It’s unsettling when your pet is sick, but terrifying when you think about emergency vet bills…


When your pet isn’t feeling well your desperate to help. You wish with all your might they spoke “human” so they could tell you –

  • what hurts
  • how it happened
  • what they need
  • what they want
  • how bad do they really feel

But they can’t – and that crap stinks!


Rode the train. Thought it would be fun vs. driving.

I said goodbye to Doodle Dad, hugged the Boys and skipped to the train tracks thinking about my two day get-away…


About 30 minutes into my ride my phone pinged #textmessage

Jax just threw up all of his breakfast in the car, it’s everywhere…


My heart sank to my ankles. I texted back frantically –

Why is he sick? – I’m so sorry – how is he now? –

but for hours I received no reply.

My deductive reasoning convinced me that my poor husband couldn’t text back because he was elbows deep cleaning the Doodle wagon. #Iowehim


I’d reached my destination. Before I could call, a second message flashed on my screen –

Don’t know what’s going on, Harley just got sick. Got to clean the rug in the den…


Here’s what raced through my mind –

  • I want to go home
  • I can’t go home – I took the train
  • I hate the train!

For the first time in my Doodle Mom life – both Boys were sick, and I wasn’t there. I felt ill. Seriously. I thought I was going to throw-up. #punintended

Due to the 300+ miles between us, my mind betrayed me and started playing mean and nasty games. I began to re-live those last four days with Leo, and that’s not a good place for me to be. #stillscareseme

It’s Friday afternoon, the vet is already closed. What if this gets worse later in the night?


If Lee was fighting this one on the battlefield, then I needed to be working logistics. I started researching emergency vet care in our area.

That’s when my breathing became labored. My head was pounding –

Jaxson doesn’t have pet insurance!

Harley does, and I always “meant” to get Jaxson enrolled, but never did. #OhsweetbabyJesus

Two dogs with some mysterious illness at the emergency vet could become costly WITH insurance. Without it would be astronomical I’m sure.

Then I remembered seeing this chart on FaceBook, compliments of American Dog Magazine. It was a list of organizations that provide financial assistance with Vet bills…


For the first time that day, I was able to exhale (if only just a little bit).


can cost upwards into thousands of dollars. While regularly scheduled appointments can be less expensive, the tab for an emergency visit can quickly get out of hand. Diagnostics for blood work, X-rays and possibly IV medications are costly. And in some cases, larger dogs can easily be even more expensive.


Like military intelligence I traced my steps from the time I woke up until I boarded the train. I was desperate to find any clues that would help me identify the culprit behind my Bissell Shampooer getting two work-outs in one day.

Learning Harley also barked up his breakfast helped solve the mystery.


I like to add “stuff” to their food –

  • fresh fruits
  • raw veggies
  • cheese
  • hardball eggs
  • and on occasion ground chicken breasts that I boil myself #dingdingding

I boiled chicken the night before I left. I thought a little chicken with their meals while I was away would be a nice treat.

I fed them breakfast the day I left, apparently there was something wrong with the chicken. #sorryfellas

Lee knew to give them spaghetti that evening for dinner, along with plenty of fresh water and no treats. I asked him to throw the chicken in the trash.

They’re doing better, but I don’t think it turned out to be the “all Boys” fun filled weekend my husband had planned.


  • Call Doodle Doc this weektell him what happened, and ask him for a list of two or three emergency vets he prefers. #Doodlemomneedstoknow
  • Get Pet InsuranceI’ve been putting this off long enough. I’ve been meaning to change insurance companies for some time now. #futureblogpost I have two companies that have been highly recommended. I will decide this week then enroll them both.
  • Get specialized creditI’ve heard a great deal about CareCredit. Built in financing for your pet’s medical needs. They’ll get a call too!


Thank the Doodle this mini medical episode didn’t involve emergency vet care, and wasn’t a life or death situation. It did however, make me realize there are a few things I need to take care of.

In the event – I am faced with an emergency vet visit – I don’t want to fret about anything else other than the health and welfare of my Doods…


I’m writing this on the train heading home. Doodle Dad did a Doodletastic job, can’t wait to see them all.

If you’re happy with your vet insurance – please let me know who you use in your comments.


It’s Monday, be brave, be brilliant and oh so resilient ❤️


  1. Humane Society
  2. Sheknows
  3. AVMA
  • Lindsay
    September 26, 2016

    How scary for Lee .. AND you especially not being there to see for yourself and to swoop in like the vigilant momma you are.
    Glad the boys are doing better hun. I know just how frightening it can be because your mind just goes to the worst place.

    I bet the reunion when you got home once again was glorious. 😉


    • Cathy Bennett
      September 26, 2016

      Lindsay the reunion was PAWsome. I had to wait until I got home, Doodle Dad spent all afternoon cleaning the car – since he fed them dinner he didn’t want to bring them with him in the event their stomachs were still a little unsettled. I was sad, but I couldn’t blame him. The Boys are really doing good! Thanks girlfriend XOXO

  • Emma
    September 26, 2016

    My mom would be a mess if we got sick when she was gone! Doodle dad is a trooper cleaning up the messes and taking care of the boys. Pet insurance helps a lot with those large ER bills. It makes the decision to go a bit easier, but we do prefer to wait and see our own vet if it is possible as the ER seems to get it wrong a lot but we are still glad they are there. Hope the boys are back to normal.

