Dog Stories

We have compiled stories about dogs that people have sent us for your reading. We hope you enjoy them.

Index of Stories:

Page 1

Stolen Dogs recovered
If Only Dogs Could Talk
Peppers Liver Shunt
A New Family Member

Page 2

Pet Store Puppy
The Yorkie that Cannot Bark
My Name Is Katie
A Message From Dog Heaven
A story of A dog and a boy
Auctioning of a Puppymill

Stolen Dogs Recovered

Dog RobberyPinched pooches recovered; 4 arrested

BLOOMINGTON: A breeder of Yorkshire terriers says six people invaded her home and took the dogs.

12:35 AM PST on Friday, December 31, 2004

By JOHN F. BERRY / The Press-Enterprise

Nine dogs were safely returned to their Bloomington owner on Thursday, a day after police arrested four people wanted in connection with demanding ransom for 10 Yorkshire terriers stolen the day after Christmas.

"I'm thankful I got these back," dog breeder Eileen Sparks, 80, said Thursday. "I didn't think we would even see them again until we got a call asking for $3,000."

Officials from the Los Angeles police and San Bernardino County sheriff's departments cooperated Wednesday in tracing calls and tracking the suspected dognappers to a phone booth in the Glassell Park area of Los Angeles.

Though 10 Yorkshire terriers had been stolen, nine were returned. One of the eight puppies stolen had died.

Police said Jose Isabel Suarez, 23; Jorge Dominguez, 36; and Victorino Arzate, 24, all of Mexico, were arrested on suspicion of home-invasion robbery. A male juvenile was arrested and released to his guardians in Los Angeles County.

Officials had no information on the disposition of two other suspects in the dognappings.

Sparks said police returned two mothers and seven puppies, worth about $22,000, to her at about 5 a.m. Thursday. She said one puppy had died, most likely from not getting milk from a mother stressed by being removed from her surroundings.

Sparks said the group found her by answering an advertisement. She said the six people involved in the dognapping had appeared on her doorstep in different groups and times before Christmas.

At 12:30 p.m. Sunday, Sparks said, four people - including a woman and her baby - arrived at her home wanting to see the puppies. She said two young men she had sent away 30 minutes earlier suddenly barged into her home.

"They shoved a gun in my face, pushed me toward the kitchen and shoved me to the floor," Sparks said. "You think they would get a job and make money instead of doing that."

They took the dogs and fled, Sparks said. She received seven calls and a ransom demand within three hours on Wednesday. She said she kept them on the phone as long as she could while police traced and tracked the dognappers.

Police said the suspects could be involved in other thefts of small dogs in Los Angeles, Riverside and Orange counties.

Mary Elizabeth Dugmore, a spokeswoman for the 700-member Yorkshire Terrier National Rescue, said from her home in Tennessee that dognappings are uncommon. She said she had learned of Sparks' ordeal via the Internet on Thursday, when police released the information.

"This is the first time I've ever heard of this," Dugmore said about dognappers using guns. "It's scary."

If Only Dogs Could Talk...

By Marge Howe

I used to fall asleep at night after praying for my children. We dogs pray too, you know. I always asked God to help my puppies; to see that they had good homes and a better life than mine. I never asked for anything for myself, though. I figured my life was about as good as it was going to get, and I was resigned to living the rest of it in this ghetto that the humans called a puppy mill. But then the good people came, and I learned that God really does take care of all his creatures.......

I don't remember my real mommy; I was taken from her when I was very young. I know I had some brothers and sisters, but I never saw them again, either. One day, one of the humans that I learned to refer to as the "bad people" came and took me away from my mother and siblings. I was so scared that day. The humans took me out of my cage and put me in a small box. I remember that it was hot that day, and I could hardly breathe in that box, or even stand up in it. They didn't give me any food or water, and I was in there for what seemed like forever to a little dog.

