We met Dublin 10 years ago behind the bars of a local shelter. We were mourning the loss of our first dog Snickers and looking for another Shepherd to join our young family. I cried when I saw him. Little did I know that was the moment I fell in love with Dublin, my "Heart Patch". He is the dog that started our journey of where we are today in life, in dog training, our friendships, and the way we view the importance of medical care for our dogs. Dublin's story is one that I wish all would hear. He is the poster dog for pure love and bravery, proper training, and insuring your pet.
Sean and I wanted to do better for this dog than we did the last. One of the first things we did was research pet insurance. It was offered through work as a benefit. It was a fairly new product back then gaining popularity among pet owners. For a few dollars every paycheck we figured what the hell. As I became familiar with its use, I quickly realized I had just made one of the best decisions for my dog deciding to get him coverage early at 4 months of age when we adopted him. The next step was finding a trainer to get the puppy nonsense under control. We had a consult with a local recommended trainer Nikki Banfield. With all training, we committed to classes, worked at home diligently, and fun group hikes. Dublin's transformation was what everyone hopes for. He was happy, well behaved, and honestly the perfect pet. Our new found interest and love of dog training led us to the German Shepherd world and the sport of Schutzhund when we added Nessie (Chyan Vom Evolution) to our family. Once again we quickly prioritized by getting Nessie pet insurance when she was just 8 weeks. It was one of those expenses that was simply out of sight out of mind, affordable and there when we needed it. It paid for several medical expenses through the years and was a great relief for a few emergency visits.
December 2015 at only 5 years old, Dublin is diagnosed with terminal cancer...
Had I listened to a local vet and just made him comfortable, he would have had maybe a few months and who knows what kind of quality of life. I owed it to Dublin to offer him the very best care and as much time as he wanted. I didn't have to make any tough financial decisions associated with that because I had pet insurance. I was able to just make rational medical decisions that were best for Dublin not just decisions based on finances. We traveled to UPenn and one of the best oncology departments in the country. We were able to not only afford surgery, extensive testing, treatments, and chemo, but also bought precious time and memories because of pet insurance. We did a bucket list and spent a year traveling and spoiling Dublin. We always had to be realistic and keep the end in mind and when that time came we were able to allow Dublin to be at home and pass peacefully with the help of a mobile vet. Pet insurance allowed us to do that.
Nessie has had extensive allergies for many years and has to see a specialized veterinary dermatologist. This could have ended her Schutzhund career. Pet insurance allowed her to have the best testing and treatment so she could continue competing. She retired with one of the most successful careers we could have asked for and completed her titles as Chyan Vom Evolution IPO3 x2, FH, 6th place NE Regionals 2018.
Our latest and greatest sport dog Squatch (Hondo von der Felsenstadt IGP2) has had expensive health testing required by ethical breeding, AKC standards and working dog organizations. As responsible German Shepherd Dog owners these are all expenses that come with the territory. The financial burden is eased because of Pet insurance.
With any added financial expense it comes down to priority...
I promise no pet owner standing over their animal at the emergency vet, having to decide if they can afford care, ever said they were glad they bought that expensive dog toy vs paying a pet insurance premium. We spoil our pets with treats and toys that they destroy in 10 minutes anyway. We thoughtlessly pay for expensive cell phones and insurance for them. We dine out and think nothing of the cost because it's out of convenience. If having to not make a difficult medical decision for your pet was as easy as ordering your daily coffee, would you make it a priority?
I've been a strong advocate for over 10 years and in my role as a local Liberty Mutual insurance representative, I now have the greatest of opportunities to help others understand this coverage and insure their pets through my own experience. I hope you can take my story and for a moment consider what you would do if your pet were ill or injured and how you would afford it. Consider pet insurance. Call me anytime and I would be more than happy to offer information, advice, options and a no obligation quote to get your dog or cat protected.