A NINTENDO Wii Xbox often appears on birthday gift wish lists, and 11-year-old Ben and his eight-year-old brother Harry’s lists are no exception.
However, when their dog fell ill, they were left distraught and decided to forfeit their toy money in order to raise funds for Dogs Trust to say thank you to the veterinary staff who reacted quickly to save their best friend’s life.
Two-year-old collie cross Ruby was rehomed from Dogs Trust Shoreham two years ago as a puppy
Mrs Deborah Neale from Sunbury-on-Thames and travelled all the way to Shoreham to adopt Ruby and the dog quickly became a big part of the family, forming a close bond with her sons, Ben and Harry.
When Ruby fell ill because of a hormonal condition, her health deteriorated rapidly. In desperation, and faced with veterinary costs the pet insurance provider would not cover, Mrs Neale turned to Dogs Trust for help.
Swift action was required to save Ruby’s life and so the dog received emergency veterinary treatment.
Mrs Neale said: “Ruby bonded with my sons from the minute they met, but particularly with Ben who has autism.
“Both of my sons have fun playing with Ruby and their relationship with her has helped to boost their confidence and bring the family closer together.
“The onset of Ruby’s condition was a shock and extremely worrying for the whole family. We didn’t know if we would lose her and the stress of not being able to pay her vet bills was a huge worry.
“Ruby is now back to good health and we are incredibly grateful to Dogs Trust for their help. To say thank you we set up a Giving page to raise as much money as we could for the charity.
“Ben and Harry sold a lot of their toys at a car boot sale to add to the pot and this, combined with generous donations from the public, has helped us raise £500 for Dogs Trust.
“We have been very touched by donations not only from friends and family, but from people we have never met who have contributed either because of their own experiences of autism or the wonderful companionship that dogs offer.
“We have bought toys with a fraction of the funds and donated the rest to the charity to help care for the dogs whilst they await new homes.”
Tracey Rae, Shoreham rehoming centre manger, said the money had been spent on toys for the dogs at the Brighton Road centre.
“We are so pleased to see Ruby back on her feet and enjoying life with her family,” she said.
“We are delighted to receive this kind donation as we rely on the support of the public to care for our dogs. The donated toys were eagerly sniffed out by the dogs within minutes and are already being put to good use.”
If you can offer a home to a dog, call Dogs Trust Shoreham on 01273 452576 or visit www.dogstrust.org.uk.
The rehoming centre has dogs of all shapes and sizes looking for homes and, when matching dogs with new owners, staff will consider a wide range of homes and circumstances providing that they will fit the requirements of the dog and provide them with a loving, lasting home.