Finally one of the bad people let me out and set me on the ground, but my freedom was short lived. Very soon I was in another cage, one like I shared with mommy and my brothers and sisters, only this time everyone was a stranger to me. There were ten of us in that cage, and it was really yucky. It smelled because everyone was going to the bathroom everywhere, and their mommies weren't around to clean it up. There was a bowl of water in the corner, and I sure needed a drink. But the water in there tasted really bad. It was so hot, and some of the neighbors from above had peed in it. I eventually drank from the bowl, but that first taste of my new water supply will stay with me forever. It wasn't even fit for cats.

I guess I settled into my new life rather quickly for a little pup. I whined and carried on a bit at first, but the humans just ignored me, and my new friends started to pick on me, so I grew up in a hurry. It doesn't pay to be the crybaby of the pack. Nobody else looked quite like me.....some were bigger, some smaller, some were even different colors than me, but we all seemed to get along ok. Until meal times, that is. Then it was every dog for herself. Oh yes, I forgot to mention, we were all girls at my new home.

The food in there was almost as bad as the water. It was always some kind of mush, with something added that I swear tasted like sawdust. I guess it was cheap and it fattened us up, so that was all that mattered to the bad people. I sure missed my mommy's milk. And to think now that we all fought for scraps of that meal. It was all we had, and it was always a long time before we were given any more, so we gobbled it up.

My life back then was so boring. We were never let out of our cages, and sometimes there were so many of us in there that we could hardly stand or turn around. My feet always hurt from the wire floor. Fifi was my best buddy, and we often played together. That is until she got sick and the bad people took her away. I never did see her again. I hope she went to a better home, but I'm not so sure. She coughed a lot and got so skinny.

When I was about eleven months old, I was finally let out of the cage I had spent my entire youth in and taken to meet my first male friend. What a dream! He was a few years older than me, but so handsome. Some of the girls said I would regret growing up and leaving them, but back then I thought they were just jealous. After all, I got to share a brand new cage with my male friend, and he really liked me. He wanted to play some strange games, but I didn't mind. It seemed to make him and the bad people happy, so I went along.

Then one day they took him from me and I was all alone in my new home. He never did tell me his name; I guess the humans didn't bother to give him one. They never named me either. I saw them taking him to another cage to join a female I didn't recognize, and that was the last I saw of him. But I didn't care. I had an entire cage to myself now, and even if it wasn't very big, it was all mine. I didn't have to fight over the food or water any more, and I was on the top row, so nobody peed (or did that other unmentionable thing) on me again. I thought this was living.

I didn't feel very good after my male friend left me. My tummy bothered me and I had to pee all the time. And I was getting so fat, even though the bad people weren't giving me any more food to eat. I didn't understand it at first, but then the light finally dawned on me. I guess all that fun my cage- mate and I were having had consequences. I was pregnant. I wish someone had explained about the birds and the bees to me. I was much too young to be a mother.

But on the bright side, I was going to have my own babies soon, and I wouldn't be alone any more. It can get pretty boring in a cage all by yourself day after day. Of course I didn't know about "human bonding" back then, but I still imagined a better life than what I had. I spent most of my time just laying around, chatting with the dogs in the cages closest to mine. I went into labor during the night, and boy, was I scared. It hurt so much. And I was all alone. I guess I had a rather easy labor and delivery though.....and by morning I had three beautiful children at my breasts. The humans seemed pleased with me; one of them said I was a "natural breeder." Only compliment I ever received.

Children can sure be demanding.....even if they are only puppies! I enjoyed being a mother, don't get me wrong. But I was so tired and weak all the time. My new home became tiny in a hurry, and there was nowhere to go to get away from my kids. I nursed them night and day, on whatever little milk I could produce. Thank God they all survived; many of my neighbor's children didn't make it. But they were taken from me all too quickly; just like I was taken from my mother. I was afraid of that.

And so my life went on, day after day. Every few months I would have a different male visitor, and another litter of puppies was on the way. I really tried not to get pregnant, but the cage was so small for the two of us and there really wasn't much else to do. By the time I was three I had given birth to 16 puppies, and all but two survived. My first children were the healthiest; the rest I worry about to this day.

