I always like to give people credit when they have a dog issue, and they at least call rescue instead of dumping their “problem” at 7-11 or in the night dropbox at a local shelter, but in this case, I have NOTHING nice to say. Rescue called me this afternoon asking if I would help with the following situation: a Denver woman had three 14-week-old Boston Terrier puppies that she couldn’t afford to care for, and one was now showing signs of illness. I had said I wasn’t going to foster for a while because my cats have been in hiding (we’ve had a string of high-prey-driven fosters lately that have sent the cats scattering). However, I couldn’t help myself. Applications have been very slow this month, and our foster homes are overflowing.
I called the woman, the “breeder” as she referred to herself, and found out that she had left the dogs outside for the past 14 weeks – their whole lives – and she couldn’t afford vet care because she has a new baby. Uh – okay – so, the gestation period of a dog is normally nine weeks. I think, and correct me if I’m wrong, but the gestation period for a human is nine MONTHS (yes, I’m yelling). This woman knew that she was having a baby before she bred her dog.
Anyway, at about three o’clock today, her puppies became my problem. She popped the hatchback of her boyfriend’s newish Ford Escape, and the stench overwhelmed me. She said, “This dog, Noodles, is sick. He hasn’t eaten in days. And look! He’s so dirty.” Like that was his fault. Then she blabbered on and on about how grateful she was that we were going to take care of them and how all she wants is for them to be happy. She showed me her tattoo of a Boston Terrier. I almost puked.
Here’s one compliment: she showed up on time, which allowed me to take the dogs directly to the vet. Things seemed positive when we first arrived: normal temperatures, no bloody stool or anything in the crate. The splash (white-bodied: a genetic defect) female, Spunky, should have been named “Skittish.” She was alert and interested, but she didn’t want to be handled. The light brindle male, Boo, was sad-eyed and friendly, but a little sheepish. He didn’t want to eat, but Spunky did.
Then there was Noodles, whom I didn’t get to know because he was so despondent. He couldn’t even stand. The vet took a blood sample and determined him to have a very low white blood cell count (like five – should have been 5,000!), so she stuck her gloved finger up his butt to see if he was bloody back there. Then it poured out on to the table: liquid, mocha-colored blood. And it didn’t stop. The vet techs had said that parvo had a distinctive smell. Now I know it, and I will never forget it. Poor Noodles, he trembled and tried to shove his face in the corner of the wash sink. The hammer had just dropped, and the only way Noodles could avoid death now is through is own strength with the help of Tamiflu, Amoxicillin, and an IV drip. Please pray or wish or whatever you do for him.
Regarding Spunky and Boo, they are not out of the woods. I’ve washed them and set them up in an X-pen in the kitchen with food, water, bedding, and a wee-wee pad. They are sleeping now, but Boo’s lack of appetite concerns me. We’ll have to see what happens when they eliminate. I hope it’s not bloody, the sure sign of parvo. We’ve started them on antibiotics and Tamiflu, too, in hopes that we can stave it off. Additionally, they were vaccinated today.
That dipshit “breeder” told me she gave them one vaccine that she bought online. I couldn’t help but text her the photo of her poor little puppy, Noodles, fighting for his life next to a pool of his own bloody stool and say, “Your dog has parvo. The others may, too. We will be spending hundreds, maybe thousands, to try to save them. They may still die. This was totally preventable with proper vaccination. Now would be a good time to pray.” She wrote me back and asked “R U positive? Do U think rain has sumthin 2do w/it. Wat about our other dogs. Shuld they B aloud outside? Do U hav NE answers 4 us…”
I really didn’t have an answer for her except, “U R an ASS.” If you ever meet a “breeder” who doesn’t know what parvo is, call the police for animal cruelty. Seriously. And maybe someone should keep an eye out for this woman’s child. The future is not looking bright for her or for these neglected puppies, who weren’t even given a fighting chance with the most basic veterinary care.
Please keep these puppies in your thoughts as their lives hang in the balance. It will be a miracle (of course, with the help of our wonderful veterinarians at Arapahoe Animal Hospital) if they all survive. If the plight of these pups touches your heart, please consider making a donation to their care through MidAmerica Boston Terrier Rescue.