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Why Pet Insurance now matters for this crazy Dog Lover

Puppy Tales Title Graphic for the Blog on Dog Insurance

I stood on the verandah, inhaled the crisp morning air and grinned.

In the paddock below me 2 carefree dogs, one black and one golden, ran and wrestled.

It was a long weekend, and hubby and I had come away for a hiking trip with a group of friends. We were staying at a beautiful dog friendly homestead.

Our border collie cross Tux was eight months old. Our friends’ dog, Andy the Golden Retriever, was 1 and a bit. It was the last morning of a fabulous weekend, filled with hikes, board games and wine. The dogs had been in their element, with oodles of room to run around and snuggling by the fire with us at night.

Best Mates Border Collie Tux & Golden Retriever AndyBest Mates Tux & Andy

We decided to go out for brunch together before the long trip home. We left the dogs in the yard at the homestead, playing and chasing birds, while we hit the café in town.

When we got back to the homestead, the dogs wandered slowly out to greet us. We immediately noticed darks stains on Andy’s golden coat. Was it blood? While we laid him down to check him out, Tux walked over to us and we could see he was limping.

We found a little nick on Tux’s rump that was oozing a bit of blood. We were baffled – had these 2 close buddies had a fight? Had they been pecked by birds?

We packed the cars and headed our separate ways home. Tux was very quiet in the car and reluctant to move. When he started to breathe strangely, we detoured straight to the emergency vets. It was a public holiday, so we were relieved they were open.

Waiting for the vet in the emergency clinic Waiting for the vet in the emergency clinic

The vet saw Tux promptly and we explained the curious situation. She decided to take an xray, and took Tux out the back. When the vet came back to see us, she was still in her lead gown from xray, and her face was white.

The bullet in Tux’s pelvisThe bullet in Tux’s pelvis

“He’s been shot” she said, “There is a bullet from a high powered air rifle lodged deep in his pelvis”.

The world paused on its axis for a second, and then we made a hasty (teary) phone call to Andy’s parents. “The boys have been shot… you must take Andy to the vet immediately” we told them.

Tux’s bullet was in a location deemed too dangerous to reach with surgery. Put simply, he would either live through the night and survive, or he would crash and likely die. Leaving our boy at the clinic and driving home was one of the hardest things we have done.

We reported back to the clinic the next morning, our hearts bursting to see our boy. He was limping and in pain, but very much alive. We were on cloud nine. On the way out, however, my husband and I experienced a different kind of pain – wallet pain – as we parted with over $3000 for Tux’s care.

(NB. This incident was reported to local Police, but we never found out who did this to our dogs).

Tux’s bullet hole & Tux Recovering at HomeTux’s bullet hole & Tux Recovering at Home

On the other side of town, Andy was facing his own battle, with surgery to remove the bullet from his leg. Andy’s bills came to over $6000, but Andy’s parents escaped the wallet pain and the stress of finances being a part of the decision in caring for him – they had insurance for their boy.

Andy recovering from leg surgeryAndy recovering from leg surgery

With the immediate disaster averted, my husband and I had to have a really uncomfortable conversation about Tux – how much would be too much cost for his care in the future? Where would we draw the line? The conversation hurt, it really hurt. I knew my love for my dog went beyond dollars, but I also knew there had to be a line.

Unless I removed that line.

A lady I chatted to at the park shortly afterwards nailed it. She looked right into my soul and said “You love your dog. If he got sick, you would want to make sure you could get him the best care possible. Why would you complicate that, when you can choose not to?” Of course what she was saying, was that pet insurance was a total no brainer.

Almost as an afterthought, the lady added a question: “Do you have insurance for your car?”. “Yes” I answered. “Do you love your car more than your dog?” she said, before wandering away – she already knew what my answer was.

In the heat of the moment, when your dog’s life hangs in the balance, you feel completely out of control. You can’t control what has happened, you can’t control whether your dog lives or dies, and you can’t control how much it all costs.

But what if right in that moment your current self could go back to your past self and say “Take out insurance now, so that you can at least take control of one big part of this horrible situation”. Would you do it?

I bet you would.

Often we think of insurance as protecting our assets, but in fact sometimes insurance is actually about removing barriers.

My car has a set value and my car insurance covers replacement cost.

My dog doesn’t have a value. He may have cost us $300 at the rescue centre, but in fact he is priceless. So I can now see that pet insurance is different. It is there to allow me to look into Tux’s big brown eyes, if things were to go wrong, and say with an honest heart “Buddy, we are going to do everything we can to help you”

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24 thoughts on "Why Pet Insurance now matters for this crazy Dog Lover"

  1. Thanks for sharing your experience with everyone Karen. It is something I have had in the back of my mind for quite some time but have never been able to afford it! I will definitely be looking into pet insurance for Ref after reading this and seeing what my best options are!

    1. We’re glad it’s something for you to think a little further on…. I think it’s particular sad when the decision of whether to take a course or action or not is based around finances.

