Keenans Veterinary Expenses

This is a story about a man and his dog.

Matt and “Keenan” first met when Matt was volunteering as a walker for the Grande Prairie SPCA.

Matt would walk a few dogs every week ensuring they all got out to stretch their legs. When the GP SPCA announced it was closing its doors, and all the animals needed homes, Matt did not hesitate. He became a full-time dog owner. His original intention was to adopt a collie, but he had already been homed. As chance would happen, as Matt was leaving a handler was outside with Keenan. Matt took him for a walk and fell in love. Upon their return, Matt discovered Keenan was the only dog without a single application – too much dog for some people.

Matt applied to adopt Keenan and a few hours later was driving home with his new best friend.

Keenan has been described as Matt’s lifeline. They are inseparable soulmates.

Matt and Keenan had planned to spend the better part of their summer camping and hiking on their way to Halifax where Matt is reuniting with his seven year old son, but that changed when Keenan became seriously ill a week before their departure.

The plan was to start by heading west, to visit his mom, on Vancouver Island, then do a true coast-to-coast road trip.

Keenan began vomiting repeatedly and would not even drink water. He refused to eat entirely.

Matt took Keenan to a GP vet, who shrugged the poor dog off, saying “he’s fine, it’s just the heat.”

Matt brought Keenan home, but when the dog’s condition worsened, he returned to the GP vet, who, once again, was of little help. The vet said there was nothing wrong, but did put an IV drip on Keenan for the day.

Unconvinced, but desperate, Matt and Keenan set off to Courtenay, BC where Keenan was scheduled to see a more reputable vet. They drove through the day and night only stopping for Matt to syringe electrolytes down Keenans throat to keep him hydrated enough to get to the island.

The staff at Van Isle Animal Hospital were sensational. They took the case seriously, ran some tests and eventually discovered that Keenan had somehow consumed a corn husk – the last thing Matt would have suspected, as he is adamant about not feeding his dog any human food whatsoever.

An emergency operation took place, which included not only the removal of the corn husk, but also the removal of 10 centimetres of Keenan’s intestine, which had “died,” according to the vet.

Keenan is on the road to recovery, but the expenses are more than Matt can handle. Any donations will be greatly appreciated as we are all grateful Keenan is still here with us.


Any extra money collected in this plea will be paid forward to the Van Isle Animal Hospital for their own fund set up to help low income pet owners spay and neuter their pets.
  • Anonymous 
    • $250 
    • 57 mos
  • Catherine Proudfoot 
    • $50 
    • 58 mos
  • Mary Blackburn 
    • $100 
    • 58 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $100 
    • 58 mos
  • Terry Murray 
    • $75 
    • 58 mos
See all

Organizer and beneficiary

Matthew Bowen 
Grande Prairie, AB
Erica Farrell