Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Lou the Beagle

The news is not good.

After two nights at a reputable vet (the vet I used for seven years for my rescue cat, Jordan), Lou was still not eating on her own and was losing more weight. A three-month old beagle should not be three pounds. It's just wrong. By the time we took Lou back from the vet, she wasn't capable of doing much at all other than curling up into a ball and occasionally opening up her sad green eyes and peering out at us from under heavy, sleepy lids.

After extensive testing, it was determined that there is absolutely nothing wrong with Lou that anyone can discern. She has no structural defects, no worms or other parasites, no distempter, no parvovirus, no infections of any kind, neither viral nor bacterial. And yet she won't eat. For lack of a definitive diagnosis, Lou has been labeled a "non-doer", a/k/a a "non-thriver", a/k/a a "fading puppy". Quite simply, Lou appears to have no will to live.

During her two nights and three days at the vet, she was fed intravenously, given IV fluids and IV antibiotics, kept in a warm room, wrapped in a warm blanket with a heating pad and force fed via a syringe down her throat every six hours. At first, it looked like she was responding well, which is to say that she was keeping down the food that was being force fed into her. But by the end of the third day, even that was no longer the case: everything that went down came back up.

Like I said, the news is not good. I am beside myself. Yesterday, all I wanted to do was curl up into a ball and lay in bed. Unfortunately, I had to go to temple and then to my in-laws for dinner (worst meal I've had in years, and that doesn't even have anything to do with my state of mother-in-law simply cannot cook, and I don't know why she tries).

Lou is now back at Pets on Lex, where she is being fed and cared for every hour (supposedly). I assume that the hope and expectation is that she can be brought back to a normal weight and then sold to some unsuspecting consumer. This horrifies me, and I wish that they would be decent enough to hand her over to a Beagle rescuer who will find her a home where she can be hand-fed for the duration of her life (there are amazing, saintly people out there who are willing and happy to do this; I know...I met one of these incredible people at the vet's office yesterday, someone who told me that she hand-fed a three pound "non-doer" yorkie for 10 years).

I believe that my children understand what has happened. We explained that Lou is sick and the vet couldn't make her better, and we can't keep her because we can't take care of a dog that requires round the clock care but that there are wonderful people out there who can and will. I showed my kids puppies on the street that were prancing and pouncing and springing, and told them that this is the way healthy puppies act. I wanted to give them a "visual", as opposed to just the less concrete concept of Lou's not being willing to eat on her own. They understood. Brian cried, and I was relieved that he expressed his feelings. Adam didn't cry, but he said he felt sad.

I think it is going to be very important that we find a new and healthy dog, not immediately, but not in the too distant future either. At the moment, I am grieving and a bit confused as to how this could have happened. I go through moments of looking for ways to blame myself. And I go through moments of anger. When I am feeling a bit more whole, it will be time to find a new puppy.

Until then, life will have to go on, and it will.



samasthiti said...

I am so sorry.
I'm such a softy,
I'm crying,
Wish the best for your family and Lou.

yoga chickie said...

thanks...i am really sad....

Anonymous said...

stay away from pet stores- they often get puppies from "puppy mills" and 9 times out of ten most of these puppies have lots of issues. sorry you had to go through this.

Anonymous said...

Why did you bring her back to the pet store?

Anonymous said...


I am so sorry for you, your family, and Lou.
You are an intelligent and sensitive person, please do a bit of research on pet stores, yes, even the fancy upper east side Pets On Lex.

Not your fault, not Lou's fault, but animals in puppy mils are overbred, taken away from their mothers too soon,and sold without regard to the person that is buying him.

Any reputable rescue organziation askes for a vet reference and sometimes even comes to checkyour home.

And if you have your heart set on a purebred puppy, there are reputable breeders you should deal with directly. By the way--these breeders don't deal with pet stores.

I did not know any of this either until recently.

Lou may not be appropriate for the Cahn family because you have two small children, but might do okay with a beagle rescue group.

I think it is worth a phone call or some online research.


Anonymous said...

I'm also curious. You haven't answered the question about why you returned the little beagle to the pet store who sold you a sick dog. Was this the best thing for the puppy? Do you seriously believe that that store will turn the puppy over to a rescue organization?

Did the lab puppy you saw come from the same pet store? Is that a convenient replacement dog for the store to push off on you?

You should take greater care of choosing another dog than to get it from the same store who buys dogs from puppy mills.

An Animal Lover

Anonymous said...

Hi Lauren,

I think if Lou is put with the right people, he will be taken care of and loved. If he can't be "sold" again by the store, he may meet a less desirable fate.

Alot of people don't know this about pet stores. They take their kids in and fall in love with the puppy in the window.

I think you can use some of those great lawyer skills to make sure he is okay. I would LOVE to have you arguing for the welfare of any could do alot of good with one phone call probably.

It might be a matter of writing a small check. But you on the phone would probably get more done:)

Unknown as well is that 25 percent of shelter animals are purebreds.

No finger pointing here. Just sharing information. I know TONS of wonderful families with the most credentialed purebreds ever:)

Puppies are great. ALL animals are great, whether he is a showdog or a rescued pit bull that never had a toy or a chance.

Again--it is about the dog--or cat--and them having a home and family. Wherever the universe planned for you to find them--whether a shelter, an alley, a friend, a breeder--

its all good.

Please keep me posted. Keep us posted.



Anonymous said...

Lauren, I'm sorry about Lou, I'm crying just thinking about the poor puppy, but I have heard good things about Pets on Lex, it's not a puppy mill and I personally know several dogs that come from there. It just happened and I'm glad the kids are doing ok.


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About Me

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Northern Westchester, New York, United States
I live by a duck pond. I used to live by the East River. I don't work. I used to work a lot. Now, not so much. I used to teach a lot of yoga. Now not so much. I still practice a lot of yoga though. A LOT. I love my kids, being outdoors, taking photos, reading magazines, writing and stirring the pot. Enjoy responsibly.


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