Sparky and Jean: A VSW Success Story

Meet Sparky, an enthusiastic and cheeky Shih Tzu cross, and his favourite human Jean. 

Sparky came into our lives at Cherished Pets in 2015, after Jean took him in after his previous owner had passed away. Since then Sparky and Jean have become best friends, with their routine usually filled with walks, games and plenty of cuddles. 

When Jean was in her late 80s, she realised she needed further assistance to help keen Sparky happy and healthy. Through our Cherished Pets Foundation, Jean was able to get in touch with Glenda, one of our incredible Community Vet Nurses. For the last 7 years, Glenda has made monthly visits to both Jean and Sparky in order to support them both. Not only has Sparky been cared for by receiving hair cuts and preventative health care, but he has been the recipient of our Respite Care services. When Jean has gone through periods of being unwell, Heather (one of our volunteer Respite Carers) has cared for Sparky until Jean is back on her feet. Both Glenda and Heather are a part of Team Sparky, and we all work together to make sure he stays as well as possible

In February of this year, Sparky fell down the back stairs at Jean’s house and received urgent care from the clinic. The fall led to a disc prolapse in his back, and as a result he was paralysed. Team Sparky took immediate action, and made him a recovery plan. Glenda became his guardian angel, took him into her home and went above and beyond to provide high level nursing support for 2 weeks. Glenda loved, nursed and supported Sparky through his rehabilitation program, and offered care that Jean wouldn’t have been able to complete on her own. With the support from Team Sparky, alongside Dr. Kim Lim from Geelong Creatures Comfort, Sparky has been responding well to his treatment. With the support from the team and the Foundation, Sparky is now walking again and we are in the process of helping Jean organise a ramp for Jean’s backyard to help Sparky return home. 

If it wasn’t for our innovative service model at Cherished Pets, Jean and Sparky would not have been able to access Glenda and Heather’s support throughout the last 7 years. Our solution is designed to support beneficiaries such as Jean and Sparky, help them stay together and ensure their human-animal bond is support through all of life’s ups and downs.

Published by Social Hearted Vet

Community hearted veterinarian. Social Entrepreneur. Thought leader. Advancing Veterinary Social Work Advocate for the Human Animal Bond and One Welfare. Mother. Friend. Cares for our planet.