Sometimes, our powerful connection with a dog is the result of another powerful connection that was lost.
Such is the case with Joe Guinta of Newark, Ohio, who plans to spend his last cent, and then some, to fight the cancer that has stricken Hunter, an 11-year-old mixed breed that belonged to his son.
Levi Guinta was killed in 2005 in a car accident. He was 22.
“Being that Levi was my only child, he was all I had,” Guinta explained to the Newark Advocate. “Hunter and I are very close. We now call him Daddy’s Boy.”
Six weeks ago, Guinta took Hunter — a husky-shepherd mix — to the veterinarian because he was unexplainedly losing weight. The vet, after some follow up visits, eventually diagnosed cancer.
Hunter has been diagnosed with T-cell lymphoma, and has a mass on his chest and a lump near his penis. He has been put on steroids, and has had two of a scheduled 16 chemotherapy treatments.
While the dog’s outlook is improving, Guinta, a salesman for Bath Fitters, paid by commission, has struggled to cover the costs. “I owe it to him,” Guinta said, referring to the dog. “I took that responsibility on when I took over his care.”
Guinta is getting some help from the Magic Bullet Fund, which is helps families who can’t afford the cost of treating their pets raise the money to do so.
The organization was started in New York by Laurie Kaplan, author of “Help Your Dog Fight Cancer.” When her dog, Bullet, got cancer, she was able to raise the money to get him treated. He lived four more years, to the age of 14, before he died of natural causes.
The Magic Bullet Fund now helps other people raise money to pay for their dog’s treatments. Once approved, the campaign for the dog is announced on the MBF website and Facebook. A volunteer helps the family raise money, as well. The information is listed on the website for one month.
“In the seven years we’ve been around, we’ve been able to help 210 dogs,” Kaplan said. “We get requests to help between 40 to 50 dogs a year”
Guinta applied and was accepted. Hunter’s information will appear on the website and people can donate to Hunter directly for 30 days.
Fundraising isn’t new to Guinta. Since his son’s death, he has conducted annual golf tournaments, raising more than $20,000 which he has donated to The Food Pantry Network of Licking County.
Guinta, 49, found Hunter in 2001 on the side of the road, and — after seeking his owner — brought him home to his son.
Hunter is now Guinta’s constant companion and often accompanies him to the cemetery to visit Levi’s grave.
” … I will sell everything I have and go bankrupt in order to treat my dog,” Guinta said. “There is nothing more important than making sure he lives. I will do whatever I have to do.”
(Photo: Jason Lenhart / The Advocate)
Posted by jwoestendiek November 28th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, cancer, canine, care, chemotherapy, costs, death, dog, dogs, facebook, fundraising, health, hunter, joe guinta, laurie kaplan, magic bullet fund, pets, sickness, treatments, veterinary
Mu Shu was just four pounds and four weeks old when she fell off a livestock truck in Kansas and was picked up off the highway and taken home by the owner of Hunter, a yellow Lab.
That was in April, and Hunter would go on to become best friends with the piglet who, before bouncing off the truck, was likely destined for a growing farm and a future as ham.
Stacie Tonn picked the unconscious pig up off U.S. Highway 50, and with help from her veterinarian husband, Shane, their four daughters and Hunter, nursed Mu Shu back to health.
Hunter licked and nudged the injured piglet, and helped her get around when she regained consciousness. Left blinded — only temporarily — by the accident, the piglet would sniff Hunter out and follow him around, curling up with him for naps, according to Kansas.com.
But she still gets together with Hunter, who visits her once or twice a month.
“She still knows the sound of my truck. When I pull up to her pen, she will pop out with excitement. She knows she’s going to get snacks,” Stacie Tonn said.
Walton Rural Life Center serves 167 students, from kindergarten to fourth grade, and students are responsible for feeding Mu Shu and the other animals and maintaining their pens.
“Pigs are our biggest project,” said kindergarten teacher Rhonda Roux. “If she stays healthy, we are thinking of breeding her and having a litter of piglets.”
As for Hunter, he doesn’t seem intimidated in the least by Mu Shu’s girth, or how she so quickly passed him in size since the days he was licking her motionless body.
“She had a lot of bruising and was pretty unresponsive … Neither one of us thought she would live past 48 hours,” Shane Tonn told Kansas.com in an earlier story
You can see a video of Hunter playing with Mu Shu, when she was still a piglet, here.
