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Friday, November 14, 2014

I Killed My Best Friend Today

Yes, it's true. I killed my best friend today. I am heartbroken, angry, confused and tormented right now. My friends name was Jethro and he wasn't even two years old yet. Here's his picture.  He's quite handsome, don't you think?


Showing off his good side. He was so loveable and was loved.
 
 

He loved everyone and everyone loved him. I would take him to work with me during the summer when I worked at a local B&B. He would stand up along the fence and wait for the guests to arrive, so he could great them with slobbery kisses and a tail that never quit wagging. His long soft velvety ears were a regular hiding spot for the kittens. It wasn't unusual to see him sleeping with kittens curled up in his ears. There wasn't a mean bone in his body, he was a gentle soul and had a heart of gold.

I would never trade one moment of my time with Jethro, but I wish he had never been born.....Does that shock you? Well, let me explain.

Jethro was a product of greed. He was a product of a backyard breeder who was only interested in making money. (Trust me, it costs more money than you make if you're doing it right.) This so called breeder, like so many others, didn't do her homework. Didn't do a pedigree check to see if there were any genetic issues, such as hip dysplasia, hernias or neurological issues that could be handed down from generation to generation. She didn't look to see if there were unwanted traits that could be passed down, such as aggression or overly passiveness. No, she was all about the money.

Let me tell you a little about his breeding. A woman had a full blooded bloodhound, I don't know if she had papers or not, I'm going to assume not since the litter was never registered. She knew someone with a nice male bloodhound who was registered and decided to inquire about a mating between the two. The mating took place and a litter was produced.

I don't know how many pups were produced in this litter, but it's not uncommon for bloodhounds to have litters of a dozen or more pups, so it's safe to assume the litter was large. So now the woman starts advertising Bloodhound Puppies for Sale.....only to find out that nobody wanted them. Now she's stuck with a litter of fast growing bloodhound puppies who need food, inoculations, wormed and treated for fleas......and she has no money to do this. It's not uncommon for bloodhound pups to weigh 30 pounds or more at 8 weeks of age. They are big dogs and grow quickly as puppies. A mature blood hound can weigh well over 150 pounds.

Up steps someone who is willing to help her and they pay for the inoculations and take one of the puppies, plus help to place the rest of the litter. The puppy they choose was Jethro. They kept him for a period of time and decided he would be better with someone else who could spend more time with him and maybe continue to train him as a SAR dog. SAR stands for Search and Rescue or Recovery, depending on how your dog is trained. So they put him up for adoption and that's where me and my husband come in.

Jethro and his former owner who loved him dearly also. He was a good dog.

We had rescued a bloodhound 6 years earlier from a puppy mill situation and he had died of cancer at the age of 6 years, 11 months and 3 weeks. Was the cancer hereditary? I don't know, but I feel that his fear of everything may have been. He was so loveable, but we referred to him as our cowardly lion because he was afraid of everything and he never did outgrow that. I think he had neurological issues also. Duncan was killed on April 7th, 2014.

Yes, I use the word killed because that's what it is. You can call it Crossing the Rainbow Bridge, Put to Sleep, Euthanized or any other more civilized word you choose, but in all reality, it's killing. A vet puts a poison in a syringe and injects your pet with your permission. Do I blame my vet for killing my dogs, of course not. Do I blame myself for killing my dogs. No! I blame the backyard breeder who was only looking for a quick buck.

I blame the puppy mills who produce what ever breed is fashionable at the moment. I blame the backyard breeder who takes two dogs and produces a litter simply to make a few dollars or because they want another dog just like the mama or daddy of the litter. I blame the people who allow two dogs to breed simply because they want their children to see the miracle of birth. Show them the pain of death instead, it will make them more compassionate. I blame the people who continue to by dogs from the people who are breeding these animals. Why do you buy when so many die?