  2. Wow, what an horrific ordeal!! I’m so so happy to hear both pooches made it through ok. My dogs and I celebrate good health and fitness with fun visits to the beach. There’s nothing I love more than watching them sprint along the waters’s edge after a Frisbee, their tongues hanging out with big doggy grins on their faces 🙂

  3. Poor Tux! I can’t believe that happened to you all. Glad that everything is ok now! It’s interesting to see how Australian’s are still quite skeptical around Pet Insurance. When I was over in America it was an absolute necessity for pet owners!

    We celebrate good pet health with plenty of dancing! 🙂

  4. Terrific news that both pups have now returned to their healthy and playful selves. Thank you so much for sharing this tragic experience – I was under the impression that our gun laws were a bit more strict, can’t believe those people are able to purchase and own weapons and use them on dogs! How sad! I hope karma comes back for them.
    My puppy Winston is not yet fully vaccinated so we’ve been spending a lot of time playing indoors and working on “fetching” in the hallway. His favourite toy at the moment is a squeaky tennis ball. I’m sure he’d appreciate an iFetch to keep him entertained when I’m at work! Good luck to all the pups who enter 🙂

  5. My two spoodles are my best friends and are very active. They love chasing tennis balls, sniffing everything at the off-leash dog parks and swimming in the creek.

    I’d love to win an iFetch for my puppies because one is so obsessed with tennis balls, she plays with the tennis ball from the moment I come home from work until I go to sleep at night.

    This article has reminded me that I need to get pet insurance as it’s a good way to ensure that my furry friends are insured like I would my house or car. I don’t want to one day have to make a decision on my dog’s life based on a dollar amount, as they are family to me.

    1. Hi Melanie, Certainly sounds like your best buddies have a wonderful active life! We thought the point that Kaz made comparing insuring our pets to that of our car, a very good point. For us dog lovers, our pets are way more important to us than our cars!

  6. what a great idea for my ball crazy dog, he loves to run and chase anything that bounces, we often go to the oval as I only have a small yard to play ball. He is a working breed dog so never stops.boston has another little mate called sef he is malt shitz cross and just can’t keep up the speed with him. He loves chaseing to but is now a senior so tires easily. We also love going bush in winter for bush walking and then a swim in a dam that backs on the mountain in the state forest. A ball machine would be great for both my boys and give them some bb bounce in there ruvley day.

  7. I am so very glad these fur kids are back to their playful and happy selves. My husband and I celebrate good health and fitness with our three fur kids with many long walks along the lake, many hours spent swimming to retrieve their tennis balls, riding with us on our jet ski, rides on the kneeboard with us and the latest is standing on the stand up paddle board with me with their doggie life jacket on. Many visitors to the lake can’t believe they are seeing a mini foxi with a life jacket on enjoying a ride up and down the lake! Two of them are ball mad, when we give them their small kong tennis balls, they are very excited and they go on their racing track around the house. You can hear their toe nails scratching up the carpet. It’s very comical! We think our fur kids would have many hours of fun with this product!

  8. So glad the pups are well – what a horrible thing to have happen to them. We celebrate our Dalmatian puppy’s good health and fitness with long walks, play times with furfriends, games of hide and seek and throwing a ball. Anything to try and get this little ball of energy to calm down! Love feeding out of a Kong full of yummy surprises. Looking forward to summer coming back so we can get down to the beach again. Domino loves chasing a ball, and can often be found throwing the ball for himself to chase so iFetch would definitely add to the game!

  9. My three fur babies (samoyed, Chihuahua and terrier) and I celebrate good health and fitness by taking hiking adventures at the blue mountains, play dates with our doggie play group, taking a dip in the waters at the beach and learning new and exciting tricks to stimulate our mental health too! With an extremely active Samoyed and Chihuahua, the ifetch would be great addition to our adventurous schedule!

  10. Oh my goodness – thankfully those gorgeous pups were ok. What an experience.
    Our dogs Ralph & Charley love to play fetch (in addition to walks and going for runs with us!) so an iFetch would be so awesome for them!

  11. my gosh thank goodness they are both ok!!
    i have 2 dogs, both lucky enough to live on the beach and get twice daily swims and runs in the ocean.

    both love playing with a ball, problem is, one (ellie) CAN catch, the other (deegan) couldn’t catch a cold!.
    both come everywhere, go to work with my husband, come on holidays with us, in fact live better lives than us now i think about it.
    they are both rescue dogs, now living the life that every dog should. filled with adventure, fun and most of all unconditional love.

  12. Oh gosh!
    As i work nights,i take my baby jackchi, lenny, to the pet lovers cafe in Perth. We are members so he has access to the off lead play areas and uses all his energy out socializing and playing with other well behaved dogs! This place is truely the best thi g to have happened to us. When we get home, lenny is bugger and sleeps until i get home from work, and then the next day we do it all again.

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Dog Mum Kerry Martin is the editor and photographer at Puppy Tales.

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Chief Canine Cuddler,
Photographer, Editor,
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