I have very little money to my name since the economy hit bottom. I lost my job, house forclosed, then divorce. I only survive thru faith, and that faith saw me and my sweet Schnauzer thru a long, painful night last night. Like my own health, I wait to call my doctor at 3:00 pm on Friday, after thinking all week I will get better from whatever ails me. I made that same, dumb mistake with my 'baby' the night before Christmas Eve. It all comes down to money for me. Do I buy the ground beef or the block of cheese? paper towels or toilet paper? I never seem to go without, but I never make to effort to save a little "emergency money". My dog is all I have left of lost dreams. I buried my pride and called my elderly parents asking for their financial help. Thankfully, they came through with the $1,200.00 needed to save my pets life. (I did sign the 'DNR' section of the release, in case things turned for the worse. I couldn't possibly expect my parents to pay huge sums of money to save her life.) Had I had some money tucked away, or pet insurance, I'd have taken her to our regular veterinarian when it became apparent things were only getting worse, and I probably would have saved some money by doing so. Had I not taken her to any Vet for care, I would have watched her suffer a long, painful death. I am grateful that there actually is a 24-hour E.R. for animals. In this case, I didn't have to lose my best friend. I'd bet each employee at the clinic can surely relate to similar personal situations. So many people are challenged by these difficult times. Even those who still have jobs. A.E.C. employees wouldn't keep doing the jobs they are doing if they didn't care or had no empathy for animals and people alike. I am dismayed with myself for not being prepared to care for my pet in her time of need. But, I am more grateful that her life has been saved. My Christmas would have been so lonely and sad without her. Thank you mom and dad. Thank you A.E.C. God Bless You & Merry Christmas!