Tru Hero Finalist – Gobi

At 4 months old I brought Gobi to our family.  One look at Gobi’s one floppy ear and under bite would win anyone over, even my mom who did NOT want a dog (now he is her favorite child).  One night when Gobi was around 8 months old he vomited and made a heaving noise, ran to my bed and I noticed his head shake just a little like a bobble head.  We rushed him to the 24 hour emergency vet where they had to keep him overnight. By the time I saw him the next day he couldn’t hold his head still.  I waited in the parking lot even though I knew they wouldn’t discharge him for hours trying figure out the next step. I began frantically making calls and found a neurologist that would see him the next morning. It was shocking to see him that night as we realized he had lost all of his balance and coordination, stumbling ever step he took.

Gobi had to get a spinal tap, an MRI and for the next few days we waited for the results.  At this point he couldn’t hold his head still enough to keep his head in his bowl of food or water which I eventually had to feed to him with my hands.  The results arrived a few days later and it was encephalitis and autoimmune disease with an inflammation of the brain… but a form that could be controlled through a high dose of steroids at first and a slow taper of the medication.  He is now 1 1/2 years, off medication, and is healthy.

During the MRI and spinal tap I thought about what I did wrong, I should have gotten a dog from a shelter and not the pet store, or how I shouldn’t have taken him to the groomers.  But after some time I thought about what I did right and how he was meant to be ours.  Gobi is the 3rd family member to have been on steroids (my sister and I have both been treated for autoimmune diseases as well).  I was able to do everything I could for him medically without worrying about the expenses. (thank you trupanion).  The doctor’s we saw took very good care of Gobi, and my family called everyday to find out how he was.  We even had family across the globe praying for him.

When I see Gobi outside playing, I can’t help but remember that it was a very close call and in the face of sadness so many people played a part to make him healthy and happy again. I really don’t know who to define as a hero during this period of Gobi’s life.  The people who were involved from the multiple doctors, the folks at trupanion, my family, and of course Gobi took actions I never thought to be possible to save him.  That in itself I find to be “heroic”

About Stacy @Trupanion

Stacy Kowalchuk is a dog mom to her rescued Whippet-mix, Ellie. During the week, you can find Stacy surfing (the internet, that is) and managing Trupanion's presence in the social media world. In her free time, Stacy likes to bake, especially cupcakes! To balance her culinary affinity, she also likes to stay active, especially with activities that include her dog such as hiking and going to dog parks.

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