A game of fetch with a stick went horribly wrong for this Lab in Austintown, Ohio.
Crunch, a diabetic-alert Labrador service dog, is recovering from a freak stick accident that nearly killed him.
The loving Labrador service dog has been saving a young boy’s life for three years. Now his family is returning the favor by doing all they can to nurse the dog back to health after this tragedy.
Crunch helps 12-year-old Gavin Hutcheson whenever he is about to have a diabetic episode.
“He alerts on a daily basis,” mom, Kim Barkelew told WKBN27.
The Lab is trained to tell when Gavin’s blood sugar levels get too high or too low.
“He starts barking and he would walk to me and then walk to my mom and start pawing at her and then he would walk back and then walk back to my mom,” Gavin added.
“He saves his life daily. He is like his guardian angel, he really is,” Kim said.
The tragic accident happened on Saturday when the family was playing fetch with the dog. Crunch is now in the fight of his life.
“We threw a stick. It lodged in the ground upright, he lunged to grab it and what it did, it hit his throat,” Kim said.
The dog has had multiple surgeries costing thousands of dollars to remove splinters from the stick. A feeding tube has been put in and now the dog is recovering from an accident that nearly killed him.
“It was found he had a 2-centimeter tear in his esophagus,” Kim said.
Through the Florida-based group “Bryce’s Buddies,” the family was able to pay for Crunch’s surgeries. The family also has insurance that reimburses them for most of the costs.
Crunch’s recovery is going to take weeks. The feeding tube will remain in for about a month.
The dog is recovering at home and Gavin feels good about that.
Veterinary bills are mounting and this awesome giving dog still has a long way to go on the road to recovery. If you would like to make a donation please visit the fundraising page on YouCaring.
Here’s the family’s account of the incident and appeal:
Hello everyone! As many of you know, we have had Cap’t. Crunch, Gavin’s service dog for four years. He is an amazing life saver and has been a blessing for the last four years, as he alerts to his highs and lows with Gavin’s blood sugar. Last night, a freak accident happened. We were playing fetch with a stick, which Crunch LOVES and the stick appeared to have broken his neck. We rushed him to our local emergency vet. We assumed we were protected, we cover him with pet insurance….WRONG. We arrived and were told we had to pay 365.00 to have him seen and an X-ray taken. The X-ray appeared to show a possible broken neck. We were devastated. We were advised, to take him to a Neurologist that deals with this type of injury. We loaded Crunch up and drove him approx 45 minutes to another emergency vet hospital. We arrived, again assuming we were protected with this emergency….WRONG. We were told, you must pay 1700.00 for you to leave him here. While I was driving to the second hospital, Our story reached Central Florida, Bryce’s Buddies Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, heard of our situation, and have generously paid this money to get him the care he needed this morning at 2:30 a.m. We were then hit again, with another demand of 1200.00 this afternoon, which has been covered by BBJDF. It appears he needed emergency surgery. Crunch has a hole in his esophagus and its allowing air into the tissue and will need a feeding tube and recovery time. He is in surgery as we create this YouCare account. We have no ideas what other demands they will make, or what the total cost is. We are requesting the help of our community, country, family, friends, and Type 1 family. We are working with insurance and will not know what type of coverage we will have until tomorrow. We will pay the funds back to Bryce’s Buddies Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, so they are able to continue their mission through the next year while assisting so many of the families that may have a need. If you are able to assist, please donate, and share. Thank you to our friends, family, community, and Dr. Mitsie Vargas, From Orchid Springs Animal Hospital, in Winter Haven, Fl. for this idea. We appreciate all of you looking at his X-ray and giving your support and guidance. This fundraiser was created because of all of you. Thank you! Please think, pray, or whatever your belief is….think of Crunch. He needs it. P.S?. His name came from Cap’t Crunch cereal. That’s Gavin’s favorite. ❤️
Article source: WKBN27