Five years ago this month we opened our doors (and our pockets) to a small malnourished Beagle who had been found wandering the streets in Cyprus. It seems oddly appropriate that Bella should enter our lives in a month which (lets be honest) is often associated with a little financial hardship. For anyone who has never had a Beagle in their lives before, it is fair to say they should probably come with some kind of warning.
Though they are patient, tolerant and endlessly loving they can also disappear for hours on end, eat anything and everything and have a propensity for getting into trouble. One Beagle owner I know had to have her pet’s stomach pumped on Boxing Day after he ate the family’s entire supply of Christmas chocolate. The bill? £500.
You’d think therefore that if you owned one of these cheeky but loving animals, it might be prudent to have them insured? Both our dogs have been insured right up until a year ago when we got fed up with the monthly payments and decided to wing it. Eleven months down the line and we were counting up the pounds we’d saved and congratulating ourselves on the gamble having paid off.
Then just before Christmas Bella and our other dog got into a brief but heated, scrap over their breakfast. I had stepped out of the kitchen momentarily and came back to find the Beagle limping. I didn’t panic immediately because one of Bella’s special tricks (learned during her time as a street dog) is to put on a limp and look pitiful. But, when she was still doing it the next day we took her to the vet who injected Bella with an anti-inflamatory and extracted £90 from me. No prizes for guessing who that hurt most.
Suddenly our gamble wasn’t looking quite so clever. Christmas happened and the renewing of the insurance got put on the back burner. We were reassured that after our bill a few weeks before, lightning was unlikely to strike twice.
And it didn’t… until last Tuesday, when Bella was back at the vets after managing to impale herself on a bit of shrubbery. She wasn’t in pain, but the collision had caused a small blister to start to grow on her inner eyelid. Our vet examined her and informed us that she’d need to have a general anesthetic and stay in for the day. I greeted this news with a sharp intake of breath and the vet tried to reassure me by telling me what a strong dog she was
But the intake of breath was not about Bella’s health, but what I knew would be a dramatic increase in the bill the moment that anesthesia was involved. And I was right. The cost in the end was £269, but as our vet said there was nothing else we could have done. Pets become part of our families and when lightning does strike twice, I’m grateful I have a credit card for emergencies, so that at least the problem can be fixed quickly.
This post was written in association with Santander, who offer a range of credit cards and loans to help you spread the cost of purchases, emergency or otherwise.