Wanted: Gilligan's Happily Ever After

I find myself here again: moping and procrastinating. I think back to the beginning of the year where I dubbed 2017's motto as "it is what it is" and classify Gilligan's situation under that category.

As many of you remember, Gilligan was returned to us back in December and he has been staying with us since. At the recommendation of a dear friend, I took Gilligan to a veterinary specialist clinic is San Francisco so he could have a thorough examination and I could get a clear idea of what I was dealing with. After extensive x-rays were done we got bad news. Not only were we dealing with Chronic Cruciate Ligament Disease in both of Gilly's back knees (where the tendon going through his knee is blown) but we also discovered Gilligan's hips aren't doing well and his front elbows are slowly deteriorating. It was devastating and crushing news. The estimate for surgery had suddenly jumped from $5-10,000 to a minimum of $30,00 to cover the extensive multiple surgeries it would take to fix all of Gilly's problems.

The specialist handling Gilly's case, Dr. Nielsen, was extremely compassionate and answered all my questions. We took a few moments and discussed Gilligan's current quality of life. I explained that at times I thought he was a little stiff and felt a little pain but most of the time he was up and moving and only limped a little bit. Dr. Nielsen recommended against surgery, as it would be a HUGE undertaking for his body to heal, and suggested joint supplements for Gilligan's life as well as managing his pain with pain & anti-inflammatory medications on an as-needed basis. So far, it seems to be helping; he is chipper for the most part, and unless he ran like the crazy the day before doesn't seem to show anymore stiffness than he previously did. The plan for Gilligan's life is to re-examine his quality of life and pain levels as time goes on and adjust accordingly. It is possible that in a few years it will be his time to be set free, or, he lives a long relatively pain-free life for many years to come.

We still are searching for Gilligan's happily ever after; until then he will stay here with us. Both Alex and I have discussed in depth about making him our own for forever, but unfortunately if we do that we will not have room to bring in other rescues to train as future service dogs. We would love to find a wonderful home for Gilligan (diabetic or not) that would provide him a soft place to land while we continue our mission to rescue shelters dogs and train them to be service dogs. This guy has given everything he has to humans and he deserves a happy life in return. If you feel that you would like to give Gilligan his happily ever after, contact us, and we would be happy to talk more with you!

I want to sincerely thank you for everyone who's prayed for Gilligan, donated to his care, and shared his story. A huge thank you from the bottom of my heart to Animal Internal Medicine & Specialty Services for being so wonderful during Gilligan's visit and performing diagnostic services. The staff far exceeded my expectations and went above and beyond to make sure Gilly was comfortable during his visit. Thank you Dr. Williamson for making Gilligan's visit possible and last but not least a big thank you to Dr. Nielsen for making time to consult with me about what's best for Gilligan.

As summer approaches, Alex and I are doing our best to give Gilligan the happiest life he can have. He is one joyful boy and I hope and pray that the right home comes along for him to live happily ever after; he definitely deserves it!

#GilligantheDiabetesAlertDog #Type1Diabetes #T1D #MedicalAlertDog #ServiceDog

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