The family of a dog walker who was tragically killed in a hit and run have spoken of their relief after vets managed to save her pet’s life.
Linda Carson, 44 was struck by an out-of-control car just minutes from her front door while walking the family dog, Buster, last month.
Emergency services rushed to her aid but she died at the scene and Buster was taken by animal welfare officers before husband, Robert, was able to recover him.
The injured pooch was taken to the Clyde Veterinary Group in Wishaw, Lanarkshire, and staff had to sedate him while they patched the wound where his hind leg had been torn off.
Shocked by the family’s loss, in a heart-warming act of kindness, the veterinary staff rallied together to cut the cost of Buster’s treatment.
And Robert has now praised the clinic for Buster’s “remarkable” recovery which he said helped his daughter, Gemma, 11, cope with the loss of her mother.
Robert, 47, from Motherwell, said: “It’s great for us that he survived because there is a hole in our life now. If we’d lost him it would be even worse.
“My wife had taken him out for a small walk. I got a phone call from a girl I don’t know who got the number from Buster’s collar, and explained that my wife had been hit by a car.
“Basically it was a scene of carnage, my wife was killed instantly and Buster’s leg was ripped off.”
Robert learned that Buster, a four-year-old Middleton-strain Lakeland terrier, had been taken to a vet by the Scottish SPCA.
But it was not until the next day he learned how serious the injuries were.
Robert said: “I went to see him the next morning and I met the vets. It wasn’t until then I learned Buster had lost a hind leg.
“They told me he was a lucky dog because the artery had twisted and if it hadn’t he would have bled to death.
“They’d taken the leg off and he was going through another operation that day to try and clean up the dead flesh, but it wasn’t until the Tuesday that I got to see him.
“They asked me to bring in some of his favourite food, so I brought in a tin of hot dogs. When we arrived he instantly perked up and ate them all.
“After that we started going every day to see him. Normally they don’t encourage that, but because of the circumstances they did.
“I could see a massive difference each day, it was remarkable. Early in to the second week he was walking fine, it was a great recovery.
“You’d have thought he was a normal dog, he was getting up to quite a gallop.”
The support from the staff left Robert overwhelmed, and having Buster alive had helped the family cope with Linda’s death.
He said: “It’s hard enough that we’ve lost Linda, but the fact Buster is alive has helped us cope better. It would have been so tragic if we had lost Buster also.
“It’s been good for Gemma, she’s been so focused on the dog through the worst time, it’s taken her mind off it.
“I can’t thank the vets enough. Every day they were on the phone telling me how Buster was and what they’re going to do for him.
“The support they gave me has been next to none, it got me and Gemma through this difficult time and the care they gave to Buster was fantastic.”
Hans Lambert, 44, veterinary director for Clyde Vet Group, said the medical staff had come together to help ease the financial burden on Robert after the tragic loss of his wife.
He said: “The receptionists and nursing team came to me and asked if there was anything they could do for Buster.
“We thought about it and decided as a group to help reduce the bill to help him as we felt he had too much on his plate.
“The most important part for us was that Buster was going to make it, so we reduced the bill so Robert wouldn’t have to worry.”
Veterinary nurse, Kirsty Allison, 25, said: “The trauma that Buster endured and witnessing what he saw, it’s incredible the recovery he’s made.
“He’s never put a foot wrong and he’s a fantastic dog to work with. When he was brought in, all that was left of his leg was muscle and fragments of bone.
“He had to be bandaged up until he was in a fit enough state to have the damaged tissue and bone fragments removed.
“It was something out of a horror film. We see a lot of injuries, it was one of the worst I’ve seen, but Buster had my heart since the day he came in.”
Linda Carson was fatally injured on Muirhouse Road in Motherwell, Lanarkshire, on Sunday 27 September.
A 24-year-old man has appeared in court in relation to the incident.