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Puppy with a Broken Leg Helps Build a Business

Accidents happen and they can be expensive

Despite this Instagram worthy image, having a 12-week old puppy maneuvering in a cast and donning an inflatable cone is no day at the beach. Less than a month after we brought our sweet Golden Retriever puppy home, we learned the hard way that freak accidents can happen and well, those injuries can be very expensive.

It was a gorgeous summer day and I had decided to take Georgia to the park. It was her first time riding in the backseat of the car without my kids there to hold on to her. In fact, it may have been the first time the kids let her out of their sight. Like me, they were smitten with our new furry family member who had adapted quickly to her new home and nuzzled her way into our hearts. I suppose it was the prospect of a new adventure that made Georgia excitedly place her front paws on the back of my driver’s seat and begin to bark incessantly. As I made a turn from our neighborhood to the main road, she lost her balance and fell about 10 inches from the back seat to the floor of the car.  Suddenly the barking turned to squealing.

Promptly returning home with her whimpering in my lap, I could tell she was in a lot of pain. When I placed her on the lawn, she wouldn’t put any pressure on her right hind leg. A thorough exam by our newly chosen vet, as well as a full set of x-rays, revealed a diagnosis we weren’t quite expecting. Georgia had fractured her leg and would be forced to spend the next two months in a cast. To clarify, she would require several different casts over that 8-week period, and between those biweekly vet visits, we were instructed to “keep her quiet” to avoid further injury. puppy with cast and cone

No walks, no playtime, no chewing on the cast, no activity beyond letting her outside to do her business.  Enforcing those rules on a puppy bounding with energy proved futile, but thankfully, her leg healed completely. Now 3 years old, she lives for fetching tennis balls and chasing creatures in our backyard. She can run with lightning speed, but never fast enough to catch a squirrel.

The incident was an eye-opener when it came to cost of veterinary medicine. Georgia’s event cost us about $1500, and according to my vet, we were lucky that surgery wasn’t required. If so, the total would have been at least double. Our experience, and countless similar stories we heard afterward started my husband and I talking about how people afford costly and unexpected vet bills, leading to the next logical question…what do they do when they can’t?  Little did we know, this dilemma would become the catalyst for starting a company, Toto Pet Insurance, Inc. On July 1, we launched our product to protect pets and pet parents in more than 30 states. But stay tuned because we’re only just getting started.