Then one day my life changed forever. What I now refer to as the "big shakeup" occurred. All hell broke loose that day......the day the "good people" showed up. There were so many of them, and they were everywhere. Some humans in uniforms put fancy collars on the bad people's wrists, and took them away in cars. Then they came and walked all around my home, looking in the cages at my neighbors and me. Everyone was scared and barking up a storm, but not me. These humans had such nice voices! One of the human ladies came and talked to me, and told me not to be afraid, and that I was safe now. I believed her.

These good people took everyone from their cages and put us all into what they called crates, then put us in their vans. They were taking us all somewhere, and I kept remembering the kind human lady's words and I tried to be brave. I didn't have any puppies then, and I was so glad. It would have been hard keeping them calm, and I knew I needed to keep a level head about me to get through whatever was ahead for me.

And how right I was. From what little I was able to understand, we were all being "rescued" and taken to a place called the "Humane Society." It was a big, clean, warm building, and everyone was so nice to us. I was taken from my crate and put into a really big cage that had a whole bowl of water in it.....and it was so cool and sweet tasting. I couldn't seem to get enough of it, but the good human lady told me not to drink too much at first, and I tried to obey her.

We were all taken, one at a time, into a funny smelling room where a big human man in a white coat examined us. I soon realized that he was the human doctor who decided our fate. I tried so hard to stand tall and proud and show him that I was worth saving, but he didn't seem so sure at first. He told the good lady holding me that I was malnourished, (I think that meant that I was skinny), and that I had heartworm and scabies and was riddled with fleas, and also that I had a mouth full of bad teeth. How rude he seemed. Had he looked in a mirror lately? His fur seemed to be thinning on top, and his breath was worse than my last lover's.

I guess they decided to keep me, because I was given a whole bunch of shots, then made to swallow some yucky medicine, and finally taken into another room, with yet another nice, big cage, and put inside of it. There I was given a little bit of food; I shouldn't try to eat a lot at first the good human lady said, but enough to make me feel better. It was delicious! It was only some dry dog food, but I didn't care. It was tasty, and there weren't any bugs in it to chase!

Over the next few weeks I ate more food at the Humane Society than I think I had ever been fed at the mill. I was given my first real bath, too, and I was amazed at how wonderful I felt after standing in a tub of clean water. Who would have thought! The good human lady shaved off what was left of my fur, but promised me that it would grow back, and that when it did, I would be beautiful. She rubbed some pretty smelling cream on my skin, and it made all the itching stop. Then when I got stronger, they gave me what was called an operation. When I woke up, I had a cut with some stitches on my belly, and the good human lady was there again to explain that I couldn't have any more babies, but I didn't care. Most of my teeth had been removed, too, but she said my mouth wouldn't hurt me now when I ate my meals.

I felt like I had died and gone to heaven. I had a clean cage; one that was big enough for me to play in. I also had lots of food and cool water, and quite a few of my friends were still around to talk with. Some had to be sent to heaven because they were too sick for the human's medicine to help, but I knew it was for the best. I could easily spend the rest of my life at this Humane Society. I was happy and safe. But again, that was not to be.

The good human lady who cared for us told everyone one day that we were just about ready to be "adopted." She made it sound so wonderful. Someone had told our story on the television news, and now there were lots of human people coming to the shelter to look at us, and maybe bring us home with them. There they would "love" us, and pet us and walk us and even buy us toys. I was so excited! There was one catch, however. We had thirty days to find new homes, and after that time, the unthinkable would happen. We all sure prayed hard when we heard about that. Finally, the humans started coming.....

At first, they just seemed interested in the babies. I wasn't jealous; I suppose the pups needed someone to care for them more than we did, but we old- timers were all eager to be chosen, too. I stood tall and wagged my tail whenever a human walked by my cage, but most just seemed to keep on going. Sometimes, I heard comments like "she's too old," or "she's too scraggly looking," or even nastier comments about my lack of teeth, but I never gave up hope. Somebody would want me. Time was passing quickly by when my chance finally came.

