A DOG saved by a phone call on her final journey to the vet is being hailed as a Christmas miracle by her delighted family.
Tina and Matt Peacock and their children George, nine, and six-year-old Molly of Colehill were facing a miserable new year when their beloved rescue dog Matilda became paralysed by a slipped disc.
But an appeal to an animal charity brought a last-minute lifeline for the Bassett hound.
The call came just in time for the go-ahead for a costly and delicate operation that has put Matilda on the road to recovery.
Mrs Peacock said Matilda developed a problem with her back legs and became paralysed.
The only option appeared to be specialist spinal surgery.
Mrs Peacock said: “It was going to cost about £5,000 and we couldn’t afford it. And she still might not be able to walk again.
“We decided she would have to be put down.
“We had got her a couple of years ago from Many Tears Animal Rescue in south Wales and in desperation I rang them to tell them never thinking they could help.
“The children had said their last goodbye to Matilda and were in tears.
“And then in the car I got a phone call from Many Tears saying they would somehow pay for the operation.
“We had all shed so many tears. It was incredible.”
Matilda had the operation at Southern Counties Veterinary Specialists in Ringwood and was home for Christmas after making excellent progress.
Mrs Peacock said: “The staff there called her their Christmas miracle because she was able to stand the next day and could walk on the second day.
“We have to keep her calm and have crate rest - but she’s home with us.”
Matilda had been rescued by Many Tears after being used as a breeding bitch in Wales for four years.
The charity originally called her Kassie and has set up an appeal to recover the £3,500 cost of the surgery.
Mrs Peacock said: “Our vets Burrows and Burrows in Wimborne were so good, ringing round to find the best help for Matilda and Southern Counties were wonderful and capped the cost.
“I can’t tell you how grateful we are to Many Tears. That charity saved this dog twice - first by taking her in as an ex-breeding bitch and then by paying for the surgery.
“She’s back with Florence, our beagle, and I know she’s got many more walks in the woods ahead of her.”
More details about the charity and Kassie’s appeal can be found on the www.manytearsrescue.org website.