I hear people say..."but I bought mine off the internet and saw pictures of the puppies. They were so will taken care of and the breeder said they were raised in the house and were socialized." In most cases this simply isn't true. Sometimes the moms are brought into the house to whelp the pups and are kept inside just long enough to wean them....then it's back to the breeding shed where another litter can be made. Most moms though are left out to have puppies in the elements or maybe in a shed or barn where they have some shelter, but are really not taken care of. And as soon as possible the pups are taken away so she can be bred again.

Some people breed because they want another one just like the mom or dad. This is a stupid reason to breed a dog. No puppy will be just like the parent...not in personality or looks. Every dog is an individual...just like your children. Are they exactly like you? Of course not, so what makes you think your dogs puppies will be just like the parents??

I hear people say...."but I have AKC papers, so my dog is a good dog to breed." First let me say that the AKC supports puppy mills because they make millions of dollars on registration fees every year. I know for a fact that just because a dog is AKC registered, that doesn't make it a good candidate for breeding. My Duncan was duel registered...AKC and NPR (National Pet Registry) but never in my wildest dreams would I have ever thought about breeding him to any female....Registered or not. He had too many quirks and I would never pass those traits on to some other poor puppy. Oh, we had several people say that if we ever did breed him, they wanted a puppy by him. My reply was always the same. we're not breeding him, but if you want a bloodhound I'll help you find one that needs rescued.

Playing Frisbee with my Hubby. He love to play Frisbee. He was a good dog.

Now, I'll continue my story about Jethro. My husband and I traveled to North Carolina to meet Jethro in July of 2014. He was a beautiful dog and so full of energy. I spoke with his current owners and Hubby played Frisbee for over an hour with Jethro. He was more interested in Jethro than he was in talking to his owners. He's like that, give him a dog and he's happy. His owners were very nice and had taken great care of Jethro, but knew he could be so much more than what they could offer him. We were looking for a dog to start training for search and rescue. Needless to say, we left with Jethro taking up the entire back seat of our Sonata along with his Frisbee, food dish and a few other things. He was such a happy dog.

When we got home we introduced him to the rest of the family which included other dogs ranging in size from a 4.5 pound Chihuahua to a 35 pound beagle mix and of course kittens. We do a lot of rescues here. Jethro wasn't a rescue though he was on his way to becoming a working dog. A dog who would save lives and track the lawless if needed. A dog who would be an accepted member of society with a purpose and a job. Yes, that  was how Jethros life was supposed to be. But it didn't turn out that way.

We continued with Jethros training and made sure he continued to be socialized with  people. We took him to farmers markets, our local winery, the B&B, the dog park and just about any other place we could take him. Everybody loved Jethro and Jethro loved everybody. He was such a gentle giant and so happy.

On November 11th of 2014 at 11:45 in the morning I went to meet a friend for lunch, it was a beautiful November day. Temps in the low 70s, blue sky and lots of sunshine. Jethro was laying in the yard soaking up some of the last rays of sunshine he would ever see. He looked up to see me off and laid his big floppy head back in on his grassy pillow and went back to sleep. He was so peaceful and such a happy dog.

I came home at about 2:30 only to find Jethro in a grand mal seizure. He had been lying there seizing for a while because where there should  have been grass that was now a muddy hole that his was thrashing in. We had had a lot of rain and the ground was soft. I dropped everything I had in my hand and ran to his side. "Jethro, Jethro....Wake up!! Please baby wake up!!" I shook him hollered out his name, held him and cried. I pulled my car around back and drug him to my car by his legs. Only by Gods grace was I able to put his thrashing 120 pounds of muddy body in the back of my car. I rushed to the nearest vet which was a mile away. It was open, I ran in, covered in mud and yelled I need a stretcher and I need help. The two girls at the counter just looked at me in horror and said there was no vet there at that time. I didn't have time to deal with them so I jumped back in my car and took off for my vets office which was half an hour away and I didn't have his number on me to let them know I was on the way with an emergency.

I was crying and praying the entire time, with Jethro thrashing in the back seat. When he would stop seizing I would worry that he had died, and as strange as it sounds, I was somewhat relieved when he would start seizing again. At least I knew he was still alive.