On one of the last few mornings that I had left to be adopted, my human lady friend came right up to my cage and told me that there was someone here to look at me. She told me to be on my best behavior, and that if I was lucky, I might finally have a home. Some older human lady was looking for a nice little doggie to keep her company because her mate had gone to heaven, and she was very lonely. I was brought out to the reception room, where she was waiting to meet me. I walked right up to her, wagging my tail all the way, and did my best to impress her. I think my human caregiver knew this was my last chance to find a good home, and did her best to convince her that I was worth adopting.

The older human lady was told that yes, most of my teeth were missing, but I had no trouble eating my meals. And it was true that my coat wasn't very attractive at the moment, but when it grew back in, she was sure I'd be the prettiest Yorkshire Terrier in town. After all, I was what she called a "purebred." I knew that meant I was somebody. She seemed to be thinking about me for the longest time; but then she finally looked down and asked me if I'd like to go home with her. I wagged my scrawny little tail as fast and hard as I could, until she reached down and took me into her arms. I was going home at last.

Mommy just finished reading me a story out of the newspaper about another puppy mill that the good people found. I sure hope they are able to rescue those poor dogs. Some of my children might even be there. Mommy says that there will always be puppy mills, because people just don't care about us. I think she's wrong about that, though. More humans just have to find out about the bad people, and what they are doing to us. Maybe someday someone will tell our story. If only dogs could talk...........

Peppers Liver Shunt

I thought maybe you might like to read a recent liver shunt story and what it means to a "small time" breeder.

I had been afraid of having a shunt puppy ever since I found out what it was! So, it follows that, despite doing what I thought was a well planned and very safe breeding, my baby had one! As a very young puppy, he seemed to have diarrhea (gee, I hate that word...never can spell it without looking it up!!) more often than normal puppies and he slept more than the others in his litter. Of course, hindsight is always 20-20!! I *should* have suspected that he wasn't the same.

Then, at 5 months, I noticed blood in his urine. My local Vet thought it was an infection so we treated him with antibiotics. He seemed to get better then, more blood. I requested a x-ray and there it was. A single stone about as big as my little finger nail. I had the bladder stone surgery done and sent the stone to the U. of Minn for analysis.

Here was another sign I was uncomfortable with. He was slow to wake up after surgery. I don't leave my guys overnight at my vet as they do not have 24 hour care. The surgery schedule was backed up and they got to him later in the day, so, I thought that was the reason he was so slow to come around. A preliminary. report came back from the university stating that this type of stone (uric acid or ammonium urate) often indicates a liver shunt. This was the first I'd heard about bladder stones associated with shunts. This was on a Friday afternoon and I chose not to wait for the final report. On Sunday, I had him scanned (Transcolonic Portal Scintigraphy) by Dr. Michael Broome in Irvine and discovered that stones were indeed an indicator of shunt! He had a 76% calculated shunt. I opted not to try to treat medically for an extended period of time... only as long as it took me to raise the cash for the surgery and travel to UC Davis. The bills were mounting faster than I could keep up with them having already had one surgery and all the associated costs as well as the usual stuff with the other members of the yorkie family :) I also had the other 3 pups and a half sister scanned (all were clear, thank heavens). I was lucky (??) in that if he hadn't had the stone, I wouldn't have known about the shunt until his liver had been damaged. I expect him to be recovered fully but I won't know for sure until he is re-scanned next Sunday. Since he was asymptomatic to begin with, it's hard to tell if there is a difference. His energy level is equal to his brothers, he is off *all* meds and he's eating regular food with no ill effects. His weight is equal to his siblings and even the scar (which was looong...he also had a testicle which never descended and the surgery went so well that they were able to neuter him and pull 2 baby canines at the same time!) can hardly be seen.

