My neighbour`s beautiful Golden Retriever has been suffering with toothache for a while - it was only in the last day or so that it was diagnosed - and so arrangements have been made for the problem to be dealt with by a local vet. Fair enough. So far so good. Problem is that the cost of extracting the one offending gnasher is approaching the £1,000 mark including `consultations.`
Now like me, my neighbour is struggling to make ends meet on a fixed income in these difficult financial times but, of course, out of love and affection for his beloved pooch he sees no alternative but to shell out the shedload of wonga the vet is demanding.
This episode - and there must be thousands like it up and down the country - calls into question how on earth charges like this can be justified, especially for only one chopper which is almost hanging off anyway. It`s an outrage, to put it simply and it leads me to suggest that one of Theresa May`s top priorities as our new Prime Minister must surely be to address this situation.
Forget about Turkey, Brexit, Trident and all that jazz, she should be concentrating her efforts on setting up a Regulator to control the demands of opportunist vets. Something like OFFVET, OFFCHOP, OFFEXTORTIONATEEXTRACTIONS should be set up as a priority to bring much needed comfort not only to the owners but also to the dogs who go around needing urgent dental treatment.
Of course there are other avenues to explore in the meantime - a JustGiving F***book page; a Petition to Parliament signed by over a million people which would lead to a parliamentary debate; an all night vigil outside the vet`s office; a `Dogs Teeth Matter` campaign or even a sponsored bark. I`d be happy to support any of these except the all-night vigil. At 77 tomorrow I need all the beauty sleep I can get. To be fair.