I don't think it's your job to have to figure out what to say. That's the job of the owner, IMO. I can't imagine how hard this must be. Well over 20 yrs ago, my first dog got very sick and the vet let us pay the bill off over time. They probably did that because we kept up on our dogs care and paid the bills at time of service. I don't blame any vet for not giving free service especially if they've been burned.