Community unites to prolong the life of Kerneelz, a frosty faced Boxer, who is deaf and partially blind

Reading Time: 4 minutes

In the small community of Kirstenhof, South Africa, a heartwarming story is unfolding. Daryn Sutton, a 56-year-old resident, is taking action to help Kerneelz, his friend’s beloved old frosty faced dog.  

Kerneelz, a Boxer in his 14th year, has recently been diagnosed with Paresis (partial paralysis of his hind limbs) and Idiopathic Vestibular Disease, which has made it difficult for him to stand, turn or walk without the ever present risk of losing mobility and falling.

Daryn is partially deaf and blind, having lost his hearing from a young age and his sight in his early 40s.  He, too, incurs some nasty falls on occasion.

“I met Kerneelz’s mom, Greta, 6 years ago at a guide-dogs fundraiser and with her partially deaf rescue Boxer Mix Bertie, Askii’s bestie, we embarked upon endless nature adventures which we still do from time to time.  With his recent partial paralysis and vestibular disease diagnoses not only is Kerneelz’s mobility compromised to the point of falling on occasion or struggling to stand; what with his also being stone deaf and partially blind it’s safe to say that Kerneelz has my sympathies.  I truly know what all of this feels like and how it can greatly impair one’s getting about one’s daily business!” – says Daryn

Daryn and Kerneelz share a special bond

Despite his own challenges, Daryn chose to launch a crowdfunding campaign on BackaBuddy to help Kerneelz because of the special bond they share. Kerneelz’s owner, Greta (52), is a self-employed individual who cannot afford the high cost of  Kerneelz’s physiotherapy and Kerneelz’s current policy has been used up and does not cover physiotherapy or acupuncture.

Greta had previously set up a successful BackaBuddy campaign for Daryn’s retired guide-dog Askii and Daryn was inspired to pay it forward and help Kerneelz.

Greta and Kerneelz

To prolong his life and optimally manage his pain Kerneelz is seeing an animal physiotherapist and has weekly sessions that consist of manual manipulation, soft tissue massages, laser treatments, and core stability strengthening and proprioception land based exercises. He is also seeing a veterinary acupuncturist once a week.

These treatments, while costly, are something Kerneelz will benefit from enormously if able to continue with them for the rest of his life.  

Once Kerneelz is deemed less weak and frail he will begin hydrotherapy sessions on a water treadmill operated by an animal physiotherapist.

According to Dr Heidi Kuhn of Alphen Vet, Kerneelz’s veterinarian, there is a chance that physiotherapy could help Kerneelz regain some improved use of his hind legs.

The campaign aims to raise R 100 000 (a legacy ‘pay it forward’ physiotherapy project is in mind with any residual funds once Kerneelz eventually passes on). BackaBuddy pays the veterinary acupuncturist and animal physiotherapist teams directly as requested by Greta.

Thus far the campaign has raised over R5000, the the tip of the iceberg of Kerneelz’s ongoing needs, Greta says, when one factors in the weekly cost of acupuncture (R660/session), land based physiotherapy (R550/session) and water based physio hydrotherapy (R440/session). 

Daryn is reaching out to the public, appealing to animal lovers everywhere to support Kerneelz and provide him with the necessary treatment. With every donation, they are one step closer to giving the sweet, deserving old gentleman, comfortable and pain-free golden years.

“Kerneelz is my  companion through my late 30s, 40s and right into my 50s.  We have faced many obstacles together and I can’t imagine my life without him. He still has quality of life, loves his early morning nature walk-sniffies, sun dozies and siesta cuddles and am in constant contact with vet and physio team.  We even lived on a farm for over a year and have gone on so many road trips and countryside adventures together.  He is the apple of my eye and is adored by the vet and physio team, held up as a model patient for being so cooperative, gentle and loving towards all.  He absolutely knows we are trying to help him!  I am incredibly grateful that platforms such as Backabuddy exist which can help not least animals in need”. – says Greta

Support Kerneelz on BackaBuddy:

Alternatively, donate via Snapscan:

Funds raised by this campaign will be administered by BackaBuddy and paid directly to the relevant institutions for Kerneelz’s treatment.

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