Monday, May 17th at 10:00 p.m
This is Hank's mom reminding everyone to NOT shop at stores that sell puppies.
The documentary that Animal Planet is airing tonight hits very close to home for our family. In 2005 we happened to see a very small, frail and yet energetic pug in the window at a Petland owned sister store. We knew walking past him without a second though was an impossibility so we went inside to inquire about him. He had been there for 2 months and he was sick with 'kennel cough'.
The manager practically paid us to take him home. He was our first pug. We named him Tookie.
Talk about personality plus!
But, he was coughing ALL the time. We went to the vet every week. And sometimes 2x a week. I was determined to find out why he couldn't kick his cough and I was tired of hearing it was a case of stubborn kennel cough.
We kept a sweater on him most of the time to see if that helped keep his cough under control. Eh, it didn't, but he sure looked cute!
His cough seemed to get better in the summer so we were optimistic maybe Tookie had finally kicked this thing. We were finally starting to let him play more. Everytime he played too much before, he would cough so hard we were afraid he'd have trouble breathing.
One of his favorite things to do was lounge in the sun and wait for one of us to come play with him.
But when fall rolled around again and we had our first chilly day, his cough came back full swing. We returned to the vet. And this time we were referred to a specialist that would perform all kinds of tests that would get to the bottom of Tookie's problems.
I met with the vet in the morning who explained the types of tests she would be doing on Tookie. They were all routine and we would be able to pick him up later that afternoon. I felt really good about finally getting some answers for our little man. Tookie really liked this vet too. He was jumping and spinning around the exam room trying to impress her. He was such a flirt!
That afternoon, Bruce came home early so we could go pick up Tookie together. When I called the vet to see when he'd be ready, the receptionist said they'd have to call us back because the doctor was in with an emergency.
Ten minutes later our phone rang and it was the doctor. Her voice was shaky and she said she was so sorry to tell us that the emergency was our Tookie. While performing a routine procedure, inserting a small camera down his throat so they could get a clear picture of his lungs, a mucous plug dislodged from a hole in Tookie's lung. He went into cardiac arrest. They were performing life saving moves to keep him alive but it didn't look good. There were many mucous plugs filling holes in his lungs. We decided to let him go since he was already under anesthesia and not in any pain.
We took Stella and went down to the vet's office to say goodbye to Tookie. It was the first time I had ever seen my husband cry. He was our baby and there was nothing we could do to make him better. We were devastated.
Tookie crossed the Rainbow Bridge 2 days after his 1st birthday.
The vet's final examination revealed that he had been suffering from sever lung disease his entire life. She believed he was born with it. Our vet was so upset by what happened she went to bat for us with Petland and found out indeed he came from a 'breeder' that operated as a puppy mill. Petland knew this and even returned all our money for vet bills, etc. But no amount of money could bring our Tookie back.
People have to stop importing and buying puppies from puppy mills. They have to stop supporting stores that sell puppies. There are hundreds of thousands of dogs and cats sitting in your local shelter waiting to be adopted. Or you can go through your local rescue group to find your next pet. If you do go through a breeder, make sure you visit them. If they are willing to ship your puppy...run the other way.
In Memory of Tookie
9/24/05 - 9/26/06