Randy Etter and his dog Gemini have been together since Gemini was just a little puppy. It’s been around two years now, and the pair are the absolute best of friends. They love each other so much and brighten each other’s lives every single day — so when Etter found out he might lose Gemini, he vowed to do absolutely everything he could to save his life.
Gemini was playing with Etter’s girlfriend’s daughter one day four weeks ago, 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.
No one had any idea that Gemini had swallowed something he wasn’t supposed to — until he started getting very, very sick. “He just started to slow down and I didn’t think that was normal, just laying beside me and following me everywhere,” Etter told The Dodo. “I just felt like he was saying, ‘Help me.’”
When Gemini started vomiting uncontrollably, his dad knew something was very, very wrong, and immediately rushed him to the vet. Unfortunately, at first, no one could tell him for sure what was wrong with Gemini.
“I lost my job driving vet to vet to vet and it just seemed like I wasn’t gonna get anywhere or get him the help he needed in time,” Etter said. “It was truly one of the scariest things I had to deal with.”
Finally, a vet was able to confirm that Gemini had a blockage inside of him and would need surgery — which would cost $4,500, money that Etter definitely did not have. Losing 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 save his best friend’s life.
“I was gonna spend every dollar made from the car sale on his surgery,” Etter said. “I would be devastated if I lost my best friend.” 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) heard about what was happening to Etter and Gemini, and were able to raise nearly $3,000 in donations from total strangers who just wanted to help the best friend pair continue their life together. With all of the donated money, Gemini was able to have the surgery — 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 alive, and can’t imagine what he would have done without everyone’s support. “It means the world to me,” Etter said. “He’s my best friend. He’s always there for me, I just wanted to be able to return the favor and be there for him.”