This new technique for surgery is amazing! The Amaroid ring has brought this surgery a long way in terms of safety for the dog. This little wonder looks like a hose washer and is made of a porous material that gradually absorbs fluid over 21 days from the body and constricts the blood vessel (shunt). The constriction is gentle and slow and far less traumatic to the dog. This is far superior to the older version of using suture to tie off the vessel and then monitoring the pressure in the liver. The suture was "backed off" until the pressure was such that the liver could handle it. Often, a second surgery was needed to complete the constriction of the vessel. (BTW, Dr. C. Gregory, Chief of Surgery at Davis, did the surgery...he is one of the leading surgeons in the country...I would make the trip again - Davis is a wonderful place - kind folks, state of the art surgeries performed everyday!! They are even doing kidney transplants).

Now, in real life terms, what does this mean? I have considerably less in my bank account... When I brought Pepper back home (Davis is about 400 miles from here) I told my son, "Merry Christmas"! Was I kidding??? No, unfortunately, I was not... Total cost of this one litter ran $3500.00.

But we are in this as a family and everyone contributes and shares the work, the heartache, and the joy. I have to start over. Thankfully I have had the moral support of my friends and family to get me through this. While many people advised me to put him down, *I* was responsible for bringing him into this world and *I* was responsible for making his life worth living. If I have to eliminate showing and "extras" (like eating, etc..hehe) for a while, then that's how it must be. When you all think about liver shunts, think about the devastation it brings to everyone concerned, INCLUDING but not limited to the dog! FYI, the dam has been placed in a loving pet home with my son's girlfriend. The other three puppies have been spayed/neutered and placed. Sorry this went on so long...

Gale Kelley
PS.. Pepper's rescan showed his surgery was a complete success!! I thank God that he is alive and well!! No meds, no medication, no restrictions on play.. His scan showed a BEAUTIFUL full size liver with no shunt!!

A New Family Member

Hi to all, This week, my family increased by one sweet little Rescue Yorkie and I feel so fortunate to be a part of this sad story which has a very happy ending.

This special lady's (her age is guessed to be about 7 yrs old)plight came to surface when she was found suffering and very close to death. Her uterus had burst, poisoning her entire system with severe infection. During the surgery, it was also discovered that her vital organ had been fused together with scar tissue, obviously caused my the multiple C-sections she had endured, and one kidney was so damaged that it had to be removed. She had bladder stones and her teeth were in such deplorable condition that several had to be removed. It is by a definite miracle that she has defied all odds that she was able to survive this horrendous ordeal.

Today,this special little lady is fully recovered, a happy although timid, loving, courageous new furbaby, Jodi. I am sure the diligent nursing and all the wonderful TLC from her "foster mom" was imperative for her recovery to become so complete. Here Jodi learned to trust people, accept the hugs and kisses of love, and to play with toys and her playmates. You see........a puppy mill offers none of these benefits. Thank you, Lisa!!!!!

Today as I share this story with you, Jodi lies in my lap so content. Tiffani accepts her as her new sister,...on meeting for the first time, they sized each other up and then kissed each other on the nose. Jodie now has a second chance to live out her remaining life with a loving family.


The Seafarer Crew


Well, it was about 11:00 PM when I recieved a call from a gal that runs dog control in our area. She had heard I was yorkie crazy and had tracked my phone number via the county data sheets as my hubby is a county employee also. It appears her friend was out for a walk in the evening and they observed a car stop near to where they were, the door open, and they PUSH out a tiny bundle of fur. The gal took down the licence plate number of the vehicle as it sped off....

The gal who found the bundle took it to her neighbor who works at animal control. This is where she thought of me and gave me a call. I hurried out of bed and was fast to dress as the little bundle was a very small injured yorkie! At approx 11:30 we arrieved to pick up the poor little fella who was later to be named Wyatt Earp. He was so tiny and sweet and pittifull! Just a beautiful dog! We quickly rushed him to my vets who luckily lives three doors down from me. Little wyatt spent the night there. He had suffered a broked leg and the vet fixed him up. We picked him up from the vets at 9:00 am the next morning. He looked great! (wyatt I mean..not the vet!).... The vets wife had fixed his hair and cleaned him up.... We came home and he ate like a lil' ol' hog and played with the other fur babies and oddly enough went into the kennel that I had prepaired for him as if he knew it was his. This little guy was sharp as a tack and just adorable! It was instint love between Wyatt and I!