    • Cathy Bennett
      September 26, 2016

      You’ve said it Emma. I was a “hot mess” being so far away. Doodle Dad was A-mazing, and the Boys are doing just fine now. Scary moments though…

  • Callie, Shadow, and Ducky's Mom
    September 26, 2016

    Oh Cathy, I am soooo sorry your memory played nasty head games with you!! I’m glad you were able to calm yourself and get back on track! Glad the Doodleboys are feeling better, and that the DoodleDad was a big help! Hang on to that man – he is priceless!! I have insurance on Ducky, but need to find a new company myself – thinking of Embrace. Was thinking of PetPlan, but they will not cover pre-existing conditions AT ALL, even after a year like most of the others. That took them out of the running as far as I’m concerned.

    • Cathy Bennett
      September 26, 2016

      Girlfriend, I came so close to renting a car and driving back that same evening! I was with my college girlfriends who love me dearly. They “get-me” and my love for the Boys, so they were very understanding and patient as we waited for more words from Doodle Dad. And he is amazing when it comes to taking care of them, so all went well. They are fine now – I may never know what triggered this from the both of them. Maybe it wasn’t the chicken, maybe they were both upset watching me board the train. Who knows?

  • Two French Bulldogs
    September 26, 2016

    Care Credit helped us with one big emergency we had. Sending you feel better tummy vibes
    Lily & Edward

    • Cathy Bennett
      September 26, 2016

      Thanks my favorite two French Bulldogs! Are you all pleased with Care Credit? Your Doodle buddies are doing well, no more upchuck episodes #thankthedoodle

  • Rich
    September 26, 2016

    Dear Cathy,

    Sorry to hear of the upchucks.

    We use Trupanion | 1.800.569.7913 | http://trupanion.com/ for Teddy

    They have 3 levels of coverage.
    Our Vet accepts them and files the claims.


    • Cathy Bennett
      September 26, 2016

      Thanks Rich – I’m now thinking that watching me get on the train was more than they could handle 🙁 – they are fine now, eating and playing and pooping just fine. Thanks for the heads up about Trupanion. I’ve heard nothing but great things about them – they are certainly on my list of companies to switch to. I like the fact that they file the claims too! #sweet

  • Claudette Pope
    September 26, 2016

    So sorry to hear that Both Boys were sick. I hope it didn’t stress DoodleDad too much. Men seem to get real queasy during times like that. I have VPI. I’ve only used them once, for Ziggy’s neutering. They came through quickly with my re-embursement.

    • Cathy Bennett
      September 26, 2016

      The Boys are doing fine now, perhaps they both just got an upset tummy when they saw me board the train – who knows, Doodle Dad did great. I bought him dinner from Chipotle tonight as my way of saying “thank you” 🙂 I have VPI and I am not happy with them, so I think I will be moving to another company. I’ll keep you posted. Thanks Claudette.

  • Diane
    September 26, 2016

    Hope the doods are all better by now!
    I use Healthy Paws, it comes highly recommended. Please check it out!

    • Cathy Bennett
      September 26, 2016

      The Boys are doing great! I have no idea what caused this “blow-out” LOL but they are fine now. Healthy Paws? I’ve never heard of them, but will definitely check it out. You’re pleased with them? Thanks for the referral. I’ll let them know!

  • Kimberly Gauthier
    September 27, 2016

    Glad things worked out. I swear by pet insurance. It really saved me when Scout got sick last year. I was able to throw everything at his illness without worrying about cost.

    • Cathy Bennett
      September 27, 2016

      You use Trupanion right? I’ve heard great stories about them, their customer service, the quick reimbursement response… Do you like them?

  • All Things Collie
    September 27, 2016

    We just went through emergency vet care, and sure adds up quickly! I’m glad your boys are ok!

    • Cathy Bennett
      September 27, 2016

      Thanks so much – I just need to make a decision about Jaxson’s pet insurance #omdoodle

  • Jan K
    September 30, 2016

    I’m so glad the boys turned out to be OK. That has to be the worst, headed away from home and then finding that out. I would have been a wreck.

    How was your train experience otherwise? I don’t like driving or flying, so I’ve thinking about it for future trips ever since you mentioned it before.

    • Cathy Bennett
      October 2, 2016

      I think because I was just starting my weekend – it made it unbearable. After Lee told me they ate their boiled spaghetti noodles and chicken and were resting comfortably – he stopped texting which was probably best. I loved the train ride. I was able to write, email, and work for 6 uninterrupted hours. The train is much more comfortable to me than a plane. But depending on how far you’re traveling – you could become restless. Six hours is really just the right amount of time for me. I left at 10am and arrived at 4pm, it was like a work day. #pawfect

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