When I finally made it to my vets office I burst through the door again crying and covered in mud and told them I needed a stretcher and help. Both the women at the counter spring into action. One went to get the stretcher and the other followed me out to my car. We got Jethro out of the back seat and by this time he had slid between the back see and the front seat so he was a little difficult to remove. We laid him on the ground and waited for the stretcher. It was only a few seconds, but to me it seemed like an eternity. We loaded him on the stretcher, wheeled him through the waiting room and I was told to wait there. The people there were just staring at me in a state of disbelief and shock, I'm sure I looked like a crazy woman.

I sat down next to a lady with a cat in an crate and she asked me what was wrong with Jethro, so I told her. I was just numb and in shock, she patted me on the shoulder and tried to say some comforting words, which I'm sure she did, I just don't remember them. Next I got up and went outside to call my husband and let him know what was going on. I had called him on the way to the vets office, and told him I would call him as soon as I got there. I told him I had nothing to report and I would call him back as soon as I did. I then went into the restroom and tried to wash the tears, mud and slobber off my hands and face. When I came out the assistant was waiting for me.

We have Jethro hooked up to an IV and are giving him fluids and Valium to bring him out of the seizure. She asked me for more information on Jethro and told me she would be back in a few minutes. I sat down again and the tears started falling. No matter how hard I tried to hold them back, they just kept coming.

A few minutes later a woman and her Pit Bull came into the waiting room. I don't know who this woman was or what her dogs name was, but they sat next to me. Right away the little female Pit Bull came toward me and her owner pulled her away. I said I didn't mind her setting next to me if she didn't mind, so her owner let her come sit next to me. She was about 2 years old and an absolutely beautiful blue color with white markings. She was short and stocky and oh so loveable. She snuggled in tight against me and I let my arm drape over her strong shoulders and neck as I patted her. She licked the tears from my face which of course made them fall even more. I was so scared for my baby Jethro. He was such a good boy.

Shortly the assistant came out and took me to the back. My poor baby boy was hooked up to an IV and still covered in mud. My heart was breaking. I talked to my vet and we discussed treatment options, of course I wanted to do everything possible to help him survive. So we began treatment. I decided to head home, because there was nothing more I could do and Jethro was asleep because of the medications he had been given. I patted his head and  told him  I loved him and left.

I picked up my husband from work and told him what was going on and the story of how I had found Jethro and how things transpired. We both cried and prayed for a positive outcome. Once I got home, I posted on Facebook what was going on. You see, Jethro had a lot of fans and friends. People loved him and often asked about him. Many of my friends were former guests from the B&B and knew Jethro personally. Others were friends and family who also knew him personally and some of them simply knew him from my postings and pictures of him. He was loved by so many.

I asked for prayer, well wishes and healing thoughts. I was answered with hundreds of replies. Later that evening the vet called and said Jethro had regained consciousness and even stood and circled a couple of times, like dogs do when they are trying to get comfortable. I was overjoyed and posted that Jethro was improving but would be staying overnight at the vets for observation. Just before 8am my phone rang.

"This is Dr. Hamady, Jethros at it again. He started having seizures again this morning. What do you want to do?" I told my vet to do what ever was necessary to keep him comfortable and I was on my way. I called my husband and told him what was going on, made a Facebook post asking for more prayers and headed back to the vets office. I talked with my vet and told him I wanted to wait and see if maybe, just maybe he would pull out of this. I wasn't ready to let him go, not without giving him as much of a chance as humanely possible. I stroked his ears and told him I loved him and headed home again. Tears falling like rain from my face. Hubby says "When God squeezes your heart, tears come our your eyes." Well God must have been doing a lot of squeezing, because the tears just kept flowing. I knew this was not going to end well, but I simply didn't want to give up yet.

