Vets run in memory of special guide dog
11:03am Saturday 31st August 2013 in News
TWO Pembroke veterinary surgeons have signed up to run the Cardiff Half Marathon in memory of a special guide dog.
Johan and Jeanne-Marie Eksteen live in Pembroke and work at the Kingston Veterinary Practice in the town and at Milford Haven, and they are already in training for the October event.
They will be raising money for Guide Dogs Cymru in memory of Wilma, an eight-year-old German Shepherd cross who was a patient at the practice.
"Wilma was quite a softie and lovely to work with," said Mrs Eksteen. "Her owner, John Lloyd, brought her to us at Christmas with a bloodshot eye.
“We ran tests and Guide Dogs were very quick to refer her to an ophthalmologist.
"She was still not right after that, so we did an ultrasound and diagnosed an abdominal tumour.
“She was going downhill after that, so we put her to sleep here. It was just after the new year - so sad."
The vets were so impressed at Guide Dogs’ handling of the situation.
"It was a dramatic episode, but communication with Guide Dogs was excellent," said Mrs Eksteen.
"They let us know what was happening, and it must have cost them an arm and a leg to get her treated.
"She was coming to the end of her working life, but she was a real companion and her owner was hoping she would go on for a few years more."
With the sudden death of Wilma, Mr Lloyd was left housebound, so Guide Dogs immediately set about finding him a suitable replacement – two-year-old golden Labrador retriever, Jackson.
"We have met the new puppy," said Mrs Eksteen. "Mr Lloyd brought him in to say hello. He is not shy and has a lot of confidence, which is a good thing in a dog.
"We have quite a few other guide dogs in the practice, and people have been keen to sponsor us.
“Clients, colleagues and friends have been very positive and we’ve raised more than £600 so far.
“Our clients are all pet owners, so it’s close to their hearts. It’s nice to give something back because Guide Dogs were so brilliant."
Donations can be made online at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/intrepideksteens or by ringing Kingston Veterinary Practice on 01646 622943.
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