I forgot to mention to the universe that I needed a moment to catch my breath and so God thought he would place a challenge in my hands to see if I could balance it along with everything else, or if it would cause me to stumble and fall… He likes to do that sometimes as a spiritual form of strength training.

With a heavy heart and tears streaming down my face creating a waterfall over my breast which cascaded down my breastfeeding baby’s cheek, I thanked God for the cancer my pet Labrador had, and I asked Him to please heal her because we weren’t strong enough to say goodbye to her anytime soon – she is still so young. And although I appreciate the life experience, I need spiritual help with this.

Where Is He?

My second born doesn’t understand that she’s had major surgery, he keeps pacing the garden, tapping the ground with his hand and looking for her. Even with severe brain damage, he knows his pup is missing even if he can’t communicate his concerns. And he doesn’t find joy in the garden without her by his side.

It breaks my heart that she’s all alone in the veterinary hospital and that we have no idea IF, or when we will ever get her back- alive. How does she know that we haven’t abandoned her or that she is all we can think about… and what if she thinks I lied. I mean I told her that she would be away from home for no more than two nights. Could she die all alone of a broken heart just wanting to come home?

Even More Pressure

Although no one expects to hear devastating news such as this, what I was in no way prepared for was the overwhelming amount of pressure that my in-laws chose to place on us as soon as they found out about the surgery.

As my husband informed them, they instantly needed thousands of dollars from us for an upcoming surgery for his dad. This came out of nowhere and honestly made me feel physically ill. The timing was ridiculous! When exactly did they find out that he needed surgery? Why hadn’t anything been said earlier? Did they decide in that very moment, after hearing about our pup, that they would be skipping the waiting list? And what about their private healthcare!?

Why Would They Put Us In This Position?

What was I supposed to do exactly? Choose between paying for the surgery that our pup had just endured and handing the money over to them? Was this some sort of test? Was I expected to abandon our beloved pup never to be seen again in hopes that the Vet wouldn’t seek legal action to recover the money I owed him?

My in-laws only just finished renovating their home. They do so every six months so that it’s current, but moreover to keep up with their friends who are all in competition to prove how prestigious they each are. They enjoy the most lavish lifestyle and now here I was being guilt-tripped over paying for necessary veterinary expenses.


Am I supposed to forget that these are the same people who turned me away when I had nowhere to live immediately as I had given birth to their firstborn grandchild. They had felt their home was too good to house a newborn- they didn’t care that the baby and I were headed for a women’s shelter. In fact as long as their son was still safely under their roof they wouldn’t have cared if my son and I slept on the side of the road.

How could they do this to a family of ten? For goodness sake, I’m not frivolous with money. In the last eleven years, I’ve been to the hairdresser TWICE. And here his family is trying to put us in a massive financial dilemma.

We Had To Sell Our Stuff For Her

It reminded me of the time my husband had to sell our camera because his grandmother wanted to upgrade her television. She loves to have all the latest technology and although I remember being like that too (before I became a mother), I was just so shocked that we had to sell items that we never even got to replace just to meet her demands… I needed that camera… it was what I used for my maternity photos as well as for our children… but I wasn’t going to be the reason why his grandmother missed out on a new tv.

This new financial trial however was too much to handle. We’re the type of people who have been trying to save over the last two years for a car that fits our family. In two years we haven’t been able to drive anywhere together. In that time my in-laws have upgraded to a new Mercedes – not out of necessity, but out of extravagance.

I am married to a man who cannot see the unjust behaviour of people who choose to live an excessively lavish lifestyle and then take advantage of those who save for a rainy day. A man who is happy to put us into financial crisis just to keep his parents happy. And I thought I was drowning. I thought I was not going to be ok. But then I realised the lesson in all of this.

We Have A Choice!

We have a choice. We all have a choice. And I am choosing my dog. I choose her above all else because I know that I saved so hard for her procedure! And I shouldn’t have to justify my actions to anyone.

