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Hospital client shares overwhelming gratitude after her dog Bud’s life was saved

Posted on Thursday, July 18, 2019
collage of black and white dog with quote

When Adrienne’s dog Bud had a life-threatening obstruction, our Susan M. Markel Veterinary Hospital was able to provide lifesaving surgical intervention and waived fees for our services thanks to grant funding from PetSmart Charities. Adrienne wrote to us to share their story and their gratitude to PetSmart Charities and our hospital team.

Adrienne’s email, sent with the subject: “They saved all our lives!”

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the staff at Susan M. Markel Veterinary Hospital for helping me with my precious dog, Bud, who is 2 years old. In May I realized that Bud was very sick for about two or three days—no eating, no water and very lethargic—which is totally out of character for him.  I had taken him to another veterinarian in the area, and they sent us home with no relief or answers.

The next morning, I realized that my precious Bud was dying. I was very upset and crying because in my gut, and looking at my Bud, I knew he was slowly dying, and he knew it too.

“My dog is dying”

I decided to call the Susan M. Markel Veterinary Hospital to see if maybe by the grace of God someone could help me more than the previous vet’s office. A very kind woman answered the phone and I explained to her what was going on with him. She knew and could hear me crying; she remained professional and maintained her sanity even though I had lost mine. I finally tried to get the words out that “my dog is dying.” She told me to start getting him together to bring him in and she would call me back. Through tears and all, I was able to get Bud into my vehicle and started my trip to the hospital. I live 45 minutes away. My girlfriend left work early and met me there. 



“She remained professional and maintained her sanity even though I had lost mine.”


As promised, [the client services representative] called me back and said the best words I could ever hear, “Bring him in here, and we will do our best to find out what is wrong with him.”

I cried, “Thank You sooo much!”

Seeking a diagnosis

When we got there, they took him directly to the room and he just laid there. We were greeted by two very kind women, and they ascertained information about how Bud had been acting. Bud was X-rayed based on what we were telling them. (They did better investigative work than I have seen in my 16 years of working alongside law enforcement.)

collage of three dogs
Adrienne and Mariah’s three adopted dogs: Husker, Ganji and Bud

Once they finished, they brought my Bud back to us in the room where we met the ever so wonderful Dr. (Miracle) Molinas. He showed us immediately what the problem was. Our beloved Bud had eaten a rubber baking spoon top. Dr. Molinas was so complete with his explanation of what needed to be done and what the outcome—good or bad—may be. I admired the fact that he took time to explain it with sensitivity, realizing that Bud is our family, as my girlfriend and I cried. He showed so much compassion and empathy.

Bud was immediately prepped for surgery. We were so upset because we had just spent quite a bit of money the day before at the other veterinarian’s office. We have three adopted dogs at home, and as you all know, their care and eating habits can be quite expensive, so we were worried about the costs as well. We were advised in such a caring tone, “Don’t worry about that right now. Let’s get Bud better right now.” 

Surgery and recovery

Bud has fully recovered and is back to his happy, energetic self.

Dr. Molinas called immediately after surgery and advised that Bud made it through surgery successfully and had to stay overnight. When we went to visit Bud, Dr. Molinas and the rest of the staff members that were caring for him were concerned because Bud wouldn’t eat and barely drank. When Bud saw us, he wagged his tail and slowly got up. Dr. Molinas was watching Bud’s every move and stated that he was happy to see Bud moving. And, Bud ate for me!

Bud finally got to come home! The hospital provided us with the necessary instructions and food to assist with his digestive system. I realize that this is a very long letter, but it is nowhere as long as the gratitude that I have for the entire staff at the Susan M. Markel Veterinary Hospital for the outstanding job that they did. Bud is a part of our life and due to the dedicated and lifesaving efforts of everyone involved with saving his life, they also saved our hearts from a loss that would have been hard for us all to handle. 


Adrienne Gaines is a police dispatcher at VCU. She shares her home with Mariah and their trio of beloved adopted pets: Husker, Ganji and, of course, Bud.

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