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Waggy Tales – Carol & Bonnie

In this Waggy tale we meet Bonnie and her owner Carol.

10-year-old Samoyed Bonnie was rescued by Carol and her family when she was just 19 months old, having already been with two families.

‘She loved people and other dogs but was very excitable.  Like most Samoyed’s she has a happy carefree temperament.  To channel her exuberance and energy into something I joined a ‘dog dancing club’. She loved the ‘dancing’ but was far too wild for competition, so she learnt lots of tricks, and loved going to the displays we did at fetes and country shows, as it involved meeting people, especially children, who wanted their photos taken with her.’

‘A documentary maker approached the club and chose Bonnie as one of the ‘stars’ of a film she was making, which was following 2 beginners learning to ‘dance’.  She was 4 years old at the time.  She loved this but didn’t always do as she was told, but made the crew laugh a lot. The film DOG DANCING SCHOOL, directed and produced by Donna Lipowitz, was entered in international film festivals, where it won ‘Best short documentary’ at one of them.  Then it was bought by a TV company and shown on TV. So, I could say that my dog has brought happiness to people all over the world with her happy but sometimes crazy antics.’ Explains Carol.

Unfortunately, Bonnie had to stop attending displays a few years ago, as she developed alopecia X.  Still a happy little soul she did not worry that she was going bald, and happily wore a coat when out for walks. People still make a fuss of her and never ask whats wrong with her.

In November 2017, Bonnie’s vet discovered a tumour close to the Adrenal gland. The vet explained that there was an operation Bonnie could have to remove it, which would involve taking her to a referral hospital, but only a 70% chance of success or survival.  There is a risk that Bonnie could suffer a heart attack during or after the op, and/ or complications.

‘Being a hyper and sometimes anxious dog, I did not want to put her through that, with possibly weeks of crate rest afterwards, which she would have hated. My vet suggested that I still take her to the referral hospital, as they could perform very clear and intensive scans on their specialist equipment to see how invasive it was. We knew the tests at the hospital would be very expensive. But this dog had brought me, my husband and other people so much pleasure during her life that I really wanted to help her through this illness.‘, Says Carol.

Initial blood tests showed it was advancing slowly an there was no immediate need for chemo.

Carol then started the process of getting Bonnie to the referral hospital for her additional tests.

‘I had to obtain a pre-authorisation from Buddies that they would cover her tests at the hospital.  This was all explained and was a lot simpler than I thought.’, Adds Carol.

A specialist vet performed numerous tests and investigations. They found two tumours either side of the adrenal gland, and the vet said an operation was not an option in Bonnie’s case. Although the tumours are affecting other functions in her body, and will progress, medicine can be prescribed which would improve her quality of life and make her more comfortable for the time she has left.

‘Not long after she was discharged I had a letter from the referral hospital to say that Buddies had paid for her investigations and the result of the final test indicates that she has the life shortening disease Pheochromocytoma. I am so glad I had all this investigation done for her, so that I understand the disease, and can care for her accordingly.’

‘I found the claim procedure easier than I expected.  As well as Buddies ready to explain things if needed.’, adds Carol.

We want to thank Carol and her family for sharing Bonnie’s story. The buddies team send hugs and best wishes to Bonnie and know that she will spend the rest of her days happy and surrounded by love.

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