(Top photo, taken in April, by Mike Hutmacher / Kansas.com)
Posted by jwoestendiek November 26th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, children, dogs, education, farming, friends, highway, hunter, livestock, mu shu, nursed, pets, pig, piglet, road, school, shane tonn, stacie tonn, students, truck, unlikely friends, walton rural life center, yellow lab
Another hunter has been shot by his own hunting dog.
Billy E. Brown, 78, was on a hunting trip near Wesley Chapel, Florida, when his dog triggered a loaded rifle. He was shot in the thigh and remains hospitalized, in critical condition, after surgery.
Authorities said Brown and a fellow hunter were driving down a rough road in a pickup truck, with Brown’s dog, Eli, sitting between them. Eli got excited and bumped a Browning .308-caliber rifle, which discharged.
Brown is general manager and executive vice president of the Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative.
Just over a week ago, a duck hunter in Utah was shot when his dog triggered a 12-gauge shotgun resting in his boat.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 12th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: accidents, animals, billy brown, critical, dog, dog shoots hunter, dogs, eli, florida, hunter, hunting, hunting dogs, loaded, pets, pickup, rifle, safety, shot, surgery, triggered, truck, wesley chapel
The hunting dog that a baggage handler refused to load aboard a plane in Reno because of her concerns about his health is back with his owner in Texas and doing fine, animal control officers say.
The dog’s owner, who has not been publicly identified, will not face charges, said animal control officers in Corpus Christi. Officers there checked on the dog, a pointer named Tex, and talked to his owner last week, according to the Corpus Christi Caller.
The owner told them he thought the baggage handler had over-reacted.
Lynn Jones refused to put the dog on an airplane bound for Texas on Nov. 12 because he appeared emaciated, had cuts and sores on his body and paws and seemed listless.
Her supervisor at Reno-Tahoe International Airport fired her, but her employer, Saint Louis-based Airport Terminal Services, rehired her last week after reviewing the incident.
The dog was seized and turned over to Washoe County animal control and treated by a Reno veterinarian. Four days later, Tex was shipped back to Texas, according to the Reno Gazette Journal
The Reno veterinarian who treated Tex said his wounds and weary state could have been explained by a hard day of hunting.
“I was told he was (bird) hunting near Gerlach for a week, and what I saw was consistent with a dog that has been worked very hard,” Dr. Diana Lucreer said. “These dogs get almost psychotic when they are out there working; they will run and run through anything. His paws were cut up, and he had cuts on his body.”
The dog was checked by another veterinarian upon his return to Corpus Christi.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 12th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: airport terminal services, animal control, animal welfare, animals, baggage handler, checked, corpus christi, dog, dogs, fired, hunter, hunting, hunting dog, lethargic, load, lynn jones, nevada, pets, pointer, refused, rehired, reno, sores, tex, texas, treated, veterinarian, washoe county
When she persisted, insisting the pointer needed help and would likely die in flight, she was fired.
Yesterday, her employer, Airport Terminal Services Inc., based in St. Louis, said she would be reinstated, with back pay.
Sally Leible, president of the firm, said Jones actions were courageous and the reaction of some management employees was regrettable. She told the Reno Gazette Journal the incident will be used as “teachable moment” for employees.
On Nov. 15, Jones raised enough of a stink about the suffering dog to get airport police to call Washoe County Regional Animal Services, which took custody of the pointer and provided it with veterinary care. The dog apparently was later shipped to its Texas owner, a hunter who keeps it in a kennel and has it shipped to the places he hunts.
The listless and sore-covered dog was lying in a pet carrier in the cargo area of the airport when Jones first saw it.
“The dog was so weak and torn up. It didn’t look like it could survive the flight,” she told the Gazette Journal.
Jones said her supervisor told her to load the dog on the plane because the animal’s paperwork was in order and its condition wasn’t her concern.
“I was crying,” she said. “I kept saying that dog could not be put on a plane.” She said she was fired on the spot by the supervisor, who yelled “‘That’s it, you’re done, you are out of here, go home.”
Jones is a former blackjack dealer, has three dogs of her own, and once owned a dog grooming service. Even before getting her job back, she said she didn’t regret having taken a stand.
“I loved my job at the airport,” she said. ” … But I just couldn’t turn my back on that dog … My supervisor said it wasn’t my concern, but animal abuse is everyone’s concern who sees it.”
(Photo: Lynn Jones with her three dogs, Junior, Manny and Jewel, from left; by Marilyn Newton / Reno Gazette Journal)
Posted by jwoestendiek December 7th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: airport, airport police, airport terminal services, baggage handler, cargo, condition, dog, fired, flight, hunter, hunting dog, injured, job, lynn jones, pointer, reinstatated, reno, suffering, tahoe, washoe county regional animal services
Robert Cottingham was duck hunting when he took a shotgun blast to his buttocks — fired, from all indications, by Piper, a yellow Labrador that belonged to a hunting companion.
