When a Vietnam vet’s service dog seemed a bit off, the Orlemanns, didn’t think much of it, but when his condition rapidly deteriorated, they rushed him to their veterinarian. Now, the Orlemann’s face a large vet bill of about $5000 while their dog is receiving transfusions.
J. Orlemann is a Vietnam Vet with a Bronze Star to his name. According to his wife, after 14 years of military service, he wasn’t able to leave the house until they got Barak. Barak came to the Orlemann’s when he was 4 months old. He received his training from Battlefield Buddies and as a veteran’s service dog, he should be fully covered by the Veterans Administration. However, his paperwork is stuck in bureaucratic limbo, according to the Orlemanns.
That means, the Orlemanns aren’t sure where the money will come from, but at only six and a half years of age, Barak is too young to just give up without a fight. The Orlemanns paid to have him trained to help Mr. Orlemann cope with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder as well as mobility issues. In addition, Barak helps Mr. Orlemann deal with his diabetes.
Mrs. Orlemann reports that the next 72 hours are critical. Barak has been diagnosed with Immune-Mediated Hemolytic Anemia. His red blood cells and possibly even his plasma, are being destroyed by his immune system. He is receiving blood transfusions and medication.
The Orlemanns paid for Barak’s service training because they wanted a dog that was theirs. According to Mrs. Orlemann, a disabled veteran friend had a dog through one of the well-known placement services, but when her overnight medical procedure resulted in a 30-day hospitalization due to infection, the vet had to fight to prevent her service dog from being placed with another person. That’s because the service dog agency retains ownership, even when the dog has been with its person for several years.
Mrs. Orlemann described life before Barak as almost agoraphobic. Her husband couldn’t leave the house, but with his four-legged buddy, Mr. Orlemann has been able to participate in his local veterans group, one that recently provided scholarships for high school students in the South Bay of Los Angeles. He currently serves as a state and national delegate to the Vietnam Vets of America.
For the sake of full disclosure, I know the Orlemanns through Southland Collie Rescue activities and helped set up their GoFundMe campaign. If you’d like to help, please use the power of prayer, send what money you can spare to their GoFundMe campaign or just simply share their story. A copy of the estimate bill is available on Barak’s GoFundMe page.