As all of you hard-core pet people know, your dog or cat is part of your family--your inner circle, just like your spouse, your kids, or your best friend. When he or she is hurting, it's painful and you want to do anything and everything you can to help.
Not long ago Lacy, my eight-year-old, frisky, blonde, Pomeranian pal hurt her back. She'd done it before--usually from turning herself inside-out with excitement when I got home from work--but this was different. She didn't respond to the pain or inflammation medications that had worked before or even to the stronger potions prescribed by her veterinarian. After a few days, it was evident that this was serious.
A trip to my trusted pet doctor a week after the trouble began resulted in a myelogram--a dye-based X-ray which revealed what I really didn't want to hear. Lacy had ruptured a disc and the pressure on her spinal cord had her hunched up like a Halloween cat. The good news was that it was fixable. The bad news was that the surgery she needed would cost nearly $3,000.
Like many people, I had a lot of not much money at that moment. With a son in college, car bills, two mortgage payments, and other financial facts-of-life putting pressure on my wallet, things were tight. On top of it all, I was still recovering from an unanticipated late-life career change, a divorce, and related trials and tribulations that had occurred just months earlier. The timing couldn't have been worse.
But Lacy was my buddy, my pal, my sidewinder. She had been with me through thick and thin--by my side when I was down and feeling unloved and underappreciated. So there was really never any question about what I had to do, I just didn't have the cash on hand to do it. Thankfully, I knew about a company called CareCredit which provides extended no-interest payment options to pet owners just like me for situations just like this.
I'm a very credit-cautious person, well acquainted with the dark side of credit card debt. But through one of the CareCredit programs, I was able to get Lacy the care she needed and the time I needed to deal with the costs. For me, it was a godsend. Sure, it meant curtailing discretionary expenses for a few months, but that was a small price to pay to get my little pal healthy and on all fours again.
Thanks to all the great doctors, veterinary technicians, and others who cared for Lacy, and thanks to the payment buffer which I was able to take advantage of, today Lacy is good as new--better, in fact. We're more careful about jumping and wigglin' around, but she's still here to brighten my life and I'm grateful for that. Where there's a will, there's a way. I believe that, but know that none of this would have been possible without the love and attention of many caring professionals. My thanks to everyone who helped make this a happy ending.
ABOUT THE GUEST BLOGGER
Dan McGaw manages AAHA's Preferred Provider Programs. He lives in Highlands Ranch, Colorado with his son and favorite pet, Lacy. Dan is a long-time pilot with a life-long passion for aviation, boating, the outdoors, and, of course, animals. Prior to joining the AAHA staff, Dan worked for the Boeing company.