Hubby came home early and we both went to the vets office. The doctor was in surgery with another patient so we didn't get a chance to talk, but we did see Jethro, we held him and told him we love him. He had already had two seizures that day one in the morning and one just before we got there. They had pulled him out of it with Valium and given him another drug rectally because he had not regained consciousness at all that day and if he wasn't awake they couldn't give him the drug orally. They would call if there were any changes and they would be there until 8 that evening. Hubby and I left and went to a meeting that we needed to attend. We told them about Jethro, they were sadden and shocked and said he was such a good dog.

Just before the meeting was adjourned our vet called. Jethro had had six more seizures in just a few hours. I told him we were on our way. We arrived at out vets office and were taken to see Jethro, he was panting. His breaths were fast and shallow. His body was there, but his brain was gone. There was not sigh on any brain activity. No flinching when you touched his eyelids, no reaction to pain, no nothing......simply a body trying to keep breathing but in all reality was already dead. We consulted with our vet and held Jethro, stroked his soft ears and whispered our goodbyes as we let him go.

Looking Serious for the Camera. He was such a clown and loved getting his picture taken. He was a good boy.

Are you crying? I am. This is what you support when you buy a backyard puppy. This is what you support when you buy online or from a pet store. This is what you support when you don't spay and neuter your pets. Yes, this is the heartache that people all across the nation endure on a daily basis because of greed and ignorance. So what if you paid $1,200 for that cute little bull dog puppy who looked so happy in that photo. Well guess what, that puppy was cleaned up, and dressed up to appease your senses and make you go Awww, isn't that cute. That puppy was made to look like that so you would spend a lot of money to make some puppy mill owner a lot of money. Did you see the parents? Did you see the kennels? What....they met you in a parking lot?? Really? Why? Why did you buy this puppy, site unseen and have it delivered in a parking lot no less? You are a part of the problem. And don't tell me that you're not, because you are. As long as you buy from these people you are a part of the problem.

Now, back to Jethros story. All through this ordeal I kept in contact with his former owners. They loved him too and had the right to be kept in the loop. As soon as I called them to let them now what was going on they started making phone calls to see if they could get any other information about any of the other puppies, since they had helped to rehome them. Come to find out on of the pups was court ordered to be killed because it had suddenly turned aggressive and bit someone. There had never been an issue with aggression before that one day. At least one of the other pups had suffered seizures and there was talk about other neurological issues with some of the other pups. How awful and what a shame. All this could have been prevented if this so called breeder had done her homework and not allowed her female to be bred in the first place. It seems that the neurological issue came from the dams side of the lines and that's why she was sold without papers. She was never supposed to have been bred. I wonder how many other owners of this litter have suffered a broken heart over their bloodhound baby. I wonder how many children have cried over mom and dad having to kill their kind hearted friend. I wonder if any children have been at risk because a puppy from this litter suddenly turned vicious. Yes, I wonder and it makes me sad for the dogs and owners, but it really makes me angry at the person who allowed this breeding to take place to begin with.

Remember when I said Jethros former owner simply wanted Jethro to save just one life and it would be worth letting him go with us. Well, I hope and pray that he saves several lives after you read this. I hope and pray that you don't buy from backyard breeders, pet shops, online puppy stores or puppy mills. Please quit buying from these places and go to your nearest shelter or look for a breed specific rescue and save a life. Save a lot of lives. If the breeders have nobody to sell to they will quit breeding. We've all heard the stories of dog breeds who are suddenly having physical, emotional and mental problems due to indiscriminate breeding. Is it really worth the heartbreak, not to mention the monetary costs involved with buying a defective dog. Many times the symptoms don't show up until the dog gets older, so a health certificate isn't worth the paper it's written on. A health certificate doesn't mean the dog will not develop a neurological problem in the future. A health certificate doesn't mean a dog will not develop joint issues in the future. A health certificate doesn't guarantee a dog free of genetic defects. Nope, all a health certificates tells you is that he dog isn't sick when the vet checked it out before you bought it.....and I can assure you that there are some vets who profit nicely by issuing health certificates for puppy mills. Yep, once again it's all about the money.

