Grundisburgh: Buoyant Bumble Bee to meet donors and fans

Bumble Bee the Bionic Dog with Vicky Thomson-Carr and Heather Thomson at home in Pipes Close, Grundi

Bumble Bee the Bionic Dog with Vicky Thomson-Carr and Heather Thomson at home in Pipes Close, Grundisburgh, Woodbridge. - Credit: Andrew Partridge

A BELOVED basset hound is fast becoming Suffolk’s youngest - and furriest - celebrity resident.

Bumble Bee the Bionic Dog of Grundisburgh, Woodbridge, showing her false foot is not holding her bac

Bumble Bee the Bionic Dog of Grundisburgh, Woodbridge, showing her false foot is not holding her back. - Credit: Andrew Partridge

But 18-month-old Bumble Bee is taking new-found fame in her stride - happier at home with her doting owner following pioneering surgery.

She and Heather-Jane Thomson spent an agonising time apart while leading vets attached her bionic leg and foot, but the pair are now reunited at home in Grundisburgh, near Woodbridge, and preparing for a tour of the county meeting fans and those who helped fund the operation.

Miss Thomson, 34, has a rare chromosomal abnormality which causes her to suffer from dementia and needs round-the-clock care.

Her best friend Bumble Bee was born with a club foot which made it hard for her to walk but a fundraising drive helped fund the £10,000 treatment by pioneering vet Noel Fitzpatrick.

There is still a little way to go to pay for the three operations, performed on a cost only basis at Fitzpatrick Referrals in Surrey, but Bumble Bee and Miss Thomson are still gaining supporters up and down the country, with an appearance on This Morning and a meeting with the Blue Peter team set for May 2.

Miss Thomson’s mother, Vicky Thomson-Carr said: “Bumble Bee seems so much happier, being able to run for the first time and meeting Heather after her time away - she never forgot her. Heather is ecstatic to have her home.

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“The reaction to the campaign was terrific and now we want people who have helped Bumble Bee to meet her.

“We want to thank everyone who has donated and continues to do so. We have about £3,000 to go. Had it not been for the support so far, we think Bumble Bee would have been put to sleep.”

Saxmundham-based Salter’s has provided free dry dog food for Bumble Bee since she was a puppy.

Meanwhile, Jamie Whittle, principal surgeon at Trimley’s Whitworth Veterinary Practice, was responsible for tracking down a specialist who could perform the operations, The practice continues to raise money for the campaign and still looks after the dog.

Bumble Bee will be appearing at the Whitworth practice open day and dog show in Trimley St Mary from lunchtime on June 30.

On July 28, visitors to Suffolk Dog Day can meat Bumble Bee at Helmingham Hall, and on September 28 she will appear at Woodbridge’s Bark in the Park.

If you would like to help, call 07888662195 or email bumblebionicpaw@hotmail.co.uk.

Alternatively donations can be sent directly to Bumble Bionic Paw Fund, 333 Foxhall Road, Ipswich IP3 8LH, cheques made payable to The Bumble Bionic Paw Fund.

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