Lucy gets hooked on fishing

The fish might have got away, but Lucy the Border Collie wasn’t so lucky. She swallowed the bait hook, line and sinker – literally.

Lucy and her mum, Belinda.

Name: Lucy

Breed: Border Collie

Tricks & Loves: Shaking hands and playing with her tug-of-war toy

Lucy's story: After swallowing a fishing hook, Lucy was rushed to the vet, and then to a specialist to remove the hook.

What Lucy means to our family

“We’ve had Lucy since she was nine months old and she’s definitely part of the family. She’s been brought up with our two kids, George (10) and Sofia (8), and I’m sure she thinks she’s our third child the way she behaves.

She has such an easy nature. She’s really loyal and constantly follows me around the house. She’s playful too. When we go out at night she always wants to come. If someone is at the door, she’ll be the first to answer.

You really notice when she’s not there. We all love her.”

Why we got pet insurance

“It’s a bit of a sad story. We had a cat who was hit by a car. We took him to the vet and were quoted $7,000-$8,000 if they were to operate. He was in really bad shape and probably wasn’t going to recover so we made the decision to euthanise him. It was a tough decision, and George our son was devastated as he was quite attached to the cat.

When we got Lucy, we didn’t want to be in a position where we had to decide whether we could afford the vet costs.

I think pet insurance is just like any other insurance. It’s there as a safeguard. And it’s just part of the responsibility of having animals so you can look after them properly.”

“When we got Lucy, we didn’t want to be in a position where we had to decide whether or not we could afford the vet costs or not.”


What happened to Lucy

“It was Boxing Day and we were at our bach in Whitianga. George had come back from fishing with his mate, and they had left the fishing rods lying on the ground. One of the rods had a piece of bread still attached to the end of it, wrapped around a hook.

Lucy loves bread so, of course, she ate it. It was my husband that saw she had the fishing cord hanging out of her mouth. Luckily, he only gave it a gentle pull and realised she actually swallowed the fish hook.

We raced down to the local vet who were able to find the hook but couldn’t remove it without major surgery. There was also the option to take her to a specialist in Auckland, so we had her sedated overnight and I drove her down the next day. It was worth it because they were able to put Lucy under a general anaesthetic and use a specialist technique to go down her throat and remove the hook without operating.”


“You just do what’s best. And that’s the benefit of having insurance.”

What all this cost

“The procedure cost about $4,500.”

What having Southern Cross Pet Insurance has meant for our family

“When you’ve got Pet Insurance, you don’t even think about it. You can do what you need to without worrying about the costs and what options you’ve got. You can just do what’s best. And that’s the benefit of having insurance. The claim experience has been really good. When I submitted my claim they never had any questions. I just needed to provide the form and the right receipts to show the costs and it’s was reimbursed.”

How is Lucy these days?

“Lucy is doing great. She’s now 5 years old. She was recently back at the vets with a limp. Turned out she was just a little hefty and put on a diet and that was another vet bill.”

Interested in protecting your pet with Southern Cross Pet Insurance? Get a quick and easy online quote now.

Sadly, since filming this story, Lucy lay down one final time in August 2022. We are truly grateful to Lucy, Belinda and the rest of the Bell family for sharing their story and welcoming us into their home. Our customers really are the best.

Disclaimer: Lucy was on a Southern Cross PetCare plan, see what our different policies cover here.


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