This love story begins just before Valentine’s Day, when Tina Marie Lythgoe rescued a 6-year-old Doberman pinscher minutes before he was set to be euthanized at a Southern California shelter.
She knew it would be a difficult journey from the moment Romeo was carried on a stretcher to freedom. But she didn't know he was practically paralyzed from wobbler syndrome, a neurologocial disease that affects the spinal cord in large-breed dogs.
"He’s the sweetest guy in the whole world," she said of Romeo.
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Through the rescue organization she founded, Josh and His Critters, Lythgoe spread the word of Romeo’s diagnosis and, incredibly, raised enough money for his surgery.
But now, she needs more money needed for the last step: Romeo’s rehab. He's undergoing treatment at Two Hands, Four Paws, a physical rehabilitation center for canines in West LA which has had success rehabbing another dog with wobbler’s syndrome. The prognosis for Romeo is promising.
“I’m hopeful that that, you know, two months from now he will be up and walking again,” therapist Leslie Gallagher said.
Romeo has the support of many across the world. In the days before our story aired, hundreds of people reached out to NBC4 through social media, asking to spread the word. Messages came from as far away as England and Australia.