BAKERSFIELD, CA - After Scott Clare's wife passed away he taught himself how to love again, but this time with a four-legged companion.
"He makes me laugh and smile every day," said Scott about his dog Buck-O. "He's just a crack-up, he's lots of fun."
He adopted the now 14-month-old dog who is named after baseball player Buck O'Neil, a direct reflection of his love for baseball.
When Scott took Buck-O to get neutered the doctors noticed something was different with the puppy. He was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect called tricuspid (heart) valve dysplasia and frequent ventricular arrhythmias. The irregular heart rhythms (arrhythmias) result in high heart rates that put Buck-O at risk for developing heart enlargement, decreased ability of the heart to contract, and possible sudden death.
"My choices were to spend a lot of money or hang on to him until he has a horrible death and I wasn't gonna do that," said Scott.
The only option was to take Buck-O to Cincinnati, Ohio where he could undergo ventricular ablation, a surgery that has never been done before at MedVet.
Scott and Buck-O made the 2,300-mile trek and made many friends along the way.
"I think they liked the story, the story of him being the first ever," said Scott, "and look at his face, he has a beautiful face."
Eight hours and more than $10,000 later, Buck-O made it through the surgery.
Buck-O is doing well so far and goes for weekly checkups to the vet to make sure his heart beat stays regular.
To follow Buck-O's progress you can 'Like' his Facebook page .