We enjoyed Wyatt for 2 more days. In the afternoon of the 3rd day of his stay with us he failed to awaken from his nap. He died peacefully in his sleep. I was devistated. The vet did an autopsy as I had to know what happened so suddenly. It appears Wyatt had extensive internal damage...liver etc. The little sweet heart had apparently been kicked to near death by the thugs that dumped him so heartlessly.

Karma's Liver Shunt

By Terry & Laura Beth

I joined the yorkiespice list to try and find out some info on liver shunt, somebody that's been through it and someone named coathndlr e-mailed me and said you might be able to help. I live in AL and FL so I took her to 2 vets. The first one misdiagnosed her completely. We are waiting on the complete cbc to come back but both vets said I might want to take her to Auburn to have her operated on, which is fine with me but she's took weak for surgery right now. I'm trying to get some food down her, but don't want to do her any more harm, and I'm just lost. I'm syringing water down her, as much as she'll take, she doesn't pee much, she's lost a pound in 5 days, she's sounds like she's in so much pain that Im wondering if I'm going against her will to live.

(the next day)
I just wanted to say thanks again to you & all the wonderful souls who responded so quickly yesterday. I will contact the people who sold me Karma and let them know about the liver shunt, although they said this was the first time they had bred their dog and they didn't plan on doing it again. I don't blame them for their ignorance. I also want to contact the vet who first saw Karma a month ago, and who failed to recognize the symtoms. If we had only known after the first "attack" I feel that Karma would still be with us today, as she bounced back rapidly. We feel so guilty that we fed her too much "loving" in table scraps, and brought on the second attack that she was unable to recover from.

About a month ago she became wobbly one day, went into a deep sleep, and salivated profusely. We rushed her to a vet here in Dothan on a Sunday afternoon, and the vet said she'd probably gotten ahold of something poisonous. Indeed. But she recovered from that almost immediately until last Thursday night when she went blind in the space of an hour. She had been depressed and clingy the week before, but I didn't think that it was anything other than fear of being left alone.

I know that Karma is finally peaceful, and that is what I wanted most for her yesterday. I laid on the floor and held her and cried and said that if she had to go I would understand, she was hurting so badly, her cries of pain were too much to bear. I called all the vets locally and asked if they had any experience with dogs with liver shunts, but none of them did. I knew that she had to recover from this and get her strength back and it would be at least 2 weeks before she would be able to have surgery. I knew that she was having a hard time and that I should just release her to be with God.

Karma just passed away. She waited until her "daddy" got home and then her heart just gave out.

Maybe someday she'll come back to be with us. I know now to be more careful in picking a breeder. I was just wondering if there was anyone else I should contact? We hadn't gotten around to sending in her AKC papers yet. She was still so young. I miss her.

Max's Story


I am writting to you in reguards to my "Teacup" Chihuahua named "Max". His Story starts out like this:

I had purchased Max from a petstore in Dunwoody,Georgia (close to where I live in August 2003) and he lived for a good solid year and then passed away last August with internal bleeding and organ failiar.I took him to my veterinarian and they gave me all sorts of medications and did all sorts of blood tests (which cost me $250) on him and they told me that all the blood tests showed was nothing and the medication that they sent home with me did not help at all during his last few days I stayed up with him all day and all night, day after day and night after night to help him fight whatever illness that he had then on August 12, 2005 at 6:00 in the morning he passed away and I was so shocked,sad,and angry.But,I now know that he is with God now and is under his care and in his loving arms now.So,this is my story of my Chihuahua Max.

I would like for everyone who is thinking about purchasing one of those adorable and precious puppies in the petstore window to not to and to think about all the costs and illnesses that he or she has inherited from his or her parents.I want them to also know of all the health problems that the parents who are being bred litter after litter in all of the puppymills as well.

~*~In Loving Memory of My Chihuahua Max~*~
(09-12-2003 to 09-12-2005)

June Oaksun Choi

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