If you don't want to rescue, for fear of getting a dog who will end up like Jethro, then don't. But don't buy one from someone who is only in it for the money. Do your home work. Find a reputable breeder who will give you all the information you need such as, a linage background check for genetic disorders. Jethro was a product of irresponsible breeding and while I loved him and will never forget him, in all reality he never should have been born. After a little research, by his previous owner who rescued him first, we found out that several of the puppies from this litter had neurological issues. The issues ranged from unexplained spontaneous aggression to seizures. I would never trade my time with Jethro for anything, but it wasn't fair to him or to us for him to die at such a young age. I'm thankful I don't have children who I have to explain this to. Nobody should have to go through this kind of heartbreak and no animal should ever have to die because of ignorant breeders. As a rescuer, I know there are risks, but to lose 2 just 6 months apart is almost unbearable. Duncan was a puppy mill rescue, and Jethro was a backyard breeders rescue and both died young.

This was my reply, in part, to a breeder who asked me if I had gotten on OFA certificate for either Duncan or Jethro. I know this sounds angry, it is, but like I mentioned this is only part of the comment, they too recently lost a bloodhound and were trying to be helpful, the rest of the post conveys my condolences and a thank you for their concern.  "This is what happens when back yard breeders don't take genetics into consideration. Dogs die young and hearts get broken. I am a strong advocate for rescue and against most back yard breeders simply because of their lack of education. All they see is money, they don't see the heartbreak, they don't see the suffering, they don't see the pain, fear and confusion of the dogs who are going through these traumatic events. Nor do they care. I am glad you asked me this question, because it gives me the opportunity to advocate against back yard breeding and puppy mills. Our first bloodhound, Duncan, was a puppy mill rescue. He died at the age of 6 years, 11 months and 3 weeks of age. He was a week shy of being 7 years old. We had him for 6 years and lost him this past April. Jethro was just under 2 years of age and had never show any sighs of having a neurological disorder. Please don't take this the wrong way, it's not meant to be snarky toward you, you sound as if you are a responsible breeder and you know that there is a difference between an irresponsible breeder and an informed breeder. But all we do is rescue and hope for the best. Sometimes it simply doesn't happen that way and our babies die for reasons that we have no control over and never should have happened. We loved Duncan and Jethro deeply and will never forget them, but they never should have been born to begin with. They were products of greed and that is simply wrong." This was raw emotion coming from me, can you hear the anger and the pain I'm feeling?

Please, if you really want a dog and don't want to do a rescue, which I highly recommend, then please at least take the time to find a reputable breeder. One who breeds for the right reasons and does all their homework and has the pups sold before the breeding even takes place. Ask questions, ask if you can come see the parents. Ask if you can see the kennels. Ask if you can see the entire litter before they are weaned. You may pay more up front, but it's better than putting yourself and your pet through what we just went through. And believe it or not, our vet bills were low compared to some. Are you willing to put out thousands of dollars to keep your dog alive and healthy? I have a friend who does rescue in Tennessee, she just posted the cost of a two month supply of medication for one of her rescues, it totaled over $2,000. But she's dedicated and will not kill her dogs simply because of money. She will beg, borrow, sell and campaign to raise enough to keep her rescues happy and healthy. Are you willing to do that? Or will you dump your dog at the nearest shelter when you find that it's going to cost a lot of money to keep them healthy? Yes, do your homework and don't buy puppy mill and backyard bred dogs, it can only bring heartache. And please don't breed anymore unhealthy dogs simply because your dog has AKC papers. My heart can't take the pain of losing another one because of your greed.


You were a good boy Jethro. RIP my friend.

28 comments:

  1. I think this is the most hearbreaking, informative post I've read in years. I know how you're feeling right now as I've went thru the same thing with puppy mill dogs too many times to count. It will never bring your baby back or help with your heartbreak, but lets just hope that people ( or even one person) reads your story and thinks twice before breeding or supporting puppy mills

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    1. Thank you Fat Buddy, I know you know how I feel.

