Sochi Needs Help!
One of Sochi's owners earned the nickname the "comeback kid" after fighting back from her injuries and making the U.S. Olympic team.
And now Sochi needs your help for a happy comeback story of her own!
When Kelly Gunther made the 2014 Olympic team, she wanted one other thing as much as a gold medal, a black Lab. Upon returning from Russia, she and her mother found the perfect dog and named her after the city where the games were held, Sochi.
The road to the Olympics was a tough one for Kelly. In 2010 she fell during a race and suffered a devastating foot injury. But Kelly didn't give up. After surgery and intensive rehabilitation Kelly returned to skating and qualified for the 2014 Olympic team, earning the nickname the "comeback kid."
Throughout Kelly's life, her mom, Julie, was there for her financially and emotionally. "I am a single mother who supported my daughter to be an Olympian," Julie told Waggle.
Julie also became a wonderful dog grandmother to Sochi and took care of her while Kelly went to train for a shot at the 2018 Olympics.
"It actually ended up being the best thing," Julie adds. "She and I are inseparable. I live alone. I became disabled. She became a service dog. She helps me take walks outside. I love her so much."
Recently Julie noticed Sochi limping and appeared to be in pain. She soon learned Sochi needs expensive leg surgery to repair her cruciate ligament.
Unfortunately, Julie is struggling financially right and can't afford Sochi's surgery.
"My daughter just retired from skating two years ago," Julie says. "I have been on Social Security disability. My daughter only works part-time, doesn't live with me, and has all of her own expenses."
Kelly tells Waggle the situation is devastating. "I work part-time at a Dick's Sporting Good store and trying to get my own career up and off the ground as a motivational speaker," she says.
The family says they really could use some heartfelt assistance right now, "I searched and searched for a means to be able to help Sochi, and I am so thankful for your site, hopeful this will help us. Sochi is in pain more and more every day," Julie pleads.
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