Carrie Corbett lost by a nose.
A few weeks ago, she entered a contest run by JRFM called You Say It, We Pay It, in hopes of winning $9,999 to put towards a much-needed surgery for her dog, Sasha.
Sasha, a six- or seven-year-old Samoyed, needs double hip replacement surgery. She was found four years ago as a young stray and brought into Corbett’s dog rescue, Carried Through Animal Rescue and Education (CTARE).
“Sasha is my ‘heart dog’, my soulmate dog,” Corbett explains. She decided to keep Sasha instead of adopt her out.
When she first came to CTARE, Sasha walked a bit funny, but never showed any signs of pain.
Last year, Corbett noticed that Sasha had started limping, and so she took her to the vet. After several tests and a visit to a specialist, she found out in January that Sasha needed double hip replacement surgery.
The vet figured when Sasha was a puppy, she suffered some sort of hard trauma on her back end — such as being hit by a car — which never healed properly, resulting in early hip problems.
“Her legs are really stiff and she doesn’t have full range of motion,” says Corbett. “She’s pretty much in pain all the time now, and she gets pain killers every day in the morning that last for 24 hours.”
“She needs help getting into the car. She can’t do things that dogs her age should do.”
The surgery estimate is a total of $16,000, about $8,000 for each hip. Corbett started saving money, and in four months she had $4,000.
Then she heard about the JRFM contest.
After being one of 15 people who qualified a couple of weeks ago, the voting process began. It was open to the public for four days from April 25 to 28.
Corbett had hundreds of people voting for her — people could vote as often as once every hour — and she got a total of 4,157 votes.
The winner received 4,165 votes, a mere eight votes more than Corbett.
But she wasn’t going to let it get her down. She figured since she already had great exposure through the contest, which built up a fan base for Sasha, why not take advantage of that audience?
So Corbett set up a Go Fund Me account to start raising money for Sasha’s surgery.
“So far we’ve raised $1,606 by 34 people in one day,” she said last Wednesday. Her goal is to raise $12,000 since she’s already saved $4,000.
Today (May 6) Corbett announced that Surinder Mann from Chilliwack made a $1,000 donation to help Sasha. “This is the largest single donation made to date,” she says.
Donations have been coming in from those who voted for her in the contest, including dog lovers and Samoyed lovers.
“They’re known as the smiling Sammy because in most pictures they always look like they’re so happy,” says Corbett about the breed, which are pure white dogs that look like a smaller version of a husky.
Sasha is a sweet and gentle dog who definitely lives up to her friendly appearance. When she goes to the park with Corbett’s other dog, Sasha walks around for a while and then returns to the park entrance where she sits and gets pats from other visitors as they come and go.
“She’s so happy and charismatic and she’s always wagging her tail,” she says. “She’s the most loving dog in the world. She’s my shadow — I can’t leave the room without her following me.”
Since the contest ended, Corbett has been inundated with 1,300 emails and Facebook updates from people who want to help by donating money and by sending her kind words of support.
Even the winner of the JRFM contest, an 18-year-old named Angel who has Down’s syndrome, is helping.
“We went from competing to working together,” says Corbett.
Angel makes and donates blankets to kids with special needs through her Hugginz by Angel project. She’ll be making blankets and artwork to be raffled off to help raise money for Sasha’s surgery.
Corbett is very grateful to those who voted for her in the contest, and wants to send everyone a “big thank you.”
“Sasha never would have had this family before,” she says.
Additionally, there is an online auction at www.facebook.com/newhipsforsasha. The auction ends at 6 p.m. on Thursday, May 8.
For more info, go to the CTARE website.