Abi Bashorun and her dog Milo connected on Valentine's Day 2023. Photo: Christina Weese.
Abi Bashorun and her dog Milo connected on Valentine's Day in 2023. Photo: Christina Weese.

Acts of love and generosity support Milo's miracle

On Valentine’s Day in February 2023, Abi Bashorun made a connection that proved to be her perfect match.

“From the first moment I saw him, he stole my heart,” says Bashorun, a 26-year-old Saskatoon, Sask., resident who had been searching for a canine companion that she could bring into her life last February.

After receiving a friend’s Facebook message about a litter of local pug puppies available for adoption, Bashorun arranged to see them in person.

That’s when she met Milo, an energetic pug puppy that would become her best friend. Milo loved attention and food, and Bashorun admired the young dog’s intelligence in finding ways to acquire both. The two hit it off right away during their first visit, and she knew Milo’s playful and loving nature was just what she needed.  

“I didn’t really think — I just did. Next thing I know, I have a tiny baby dog — and I never had a dog before,” says Bashorun.

Bringing Milo home wasn’t without its challenges. It took time for the pair to adjust to their new life together, plus Milo’s lively personality and fondness for attention caused Bashorun to adapt to new routines and habits — a shift from her independent lifestyle.

Milo continues to be a happy and energetic puppy after his successful surgery. Photo: Christina Weese.
Milo continues to be a happy and energetic puppy after his successful surgery. Photo: Christina Weese.

“All Milo knows is me, so it was really hard at first. The first night, we didn’t sleep at all. We were trying to learn each other’s schedules and had to work at it together,” she says.

Things would get even tougher for the duo just a few weeks later in March 2023.

On a late Sunday evening, Bashorun was at home with Milo when she went to the kitchen to grab something. Milo stayed in the living room and climbed onto a side table from the couch. He barked as he attempted to get down to the floor by himself, a long drop for a small dog.

“I heard the biggest yelp and went to see what happened. I noticed his leg looked weird and when I tried to touch it, he was obviously in a lot of pain,” says Bashorun.

She knew that Milo required immediate medical attention and scrambled to figure out what to do. After calling the Small Animal Clinic at the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM), Bashorun brought Milo to the WCVM’s Veterinary Medical Centre (VMC).

Once the VMC clinical staff assessed Milo’s injury, Bashorun was stressed to learn that Milo had shattered a bone in his leg from his fall and required emergency surgery.

“When he fell, I was so terrified that I might lose him. I knew he needed the procedure, but it was going to be really hard financially. I didn’t have pet insurance or a lot of savings.”

Bashorun and Milo are inseparable and enjoy walks and playing together. Photo: Christina Weese.
Bashorun and Milo are inseparable and enjoy walks and playing together. Photo: Christina Weese.

As Bashorun struggled to accept the situation, the clinical staff eased her worries with compassionate care and offered a potential solution to her financial burden.

The WCVM’s Les and Irene Dubé Good Samaritan Fund, which carries the name of the Saskatoon couple who donated $1 million in its support, provides financial aid to animals that are ownerless or owned by VMC clients who can’t pay for life-saving procedures at the VMC. Selected patients are animals that have a reasonable prognosis for good, long-term recovery.

Since Milo was a young dog and veterinarians expected him to fully recover after treatment, his case was selected for the fund’s financial support. He underwent surgery to repair his broken leg and the procedure was a success.

Bashorun expresses her gratitude to the fund’s supporters and VMC staff that made Milo’s recovery possible.

“Everyone was so great to Milo — from the generous donors to the doctors at the clinic. The hospital is a beautiful space and Milo loved all of the attention.”

Milo continues to recover well from his surgery and hasn’t changed from his playful and eager self. He’s always at Bashorun’s side, and she wouldn’t want it any other way.

“He’s the best thing that’s happened to me. Nothing else matters, just him. Thank you, thank you for saving my sweet Milo!”

Click here for more information about the WCVM Les and Irene Dubé Good Samaritan Fund and how you can support this invaluable resource.