Last Wednesday I spotted an ad on Craigslist that tugged at my heart strings. Someone had two puppies that they wanted to find a home for or they were going to the pound. My hubby contacted them and we made arrangements to see the pups on Thursday. My hubby and I are both fans of big dogs. Little dogs tend to be yappy and bouncy and generally rather annoying. Yes, I am aware that may not be true of every small dog but it’s been my experience with every one that I’ve met. Needless to say we were a little apprehensive about seeing these 6 month old puppies. We met the current owner at a park where he had both dogs in his car. Neither one of the puppies barked or jumped around at the sight of us. They sat there with goofy little grins on their faces. They both slightly cowered when we went to pet them but overall seemed like happy little things. We agreed to take them. The owner explained that although they were 6 months old neither one had received any shots – but “that was okay because they haven’t been exposed to parvo”.
We’re not sure of their breed but they’re a mix of some sort of terrier. Maybe some Yorkie. The smaller of the two, Gizmo, had softer hair and more of a Yorkie face. The larger of the two, Bow Wow, had wiry hair and her face was more of a classic terrier. Neither of us could see calling her Bow Wow so we renamed her (Ugly) Betty Boop.
We put their blanket on the backseat of our car and they curled up for the ride home. They never once moved or barked. I had to go back to work so my hubby was on his own with the puppies. He had to introduce them to our Great Dane, Max. Of course all he wanted to do was sniff them. I’m surprised he didn’t inhale one up his nose. They soon discovered the game of chase and all three were happy as clams.
That afternoon my hubby called me to tell me he found ticks on Gizmo. He immediately quarantined them to our dining room. He sat with tweezers and picked off 38 of the little buggers. Not once did Gizmo bite, growl, struggle or flinch. Not even when he was digging in her ears or pulling them off of her eyelids. The vet recommended Frontline and to keep at it with the tweezers and an appointment was set for Monday. There were a few ticks on Betty but nothing like the dozens on Gizmo.
Hubby emailed the original owners to let them know about the ticks. They replied back that they were aware of the ticks and they had been battling them for more than a month. Really?! I was angry that they hadn’t told us that up front and I was angry that they let these poor pups suffer by not really taking care of the problem.
We got the Frontline on them and almost immediately saw the ticks start dying off. Over the next day or two he pulled off probably another 20 ticks. We noticed that Gizmo wasn’t as perky and we chalked it up to the ticks. By Sunday morning she stopped eating. We tried enticing her with wet food but she just turned her head away. She was lethargic and would just lay on her bed or in the grass outside. We knew that wasn’t a good sign. Then she started throwing up. Hubby loaded her up and took her to the emergency animal hospital. He sent me texts from the waiting room “She has diarrhea now” and “She’s sick. Much worse now.” The vet that saw her was heartbroken. Gizmo was suffering and clearly not doing well. A quick test confirmed that she had parvo. Since Max was vaccinated he will be fine. But Betty hasn’t been vaccinated yet and is still at risk. The vet was amazed to hear the difference in their dispositions. Betty is lively, active, eating, playful – no signs of parvo. She said that it’s rare that one pup can have parvo and the other one doesn’t get it. We cleaned up the yard and scrubbed down the house and we have a close eye on her. She still has her normal vet appointment this afternoon and Hubby will discuss with our vet what we need to do to keep Betty healthy. Gizmo was too sick to save and unfortunately Hubby had to make the decision to put her down. It makes me so sad and angry that the previous owners didn’t take care of her. If she’d had her shots at 5 weeks and been treated properly for the ticks she could have enjoyed a long, happy life. I’m just glad that in her last few days she experienced loving care.
Betty on the left, Gizmo on the right