Heimdall’s story provides a most heartwarming and compelling example of the love of a special pet, and the value of being able to provide excellent care.
October 22, 2009 (Pittsburgh, PA)The North American Pet Health Insurance Association (NAPHIA) announced today that Heimdall, a much beloved deaf Great Dane is the winner of the 2009 North American Favorite Pet Story.
Meg Wittenmyer is a member of the Houston and Denver Great Dane Rescue Groups. Just a few years back Meg was only going to keep Heimdall for a few days until a good home could be located. You may have an idea of what occurred. It happens to all of us who love and care for pets. The dog was very special and not just because of his hearing disability. Meg and her husband quickly found a kind and gentle giant with a soul that could be seen through his eyes and he immediately melted the hearts of what became his new family.
Heimdall gently approached his new owners and softly laid his head on their shoulder and he pretty much got whatever he wanted. Yes, they spoiled him quite a bit, but he returned that favor a hundredfold with all the love and devotion his 145 lb. body could give.
Working with Great Dane rescue and having them for years taught Heimdall’s new parents the importance of maintaining pet insurance coverage. With big dogs there are sometimes risks for big bills, which is why the rescue strongly recommends pet insurance to all our adoptive families. Little did they know how true that would be when they took Heimdall into their regular vet for a persistent cough. In November 2008, what began as an upper respiratory infection progressed to recurring pneumonia to bacteria, that mutated each time the veterinarian tried a new antibiotic.
Like many pet owners with pet health insurance, these folks had been paying premiums for a long time without actually making a claim. However, within the space of six months, all their expenses and efforts were repaid in ways they had not imagined.
The primary veterinarian and the pet owners searched out a fine respiratory specialist, Their optimism turned into months of trying one antibiotic after another, included countless lung x-rays and three bronchoscopes. At one point, the pet owner was paying over $300 a day for the special antibiotics, as Heimdall was fighting both staph and e-coli bacteria which had settled in his lungs. It was at this point that the pet owner realized the value of not only having pet insurance, but the added drug and dental benefit they decided to purchase as part of their coverage.
Between November 2008 and May 2009 their pet insurance company had paid their policies maximum annual benefit of $10,000. The pet owner said that “not only did they pay the bills we submitted in a timely manner, but we knew that the staff of the pet health insurance company cared as much about what happened with Heimdall as we did.”
Very sadly, Heimdall passed away last month, as the pet owner shared this story and she sincerely wanted everyone to know that if your pet is important to you, then pet insurance should be just as important. “We would have done anything to get Heimdall the treatment he needed and having insurance meant not having to take out a second mortgage or even selling our house, but more importantly, gave us many extra months with our beautiful baby boy, which really is priceless. It’s just that simple.”
“It is with a little bit of sadness, but also a great deal of joy that we celebrate to life and bond that was enjoyed by Heimdall and his family. The North American Pet Health Insurance Association is very pleased to share this special story as the winner of the North American Favorite Pet Story”, said Loran Hickton, Executive Director, North American Pet Health Insurance Association.
A special donation will be made in Heimdall name to the Houston and Denver Great Dane Rescue Groups. Also, the family will receive a special award of $500.00 for pet related purchases and veterinary care.
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About pets in the United States
Research shows that pets are truly regarded as members of the American family. About 60% of U.S. households have at least one dog, cat, bird, or other companion animal. Many have more than one. There are more than 72 million pet dogs in the U.S. and nearly 82 million pet cats. Projected 2009 pet expenditures for North America are over $45 billion, of which $25 billion will be spent on veterinary related care.
About The North American Pet Health Insurance Association
Founded in 2007, the North American Pet Health Insurance Association is committed to educating and promoting the values and benefits of pet health insurance to North American pet owners, the general public, and the veterinary industry. September is National Pet Health Insurance Month. Pet parents can enter their stories, pictures and favorite veterinary practices for special prizes and an educational grant for the veterinary care provider. To learn more, visit our website at http://www.naphia.org.