By Bejay Browne
AN appeal has been launched to raise funds to enable a disabled dog to stay at home with his owner whilst she undergoes chemotherapy treatment.
Paphos resident, Stephanie Driscoll, contacted the Cyprus Mail to highlight well wishers’ plans to raise as much money as possible to ensure that Bruno the dog and his owner Eva Diamanti are able to stay together.
She has recently set up a dedicated page on crowdfunding site ‘You Caring’ and has raised over 1,200 euros so far.
The animal lover said that Bruno is a partly paralysed dog and was almost beaten to death in Nicosia and was only discovered because of the terrible smell he emanated.
“The back end of his body is paralysed and his legs were described as melting with sores. Eva and Bruno love each other and they are inseparable.”
Bruno uses a dog ‘wheelchair’ so that he can get around more easily and lives with Eva and a number of other rescued animals at her Limassol home.
“Sadly, Eva has been diagnosed with cancer and treatment will lower her immune system meaning she cannot deal with Bruno’s diapers. Also she is also too weak to lift him into his wheelchair.”
Bruno now weighs around 20 kilos and lives with Eva, two other dogs and seven cats.
“I saw Bruno’s story on Facebook, it was a police story. He was in Nicosia and had been tied up with electric wire, he weighed just 10 kilos and was almost dead,” Eva told the Cyprus Mail. “He smelt very bad – like death – as his back legs were covered with infected cuts and sores. The smell is what alerted neighbours to contact the police.”
The dog lover said that police told her the dog was due to be put to sleep the following morning, but she begged them to let her have him. When Eva was given Bruno, he was crawling along the floor and petrified of people. He was also terrified all sorts of sounds including motorbikes and police sirens.
“I wanted to help him. For three weeks he was very aggressive and even bit me because he was so afraid of people. He also had diarrhoea every time someone came to the house because he was so afraid; that’s why we remained alone for the first three months.”
Almost seven months after Bruno found a new and loving home, he is like a different dog, said Eva.
“For the last three months he is behaving more like a dog. Before, he was biting, crying all of the time, didn’t want food and didn’t want to see any people. He now plays with the other dogs and cats and adores me and I him.”
Bruno still has many health issues to overcome, including problems with his kidneys, liver and heart due to his emaciated state when Eva took him.
“He now weighs 22 kilos and likes to play with me. He likes women but is still finding it hard to trust men.”
Bruno spends much of his time outside in the garden with Eva and she cleans up after him, but at night time he wears diapers, as he can’t control himself.
“My house is very small but he is inside at night-time and I wouldn’t ever leave him outside in the cold. I would love it if he could have a shelter just outside my back door so that he can sleep there at night.”
The animal lover said that she can’t bear the thought of being parted from Bruno and that he will help to give her the strength to cope with what lies ahead.
“We have passed through so many things together. Now I am very sick and I find it difficult to put on his wheels and my treatment will start in a couple of weeks, which will make things more difficult.”
Driscoll who read about Eva and Bruno’s plight on Facebook decided to step in to help and offered a foster home for Bruno whilst Eva undergoes treatment, but after a recent unsuccessful attempt to settle him in at her home, she decided instead to raise funds to try and make sure that the pair remains together.
“He was very stressed by the car journey and didn’t cope well at all. My aim now is to secure their future together by raising funds to enable him to remain with Eva.”
Driscoll is appealing to the public to help raise funds so that Bruno and his owner are able to stay together.
“We need to pay a home carer to clean up after Bruno and the other animals for a few hours each day. He also needs a gentle walk in his wheels too, as his back legs are terribly sore from being dragged on the ground. We also need to buy diapers and other equipment to help out.”
Driscoll said she has been touched by Eva and Bruno’s love for each other and is desperately fundraising using Facebook and Twitter. She has so far raised in excess of €1270.
Eva said: “I can’t thank Stephanie enough for her help. What she is trying to do is wonderful and gives me hope.”
Stephanie Driscoll – (m) 99231300