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  2. Omg, Debbie, I'm bawling right now and can't think to respond properly. This was amazing in the telling. My heart is with you! <3

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    1. Thank you San, thank you for your kind words.

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  3. Perfect words... thank you. RIP beautiful Jethro. ♡♡

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  4. Thank you Sandy. I know he's at peace now and will never hurt again.

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  5. So tragic, this fellow touched our hearts as we often think of how he just settled in. I am so sorry for your loss, may your heart be filled with wonderful memories. My heart is...he bought us together...and he blessed our home with his love.

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    1. Thank you Bootsie. I will always remember setting at your table on our first full day with Jethro and him lying on the floor being a good boy. He was such a gentle soul and touched so many lives. I've gotten so many PMs on Facebook from people who's lives he touched in his short time with us. He is missed by many.

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  6. I am Dale's sister. Sorry for your loss. To lose a true friend is never easy. Know that you are in my thoughts. Best friends come in all breeds. May you be comforted by memories of Jethro. At first they need us and the we need them, so many steps you took together. Dogs come into our lives and leave paw prints on our hearts and we are forever changed. It's hard to say good bye to such a special companion. I have had to say good bye four times to my great danes. I know exactly what you are going through. Again my deepest & sincerest condolences. Judy Pasek

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    1. Thank you Judith. Jethro touched so many lives in his short time here on earth. He was loved by many and I know Dale and Kelly are hurting too. I hated having to tell them that Jethro didn't make it. I know they were heartbroken too. I'm so sorry for your losses, yes, they do take a piece of our hearts with them when they go, but the leave us with such great memories to hold on to forever.

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  7. I am so sorry for your loss. Pets come into our lives and fill out hearts.. You know that gave Jethro a good life and a lot of love. All lives short or long are precious. Bless you all.

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  8. I can't stop crying either. :(

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  9. I can totally relate and feel the pain I made my mistakes and paid for those too. I lost 3 yorkies within 1 year the first to die was my 1st little girl, I adopted her from a rescue as a senior and only had her 4 years spending thousands to treat her skin condition and allergies she died from heart disease caused by all the steroids she had been given for years. Then I lost my baby, he too was doomed to die... he was from my nephew's wife's mother...... a backyard breeder..... she wanted new carpet.... she had 3 litters of yorkie pups..... he was only 7 years old when he died from an enlarged heart and bad breeding probably interbred mother's and sons...... then 2 weeks later my oldest died on his 13th birthday of kidney failure related to diabetes and being born in a puppy mill... you see when I got him from a small local pet store I didn't know about puppy mills...... when he was diagnosed at 5 years old as diabetic I did a bunch of research and I found out he was born in Lancaster, PA on a puppy mill farm that has over 500 dogs. I gave him insulin shots for 8 years...... blood curves....cataracts from diabetes.... and while I have 4 rescue dogs now I'm still haunted by my mistakes and their deaths.... I gave them the best life they could have and the best medical care but in the end the results are the same.... they didn't stand a chance...... my sympathy to you and your husband.......

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    1. I am so sorry for the loss of all your babies. Please if you would, go to the Facebook page called Jethro's Legacy and tell your story. We need to let people know what happens when people breed for all the wrong reasons. Your story will help educate people to the pain and suffering caused by uneducated breeders. Once again, I am so sorry that you had to go through this.

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  10. Thank you so much. Three years ago I naively purchased a male pit bull from a backyard breeder. He was the sweetest baby & loved everyone. When he was 9 months old we came home & I noticed he was walking funny. A few minutes later he started seizing. We live in a rural area with no after-hours vet available. We decided to see if it continued & if so, take him the next day. He recovered from that seizure & walked around stuporously for several moments and started again. But for brief seconds he didn't stop for the next 2 hours when he finally quit breathing. I was nearly hysterical. I still mourn him. Thank you for giving voice to not only your own feelings but mine as well. God bless you.

