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'It's so hard to see' - woman's fundraising appeal to save beloved dog given to her by late father

PUBLISHED: 10:04 25 December 2019 | UPDATED: 16:49 25 December 2019

12-year-old border collie Brandi needs an urgent operation. Picture: Amber Taylor-Thomas Coe.

12-year-old border collie Brandi needs an urgent operation. Picture: Amber Taylor-Thomas Coe.

Archant

A Norwich woman has told of her heartbreak as her dog and "best friend" needs major surgery.

Amber Taylor-Thomas Coe with border collie Brandi, who needs an urgent operation. Picture: Amber Taylor-Thomas Coe.Amber Taylor-Thomas Coe with border collie Brandi, who needs an urgent operation. Picture: Amber Taylor-Thomas Coe.

Amber Taylor-Thomas Coe's 12-year-old border collie Brandi needs a £1,700 operation to repair a ruptured cruciate ligament in her back leg.

Without it, Norwich UEA student Mrs Taylor-Thomas Coe, 21, fears that her faithful pet may not survive.

She said: "She's got a ruptured ligament in her knee, and they say there's a 95pc chance her other knee will go if she doesn't have the operation as soon as possible, because she's putting all her weight on it. If she can't she's more likely to develop arthritis and she'll be in so much pain she'll probably have to be put down."

"She's literally my best friend - I've had her since I was 10. She can't even walk, it's so hard to see."

12-year-old border collie Brandi needs an urgent operation. Picture: Amber Taylor-Thomas Coe.12-year-old border collie Brandi needs an urgent operation. Picture: Amber Taylor-Thomas Coe.

Brandi was a gift for Mrs Taylor-Thomas Coe from her father, who died on June 23 from motor neurone disease, aged 65.

From that point, the border collie was inseparable from both Amber and her father.

"I was his carer - he lost the ability to talk and walk, he just lost control of his own body. I looked after him, go to the house at seven every morning and set up his feed, and Brandi was always there.

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"She was so loyal to him and he was such a big part of the family. When he died she would sit by his chair as if to say 'where's dad?'

"She's a beautiful collie, full of life - she loves walks and play time."

Border collies are generally susceptible to problems in their hind legs, with hip dysplasia a common issue for the breed.

Now aged 12, it is thought that Brandi's injury stemmed from these issues.

Amber Taylor-Thomas Coe with border collie Brandi, who needs an urgent operation. Picture: Amber Taylor-Thomas Coe.Amber Taylor-Thomas Coe with border collie Brandi, who needs an urgent operation. Picture: Amber Taylor-Thomas Coe.

It is vital that the operation is done as quickly as possible but, at £1,700, the cost of the proceedure is more than the family can currently afford.

""My mum is on universal credit - she can't work because she's ill. She's got two slipped discs in her spine, osteoarthritis, COPD and heart disease. We can't get loans because I'm in my own student debt and my mum can't work.

"As soon as we've got the money we're going to book her in."

The family have launched a crowdfunding page to raise money to pay for Brandi's treatment.

Amber Taylor-Thomas Coe with dad Tony Gambell, mum Tracy Gambell and border collie Brandi. Picture: Amber Taylor-Thomas Coe.Amber Taylor-Thomas Coe with dad Tony Gambell, mum Tracy Gambell and border collie Brandi. Picture: Amber Taylor-Thomas Coe.

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