California man travels across the country for life-saving surgery
By Jay Dillon
How far would you go for your dog? A California man traveled across the country to find a cure for his best friend.After Scott Clare's wife died, the high school teacher taught himself to love again. This time, it was a four-legged companion. "He makes me laugh and smile every day. He is just a crack...well, you can see him. He is just a crack up."Clare adopted the now-14-month-old Buck-O, named after baseball player Buck O'Neil, a reflection of his love of baseball. But when Clare took Buck-O to get neutered, the doctors noticed something was different with this puppy: an abnormal heartbeat."The range is 70 to 160 for dogs and he was always over 160," Clare said.He was diagnosed with ventricular tachycardia, rare condition where a dog has a rapidly fast and sometimes irregular heartbeat, leaving Clare to make a very tough decision."So, my choices were spend a lot of money or hang on to him until he has a horrible death and I wasn't gonna do that."The only other option was to travel from Bakersfield, California, to Cincinnati, Ohio, where Buck-O could undergo ventricular ablation. The complicated surgery had never been performed on a dog before.Clare loaded up Buck-O and drove the 2300 miles on an adventure that made Buck-O many friends along the way."I think they liked the story, the story of him being the first ever. And, you know, look at his face. He's got such a beautiful face."But it wasn't all fun and games, Clare was a nervous wreck at times."I went to the hospital. They're open all night. I went to the hospital I think at 2 or 3 in the morning and just sat with him because I couldn't sleep anyway."Eight hours and more than $10,000 later, Buck-O made it through. Making history and memories while strengthening the bond between man and best friend.
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