Happy Tails Pet Hospital

December 19, 2005

Last month I noticed a large lump on my dog Henry's head. It felt like he had a marble under his skin. Being the responsible pet owner that I am, I took him to the vet the next day. The vet did some tests and it turns out the lump was cancer. We also found two other lumps that they recommended having removed. My vet gave me the number of the surgeon and told me to schedule an appointment. When I got back to my house I gave him a call. The surgeon's secretary told me it would be a few weeks before he would be able to get Henry in. It seemed like a long time to wait but I went ahead and made the appointment. (I figured I could look around and see if I could find a surgeon who could do it quicker and I'd then cancel this appointment). After she took my information, she told me that I would need to put down a $1200 deposit before the surgery. I almost spit out my coffee. I asked how much the surgery was going to be and she said "Between 1600 and 2600 dollars". Holy Crap! This time I did spit out my coffee.

Don't get me wrong, I love my dog and would spare no expense to see him happy and (most of all) healthy but 2600 dollars? As I said earlier, Holy Crap.

Just then my cousin Shelly called me. Shelly lives near Odell Illinois which is about two hours outside of Chicago. I told her the story about my dog and the 2600 dollar surgery. Shelly said "Come on down and see my vet. Her name is Laura Buscher and the place is called Happy Tails Pet Hospital. She's the best vet I've ever had". I called Dr. Laura and scheduled an appointment for the next day.

The drive to Blackstone Illinois isn't the most scenic on the planet but it sure is nice to get out of the city. Once you turn off of I-55, you're smack in the middle of farm country. Nothing but fields and barns. If you want to see what I mean check out Suzannes site "The Farmers Wife. She really captures the essence of the area.

We pulled up and I brought Henry inside. The place is clean and friendly, I felt at home right away. Dr. laura came in and I knew I was in a good place. Have you ever met someone who when you first meet them you instinctively know where their heart is? This is the feeling I got from Dr. Laura. After checking over Henry and looking over the copies of the test results I had brought with me, she said that he definatly needed surgery right away. We made an appointment for the next day.

When we came back to Dr. Laura's, Henry knew something was up. He's really well trained but tried to make an escape run at the last second. I remember the look he gave me as I left him there at Dr. Laura's. It's amazing how a dog can affect your very soul.

Shelly and I spent the next few hours with hitting the thrift stores around the area buying more junk I didn't need. I got a call a few hours later telling me that Henry made it through surgery fine and would be ready to be picked up in a few hours.

Right on. Thank you God.

When I got there Henry still looked a little stoned from the anesthesia. He gave me one of those looks like "Where the hell did you go?". Dr. Laura and her staff gave me the details of the surgery and how everything went. After getting his post-op instructions, I went to the desk to pay the bill. It came to well under 400 dollars.

Right on.
No, "holy crap" at this place.

Yes this is a shameless plug for a place where I got great service at a great price. Henry got excellent treatment and I didn't have to take out a second mortgage to afford it. There are so few places like this left in the world. If you need quality vet care and don't mind taking a drive in the country to get it, then go see Dr. Laura. She's worth the trip.

Happy Tails Pet Hospital

Here's Henry, relaxing after a day at the lake.

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