Saturday, January 17, 2009

Teddy Bear

Teddy Bear's Story

It was Christmas Eve day 2003 when I (Stephanie) finally got the first email from the Yorkie rescue I joined pleading with someone to go get this little dog..he was about to be euthanized. His owners were moving and no longer wanted him. I called my rescue coordinator to tell her I'd go for him and by the time she called the people back that owned Teddy Bear, they had already taken him to the vet to be euthanized. Luckily the vet hadn't gotten to him yet and he was still alive. Teddy's owners were instructed to get him back and were given instructions on a time and place to meet me. I made the 60 mile drive one way to go get him even though I had just had neck surgery and wasn't supposed to drive more than 2 miles. Something told me I had to get this little dog that day. No one else volunteered to do it being that it was Christmas Eve. I was going through a very dark time in my life at that time and I was so hoping to help out somehow with a rescue so this was my chance. So off I went with a crate and a blanket not knowing what I was about to get into. Finally after waiting for 2 hours in a diner parking lot and getting call after call from Teddy's owners that they had to do one thing or another and then would be there, they finally arrived. When they got out of the car and started walking towards me with this sickly looking creature and handed him over to me I couldn't believe my eyes. This wasn't a Yorkie...but what was it??? Being that it was December, it was very cold, so I hurry got the fleece blanket I brought along and wrapped him in it. I asked them how old he was and they 'thought' he was 8 or 9 years old...they weren't even sure. I asked them what they feed him and they told me anything that's on sale, usually the Walmart brand. I cringed at that answer. Then they turned around without so much as a good-by and off they went. They didn't give me so much as a dish, a collar, a leash, or any thing that may have been his. It was as if he was an old rag and they were just tossing him out. I put him in the crate and he and I cried all the way home. I had never seen a dog in this poor shape. He was very weak, could barely stand up and his eyes were very infected from what I could tell. So, Teddy and I drove the 60 miles back home and we both cried all the way. I couldn't understand how someone could let a little dog get in this shape.

When I got him home I put him down on the floor on his blanket and he wobbled over to where my dog's dish was and ate all the kibble that was in his dish. He then went to the water dish and drank like there was no tomorrow. He would try to stand up and would fall because he was so weak, but he was determined to eat and drink which he did with gusto. I would carry him outside and help him stand up so he could pee and then I would carry him back inside. Since it was Christmas Eve and my vet wasn't in until the day after Christmas, I carried Teddy around in his fleece blanket wherever I went. Instead of going to Christmas Eve candlelight service that night, I sat by the lights of my Christmas tree holding Teddy telling him everything was going to be ok. My other Yorkie, Kobe, and my Brittany Spaniel, Jazz, sat by us and were so accepting of this little guy that was taking so much of my attention. It was as if they knew he needed special care.

The day after Christmas I was on the phone calling my vet first thing in the morning to get Teddy seen. They got me in that day. When I unwrapped Teddy from his fleece blanket and set him on the exam table, both vets came to examine him and came to the same conclusion...Cushing's Disease. The hair loss, the bladder infection, the eye infection, the excessive drinking all pointed to Cushing's. So, Teddy underwent bloodwork for the test. I was given antibiotics to put him on for the various infections and home we went to wait. I was told the results would take 2 weeks. In the meantime, since I was only fostering Teddy, his ad was put on Petfinder. As the days went on and we awaited the results of the test, Teddy continued to improve. He got strong enough that he could finally walk on his own. He had a great appetite and never had an accident in the house. His hair started to grow and his infections cleared up. In the meantime he would follow me from room to room. Emails started coming in from people that were interested in adopting Teddy. He was not able to be released until the results of the Cushing's test came back. One day as I was sitting at my computer I saw Teddy go over to my other Yorkie and do the play bow with his tail wagging. I broke down in tears at seeing that. Another night when I came home from my 4 to midnight job, he barked for the first time, wagging his tail because he was so happy to see me. Again I broke down in tears. This little dog couldn't have Cushing's...he was improving, not getting worse.

Finally one day the phone rang and I saw it was my vet on the caller ID. I was so nervous about answering that phone because I didn't want to believe that he had Cushing's. The first words out of my vet's mouth were "the test was negative, he doesn't have Cushing's, we believe it's a case of starvation. His bloodwork was excellent. Teddy will be alright. "I grabbed Teddy and just held him tight and cried but they were tears of joy. I knew then, after the fight he went through, I couldn't let Teddy go to another home. He was staying right here with me. Since he came to me on Christmas Eve, that was the day we celebrated Teddy's birthday every year. Teddy was the best little dog. He was so devoted to me and showed me every single day how grateful he was. I could take Teddy, without a leash, into a crowd of a thousand people and he would stay right by my side, never once taking his eyes off of me. Teddy enjoyed going out in the back yard and just laying in the sun. I always said he looked so content and was out there thinking. He was my little man! Teddy enjoyed running along the fence barking at the neighbor dog Molly, two houses over. He was such a happy little guy.

In October of 2007 I noticed that Teddy had some problems with his one eye so off to the vet we went. She diagnosed him with Dry Eye and put him on a series of drops and ointment. One day as I was holding his head to put the drops in, I felt a lump at the side of his neck just below his jaw. Something told me this wasn't going to be good. I raced to the phone and called my vet. She took him in that day. That was the day my heart broke...Teddy was diagnosed with Lymphoma. From all I read about Lymphoma, Teddy only had weeks to live. I made those the best weeks of his life. I tried to make him as comfortable as possible. When I saw the light going out of his eyes and his health deteriorating, I knew it was time to let him go. Dec. 10th 2007 Teddy and I made our last trip together to the vet. I held him and said my good-byes as he crossed over the Rainbow Bridge. Teddy took a big piece of my heart with him that day. When I found out about 2Dogs2000Miles and what Luke and his boys were going to do, it touched my heart.

I know Teddy is looking down on Luke and his boys saying "PuppyUp!"!"


Anonymous said...

You two were meant to be together. What a great Christmas present (for you and Teddy Bear). I am glad you had the time you did with one another.

Vicki Tankersley said...

Thank god you were there for Teddy in the final years of his life. To think what those people must have put him through is unthinkable. I'm so glad you were able to give this little guy a warm and loving home. Thanks for sharing your story.

Linda Heilman said...

You were a God-sent to this little dog. You turned him into a beautiful, healthy little dog. There should be more people like you in this world.