A woman is remortgaging her home to raise £20,000 for life-saving treatment for her dog.
Nicki Dyson is on a fundraising mission to pay for surgery that will cure her three-year-old Chow Chow, Narla.
Narla suffers from elbow dysplasia, which has caused her bones to rub away the protective cartilage, resulting in bone rubbing against bone when she walks.
She is on constant painkillers and limps along as she has problems with both front legs, and an unconnected problem with her knee on her back left leg.
Nicki, 31, who rescued the adorable pup from travellers two years ago, wants to do everything to give her ‘baby’ the loving life she deserves.
That involves raising the £20,000 required to pay for complex surgery, which will see her having plastic and metal plates being inserted at her elbow joints.
The operation costs £8,000 for each leg, with extra money required for scans and after-care.
Her pet insurance, for which she pays £60 per month, have paid £6,000 out so far for treatment – but caps at £7,000 for each condition.
She is asking the public to help her, and has set up an online fundraising appeal.
But Nicki, from Hessle, will go as far as remortgaging her own house if she has to.
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She said: ‘At the moment Narla’s pain is manageable, she is on pain killers that help her. She can get out into the garden and have a sniff around.
‘For the moment I can see is happy. Despite everything she is always wagging her tail and smiling this funny smile she has.
‘But I want her to have back to full health, she is so placid and gentle, she didn’t have a good start in life and I’ve always vowed to do everything for her that I can.
‘While there’s something I can do, I will.’
Nicki travelled to Lincolnshire in December 2016 answering an ad on Gumtree.
‘Something clicked in me then,’ said Nicki, ‘I thought something wasn’t quite right, so I went to rescue her.’
Narla, whose name is inspired by the female lead in the Lion King, came with a passport which said she originally came from Hungary.
Adorable Narla lives a cherished life where she is showered with gifts, given lavish birthday parties and has lots of friends at doggy cafes.
When Nicki discovered Narla was 13 months old, and not the 11 as told by her previous owners, Nicki was devastated to find out they had missed her first birthday and vowed to make every birthday count.
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Despite minor problems with Narla’s health that were easily cleared up with a visit to the vet, Narla seemed to be in great form.
But disaster struck in the summer of 2017 when the cruciate ligament in her back knee snapped.
Narla had an operation and she, luckily, fully recovered in time for her 2nd birthday and a great party in November 2017.
‘When Narla turned two I threw her a birthday party with loads of doggy guests, cake and party bags’, said Nicki.
‘I made everyone sing Happy Birthday to her.’
Sadly Narla’s clean bill of health didn’t last long when she suddenly stopped walking, with three of her legs completely refusing to work.
It turned out she had a severe form of the devastating and life-limiting condition, elbow dysplasia.
She had another op in January 2018 to remove bone fragments from her back legs.
Narla fell ill again in May 2018 and since then Nicki has traveled the length and breadth of the country to find a vet who could cure Narla.
Nicki said: ‘Over time Narla will get worse, our only option is to operate. I would not be a responsible owner if I were to leave her like this.
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‘If the operation is not a success then we will have put her down, and I just can’t contemplate that, you can’t have a dog who has the use of just one leg.’
In the meantime, Nicki has set up a crowdfunding page to raise as much money as she can.
She is also undertaking a number of fundraising events and her sister in Australia, Carla, 29, and her mum and dad in Spain helping out.
She will top up the rest with money raised from her home.
Nicki bought her childhood home, a three-bed detached home for £150,000 from her parents when they moved to Spain in October 2017.
She is sure there will be enough equity in her home but funds raised are limited as she has to be able to afford the repayments.
Nicki said: ‘It is heartbreaking because she is so friendly and has given me so much. I will fight for her to the end.’
If you’d like to help Narla get better, you can donate through JustGiving.