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    1. I am so sorry for the loss of your friend and I understand the horror of watching your fur baby having a seizure and that feeling of helplessness. Please if you would, visit the Facebook page called Jethro's Legacy. It's that that you can tell your story so we can begin to let people know the pain and heartache of losing a pet because of uneducated breeders. Once again I am so sorry for your loss and I understand your pain. I only had Jethro for four short months, but loved him dearly as did everyone who met him. May God bless you as well.

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  11. Oh goodness... this story made me cry like a baby. I can not imagine the pain that the dog's death has brought to you and your family. I'm so sorry. I also have rescue dogs from a backyard breeder. I have four dachshunds from the same backyard breeders and each and every one of my dachshunds have the same father... three of them have the same mother. the youngest ones mother is the daughter of the Father. It sounds confusing but if you think about it it's easy enough to figure out. The youngest one suffers from an incurable, untreatable heart disease that the vet has told me can take from me at any time ime. She's doing okay today but two months ago we almost lost her for the second time. She's just three years old. My oldest one, who is 8 has pancreatic disease but he's doing okay with the exception of being frail and small and then and having no energy. Aside from an occasional spurt of energy he pretty much just lays on the sofa. He's my sweetheart.. he was my first and I love him dearly. The second Doxie is 5 years old and she has seizure disorder which is thankfully controlled with medication and she seems to be doing well on her medication. The middle the third of my dachshunds is a very small little mini who, so far has no health issues and for that I'm grateful. With the exception of the fact that she's extremely small. The youngest is the one with cardiomyopathy. And we never know when will lose her. But the vet said it could happen quickly and it anytime because she's not treatable. I hate backyard breeders. I scream and I yell on Facebook in so many different groups about breeding and over breeding and having puppies just because it seems the thing to do. Most often I'm chastised within these groups for making my comments about spay, neuter, don't shop but adopt, but it falls for the most part, on deaf ears. Again, bless you. I'm so sorry.

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    1. Carmen, thank you for your kind words and I am so sorry about what you are going through with your Doxi. Please feel free to go to the Facebook page Jethro's Legacy and post your story there also. It's a page I set up to help educate the public about the pain to us and the suffering to the dogs caused by breeders who either don't know, or simply don't care. It's stories like this that can help. So many people think that their dog simply got sick or was just dealt a bad hand, but this simply isn't true. Many times the cause is genetics due to poor breeding. It can be seen in mixed breeds, but is more prominent in full blooded or AKC registered dogs. Please think about sharing and once again I'm so sorry for what you're going through too.

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  12. So much rage between my tears and sobs. I wish I had something eloquent to say, but nothing takes the pain away, so I'll just send hugs and prayers for your peace. Rest well, Jethro. - Tonya

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    1. Thank you for your kind words. You don't have to say anything eloquent, your tears said enough. Thank you.

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  13. I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my Captain, a Boston Terrier this last Aug.
    I had him for 9 wonderful years. I rescued him from an animal shelter, he was skin and bones. He became my buddy/ and confident. I Miss him so much.
    He died pretty much the same way as your baby. I had never been around a dog having a seizure. I picked him up, he as foaming at the mouth, I was crying and holding him and telling him he could not die on me. I was in shock. He had a grand mal I took him to the vet. They said since it was the first one he ever had, and it didn't last long that maybe he had an allergic reaction to some food, etc.
    it was about 2 weeks later he had another one I rushed him to the vet, They did blood work, then we came home. About 2 weeks later he had another, again rushed him to the vet, they kept him, the vet told me that I was not going to win this, and I knew that, but I could not give up on him. After work I went to the vets office to pick him up he had another 2 seizures that day at the office. I took him home, so he could be in a familiar place, he was whining and wanting me to hold him. I sat and rocked him, took him outside to potty, a little boy wanted to pet him, so I let him, Captain was happy to see the little boy. His eyes brightened up and he loved the attention. We went back inside, he was whining again, all he wanted to do was drink water. I picked him up and held him again. Tried to comfort him, his whine calmed down a bit. I hugged and rocked him and told him I loved him, and that if it was too hard for him it was ok for him to go. He didn't last 5 min, my baby was gone. I sat and rocked him and cried my eyes out. I called everyone and told them he had gone. I took him to my familys home in the country, where he loved so much. I placed him in his bed .covered him with his blanket, placed his toys, and favorite treats with him and with a written note on how much I loved him and would never forget him. I miss him everyday. I blame myself, he had a flea allergy, and the vet put him on Comfortis. To this day I believe that is what caused this, he had only been on this med for about 4 months. Before this he had never had a seizure.
    Since then I have adopted a boxer and a cat I love them both so much, but my heart still aches for my Captain.

