March 27th 2012 2:51 pm
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Saturday, March 24, 2012
Once upon a time in Tulsa, Okla., there was a flaxen-haired princess with a coterie of loving attendants, a three-hour-a-day grooming regimen and a room full of trophies.
Fast-forward seven years to East Oakland. That princess - a champion shih tzu show dog named Pup-Pourri's Briana - was found this week staggering along one of the city's meanest streets, tangled in chicken wire and dirt-encrusted dreadlocks, one of the most bizarre animal-neglect cases Oakland animal control officers have ever seen.
"Our best guess is that she was enclosed in chicken wire so tightly she couldn't move, for months if not years," said Oakland Animal Services Director Megan Webb. "But she seemed to have all this training. This air about her. It was strange."
Oakland animal control officers have started piecing together Pup-Pourri's Briana's trajectory. After veterinary staff shaved off the chicken wire and matted fur, treated her skin infections and fed her a decent meal, they checked to see if she had a microchip. She did, and it was registered to a woman named Cheryl Baer in Tulsa.
Baer wept when she heard the fate of one of her favorite show dogs, a creature so beautiful, proud and charming she won best-of-breed competitions in five states. Baer was Pup-Pourri's Briana's groomer for five years, primping her for hours a day with shampoo, conditioner, curling irons and special latex bands for her topknot.
"I am absolutely appalled at what happened to her," said Baer, choking back tears Friday when reached by phone. "A dog that was so loved. ... It's a miracle she's alive."
According to Baer, Pup-Pourri's Briana was born in 1998 in Tulsa, the daughter of a four-time best-in-show sire. Her owners, an older couple who bred and showed shih tzus, hired a handler, as well as Baer, to shepherd the dog to stardom.
And a star she was. For five years, Pup-Pourri's Briana swept through AKC dog shows in Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas and Texas, collecting ribbons for her smooth gait, spunky disposition and perfect proportions - wide-set eyes, flat high-set nose and luminous locks.
But then the wife developed Alzheimer's and the husband sold the kennel to a breeder in California. After that, no one's quite sure what happened to the pampered pooch.
Until Wednesday. That's when a resident of East Oakland saw Pup-Pourri's Briana hobbling along Thermal Street, just off 98th Avenue, barely able to walk because of the chicken wire enmeshed in her underbelly and rear legs.
Someone had apparently freed the dog from her chicken wire prison with snippers, leaving her to fend for herself on the tough streets of East Oakland.
Meanwhile, Baer hopes to make her first-ever trip to California to adopt Pup-Pourri's Briana and take her home to Tulsa.
"She was such a magnificent show dog," she said. "But now she's up there in age, and she's been through so much. I just don't want to risk seeing anything bad happen to her again."
Leave A Comment | 10 people already have
Shocking and sad this could happen to ANY dog. But somehow more shocking a champion show dog could end up this way. Once again, just don't get people.
Wishing her comfort, happiness and peace for the rest of her life.
There is NO excuse for this... at least the little one will have a little time of love and comfort again
One case that is documented but how many others have gone unnoticed? I hope Pup-Pourri's Briana story has a happy ending that will help her forget the hardships that she endured.
Poor, poor, little pup!
So glad that she will go back to the loving groomer...for hopefully a lot of years of loving.
Flicka Mommy says it are time to dig another lime-pit!
Hi, Jamaica! Diary Gal thinks this story is noteworthy too! Now you are a DDP!
Congrats to you!
Have a great day, and keep up the great work of 'digging' things up that we need to know about.
This is a terrible and wonderfur story! I was also rescued by Oakland Animal Services (you can read my story on my page). They work miracles there, and I'm so happy that Briana will be going back to the life she so deserves!! ::mommy wiping happy tears!::
Condogulations on your DDP, Jamaica!
OMD!! That is so awful. Bless that sweet pup and the lady going to get her. I hope they both have many happy year's together. Thank goodness somebody saw her!
Praise the Lord that she was found and God Bless those that are helping her now♥