This is Snuggles, happy to be home finally from her surgeries and near life-ending coyote encounter. Thanks to everyone who sent in their best wishes.
Like most of us she is a bit vain so she asked for the head shot, since from the sides she is a total mess of randomly shaved patches, bite marks, and Frankenstein-like stitches. She has lost about 25% of her body mass, so she is no longer the World's Largest Maltese (TM). She has, though, upped the ante in the competition for World's Most Poorly Groomed Maltese (TM).
For dog and pet lovers, I don't have to explain why we spent thousands of dollars to keep her alive.
For those of you who are not (and I was really in that camp a few years ago as this is my first pet), I will tell you what I told a cynical friend: "I did not necessarily spend thousands of dollars to save the dog. I spent it to save my kids from heartbreak. And just possibly, to preserve my reputation in the eyes of my family (sorry kids, I really wanted that new Alienware laptop so Snuggs is not going to make it)."
Update: I find the rational choices discussion in the comments unsurprising given the diversity of responses I have had from friends. Key facts here: 1. I could afford it (grandma was not going to get put out on the ice flow to save the dog); 2. I was entirely responsible for the costs; 3. The hospital, unlike in the human world, gave me a very detailed cost estimate of what the procedure would cost in advance. When the costs went over, we challenged them and they agreed to a refund. 4. My daughter had a very difficult day yesterday. This morning I found her sleeping snuggled up with the dog in bed. Put a price on that.