Meet Saylor!

I mentioned in Monday’s post that we got a new dog, and I wanted to introduce her to my Tickled Peach family!

Meet Saylor! She is a miniature dachshund. She weighs 2.2 pounds currently and shouldn’t grow to weigh more than 10 pounds.

So some backstory: Jason and I adopted two precious chihuahuas early on in our marriage, George and JC. George and JC were my children long before I had children (we had them for 6 years before our first child arrived). They were our hearts, and loved dearly. They remained with us from 2004 until 2013, when they went to live with a family member. Long story short: as George aged, he became intolerant of the children. Even though we tried every single thing we could do to both train him and the kids, separate him and the kids, protect everyone involved… he began to attack the kids when they would try to interact with him. After a particularly scary incident where he bit Sullivan’s face when Sullivan was doing nothing more than crawling around the floor near him (Sullivan was at the time around 1 year old), Jason told me that he felt it would be best if we sent them to live with a family member, whom they knew and loved. It was such a heart wrenching decision for me because I had never been without them in our married life. I got George when Jason deployed for the first time and well… it was hard. Very hard. I know there are lots of thoughts and opinions about re-homing dogs, but I hope you know as I write this that: a. I’m being authentic, honest, and vulnerable and b. I did not make the decision to re-home them lightly, and I would not have ever done it had we not had a family member they were familiar with to care for them and love them.

Anyway. George passed away this summer. He was 13 years old. JC is doing well, but he does have some health concerns.

Cooper has been asking for a dog for years. I’ve always said no, because I miss my chihuahuas desperately and couldn’t imagine (in my mind) replacing them. Lately he’s been begging, making promises, bargaining with me to “please mom, please let me get a dog. I’ll be the best boy ever. I’ll take care of the dog! I’ll do my chores!” He’s worn me down, ha! I started to discuss it with Jason in July, and we thought it would make a good Christmas present. We knew we wanted a small dog, preferably a puppy, maybe a Chihuahua again. I started to look at breeder websites, Puppy Finder, and our local shelter’s website, but I couldn’t find anything that met all our criteria that was available. I started to get really discouraged.

Fast forward to two weekends ago. We headed to Charleston for a little getaway, and we drove around town looking at all our old haunts from when we were stationed there in 2001-2003 and 2008-2011. We drove to Summerville, and pulled into a gas station to get gas. Off to the side, a woman had a booth set up with puppies. (Jason tried to swing out of the parking lot when I squealed “PUPPIES!”) Jason got gas, and I wondered over to talk to the lady. She had several puppies, and I asked her some questions and talked to her about our desire to get a dog for our children. She ended up giving us her address (she lived about 45 minutes away) and inviting us to come by the next day.

So we did. I saw her home, which was clean and in good repair. Nothing about her home indicated “puppy mill.” She had records of the dog’s shots, plenty of information about their history (eating patterns, etc), and the puppies themselves seemed very healthy and happy.

One puppy in particular stood out to us – a mini dachshund that we brought home. We talked about names on the way home to Augusta and settled on Saylor, because Jason is a Sailor and it seemed fitting that we give her a nautical name after visiting Charleston, the place we were stationed for so many years.

Our first two days were normal, or so I thought. Saylor didn’t eat well, but I assumed that was because she was adjusting to a new home and owners. The kids have very quickly gotten attached to her, and she has become my shadow. We are in love.

On Tuesday I noticed she seemed less energetic, and I started to monitor her. She had some mucous-y diarrhea, so I called the vet for an appointment. They couldn’t get me in until Thursday, but they told me to watch for a refusal to eat, vomiting, or blood in her stools. On Tuesday evening I slept with her on my chest because she was acting so pitiful. On Wednesday, she hadn’t improved, so I called the vet and asked to bring her in immediately.

Well… she tested positive for both parvo and giardia. Both are internal parasites and both can be deadly. Parvo in particular is very nasty and is spread easily (to dogs, not humans). The vet told me at the time he was most concerned about the giardia because the parvo positive was a “weak positive” which he said can happen sometimes when you recently are exposed or receive shots. That day we did IV fluids, he gave her a B12 shot to stimulate her appetite, and he also gave her an anti-nausea shot to help her keep down her food and water. He sent me home with a high calorie canned food and a syringe, giving me the instructions to feed her and give her water every 2 hours. I also had a 14 day supply of antibiotics that I had to give her 2x a day.

I’m not going to lie; I was scared. I knew parvo could be bad, but I freaked myself out when I asked for advice on social media. I got a lot of “she should be under continuous vet care” and “this is what you get when you buy from a puppy mill.” Google did not reassure me, but I was committed to doing whatever I could to get her healthy.

So I did. I gave her food and water from a syringe every 2 hours, even during the night. I did that for two days, until mid-day on the second day when she approached her bowl and started to eat on her own. That’s when I cried.