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    1. Catherine, I am so sorry for your loss and thank you for sharing your story here. Comfortis could have been the reason your dog had a seizure, but we can sit and wonder all day long and never get the answer. Please feel free to share your story at Jethro's Legacy on Facebook. Bostons are very nice dogs, I've known a few of them in my days. I'm sorry your son lost a friend and my heart hurts for all of you. I pray you never have to go through this again. Once again thank your for your condolences and I'm sorry for your loss also.

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  14. I've had a dog who seized, too, and it is incredibly heart breaking to watch. He was, in fact, a very well bred dog, and we're unlikely to know the cause of his epilepsy. None of his litter mates had issues, nor did his sire, dam or grands or great grands. He, too, was a fantastic dog, one of the best, funniest and smartest I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. Apart from having been blessed by his presence in our life, the biggest blessing was that we never bred him. I guess I'm saying that even when breeders do everything right, bad things do still happen. They are just less likely to happen.

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    1. Suzy, thank you for your comment and I'm so sorry for your loss. Yes, seizures are terribly frightening for us as well as our beloved pets. I agree, even if we do everything right bad things can still happen, but too many people don't know or don't care and breed for all the wrong reasons. I've been doing a lot of research on genetic over the past week or so and have learned so much. Some traits can skip generation, but the gene is still there and you never know when it will rear it ugly head. The only way to find out if a dog is carrying certain genes is to have them tested. I hope you will join us on Facebook at Jetrho's Legacy page and share your story. Jethro's page is a place where we can get together and learn from each other. I don't know all the answers, but I'm trying to learn and educate people through this page. I do rescue, but if I ever did decide to get into breeding I would want to learn as much as possible before I even considered bringing another puppy into the world. I hope to see you on Facebook sometime. Thanks again and once more, I'm so sorry for your loss.

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  16. Debbie I'm so sorry for your loss. I know how horrible it can be when our four legged friends die especially when we have to make that call ourselves. It's the worst feeling in the world. I've been an advocate of rescuing from shelters for years. These animals have been abandoned and need you to save their lives and give them all the love their previous owners cant, or wont. I've currently got two rescus in my house, one mutt and one very loving pit bull girl who was used as a breeder and then thrown away. She was skinny and so very sad when we got her, but she's so far become the best dog either I or my husband have ever had. When we got her we spent oodles of money treating a heart worm condition, and getting her back to healthy, but it was so worth it. She and our other dog are our babies and we couldn't see life without them.

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  17. Thank you Tamrah for your kind words and thank you for doing rescue. We have 5 rescue dogs and 13 cats, so we have a house full of love. Maybe no place to sit on the sofa, but I wouldn't trade it for the world. I don't have a problem with responsible breeders, those who are trying to improve the breed, but I do advocate rescue if you're not going to use your pet for breeding. I know you can find purebred dogs, designer dogs and plain old mutts in a shelter. And just because they're in a shelter, doesn't mean their broken, it just means they need a second chance. I'm so happy to hear that your pit baby is doing well. I hope you live a long happy life together. Thanks for your comment and please be sure to share this story so we can continue to educate people on what it means to be a responsible breeder.

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