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One day on my way home from school when I was around 10 years old, I came upon a woman and her kids sitting with a cage full of puppies next to there van with a sign that read “Free Puppies”. They let me hold one and asked if I’d like to keep one...I do not remember having any thoughts about it and the word just instantly came out, "YES!" I carried the dog home. My parents came home a few hours later, they knew the dog was sick the moment they saw it. We went looking for the van and it was gone. That night the dog became sicker (crap coming out both ends) and by morning, it looked to be on deaths door. We took the dog to the vet and it had parvo (parvovirus) and a long list of other aliments. The vets bill came to right at $500. This was a lot of money for my family. My parents are very compassionate people so they paid the veterinarian. I got a dog and a very long talk about not bringing home any more dogs or cats, free, stray, or any other kind. Lesson learned; nothing in this world is free.

One day and 35 years later, I am helping a friend move his girlfriend from her mother’s house to his home. After packing and loading her stuff up, we headed over to her aunt’s house to visit. The aunt has a puppy that she had rescued. Since I do not really know anyone, the pup and I hang out while the girlfriend visits with relatives. The dog really seems to like me and they ask me if I would like to have her. Drawing from my past experience, I tell them I have to think about it. The puppy has some obvious deformity in its front legs and they live out in the country so I doubted the pup had ever seen a vet. That evening I get home to tell my wife about the pup and apparently, I was with in earshot of my 7 and 13-year-old daughters... I heard a "YES" just like this one 35 years earlier but this time it was in three-part harmony. Five days later, Grace was delivered to us. Grace is the dog’s name. My children started to rename her Roo or Skippy but she only responds to Grace or Gracie; I guess she knows her name. Grace is a seven-pound Mini-Dachshund born with unsable front legs and is about 6 to 8 month old. She gets around better than you might think; she stands up by doing a little hula type move that pops her off the ground and on to her hind feet. She then hops and uses her tail to balance. I took her to my veterinarian and the good news is that Grace’s over all health is good. The non-usable limbs are not causing any problems that would require surgery and the vet said she has adapted remarkably well to her condition. The main thing now is just keeping her from injuring her good limbs or her back and still allowing her to get lots of playtime and exercise. (FYI…she can climb stairs). The bad news is that she has heartworms and apparently, it takes a harsh treatment to cure this. I’m still learning about this but have her scheduled for treatment Monday morning and she will be at the veterinary for about a week. (They also gave me the talk about how sometime dogs can die from this treatment but did not feel this case was that severe). I’ll keep you posted on how the treatment goes.

I can’t really complain about the money because I knew what I was getting into it this time. We really love this dog and she really is remarkable. Still, let’s see... $88.50 for the shots and checkup and $400 plus for the heartworm treatment... yep, $500 bucks. Please see pictures attached. I will take some better ones later; we have only had her 3 days. David.

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