The vet called me the next day to check on her, and when I told him she had started to eat, he said that he couldn’t believe it. He really felt like she might not make it. He said it was a positive sign that she was eating and that it could point towards her pulling through this.

She’s continued to improve! Her appetite has improved, she’s eating on her own, she is running and playing and using the bathroom normally. We are finally starting to see her real personality, and she is quite the energetic and mischievous girl.

I took her back to the vet on Thursday afternoon, and the whole staff just couldn’t believe how much she has improved. I am SO thankful. I prayed desperately for her to get better. Not only am I attached, but my kids and Jason are as well. She’s already a member of our family.

Before I continue on with this story, I do want to say – I know people have strong thoughts about “adopt, don’t shop.” I completely respect your opinion if that is how you feel. I can understand where someone might feel frustrated or disappointed that we didn’t go through a shelter to find a dog. However, I don’t regret for a minute getting her the way we did. It’s clear she came to us with both giardi and parvo. In both cases, you show symptoms 7-10 days after exposure, so considering she got sick 2 days after we brought her home, she was sold to us having already contracted the virus. I feel 100% certain (based on the breeder’s reaction) that had we not brought her home, she wouldn’t have gotten treatment and she would have died. I believe she’s alive and well now because we got her, and I can’t regret that for a minute.

Moving on… the vet recommended that we call the breeder immediately to tell her what had happened. I was not looking forward to this conversation and had decided to pawn it off on Jason. I was upset and angry, and when I get upset with someone, I tend to ruin the conversation by crying. However, I ended up making the phone call. I was really polite and respectful because even if I suspect she came to us sick, I cannot prove it, and I didn’t want to blame her for something I have no solid proof of (although some would argue Saylor being sick is proof, I know). I just never want to think the worst of people, and I didn’t want to believe she knew. The breeder immediately started arguing with me, telling me the vet was wrong and that it wasn’t possible for her to have parvo because none of her other puppies were sick. She said she had never heard of giardia and told me “well, if she dies, you let me know and I’ll give you your money back.” I calmly let her know that wasn’t why I was calling. We intended to treat Saylor and prayed she would pull through.  I ended up cutting off the conversation because it had become unproductive.

Anyway… we took the best care of Saylor that we could and she had vastly improved by Friday. On Friday we were sitting on the couch, watching TV, and someone called Jason. He got up and walked into the other room to have the conversation.

Apparently the caller was the breeder. She called to say she still didn’t believe Saylor had parvo or “that giardia mess” but that she had found MICE in her puppy food so maybe that was why she was sick.

MICE DROPPINGS.

IN THE PUPPY FOOD.

Sigh. Sadly there is no one I can report her to because South Carolina does not have laws for breeders. They do not have to have licenses and they aren’t accountable to a set agency.

So I’ll say again – I’m glad we got her because in our home, she is now healthy and safe. And I can’t and won’t regret that, regardless of how she came to be here.

Again, I know this is a hot topic, and I hope my heart comes across in this post. I fully respect anyone’s decisions regarding their pets, and Jason and I donate to our local shelter. It just didn’t happen to work out that we found a pet that would work for us there. But again, I don’t regret how we got Saylor at all. We may have very well saved her life.

I also know you may read this and think “why would she blog about this? Why not just not disclose it?” Well, Tickled Peach is about being authentic and Saylor is a part of our life. Her story is part of our story, and I’m not going to hide details because I am worried about what people will think of me. I hope you all see my heart and know my intentions.

Tell me – do you have pets? How many and what kind? I’d love to hear from you! Also, if you have potty training or crate training tips, send them my way!

Comments

  1. Oh my gosh! I can’t believe the breeder just found “mice droppings” in the puppy food, horrible you can’t report her! We have an (almost) 10 year old husky and his breeder was HORRIBLE, he has had issues with his tummy from day 1 but I’m SO thankful I got him out of that horrible environment! SO glad to hear sweet Saylor is improved so much and is doing better, she’s beautiful and my daughter and I love seeing her on your Instastories!

  2. Bless that sweet puppy!! So glad you were able to save her life. Sounds like she wouldn’t have received the care she needed with the breeder. Shame on her. I have a couple dogs and they are complete opposites. Actually, one of my dogs is a chihuahua. He is doesn’t think he is a dog though! 😉

  3. I’m glad you found your sweet puppy and saved her! I’m glad you dud what’s best for your family finding a pet. Love seeing puppy posts so keep them coming!!

  4. I’m so glad you found Saylor! As for the rehoming you did what was best for ALL parties involved. I just adopted a “rehomed” senior dog from a woman so I understand.

  5. I am SO glad she is doing better!! I hope the other puppies are doing well!!

  6. Stephanie says:

    Oh my gracious, I am so happy that your family found her! I cannot believe about the mice! Sweet little thing, what a blessing that she was adopted by you guys 💗

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