It may have taken a bit of wonder to get through what Anne Manley and her beloved dog Oliver have endured the past few years.
Her husband died and she suffered from a botched spinal surgery and through it all, Oliver was there at her side.
A few weeks ago, she took him with her on a boat outing at Lake Gaston, but little did she know, it would lead to another obstacle for the pair to face.
While boating, the unthinkable happens. Oliver had fallen off the boat. His body hit the propellers.
"Over the front, right underneath, hit the props and was under the water," Manley says. "He looked like he had been bitten by a shark. I looked at him and said 'he's not going to make it, there's no way."
Two hours from home, Anne had Oliver's wounds treated and rushed him to Veterinary Referral & Critical Care in Richmond for emergency surgery.
Then something miraculous happens. The dog survives but the family does not have the means to pay for the exorbitant vet bills.
"The surgery alone was close to $4,000 and I didn't think I could do it for him."
That's when Anne says her friends from college came in, donating the money to get Oliver's surgery - even sending her cash by mail. A Hampton Roads family hears about their ordeal and posts a 911 "Bark Out" on their dog's Facebook page, which prompted donations from around the country.
At the tail end of this, their most recent challenge, Oliver is on the road to recovery.
But this time, it was Anne who willed him on.
"I just held him and talked to him and looked right in his face and said 'come on Ollie, I need you, you gotta hang in there buddy,' and I just think he knows he needs to be there for me and did all he could do to stay alive and stay strong, he's tough."
Copyright 2013 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond
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