For Bobbie McGlinn, her gentle Staffordshire terrier Jasmine is a sentimental reminder of a loved one lost.
When Ms McGlinn's mum died suddenly in February at her NSW country home town of Grenfell, there was never any doubt that her pet, 10 year-old Jasmine, would be brought to her new home in Canberra and given as much love as before.
But soon after Jasmine came home, a small lump on the dog's back began to grow to an alarming size.
"It was a tiny lump before she came to us," Ms McGlinn said.
"Mum was going to take Jasmine to the vet and have it seen to but she was not in good health and then passed away quite suddenly.
"With the funeral, the costs and so much going on afterwards, we thought it could wait.
"But we're not sure why, perhaps it was the stress of mum's passing, but the lump has now grown really quickly and badly needs treating."
While the sweet-natured dog is suffering no visible pain or distress, the unflattering lump is now at a grapefruit size which is making her unbalanced and awkward as she walks.
With seven children and two grandchildren in the McGlinn household, money is tight and the expense of veterinary surgery and treatment was one the family simply couldn't afford.
However, a self-confessed "softie", Belconnen vet Eloise Bright, together with the pet crisis fund she started, has stepped in to help.
Ms Bright was aware of a pet medical crisis fund that operated in Melbourne and after moving back to Canberra three years ago realised there was nothing here that offered the same support.
"Like many vets, I have really struggled throughout my career having to euthanase pets for economic reasons particularly when the pet is an older person's only remaining companion and best friend," Ms Bright said.
"It's particularly hard for pensioners who have an unexpected vet bill, and for those pet owners have to surrender their pet due to a lack of money to care for them."
So she gathered around her people who felt the same way and now has a committee work on raising funds to help out pet owners in crisis.
The fund has only been going since March but has already helped several pets in Canberra and Queanbeyan, including Hannah, a terrier that had lots of infected teeth and desperately needed dental work, and Pearl, a cocker spaniel.
After an initial examination, Jasmine was quickly listed for surgery on Monday.
"Eloise has been wonderful and I'm so grateful to the fund that we can get this surgery done," Ms McGlinn said.
"We know there's always a risk involved in the surgery because Jasmine is an older dog but she is still in good health otherwise and this should give her much more comfort.
"And I know Mum, who was a pensioner, would have wanted it to happen."
The charity is run by volunteers, doesn't take any administration fees and helps out with the vet bills of one to two pensioners and disadvantaged pet owners each week. Funds are topped up mostly through fundraisers and trivia nights, and donations are always welcome.
- More information: actpetcrisisfund.com