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California man brings dog on cross-country trip for life-saving surgery

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Bakersfield, CA (CNN) - A California man traveled cross-country for a cure for his best friend: his beloved dog.

After Scott Clare's wife passed away, the Highland High School teacher taught himself to love again. This time it was a four-legged companion.

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Scott Clare - Buck-O's Owner: "He makes me laugh and smile every day.  He is just a crack...well, you can see him. He is just a crack up."

He adopted now 14 month old Buck-o, named after baseball player Buck O’Neil, a reflection of his love of baseball. But when Scott took Buck-o to get neutered, the doctors noticed something was different with this puppy. The scan turned up an abnormal heartbeat in Buck-O.

Scott Clare: "The range is 70 to 160 for dogs and he was always over 160."

He was diagnosed with ventricular tackacardia, a rare condition where a dog has a rapidly fast and sometimes irregular heartbeat, leaving Scott to make a very tough decision.

Scott Clare: "So, my choices were spend a lot of money or hang on to him until he has a horrible death and I wasn't gonna do that."

But what would Scott do to save his best friend? The only option was to drive cross country to Cincinnati, Ohio, where Buck-o could undergo ventricular ablation, a complicated surgery that has never been performed on a dog. Scott and his dog loaded the car and traveled 2,300 miles, an adventure the made Buck-o many friends along the way...

Scott Clare: "I think they liked the story, the story of him being the first ever. And, you know, look at his face. He's got such a beautiful face."

...and at times made Scott a nervous wreck.

Scott Clare: "I went to the hospital. They're open all night. I went to the hospital I think at 2 or 3 in the morning and just sat with him because I couldn't sleep anyway."

Eight hours and more than $10,000 later though, Buck-o made it through.

Scott Clare: "See they went in right through here..."

Making history, and memories, strengthening the bond between man, and his best friend.

Reporter: "Could you see your life without Buck-O?"

Scott Clare: "Well, not now. No, not now."

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