In Loving Memory

4/8/06 update: Very sad news!

4/3/06 update available!     9/12/05 update available!

Hi! My name is Precious and I am a senior, female, 5.3 pound Yorkshire Terrier. I was surrendered to an area shelter after a divorce. The shelter staff was shocked that SBRET was willing to take me and my friend, Sunshine, but my new SBRET buddies just love seniors! And we are SO glad for THAT! We are especially glad because it is obvious that we had not been taken very good care of. We both immediately got a bath - we were both SO stinky and greasy! Our eyes also appear to be infected (they were matted together pretty badly), but my SBRET buddies said they will get that taken care of.

Anyway, am I the cutest thing or what? Everyone thinks I look JUST LIKE a teddy bear! Even I have to admit my hair is pretty puffy! In regard to my personality, My foster mom hasn't had much time to evaluate me yet, but I am doing well in a multi dog household.

In regard to my health, I have to go in this week for a more thorough evaluation by the SBRET veterinarian. But, my SBRET friends can already tell that I do have one hip that bothers me, but I just hobble right along.

Anyway, please stay tuned for updates about me and Sunshine. In the meantime, if you are interested in me, please contact SBRET.

9/12/05 update: We took Precious to the vet today because she was coughing quite a bit and to have the large lump on her rear-end checked. The good news is - the coughing appears to only be due to kennel cough, which is easily treated with antibiotics. We were very excited to hear that this coughing did not appear to be due to any kind of heart failure or heart murmur. The bad news is - the large lump is a hernia which needs to be repaired. Once Precious recovers from her kennel cough, she will be a candidate for the surgery. We did also have her hip checked, but she was so tense it was difficult for the vet to evaluate the hip that is bothering her.

Anyway, our vet was very surprised to see a female with this type of hernia. Apparently, this is a much more common problem in male dogs. Therefore, they are suspicious that Precious has been subject to some sort of trauma that has caused this to occur. Some sort of trauma could also be the cause of the hip problem. Regardless of the cause, it is very important that we get the hernia repaired. Right now only fat appears to have come through the damaged muscles. But there is a possibility that internal organs (bladder, etc.) could slip through and this would be an extreme emergency. In order to provide this surgery for Precious (estimated to be $350-$500 - depending on if we get x-rays for the hip and pre-anesthesia bloodwork which is recommend for an older dog), funds are desperately needed to help pay for it. Donations in any amount are greatly appreciated. Donations can be sent by check to:

P.O. Box 22482
Knoxville, TN 37933
Thanks so much for your support. And stay tuned for updates regarding Precious!

4/3/06 update: We are excited to report that Precious had hernia surgery a couple of months ago and has recuperated well. We thought she would have a hard time recovering from the surgery, but it was obvious the next day that she felt better and has even gotten a little bossy over her food. We just have to laugh at this little senior fluff-ball trying to run the other dogs off from her food. She is also the one that will chomp her foster mom’s finger the hardest when getting treats – she just loves those treats!

Now for the sad news, A month or so ago, Precious was coughing again and had a slight fever. We took her back in for a check up. X-rays were taken and it was confirmed that she has a very enlarged heart. There is not much that you can do for this other than give her some medications (she is currently on Enalapril (heart medication), theophylline (bronchio-dialater), and coughing medications (Temaril P and Tussigon). You see, Precious will cough because her heart is so enlarged it presses against her trachea. However, her medications do seem to help and for this we are thankful.

Anyway, due to the fact that Precious has such an enlarged heart, it is difficult to predict how long she will live. However, for right now she seems happy and has the spunk to run the other dogs off from her food (it cracks us up that the other dogs let her boss them). And when she is not doing that she is “trolling” the kitchen looking for food her foster mom may have dropped. She is REALLY active in regard to the scavenging when cooking is going on. Her foster mom can count on tripping on her at least once a day – she seems to concentrate her attention around her foster mom’s feet! Anyway, we realize that it will take a very special person to adopt a dog, with the realization that the dog may not be here very long, but we would love to see Precious get a loving quiet home, with fewer dogs, so she can get the attention she deserves. So, if you are this special person with a lot of love to give, please contact SBRET.

4/8/06 - Report from Precious’s foster mom:

I am very sad to report that we had to send Precious to the Rainbow Bridge this morning at around 11:00. She had not been as active for the last couple of weeks, and not as interested in food as she had been. Her favorite thing in the world used to be breakfast and dinner time. During the last couple of days she would hardly eat at all and we were having trouble getting her to take her much needed heart and breathing medications. The last day we had to dissolve them in water and force her to take this via a syringe. Her breathing was labored and the weezing from her heart pressing up against her trachea was getting worse.

After talking to the vet, we agreed that she had lost her love of life and to keep her here with us any longer would have prolonged her suffering. We do not regret in any way all the measures we took to make her life the best it could be. We raised the funds and got her hernia repaired, and the difference it made in how she got around and how much happier she seemed, was all the thanks we needed. The other dogs in the house may not have been happy about it, because after she had the surgery she was much more active and bossy about protecting her food. When she was no longer interested in her food, we knew it was time. And we are so happy that we convinced the shelter staff that she was worth saving, even at her advanced age. So, we are honored that we got to spend her last months with her, and hope it made a difference in her life. And for everyone that contributed to the Precious Fund, to get her hernia repaired, thank you so much and know that this surgery truly made a difference to the quality of her life these last few months.

Some people may not think we should have spent the time or the money on a senior dog with the many problems. We, like many other rescues, know the joy of helping the seniors, and feed that these dogs are often the ones that need us the most and offer the greatest rewards to us as rescuers. So, if you ever think about adopting or rescuing a senior dog, you will not regret it. The life they may have her on earth may be shorter, but it often seems to us sweeter. Knowing that after many years of neglect, suffering, or pain, you can change that dog’s life in the end for the better, and provide the love and care they deserve, is a joy that cannot be fully described. And always remember, as we do, that one day we will see these little babies again, in Heaven.

Precious, you were one of the sweetest foster dogs I have ever had, and so undemanding. It took so little to make you happy. So I know that right now you are ecstatic now in Heaven, little one, where you can breathe freely, eat as much as you want, and suffer no more. I love you and will think about you often.