"tails" from fetch!

one of the kids

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one of the kids

In Leo’s family, 9-year-old Samoyed Nikki is just one of the kids. Born one month apart from the family’s youngest daughter, she was raised alongside her human siblings like a furry child. Unfortunately, even the leader of the pack can fall prey to illnesses, which is exactly what happened in April 2014 when Nikki was diagnosed with diabetes.

“She was drinking a lot of water, which led us to the vet,” recalls Leo, now tasked with giving Nikki insulin twice a day at home. For a pup that likes to play on her own terms (fetch? yeah right!), Leo was impressed with Nikki’s poise — “she stays calm when it’s time for her shots,” Leo says — and how well her Petplan coverage has paid off. “Having just the one deductible to meet for all her diabetes treatments has been a huge help.”

To keep their best friend in top form and her diabetes under control, the family laid off high-calorie treats in favor of lighter fare, and switched Nikki to a metabolic food diet. Since the change, she’s lost 25 lbs. — and the wags just keep coming. “She doesn’t think she’s a dog,” smiles Leo. “She thinks she’s a kid. And to us, she always will be.”

nikki
9-year-old samoyed

pet parent
leo stringer

unexpected tail
$2,970 for treatment of diabetes mellitus

lives in
cedar grove, nj