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Leanne and Nana

Member name: Leanne

Pet name: Nirvana (Nana)

Pet breed: Boxer

Pet age: 2 years

What made you get Nana in the first place?

My sister decided to breed her pup Indie, she had a difficult labour but ended up with 8 beautiful boxer puppies. At the time I was adamant that I didn’t want one even though I’d fallen in love them all. I was in an upstairs flat without a garden and knew the amount of exercise Boxer’s need. I was caring for them everyday while my sister was at work and puppy sat twice while she went on holiday. To say thank you she gave me the last little pup that no one wanted. I cried I was so happy.

How did you choose the breed?

Our whole family right back to our grandparents have always have Boxers. We had two as children growing up and our aunties and cousins all had Boxers, they have always been part of our family. Boxers are so bouncy and playful, absolute bundles of fun and their expressions are hilarious, I love their squidgy faces and fury lips so much.

What is the most rewarding thing you have found about owning a pet?

The love and affection! Endless kisses, snuggling up together under that blanket, laughter (everyday’s a comedy show), playing with the toys, hiding sausages, tummy scratches and puppy massages. The walks down the old railway track, in the woods, down the river; new adventures every day. They are just wonderful companions who bring so much fun and love into our lives.

Have you encountered any problems (illnesses, behavioural, social) with Nana?

When our baby lemming (Nana) was only 6 months old she ran off the side of a railway way bridge thinking it was a sloping embankment like the rest of the track. It was actually a 20ft drop onto a shingle river bank. She landed badly and smashed her pelvis breaking right through her hip socket. Three times the vet said there was nothing wrong “she might have pulled a muscle”. On the third visit I insisted on x-rays, and we soon found out it was serious. I was told it was £3500 to plate the break or that she would probably heal alright by herself because she was young. I was only insured for £1000 and most of it had already gone on the x-rays and consultations.

At this point I felt completely distraught and guilty that I couldn’t afford the operation. I took her to the PDSA to see if they could fix her up, they didn’t do complex operations and gave me the number of the totally amazing Anderson Moores Veterinary Practice. After more x-rays they said she had actually broken her pelvis in three different places and the left side of her pelvis wasn’t attached to her spine properly. They said there was nothing that they could do until she was a fully grown adult and plating the socket break wasn’t even a viable option. They recommended a total hip replacement costing £5000. The next few months were awful in the beginning she couldn’t even stand for a wee and being in an upstairs flat meant I had to carry her up and down the stairs to go outside. Our poor little pup was in so much pain and had been moved about from vet to vet. I was so glad when we finally had a real diagnosis and could concentrate on getting her better. She was so strong and brave and it was amazing to see how well she was recovering.

We set to work fund raising setting up a Go Fund Me page but we only managed to raise just over a thousand, I scoured the net for ways to get the hip replacement done but to no avail. I was told by family and friends that there was no way I’d get insurance for her needing such an expensive operation. Over the next year she recovered quite well but had a permanent limp and couldn’t handle long walks, playing with her mum and brothers was reduced to a few minutes of saying hello and she had to be driven rather than walk even to get to the other side of the village. She was on permanent pain medication and there was no end in sight.

I got back on the internet and was looking for standard insurance for everyday things and came across Scratch and Patch. I saw that they did pre-existing conditions and gave them a bell relaying the whole long-winded story up to this point. They said “yes, we will insure her for the broken pelvis and possible hip replacement” I was in absolute shock, speechless! There are no words to describe the elation I felt when I knew she could finally get the opp and be free from pain. This would make such a difference to her standard of living; she’d be able to run through the woods and roughhouse with her brothers again. We contacted the good vet and they did more x-rays and said she has developed arthritis in the joint but the other breaks had healed quite well and that they could do hip replacement right away and that she’d be home in time for Christmas. The operation was a great success! Our baby girls doing really well now, she’s not limping anymore and in three weeks she’s allowed to see her mum brothers and the run with the pack again. There’s absolutely no doubt in my mind that without Scratch & Patch this wouldn’t have happened, she would have suffered terrible pain throughout her life. Saying “Thank you” just doesn’t seem like enough when you have done so much for her. Thank you Scratch & Patch for saving the day! We recommend you to everyone we meet.

What is your top tip for people thinking about adding a pet to their family?

Make sure that you’re prepared to shoulder the responsibility, Nana gets five walks a day because we have no garden and she demands more attention than a child. But we love her, she’s so funny it’s a pleasure not a chore. Get a competent Vet with a good reputation. Initially we had a bad one which ended up causing a lot of pain to our pup and stress to me. Make sure you have the best insurance you can afford (from Scratch & Patch), £1000 goes absolutely nowhere these days, treatments are so expensive. I felt totally helpless when I couldn’t help Nana and I dread to think what life she might have had without finding good insurance.

Do you have any funny stories to share with us about Nana?

OMG! Endless antics. She’s hardly never left on her own but one time we were out she dragged a whole bag of house plant potting compost from the kitchen to the front room where she thought it would be a great idea to rip it up and cover my cream/beige carpet in black manure/compost. I got a phone call from my son who said “the front room looked like a garden centre” I didn’t really know what he was on about until I got home and there was soil everywhere. The carpet was a write off, we had to laugh.

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