Posts Tagged ‘puppy mill’

In my years of animal rescue work, Mothers have always held a special place in my heart. There was the Doberman who actually gave birth in my car as I frantically drove from her stupid owner’s home to my vet. Six babies were born but only one survived. The vet wanted to concentrate on the babies because the Mother seemed beyond hope. After my adamant outburst, the vet quickly turned her attention to saving the Mother. Eeyore did survive and is one of my greatest success stories. I still get emails and photos, even though she’s had her own family for ten plus years.

IMG_2419_eeyore_kath 2

Mia and Nellie were part of our family for far too short a time. Both spent nearly ten years pumping out puppies for pet stores. Both were special, wonderful and complicated. They forever changed our lives and continue to change lives through their documentary.


The little, pregnant mare who tip-toed into our lives from Canada has led us on the most amazing journey. In her prior life, babies were ripped away before she had a chance to watch them grow. In five years, Cass and Becca have only been apart a couple months during the weaning process. The relationship between them is built on respect, trust and love. Becca’s surpassed her Mother in size and attitude. We recently acquired new barn mates. It’s been fun watching Becca now protecting her Mother. A Daughter’s love for her Mother is steadfast and true.


I apologize for the shaky camera. Video is from my not-so-great cell phone. This is exactly what makes it all worthwhile.

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I know too much about failing kidneys in dogs and now I can add cats to the list. Sigh. Our 1st puppy mill minpin, Mia, taught me valuable lessons about the ups and downs of demolished organs. She came to us on borrowed time. I did everything by the conventional book and we got a few extra months with her. I swore I’d never do subcutaneous fluids again. Mia’s Diary.

Our precious Momma Mia.

Two more minpins, mother and daughter, would also be lost to failing kidneys. With both of them, I used a different approach. I did not follow the rules. They ate whatever they wanted. The “rule” is low protein and bland. I let them be. With Katie (mother) I boosted her a few times over a year and a half with some fluid therapy. It was the same with her daughter, Kaley. Both made it to sixteen and we didn’t have their last days fighting over needles. The end came quickly with both but it was a good and peaceful end to full lives. I had not been able to give that to Mia since she came to us already dying. We just didn’t have enough time to make up for her crappy life before us.

Always happy Katie (left) w/her man Ramirez.

The clown Kaley.

It’d been a couple years since I’d had to think about kidneys but then along came Setzer. The week I brought him home he was hospitalized… having crashed from failing kidneys. NOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! Alas! He was not some pansy little cat to be outdone by a couple of bean shaped things in his body. He came back from that crash with renewed vigor and appetite. He actually doubled his weight! Not an easy feat since one of the things that happens is loss of appetite due to nausea. I was determined to let him decide our course of action.

I’m trying to clean his litter box!

We’re just a few months shy of Setz being part of us for a full two years. In that time he became my shoulder cat, my napping buddy, my constant reminder I wasn’t doing something fast enough and a tremendous source of comfort. He crashed a few more times. He surprised all of us by coming back from those crashes. I did do something I swore I’d never do. We began fluid therapy after the last major crash. He didn’t protest. I fussed about it a lot more than he did.

The needle.

The life extending fluid. (Lactated ringers)

Tuna helped.

He gave us an extra 5 weeks to spend basking in his glory. But, as is the story with failing kidneys, they began making him feel like the worst kind of crap. Everyone could feel it. Kobay, was showing concern for him often. He wasn’t wanting attention from anyone, though, not even her.

Trying her best to snuggle with him.

Failing kidneys have a distinct smell that is unmistakable.

She did her best, they had bonded the moment he came into the house.

On June 1st we let him go. His body was simply done. Our hearts were broken but so thankful to have had this special cat find us. My shoulder feels cold and empty without him there. He has given me so much more than I was able to give him. I suppose I can no longer say –  I’m not a cat person! There will never be another to come close to my Setzer-boy.

His cremains.

I held him as our vet gave him his peaceful sleep. Eva Cassidy, sang him to the Bridge.

Take me in your arms

And let the love you seek

Wash away your sorrow

Let the morning

Be ours to keep.

Such a spirit can never really be gone.

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