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Owner travels 2300 miles to provide his dog with life saving heart surgery

Scott Clare took his dog Buck-O on a 2,300 mile trip to Cincinnati for a life saving heart operation.

Scott Clare of Bakersfield, California thought his young Labrador retriever Buck-O was the picture of health. After all the exuberant pooch loved to run and play and jump and frolic, but during a routine health check prior to being neutered, everything changed.

Buck-O, named after the charismatic baseball player, John Jordan "Buck" O'Neil, is Scott's best friend, so when the dog was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect which could result in an enlarged heart or sudden death, it was Scott's decision to find a way to help his best friend.

According to, Scott knew the surgery to correct his dog's heart defect was to be very expensive, but Buck-O was definitely worth the investment:

"He makes me laugh and smile everyday," said Scott about his dog Buck-O. "He's just a crack up; he's lots of fun."

Buck-O's congenital heart defect, known as tricuspid (heart) valve dysplasia and frequent ventricular arrhythmias might have only given the dog from six months to three years to live. Unfortunately the dog didn't respond well to drug therapy.

The only procedure to correct the dog's heart, a ventricular catheter ablation only performed on dogs in the United States by Dr. Kathy Wright, in Cincinnati, Ohio became Scott and Buck-O's chosen destination. The pair made the 2,300 mile trip together garnering a lot of friends and warm wishes along the way.

An eight-hour surgery, the soft cone of shame around Buck-O's neck so he couldn't lick his operation site, and lots of love from Scott, the two have now returned to Bakersfield.

Dr. Wright performs from six to ten surgeries every year on dogs at MedVet who come from as far away as Alaska and Canada . Scott spent $10,000 on Buck-O and considered himself extremely fortunate to be able to afford the operation and the trip.

Live long happy lives Scott and Buck-O.

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