Tracey sank into a deep depression following the loss of her mother to cancer and the death of their dog, May, but a young Rottweiler would become her ‘therapist in fur’, helping her through the painful thoughts, as well changing the negative perceptions of her breed.

Their emotional story earned them the Dogs Monthly HiLife ‘Best Friends’ Trophy 2017 but now Susie-Hope needs help, as her owner tries to raise the £10,000 needed for her double hip replacement.

Shortly after winning the HiLife ‘Best Friends’ Trophy, Tracey noticed that Susie-Hope was walking abnormally on her back legs. An X-ray revealed hip dysplasia so her exercise was limited to shorter lead walks and hydrotherapy but sadly, Susie-Hope’s condition only worsened.

Susie-Hope on a walk

An MRI scan later revealed that she had severe hip dysplasia in both hips and it has been advised that Susie-Hope needs a total hip replacement. Despite being insured, the investigation itself brought the cost to the limit for this condition and it was estimated that the surgery would cost an extra £10,000. On top of that, Susie-Hope also has a heart murmur which has worsened and needs further investigation.

Explains Tracey, “Trying to get Susie-Hope new hips is my top priority! I’m trying my very best for her as she so deserves it. Susie-Hope has been by my side constantly, day and night, helping me cope with the traumatic grief of losing my beautiful, special mum, and the PTSD that I struggle with every single day.

“Susie-Hope is also down on my medical notes as a major part of my care plan. When I was struggling with intrusive flashbacks and suicidal thoughts, my GP said to me that the best crisis team I have and could ever have is right by my side – my wonderful dog, Susie-Hope-Saviour!

“All I want to do is repay Susie-Hope for all the love and loyalty and ensure she is no longer in pain. She is my world and means everything to me, my best friend, and gives me so much comfort and love.”

Susie-Hope wearing a vest which highlights her fundraising

It was Susie-Hope and Tracey’s strong bond that earned them a place as a finalist in our Hilife ‘Best Friends’ Competition and Trophy and secured most votes from our readers. Even with her current health, Tracey still works hard to give Susie-Hope a happy and fulfilling life. She takes Susie along to Dogs Trust training classes and the pair also participate in scent work games and training together.

“I would love to see her run and chase balls like other dogs but at the moment she just watches on at other dogs and it makes me so sad. I do all the school work and training and tricks as she can’t do the running and long walks to tire her out so I do things with her that she loves and will tire out mentally.”

Susie-Hope is being monitored very closely by her vet but needs hip replacement surgery in order to lead a healthy life once more. At only two years of age, Susie is unable to enjoy all the things a young dog can do and Tracey is desperately hoping to raise the £10,000 needed to make her dog happy again.

“If I had the money I would give it to Susie-Hope in an instant. If I had things to sell to make that money I would. I go without food some days just so Susie can have her pain medication.”

Tracey has set up a GoFundMe page to help raise the treatment money. If you would like to help, please visit


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