January 28th 2010 2:21 pm
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I'll admit it, 6 years ago when I set out to "buy" my first dog, I was incredibly naive. I bought a "Dog's Annual" book, chose a breed that I liked and then waited for one to come on sale in our local newspaper.
I can already hear many of you screaming "NO!!" with good reason. For those of you who aren't taken aback by what I did.....let me explain to you why it is so wrong.
The Bichon Frise that I "bought" from the "nice" lady on the farm is the most loveable, gentle and illness ridden dog you will ever meet. Yes, Princess is a lovely specimen of Bichon beauty on the out side but what lurks within.....oh, it will break your heart.
It all started the moment we took Princess home at 8 weeks of age. She was suffering from vomiting and diarrhea that would not stop for 5 years. Finally, after dozens of tests and countless hospital stays after vomiting blood, we discovered that the poor little pup had chronic pancreatits, gastritis, ulcers, Celiac disease and colitis. From top to bottom, her GI system is a mess and requires a very controlled and limited diet to keep it in check. And, we have recently learned that she has a Porto-systemic liver shunt that is inoperable and causes her body to be flooded with the toxins in food that the liver normally filters. This causes her neurological problems that will only worsen with time and has, what the vet calls, filled her kidneys with sludge. She just recently suffered her first seizure that will likely only be all too common in her future as her liver deteriorates. The internal medicine special said that it is more than likely that she inherited many, if not all, these issues for her parents.
At 26 months of age, Princess developed a very aggressive cataract that, even with 2 surgeries to treat it, would eventually claim her eye. The Opthamologist said the only way a dog so young could develop such a consuming cataract would be if it was passed down from BOTH mother and father.
Now, Princess has to have yet another surgery to repair a torn ACL and severely luxating patella that has caused her pain for years. It was discovered on an x-ray that Princess's femur and her tib-fib are both deformed in such a way that they curve in opposite directions so her leg resembles an S. A malformation likely inherited.
Princess also suffers from other malformations that cause her to have UTI infections, crystals in her urine and a tendency to develop cysts (one of which has developed on the eye lid above her only eye).
What is my point, you ask?? Please, please, please, research WHO you are getting your dog from. Make sure you tour their kennels and ask them for health certificates for the Mother, Father and puppy you are about to bring home. If they refuse, RUN AWAY, FAST! Do not buy a puppy blindly or on impulse.....make sure you do your homework. Or, better yet, adopt a homeless dog and give it a chance at life just as we have given a dog that would have otherwise been too ill to survive without the proper and extensive care we have given her.
I love Princess with every fibre of my being and she is truly a gift in my life BUT, every day I see her suffer with a new illness, new pain, new problem and I wonder if she is happy to be alive. I wonder if she would choose to keep going......
Princess I am so sorry that you and your Mommy are having to go through this bad stuff.
I am happy that you have such a wonderful family that is willing to take care of you! In that respect you are one lucky pup!
Princess, you are a gallant soul. You meet these many challenges with such grace. You have taught my family a lot about real courage.
As for the BYB and the puppy millers who operate from greed, there is a special level of hell awaiting them.
Your devoted subjects,
Bert, Guardian/Mom to Charlie, puppy mill survivors MAXie and LouLou and Angel Sam (we rescued him, then he rescued us)
Princess, you are so beautiful and so special. You probably have a lot of my qualities. I think us sickly dogs have more courage in their little toe pad than most people have in their whole bodies. My mom says we are more special than healthy dogs and smarter too. I definitely know that is the case!
Your heavenly guardian Angel-JR Angel