ISHPEMING - Amanda Bertucci is almost afraid to hope the life of her precious dog, Nero-Bob, can be saved.
An Ishpeming resident, Bertucci has been on a roller coaster of emotion in the past few weeks.
"Bob went missing and he was gone 12 days," she said this morning. "Then he was found and we got him home, but he was injured. We got him to the vet, but then it looked like we might have to put him down."
Nero-Bob, a 4-year-old husky, sits with Dr. Tracy Nyberg at Bayshore Veterinary Hospital in Harvey this morning. Nero-Bob was badly injured during the time he went missing recently and a campaign is underway to raise $4,000 to $6,000 to help pay for surgery that will save his life. (Journal photo by Adelle Whitefoot)
However, thanks to a social media-based fundraising effort, Nero-Bob may be saved. More help is needed, though.
In fact, Dr. Tracy Nyberg is overwhelmed by how generous people have been in trying to help save the life of this young dog and she is hoping a bit more aid will be on the way when his story is shared.
Nero-Bob is a 4-year-old husky mix and has been part of the lives of Bertucci and her 5-year-old daughter, Phoenyx, since the pup was 4 months old.
"He has pulled us through a lot of turbulent and trying times in our lives," Bertucci said.
When Nero-Bob got out, Bertucci mounted a search. But it wasn't until a stranger found the scared, injured dog in the parking lot of Super One Foods in Negaunee - 12 days later - that she felt relief.
However, then it was discovered Nero-Bob was badly injured.
"He has a big wound on the inside of his rear leg," Nyberg said. "I don't know if it's from an animal attack or that he got caught on something when he was missing. His muscles are exposed and now, he has started to urinate out of the wound. His urethra is torn high up in his pelvis."
A veterinarian at Bayshore Veterinary Hospital in Harvey, Nyberg attempted surgery but was unable to reach the wound, so Nero-Bob needs to get to a specialist at an animal clinic in Appleton, Wisconsin, for surgery that will cost between $4,000 and $6,000.
"Nero-Bob is the rock for his little girl. We have to try to save him," Nyberg said.
Lost & Found Paws of the U.P., a Facebook page operated by several Upper Peninsula women, has put out the word about Nero-Bob, and a friend of Bertucci's has started a gofundme.com campaign.
As of this morning, $3,600 had been raised in just a few days.
"The fundraiser was put up Monday evening," Bertucci said. "In 36 hours, about $3,600 was raised. That's absolutely mind-blowing."
Bertucci has to decide tonight if Nero-Bob will be sent to the specialist or put down instead.
"If we get to $4,000 by the end of the day today, I will probably send him and try to come up with the rest," Bertucci said of the remaining $2,000.
She's almost afraid to hope, though, after all the emotional swings since the beloved dog went missing.
"It's emotionally overwhelming," she said. "Bob is in such bad pain because the urine is burning the open wound on his leg. I know pet owners say this all the time, but me and Bob have a special bond. We have one that goes beyond what most pets and people have. When I went to visit him the other night, I saw how much pain he was in and I started to hyperventilate.
"Bob saw that and laid his head on my hand to comfort me, despite his own pain," Bertucci said. "He's an amazing dog."
To donate, visit www.gofundme.com/demxoc.