It is often said that Britain is a nation of animal lovers.
But when a Great Dane, called Bear, collapsed with a serious illness while out on his regular walk that old adage was put to the ultimate test.
For his owners were told that Bear would need lifesaving surgery and post-operative treatment that would cost them £10,000.
Road to recovery: Bear, a Great Dane, is enjoying life again after his owner Sorrel Porteous raised enough money to pay for his treatment
Six-year-old Bear was diagnosed with a severely twisted spleen and a major heart problem that could have killed him.
After the tests, Bear's spleen, which was so heavy with fluids and clotted blood it weighed 7.5 kg, was removed.
But the veterinary specialists told Mrs Porteous that Bear's heart muscle had been severely damaged and he would need major treatment.
But Sorrel and David Porteous were undaunted and decided they must raise the money to save their precious pet.
Mrs Porteous, 34, who breeds horses for a living, put her stables up for sale and sold five of her prized horses to raise the cash.
She even launched a campaign on the social networking website, Facebook, to kickstart a fund to save Bear.
And after just a few weeks she had the money that would help put the six-year-old hound back on all four paws.
Mrs Porteous was shocked when sturdy Bear, who weighs 15 stone, collapsed with a mystery illness while out on a walk.
She said: 'I felt absolutely devastated when he fell ill - he was my companion by my side wherever I went. I would have sold my house if I needed to.'
With the mounting vet bills, it was clear to Mrs Porteous she was going to have to raise more money to save her faithful friend.
So she put her stable up for sale, sold five horses to raise some of the cash she needed and set up 'Raising Funds for Bear' on Facebook, attracting an enormous response.
Mrs Porteous, Sherfield-on-Loddon, near Basingstoke, Hants said: 'The response was full-on and we were inundated with phone calls.'
After raising the necessary cash, Bear went under five days of intensive treatment at the veterinary practice before being discharged.
Now, thanks to his dedicated owners, Bear is enjoying life once again and is well on the way to a full recovery.
Nola Genella, practice manager at veterinary specialists Anderson Sturgess, said Bear was doing well after his ordeal.
She said: 'We continued with intensive treatment and close monitoring and this, together with Bear's tremendous will to survive, meant he made it through.'
Mrs Porteous' husband, David, 40, added: 'Bear is like a child to Sorrel. The two of them are inseperable and I sometimes think she loves the dog more than me.'
Animal lover raises £10,000 through Facebook campaign to save her sick dog's life | Mail Online