PETacular Magazine is a quarterly Gazette publication featuring stories sponsored by pet businesses and organizations in the Pikes Peak region.
This is the story of how a 1-year-old boxer in the south named Pepper used a mobile app to help a 7-year-old foster black lab named Nami in the Rocky Mountains get a much-needed surgery to retain her eyesight.
Pepper lives with her owner Jessica Dyer, an elementary school teacher in northern Georgia. Dyer discovered the free Dogly mobile app through her Instagram account. “It was a chance to use the hobby I was already doing – taking an insane amount of photos of my fur baby – and using it as a tool to give back to dogs in desperate situations,” she said.
Dogly is available for both Android and iOS devices and allows users to create, discover, and share photos of dogs. Users can “love” photos and make their creativity count by playing for their favorite animal rescue or shelter. Dyer started using the app at the beginning of the summer. “It's super easy to use; you can even add graphics to your pictures in the app.”
Each month, Dogly recognizes four photos that exemplify the “being Dogly” spirit and give a grant in the user’s name. After one of Pepper’s photos was chosen, Dyer chose to have the $500 Dogly Do Good grant donated to the National Mill Dog Rescue (NMDR), based in Peyton, Colo.
“I did a ton of research before I landed on a shelter. I wanted one that truly spoke to me,” Dyer said. “Dog mills are a scary reality in our country. NMDR's story of Lily, its first rescue, brought me to tears. I knew after reading that story that they would be the shelter I played for.”
The NMDR team knew exactly how to use its first Dogly grant. “NMDR rescued Nami, pregnant, off a roadside in Kansas, but no one wanted to adopt her because of her medical issues,” said Sunny Weber, NMDR volunteer. Nami has an autoimmune disease that destroys tear ducts and eventually causes blindness. In June, surgeons in Denver were able to direct a salivary gland from the dog’s mouth to the conjunctiva of the eye, which the Dogly grant helped fund. Now, Nami’s eyes are lubricated by her saliva and she is considered adoptable since she doesn’t require extensive care and daily eye drops.
“We want to thank (Dyer) for making this connection for us; it was very generous and incredibly sweet of her to choose our organization to receive the grant,” Weber said. “Dogly is doing something very progressive that will only help small organizations that don’t have access to resources they need to fulfill their missions. NMDR is so thankful for any funding that helps us get these dogs out of abominable situations and into loving, healthy homes.”