UK Registered Charity 1122246 This website would not be possible without the kind help of Tony Martin of the “AV Martin Charitable Foundation”

Cheryl Burston

Rupert – 30 December 1996 – 11 December 2004 Rupert came to live with us at just over 7 weeks old, a bundle of woolly fur weighing over a stone with huge paws. We planned to call him Darcy as we had recently seen the tv adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. However, he so resembled a bear cub that he could have no other name but Rupert. Despite my best efforts to remain a little detached he very soon became the centre of my world around which everything else had to revolve. His needs were first and foremost in my mind and I loved him with all my heart. Rupert grew so quickly, at one stage he seemed to be all legs! And then in the blink of an eye he became a very majestic boy indeed, with long silky fur and a magnificent tail. His beautiful deep amber eyes a window to his kind and gentle soul. He had a few ups and downs with his health but I devoted all my efforts to making him well again. He was a strong boy with a fighting spirit and always bounced back. Then tragedy struck, I found a small lump (which turned out to be a cyst) on his foot and took him to the vet for it to be removed. I know he was very large boy, big even for a Bernese, but she operated on him on the floor of a consulting room. Within days of the op he began to tug off the fur from the inside of his legs and his tummy and he clearly had a temperature. Rupert was given the usual broad spectrum antibiotics, first one course, then another and another until I demanded that the cause of the infection be found. Skin samples were taken and from these a diagnosis of MRSA and Pseudomonas was given. My heart sank but we persevered with the antibiotics recommended by The Animal Health Trust, special shampoo and a cream. We thought he had beaten both as Rupert seemed to improve but sadly it wasn’t to be. The damage had been done, the battle was lost and Rupert could carry on no more. His brave heart gave out and he died in my arms – my darling boy gone forever. Rupert holds a special place in my heart which will never be filled by anyone else. So while I live, he lives. And maybe, if I’m very lucky and God hears my prayers, we will be together again my little man and I. Through an article in a newspaper I found Jill and the Bella Moss Foundation. Jill and I have found many similarities between Bella and Rupert and we share an overwhelming sense of loss. I hope that in some way I will be able to help Jill with her campaign to ensure the fact that animals can be infected with MRSA is acknowledged by the veterinary profession. Also to see that measures are put in place to improve the standard of hygiene within practices, particularly when vets are undertaking surgical procedures. Now that truly would be a legacy worthy of my beloved Rupert.


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