Less than a year after winning the Best in Show at Brighton’s Pride Dog Show, Saltdean’s much-loved canine character, Baloo, has been diagnosed with an aggressive form of bone cancer.
His owner, Janet Kelly, has been told the traditional options for treatment are amputation of the affected leg and chemotherapy, although these are unlikely to extend his life to any great extent.
Baloo is a regular visitor to local cafes and The Telscombe Tavern – where he is known for enjoying his own sausage, or two, and socialising with everyone he comes across.
He is very much loved not just as a pet but also as a therapy dog. He was recently guest of honour at a SECAMB Ambulance staff day where he was petted by over 30 ambulance crew to help relieve stress – and was by far the most visited attraction. He has also been very popular with local people who like to ‘borrow’ him for walks, via the website ‘borrowmydoggy.com’
Although there seems to be little hope offered through traditional medicine, there is a controversial treatment available in the USA which has the potential to cure him. Even if the cure isn’t possible it could extend his life considerably – and there have been many case studies of dogs with similar conditions who have recovered against all odds.
But the cost is £1000 a month - so Janet has set up a JustGiving.com page to try and help with financing the treatment.
‘This is a very pricey amount but if it works then it should do so within 2-3 months. Not only that, Baloo’s experience could help other dogs that are diagnosed with this terrible disease in the future. UK vets are limited as to what they can offer but that doesn’t mean we always have to accept what is effectively a premature death sentence,’ she said.
‘He can’t walk far enough at the moment to get to either the Telscombe Tye or the beach on his own, so to be able to relieve his discomfort so he can enjoy those things again would be immense. He loves being part of Saltdean and everything he has to offer and if we can manage to get a good result for him then we can prove there is sometimes hope when you’re told otherwise.’ Anyone who would like to know more can contact Janet at firstname.lastname@example.org or through the Baloo Kelly facebook page.