* Hello. This will probably be a bit of an impossible ask, as I do not 'do' Facebook or Twitter. So, whilst everyone else can forward links to their hundreds of friends on FB, Twitter, Instagram etc to raise awareness quickly, I am just here, on my own, with no social media accounts, buried under thousands of other Crowdfunder pages. I can only but try I suppose.
A bit of Bealachs (Baileys) history.
On the 23rd of May 2018, I took home this lovely boy, 'Bealach' (or Bailey, which was easier to pronounce) - although he did not look anything like his great condition shown here (10 months on)
Aside from having come from really sad living conditions, he was 15kg underweight along with fleas and a fair amount of ticks. He was 'supposed' to be 3 years old, but, after getting him home and up to the vets, he was scanned for a chip, and turned out he was just over 6 years old - so, we were lied to by the people involved in rehoming him. I wasn't too angry at this, because I promised the dog he'd have a home with me for the rest of his life. I don't take on dogs and then rehome them months later. They are here for life.
One step away from becomming a Pets as Therapy dog.
Things were going really good with him. In November 2018, I started the ball rolling to get him qualified as a 'Pets as Therapy' dog. His temperament was such, that in May this year, he was in the final stage of getting approved and registered. (Sheena Kennedy PAT head admin was arranging a final assessment to pass him) - But - it never happened.
Life can be so cruel. Just 1 year and not even 2 weeks in to owning Bealach, from all the hard work I put into him (and as he now was in the picture above), it all ended so quickly.
He took not well on Wednesday 5th June 2019. At 6.30pm, he was playing on the beach, running around like a puppy. Came home, had his tea later, and was perfectly fine up until 10.30pm, where he went downhill all-of-a-sudden. I called the out of hours Emergency Vet, and after thinking he had maybe eaten something, I could not make him vomit. Bloat (Gastric Dilatation Volvulus) was ruled out. I was advised to take him to the Surgery when they opened, for Ultrasound scans and X rays.
I took him up to the local practice first thing (now Thursday morning 6th June)
Normally, they call around 2pm and say either 'collect' or 'he's good to go'. Not this time. They called early and asked if I could go up and we'd discuss the scan results.
I went up, and it was not good. He was shown to have a huge mass on his spleen, and they did not think they could save him by operating. I asked what the chances were of success, and they said ''very slim''. But, I said ''a slim chance is still a chance'', and ''we have nothing to lose''.
I could not bear to have him PTS there and then, without knowing I at least tried everything, even if it did mean still losing him.
He's all I had. I'm not married, in no relationship, and have no 'human' kids. Dogs are my 'kids' and this was my 'child', about to be taken away from me. But, like any parent (I would imagine), they would do anything for their kids, no matter how bleak the prognosis.
And so a decision was made...
The Vets transferred him from Banff (Bellevue Veterinary Centre, Aberdeenshire) to the bigger practice in Keith (Seafield Vets, Aberdeenshire) to operate on Friday morning, my knowing in advance that if they cannot (or will not), be willing to proceed any further with the operation (too far gone or too risky etc), then I was to receive the call to request him PTS on the table.
Unfortunately, that is exactly what happened. The mass was malignant, too large, it was bleeding out and he'd lost too much blood into the abdominal area. He died around 1pm Friday afternoon, and I could not even get there in time to say my goodbyes. (they are about 30 miles away).
The hard part has been getting my head round how quick it happened. It never gets any easier losing a dog. After viewing Bealachs body on Saturday 8th June (after the vets took him back to Banff on Friday evening), they hit me straight away with ''is it cash or card?'' (Independant Vet Care - who own the practices - want paying ''at the time of consultation'')
I had to completely empty my bank account (for all that was in it), and also my months pension from the Post Office. (I am retired due to medical reasons, although only 49). All I had, combined, was taken to the Vets surgery to put towards paying them - it still wasn't enough, and I had to borrow money from someone in order to put more towards it.
''Where does Crowdfunder come in then'' I hear you ask?
Well, the veterinary practice is keeping Bealach in their freezer, until I can get funds together to clear everything, have him collected and then cremated. Understandably, I cannot keep him there forever. It is coming up 3 weeks now, and the Vet surgery has already called to see about my moving him out of there. But, there's just nothing left to do it.
I am also being chased for non payment of Council tax and non-payment of utility bills. Those should have been paid at the beginning of June, but instead the money went towards the Vet a week later - No-one knew this was going to happen and my dog took first priority.
A catch 22 situation.
I simply cannot afford to pay everyone.
If I pay the utilities (and there won't be enough to pay 'them' in full, as I will have to withold money back in order to get by myself), then my dog is in fear of being removed from the Vet practice, decanted out of their freezer, and I have no idea what I would do (or, more important, where he would end up).
If I use it all on the cremation fees, then I will get deeper into debt for the household bills. I feel like I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place.
I thought about looking for a large deep freezer, so I could take him home and keep him here until I raised the required funds and got back on my feet again. But, I'd never get a freezer that size in the door, so that idea was quickly dropped. If I get an ultimatum from the Vets practice saying I have 2 days to move him from there, then THAT's when proper panic will set in. Taking him home and burying him, for me, is not an option. If I move house, or later end up in a care situation, at least I can take my dogs with me.
It's a right difficult situation I am now in. No one expects to lose an animal at the click of a finger, and it came with really bad timing regarding all the utility bills (not that I can blame the dog for that)
Wasn't he insured?
Some of my previous dogs 'used' to be insured, but not enough was spent each time at the surgery in order to claim. So, like many dog owners out there, I didn't take insurance this time round, and yes, I regret not having now. Yes, they might have paid out, but I'd still have lost my dog regardless.
So - what is the breakdown for the £300 I'm trying to raise?
The cost of cremation (Balmedie Pet Crematorium, Aberdeenshire) is £165 and a casket with plaque is £40. There is also a collection fee when they collect him from the Vets (approx £35). Having no transport, I would have to ask someone to take me to the crematorium and back again so I can take Bealach home - and I wouldn't expect them to do that for me for nothing. It's a round trip of just under 100 miles. Worst case for that is I get a taxi to collect him and bring him home, which would leave almost no change of the £60 remaining from the £300.
Making a donation:
If I could raise 'any' amount from the original target, I'd be most grateful. I know it's not really anyones place to pay for someone elses bad luck, and I have never believed in this way of asking folk to ''spare some change'' as it were. But, I'm now in a desperate position, and don't know what else to do.
Selecting your own amount, and not using the pre-selected options:
I noticed on the ''donation'' selection, the lowest shown is £10 - but, if you click the orange 'Donate' button, a lesser amount can be entered. So, even if it was a single pound, it all adds up and I'd sincerely thank you for it! There is a percentage fee shown for each donation, but you can select 'other amount' and enter 'Zero' if you want, so that all you donate is your exact chosen amount and not be charged anything further.
You read a 'lot' of people mentioning 'pride' and how embarrasing it is asking unknown people to help them - and yes, it's all true. It's a hell of a thing to get to a point where you have to go down this road of what people call ''internet begging'', but, for my dog, I have to put my pride on the shelf and do whatever I can to get him finally sorted. I owe it to him.
Before setting up this Crowfunder page, I had also started listing stuff for sale on Gumtree to try and raise money, but so far nothing has come from that.
I must end by saying 'thank you' for taking the time to read all this. Maybe nothing will come from it, and I may not even raise half. But, I can assure that whatever is raised will all go towards helping me bring my beloved dog back home where he deserves to be.