My Soppy Boy, Troy

It fills me with shame to find myself here asking for help. My friends will know that I have spent the last two weeks in complete denial, but Troy’s pain is inescapable. I am a proud person and accepting, let alone actively asking, for help, is something totally new to me and it fills me with deep shame. But Troy is part of our family and I have to do everything in my power to help him. I have volunteered all my life, giving up my time to care for sick, injured and neglected animals - now I myself write this with my pride dropped, all for the sake of my boy, Troy. Before I even ask my family and friends humbly for even the smallest of help. I want everyone reading this to understand why, we as a family find ourselves here, in this situation. It’s wrong that insurance companies up premiums and exclude conditions under pre existing. It’s like they penalise you twice! Most people who read this, will already know Troy and the fact he is like a cat with 9 lives! For those of you who do not know him, Troy survived a horrific RTA at just 10 months old and had to have his front leg rebuilt out of metal. He never let that hinder him. At that point we were extremely lucky to have pet insurance and it cost around £8000 to save his life. Our insurance cost £29 a month. I won’t name the provider, but after his accident and at the point of renewal, our premium was increased by a staggering 105%. It was a struggle but we coped for a while, until we decided we had no choice but move provider. Over the next 5 years we were forced to move providers over and over again, in attempt to keep premiums manageable. Most recently we hit a point where we saw premiums rise to an eye watering £110 a month. We had to accept we could no longer afford to insure him. Our family private health policy for 2 adults and 2 children is just £49 a month! A few months ago Troy began to show signs of lameness in his back leg. The vet explained that Troy needs his CCL (Cruciate Ligament) repaired. Without surgery it will either snap altogether and I will have to put him to sleep, as we do not have the money to fix it OR if it doesn’t snap he will slowly deteriorate and he will need more and more pain killers as the arthritis gets worse, until it will reach a point that it would be unfair to keep him in pain. Our choice is simple. Do the surgery or accept we will have to put him to sleep in the very near future. I refuse to accept the latter. He currently cannot go out for a walk, get in the boot of our car or even sit without pain and each day we wait, the arthritis which is not reversible even with surgery, worsens. And we thought it couldn’t get any worse? Well it has. The likelihood of his other leg going is so high, it’s recommended to do both legs at the same time. He is 7 and whilst he is full of life, I don’t want to put him through surgery twice and we simply cannot afford the two separate surgeries, if the other one went at a later date. I have now found a surgeon who offers a fixed price by weight surgery, but it is still a staggering £3500 for Troy and £5500 to do both legs at the same time. The surgeon we hope to use and what is wrong with Troy - Are you still reading? If so I am going to assume that you too are a dog lover and so now I want to tell you how important this dog has been to our family. As I said before most of friends know all about Troy, he has a big personality that’s for sure. Sometimes, erm often, he drives me nuts, but the rest of the story very few know about. We bought Troy as an adorable Dobermann puppy in October 2010. He was to become my protector, my shadow and my only friend, when I developed PTSD. After suffering so severally from neighbours from hell, we were moved to protected housing by the police. I was left alone to raise two babies, in a new area. Meanwhile my husband worked long hours, to bring us back from the brink of homelessness. Yes that’s right, my friends may be surprised to know that we almost ended up in sheltered accommodation. We rebuilt our lives and Troy has been by my side every step of the way. Every tear, he knew before it would even fall. Every jump at a noise, he has stood strong and when I have wanted to stay indoors with anxiety, he has been there to irritate me until I eventually agree to leave the house for a walk. I cannot let this boy down now. Please DO NOT feel obliged, please DO NOT feel bad, if you can’t or don’t want to help. This is our problem to fix, ultimately. However I would be fibbing if I didn’t admit we cannot do this alone. I have only agreed with my friends to set this up because they know that there is no other way we can raise the funds. If it’s not screwed down in our home, it’s being sold. Including my MacBook Air so I am writing this on my phone! If you do decide to help us.. all I can say is from one dog lover to another - thank you. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. The Doyle’s
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Lucy Doyle 
Sharpthorne, ENG
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