Randy Etter and his dog Gemini are the absolute best friends. They’ve been together since Gemini was just a little puppy. They love each other so much and can’t live without each other, so when Etter found out he could ʟᴏsᴇGemini forever, he vowed to do all he could to sᴀᴠᴇ Gemini’s life.
Four weeks ago, when Gemini was playing with Etter’s girlfriend’s daughter and the baby thought it was hilarious to continuously throw her bottle out of her playpen at Gemini. Gemini would pick it up every time and his dad would quickly grab it from him, wash it off, and give it back to the baby — but at some point, Gemini got ahold of the bottle without his dad realizing and ended up eating the top off of it. Until Gemini started feeling ǫᴜɪᴛᴇ ɪʟʟ, no one realized he had ingested something he shouldn’t have. Etter said:” He just started to slow down and I didn’t think that was normal, just laying beside me and following me everywhere. I just felt like he was saying, ‘Help me.’” When Gemini started ᴠᴏᴍɪᴛɪɴɢ ᴜɴᴄᴏɴᴛʀᴏʟʟᴀʙʟʏ, his dad knew something was very, very ᴡʀᴏɴɢ, and immediately rushed him to the ᴠᴇᴛ. Unfortunately, at first, no one could tell him for sure what was ᴡʀᴏɴɢ with Gemini.
Etter said:” I lost my job driving ᴠᴇᴛ to ᴠᴇᴛ to ᴠᴇᴛ and it just seemed like I wasn’t gonna get anywhere or get him the help he needed in time. It was truly one of the sᴄᴀʀɪᴇsᴛ things I had to deal with.” Finally, a ᴠᴇᴛ confirmed that Gemini has a ʙʟᴏᴄᴋᴀɢᴇ inside of him. He needed sᴜʀɢᴇʀʏ at a cost of $4500, but that amount was too big for Etter. ᴠᴇᴛerinarians told Etter that if his pooch, Gemini, didn’t have the surgery, the dog would ᴅɪᴇ that day. Lᴏsɪɴɢ Gemini was not an option, though, and so he decided to put his car up for sale to try and raise at least part of the money to sᴀᴠᴇ his best friend’s life. The car was online and offers were coming in, as he knew he didn’t have the money for the medical treatment. Etter said of his helpless feeling:” I’m sitting here watching TV, and I’m literally thinking he was ᴅʏɪɴɢ that night. I knew I didn’t have the money for the surgery, but I knew in my mind that was what had to happen. I put my car up for sale for $1,000 less than what I was actually wanting to take for it.”
Eventually, a friend was able to loan him $2,000, but it still wasn’t enough — until a local charity heard about his plight and decided to do everything they could to help Etter and Gemini. The S.O.A.R Initiative (Street Outreach Animal Response) for animals got him help from a sᴜʀɢᴇᴏɴ in Fishers. Etter said:” I never thought I’d be one of those people to catch the miracle, you know what I’m saying?” The group also raised nearly $3,000 in donations after they posted his story on their Facebook page. The money came from total strangers who were moved by his willingness to do anything to keep the dog ᴀʟɪᴠᴇ. With all of the donated money, Gemini was able to have the sᴜʀɢᴇʀʏ and made it through with flying colors.
Gemini is now recovering well, safe in the arms of his dad and best friend. Etter is so grateful to everyone who helped him keep Gemini ᴀʟɪᴠᴇ, and can’t imagine what he would have done without everyone’s support.