WHEN the call came through that the Squires’ family pet had been maimed in an accident, the reaction was immediate — they would pay any price to save their beloved scotch collie Zeke.
The Squires know all about challenges.
In February last year, Geradine and her husband Jamie were told their five-year-old daughter Regan had leukaemia.
Geradine was forced to quit her new job and Regan had to defer her first year of primary school for a gruelling 12 months of chemotherapy at the Royal Children’s Hospital.
“For the first 12 months it’s weekly and monthly. You’re just constantly in Melbourne,” Geradine said.
“You just live in and out of hospital.”
When they learnt of Zeke’s accident last week, they were unprepared to let go of their beloved family pet.
Regan’s small bed was Zeke’s preferred sleeping place, despite his large size.
But when Regan became ill, the family had no other option but to leave the dog with friends in Camperdown while their daughter received treatment.
Last Monday, Zeke escaped and suffered a broken pelvis, likely caused by a car or a kick from a cow, and needed an operation. “It came down to our decision on what we were going to do because of the money — it was more than $2000 to proceed,” Geradine said.
But with Jamie now working only part of the time as a self-employed carpenter and Geradine constantly by Regan’s side, finding the money was a struggle.
“The bank balance is definitely short,” Geradine said.
“We were just going to have to cross that bridge when we came to it.”
The canine was soon in a Melbourne operating theatre, where the family learnt of a newly-formed charity aimed at helping out pensioners and those on low incomes with their veterinary costs. The Pet Medical Crisis Fund kicked in $1000, while the vet in Melbourne slashed another $800 from the bill to give Zeke the life-saving operation.
By Friday, Regan and her furry companion were reunited at home in Warrnambool, where Zeke is now expected to make a full recovery much to Regan’s delight.
“I want to watch him play fetch. We normally have a ball and play tug-of-war,” Regan said after playing with Zeke in the back garden yesterday.
Donations to The Pet Medical Crisis Fund can be made online at www.petmedicalcrisisfund.com.au/donations.shtml