My dog is my family. She is always there for us. And it would be less than human to abandon her during her time of need.

Besides, why don’t they ever place their other son in financial predicaments? Why is it always my family?! It’s not as though we inconvenienced them when our hot water system or washing machine broke! We simply did it rough for months until we were able to sort it out.

We are all tested, constantly, perhaps it’s what makes us human. But it’s ok to go with our gut instincts even if other people feel like we’re choosing the wrong option.

It’s Not Right!

I committed to my dog the day I bought her, just as my in-laws commit themselves to their life of luxury every single time they choose to splurge as opposed to pay for necessities first. Why should a family pet have to suffer just so that they can burn their money on unnecessary things?

There are times in life where you just need to refuse to be placed in overwhelming situations- especially whilst already facing a crisis! I understand that they feel the need to reach out for help before I finalise my bill. But where exactly would that leave me?

I Just Don’t Get It!

At the end of it all I know my husband will find a way of meeting his parents demands. He will more than likely jeopardise our plans of a family car, so that he can help his parents out. And I respect that, because he’s putting life before ‘things’. What I can’t respect are people who put things before their own health- and then expect me to choose which life matters most, even though my father-in-law’s surgery isn’t even that of a ‘life saving’ nature, whilst our gorgeous Labrador is still at the veterinary hospital!

In life you must always do what you believe is right from within your soul- no matter how many people are judging you and saying that you’re wrong. Being at peace with your life choices is imperative.

What advice would you give this mum if you were in her situation? Tell us in the comments below.

This mum shared her dilemma on Facebook too. Read some of the advice she received below.

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  • I am not an animal person and wouldn’t spend money on them. But your family is also selfish and unreasonable.


  • Pets & family are both very important and to be loved and cherished. However when a family member misuses our finances and goodwill it’s actually loving & caring NOT to give in to that by being consequent and teaching them what is right


  • It is so hard but I would chose our dog. We just love him so much and we can’t imagine life without him.


  • If I were in your shoes, I’d pick the dog too. Seriously they are grown adults.


  • In this case 100% choose you beloved dog. Your in-laws are adults. Most of us, not all, start paying our own way in life once we become adults. If your father in-law needs money to pay for his surgery, he can use his own or sell something of his own to pay. Stop funding their lives at the expense of your own family. If your husband doesn’t stand by your side then he probably shouldn’t be a husband. I know that sounds harsh, but you need to do what is right for you.


  • People need to be responsible for their own lives which includes independent finances. A family does not need to answer to in-laws etc about decisions and finances.


  • I could never choose between a pet and family, they are one and the same to me. So we’d just make it work (somehow)

    • I agree! Pets are family and a huge responsibility.


  • Those parents should be ashamed of themselves!


  • You did the right thing and trust your self don’t think what others say.


  • You did good! You did the right thing for yourself, your dog, and your family. And you can sleep well at night, knowing that you have done the right thing. You don’t owe anyone outside your family anything. And with all the circumstances explained, you certainly don’t owe them anything.


  • I am so glad you chose your dog. I would have to. Your in laws sound horrible, toxic and financially controlling! I would be telling them where to go


  • Have all your money for your beautiful dog and your little boys happiness as well. They are jerks keeping up with the joneses every 6 months with renovating. Learn to say no, we cant afford that.

    If he wants the operation they can stop renovating for a while, you say they have private health insurance – they have to use that or borrow from someone else better off than you are or get a personal loan or a second loan on their home.

    Have as little to do with them as possible.

    As the vet if you could go in and see your dog once a day and perhaps take your little one with you, or not, you could take a picture of your dog to show.


  • I know exactly how emotionally attached and in love we become with pets, I believe they are family members too. I would have made the same choice


  • Humans need to come first but some humans don’t deserve it.


  • I’m not a pet person, and I just don’t understand getting all emotional about a pet. Having said that, though, I think it’s more than fair for you to choose her over your in-laws. It does not sound as if they need your help, and it does sound as though you’ve given them a lot over the years.


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