bless.”
Neighbors quickly responded.
“She’s so sweet; what type of surgery? We can help her [with] a donation toward her care,” wrote Susan Nord.
“We can help out too. They have my credit card on file. I can call them.” Donna Wiegman replied.
“I’m good for $50. Been a client of CdM animal clinic for 30+ years; they know me there,” Angela Cortright wrote. “Come on, neighbors, time to step up and help out.”
“Folks, if you can help this little dog, please do. Tis the season.” Marilynn Keller added.
The surgery was covered within about a day.
The benefactors donated directly to the animal hospital, so Jump wasn’t sure whom to thank. In addition to Nord, Wiegman, Cortright and Keller, Peggie Fariss, Maureen Zatorski, Brenda Huie, Deb Robinson, Nona Wolverton, Cindy Hicks, Jacqueline Gordon and Angela Ashmore pledged donations.
Jump said he recognized some of them from walking Gypsi near his Corona del Mar apartment. Others were strangers whom he hopes to get to know.
“It was beautiful to watch, man,” Jump said Wednesday, a day after Gypsi’s surgery. “There are some very good people out there.”
Because Gypsi was not spayed, Jump thought her bleeding was normal. He took her to the vet last week because her “season” seemed to last longer than usual. That’s when she was diagnosed with an infection of the uterus called pyometra. It’s caused by the hormone-driven thickening of the uterine lining to prepare for pregnancy. If pregnancy doesn’t occur, the thickening continues and bacteria multiply.
When a blockage also leads to inflammation, swelling and accumulation of pus, pyometra can be life-threatening.
Jump said he had no idea that leaving a dog unspayed could have such dire consequences, and he would have had her spayed much sooner had he known.
Gypsi is now resting at home, snuggled in a towel with the lights dimmed. She’s already moving easier to tend to nature’s calls, Jump said.
He followed up in the Nextdoor thread that Gypsi is doing well and invited people to meet “to see the baby girl. I now consider you all my family. Just let me know if there is anything that I can do for you.”