Short Version:

Basil is a 1-year-old dog who has touched a lot of lives.  He needs a really expensive surgery to save his life.  Whatever you can give would be appreciated.

The Whole Story:

This is a fundraiser for Basil Rathbone, a 95 lb mutt hound who desperately needs a surgery.
I never meant to get a dog, let alone this giant goofy creature, but when I realized he was in an abusive situation with an owner that was struggling with severe mental illness I couldn't bear to leave him behind. I didn't have a lot to give him, but what I had was his, and when I took him on I promised to give him the happily-ever-after he deserved and committed that come hell or high water I would stand by him. I didn't realize the high water would come quite so fast.
But before I tell you why Basil and I need your help, let me tell you a bit about this dog. He earned my love just by being a dog, but he earned my respect by becoming my hero. Basil has saved my life on two separate occasions, once when two men approached me in a threatening manner when I was on a secluded, dark street. In the darkness they hadn't seen Basil by my side before driving their car up to me (on the wrong side of the road), but when one of the sinister-looking men appeared to be about to get out of the car towards me as he leeringly said, "Where do you think you're going?", Basil made them aware that they had bitten off more than they could chew. Although my dog had never before shown any aggression to anyone or anything, he immediately recognized the danger of the situation and leaped into action before I could even register what was about to happen to me.  He lunged at the man, snapping and snarling. The man lurched back and their tires squealed as they pulled away, and Basil immediately slid back into his usual mellow persona.  Only after the men fled did the fear, shock, and gratitude sweep over me as the enormity of what had happened dawned.
  Basil isn't a hero every day. He's usually like most dogs: he eats my favorite shoes, barks when it's inconvenient, and takes up entirely too much of the bed. He completely destroyed an entire couch.  He's 95 lbs and convinced he's a lap dog, and I'm convinced one of these days I'm going to come home to find that one of my 98 lb roommates has been lovingly suffocated under the weight of this cuddly pup.
But he's also been my sunshine on days where it seemed like all light had been snuffed out. He greets everyone at the door with a distinctive smile and -- ever the good host -- unfailingly brings them his favorite toy as a welcome gift. My loved ones who suffer with depression find comfort resting their weary heads on the soft folds of his neck. He lets my tiny cat beat the ever-loving daylights out of him without complaint or retaliation. Basil has always been unreasonably afraid of small children (his usual cowardice is part of the reason for my shock at his bravery in the previous story), but when the three-year-old neighbor downstairs was terrified of him, the two of them together somehow overcame their mutual phobias and she now approaches him fearlessly at every opportunity.
  He is as goofy as he is noble. He chases his tail, sleeps with his tongue out, and farts without shame.
  Speaking of shame, for the record I hate asking for help of any kind, most especially financial help. I am humiliated to be asking in such a public forum for help, and letting the world know that I do not (at present) have the finances to do what it takes to take care of his problem pains me. But I love him. And I'll do whatever it takes -- I'll sell what valuables I have, I'll work whatever hours I can get, I'll apply for credit, I'll call in favors and publicly humiliate myself in this way -- to save my hero.
  Now the problem: Basil began limping a few months ago. It would come and go -- one moment his leg was completely lame, the next he would run normally. At first it was rare and its intermittent nature made me think I should adopt a wait-and-see strategy, but as his condition worsened and he spent more time limping than walking normally I realized that something was terribly wrong.
  Long story short, the vet says he has a medial luxating patella, also known as a trick knee or floating knee cap. Basically his leg pops in and out of joint at least once an hour. He can't run or jump or play without his knee giving out on him, although he tries. I manually have to pop it back into place, which he bears quietly and gracefully, sometimes with a quick "thank you" kiss before he walks away. If the knee is left as it is, it will continue to degenerate and, best case scenario, lead to very painful arthritis; worst case scenario (which seems increasingly probable) his joint will rupture and the cost of the surgery to repair it will be so great that he will have to be put down. Every time I hear his knee crack, it sounds to me like a ticking bomb.
  The vet has quoted the surgery at $2730. That doesn't count the approximately $400 already spent on his pain meds and xrays, nor does it include post-visits, meds, supplements, and whatever else nickel-and-dime things that will crop up. I'm still doing research to figure out competitive pricing and pin down a more accurate $ figure, but I'm guessing in total it will end up being approximately $4000 start-to-finish.
Between my efforts and some of my loved ones and friends and some strangers and even his previous owner, we've already scraped together a lot, but I need help finishing out the remainder.
  It's a tough economy, we all know that, and most of us are struggling. And some people have said he isn't worth it, that he's "just a dog."  But even for those of you that don't put much monetary value on a dog's life, you must admit that these incredible animals as a species have saved countless human lives and healed countless human hearts; they have gone to war for us, protected our families from intruders, played baby-sitter to our children, suffered and died in laboratories for our medical research, licked away our tears and showed compassion to people that the rest of the world forgot. So even if you don't value canine life, you must value human life, and thus circuitously you cannot in good conscience help but respect these creatures.
  And Basil, in his 1 year on this earth, has done so, so much good for so many people.
  Please help me give him a lifetime. Even the smallest donation helps.  Thank you, from the bottom of my heart


Organized by Erica N Herron

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Please Donate by Thursday, January 30, 2014

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