The 46-year-old resident of Brigham City, Utah, was was hunting Sunday with his son and brother-in-law at the north end of the Great Salt Lake near a bird refuge, said Box Elder County Sherriff’s Chief Deputy Kevin Potter.
The victim told Fox 13 that the dog was in a marshy area of the lake and jumped into the boat, triggering a 12-gauge shotgun resting inside of it.
Cottingham was taken to the hospital where 27 birdshot pellets — most but not all of those he was struck by – were removed from his backside.
Posted by jwoestendiek December 1st, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: animals, blast, boat, box elder county, buttocks, dog, dog shoots hunter, dogs, duck, ducks best friend, gun safety, hunter, hunting, hunting accident, news, pets, robert cottingham, shot, shotgun, utah, video, yellow lab
A longtime Mansfield, Ohio, city worker drowned Sunday afternoon while trying to save a dog he thought needed help.
Jeff Bard, 46, leaned over his pontoon boat to place a life jacket on the Chesapeake Bay retriever and fell into the 41-degree water of Clear Fork Reservoir.
“We do believe he drowned due to the shock of the cold water,” said Gary Foster, operations supervisor at the reservoir. “It’ll hit you right away.”
As it turned out the dog, named “Maggie,” apparently wasn’t in danger.
Her owner Lance Cooke, 37, said the dog wandered off while he was duck hunting. While he didn’t witness the incident, he said Maggie was probably just swimming, as she had been all afternoon. Another hunter told him Bard had drowned trying to get her out of the water.
“It confused me — like why would someone be trying to get her out? She wasn’t drowning,” Cooke told the Mansfield News Journal.
Bard had worked for the city for 19 years.
“I’m still in shock pretty much,” Cooke said. “He was a really caring person and an all-around good guy, as you can see from today.”
Posted by jwoestendiek November 1st, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, chesapeake bay retriever, city worker, clear fork reservoir, dogs, drowned, drowning, drowns, hunter, hunting, jeff bard, lance cooke, maggie, mansfield, ohio, pets, retriever
A California man was treated and released after being shot in the back by his dog.
The unidentified 53-year-old man was hunting in Merced County when he set the safety on his loaded shotgun and put it on the ground while he grabbed his decoy ducks, according to the Fresno Bee.
Merced County sheriff’s officials say the hunter’s black Lab stepped on the loaded shotgun, causing the safety to release and the gun to fire.
Posted by jwoestendiek February 1st, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: accident, animals, back, bizarre, black lab, california, dog, dogs, ducks, game, hunt, hunter, hunting, lab, labrador retriever, merced, news, pets, sheriff, shoots, shot, shotgun, weird
A California firefighter and his search dog located three girls trapped alive since Tuesday in the rubble of Haiti’s devastating earthquake, the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation says.
Bill Monahan and his border collie, Hunter, were searching a neighborhood near the Presidential Palace, going through the remains of a four-story building, when Hunter gave a bark alert. Monahan passed the three children water in bottles tied to the end of a stick.
Rescue workers from California Task Force 2 pulled the girls from the wreckage and provided first aid, according to a foundation press release.
Monahan and Hunter were trained by the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation, which partners rescue dogs with firefighters, and trains them to find survivors buried in the aftermath of disasters.
Monahan reported finding the survivors to the foundation headquarters in Ojai, California.
Monahan and Hunter are continuing to search, along with six other foundation teams in Haiti with California Task Force 2 and Florida Task Force 1. Their progress can be followed on the foundation’s Twitter and Facebook pages.
The National Disaster Search Dog Foundation is a non-profit organization whose mission is to strengthen America’s emergency response network by producing highly-trained canine-firefighter disaster search teams.
Since its founding in 1996, the foundation has rescued hundreds of dogs and trained 105 search teams, 72 of which are currently active. SDF Teams have been deployed to 66 disasters including the World Trade Center attacks and Hurricane Katrina and state and local emergencies such as earthquakes, mudslides, building collapses, train derailments and missing person searches.
The foundation’s dogs are among hundreds from across the globe that have been seen to Port Au Prince. In the video below, a rescue team from Fairfax, Virginia searches for victims.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 18th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: alive, bill monahan, children, dog, dogs, earthquake, firefighters, found, girls, haiti, hunter, K-9, k9, national disaster search dog foundation, rescue, search, search and rescue, search dog foundation, search teams