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We are stronger together than we are alone!

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I had a 13 year old Cocker Spaniel when my husband and I decided to adopt a Boston Terrier. He wanted the “perfect dog”. The dog had to have all the correct markings and no defects. Through the rescue system we found Miss Katie who was part of the Boston Terrier Rescue of East Tennessee and being fostered by Ron Baker in Stone Mountain, GA. We were living in Richmond, VA at the time.

All the pieces fell into place within days. My best friend from Atlanta, GA was planning on flying up to see me the next weekend. She got Miss Katie for the Baker’s and flew her up under the seat in front of her. Miss Katie, being a Boston, started throwing out stink bombs on the plane. People kept looking at my friend until she finally got Miss Katie out of her plush carrying case so people could see who was the cause of the odor.

Miss Katie was terrified when we got her. She took to my husband and would have literally climbed inside his skin if she could have. At the time we adopted her, the vet thought she was about 2 but we later learned she had been closer to 4. That means 4 years of being bred over and over with little to no socialization. Miss Katie had no idea how to play. She did understand that our cocker spaniel, Cody, had toys and chew treats that he liked so even though she did not know what to do with them, she would hoard them on to “her” couch. Cody’s hips would not allow him to jump on to the couch so she would sit up on her throne and Cody would whine until I would put half the toys on the floor. It broke my heart to see how much she wanted these things but she did not have a clue what to do with them.


She slowly became comfortable with my husband and I and accepted Cody as an older brother. Her favorite thing in life was to lie in the sun. She never did learn how to play. She was a gentle, kind dog but very reserved.

I think she had had so many puppies that her mother instinct would kick in whenever I babysat human babies. If the baby would cry, the whites of her eyes would show and she would dance around until I soothed the baby.






Miss Katie loved going on walks in the woods. We took this picture of her in the Shenandoah mountains. She became Miss May 2008 in the Dog Fancy magazine with this picture.



Being a breeder dog not only damaged her emotionally but also physically. After we had her for about 3 years she developed a serious case of diarrhea and the vet was very concerned about how low her total protein levels were. We were scheduled to drive down from Michigan to spend 3 months in Florida. We put her on a special diet and had her checked by the vet in Florida. Her protein levels had dropped dangerously low.


The vet in FL suggested we take her to Auburn University Vet Clinic. Off we went with our sick little sweet heart. The doctors at the University wanted to keep her for a few days for testing. When we were back in FL we received a phone call that from the University that Miss Katie’s heart was so enlarged that there was nothing to be done. We would have to pick her up and she would have a month or two to live.

After shedding a bucket of tears, we received a second call stating that the cardiologist had reviewed her case and determined that she was a good candidate for a pacemaker. We learned that the manufacture of the pacemaker donated these to the University for just these type of situations. This decision did not take long to make. This little girl had survived so much, she deserved every possible chance.

She had a pacemaker implanted a few days later. Her heart was set to beat 72 beats per minute. She came back to us a more vibrant dog and acted more enthusiastic than ever before. We knew we had made the right decision.

IMG 0588One year later we took her to the University of MI for a check up. Her pacemaker was working perfectly but she had some bad teeth that had to be removed. That meant a return visit to this University for oral surgery which required a canine dental specialist and a canine cardiologist. Once again our little girl came through with flying colors.

A few years later the diarrhea returned and she began losing weight. We took her to multiple vets who all believed she had some type of intestinal cancer but the only way to determine that would be to put her under completely and do a biopsy of her intestines. No one believed her heart could survive that surgery. We spent the last year with her watching her lose weight and also the will to live.


A close friend told me to look into her eyes and I would know when it was time. I watched her eyes until one day she did not seem to be there anymore. Her eyes were blank and her body emaciated. It was time to let our 12 year old little girl go. I held her close as she breathed her last breath.

Why am I writing this? I want everyone to know that there is a much bigger price to be paid for a puppy at a pet store than the price tag. There are countless dogs whose emotional and physical lives are destroyed because people believe they are only puppy making machines. Miss Katie somehow ended up at a shelter and was rescued after 4 years of this life but she never really recovered.

Would I do it again? You bet I would. These dogs deserve a life of love and attention. Miss Katie brought a ton of love into our lives and she will live on in my heart forever.

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