In Loving Memory

From Shy's Foster Mom:

It is with extraordinary sadness that I announce that Shy departed this world sometime between 11:15 and 12:00 on January 2, 2003. I have seen a lot of foster dogs in my time, but there was something special about Shy. Anyone that met her said so. There wasn't a day that I had Shy that she didn't make me laugh. Although she was blind, as you will read below, she was such a funny little dog. Despite her disabilities, she would run around full speed ahead, and when she would bump into something, she wouldn't miss a beat. She could sniff out a morsel of food ANYWHERE - I don't care how small. She would bark and whine and run around in circles for 10 minutes after I got home - like she was bursting with happiness. And, every day, and I mean EVERY day, somehow she would manage to run through the big water bowl in the kitchen - soaking her AND my floor - requiring a thorough mopping of my kitchen and a thorough blow drying of Shy! Looking back on this - this was all quite hilarious - and I sure will miss it. I would give anything to have that sweet little baby spill water all over my kitchen floor again. I don't think I'll ever look at that water bowl the same way again. I'll miss you, my little baby. My only comfort is that I know you are in Heaven now, and you can see and run and play and eat whatever you want. I'll see you again one day, I know - I hope you have some kisses saved up for me!

If you are not familiar with her story, Shy was actually rescued by Yorkshire Terrier National Rescue (YTNR). I, as a member of SBRET and YTNR, fostered Shy for several weeks, and therefore want to make sure Shy is not forgotten by telling her story here. Hopefully those who read this will not only get to know Shy, but will also learn something from what has happened here. Her story is kind of long, but worthwhile to read - I hope you will take the time to do so.

You see, Shy had been through a lot in her short life. She had already been through a couple of owners (the last of which realized Shy needed serious medical help. Poor little Shy - not only did she have seizures, but she was also blind. We were all very hopeful when Shy came into the program that these seizures would be related to canine epilepsy - and controllable with medication. Bloodwork indicated, however, that Shy most likely had a condition referred to as a livershunt. Quite simply, this means that rather than blood properly being detoxified through the liver, toxins were sent directly though Shy's heart. It was also believed that a buildup of these toxins in the brain could have lead to her blindness.

Livershunt is a problem that YTNR has encountered several times before and has had surgeries performed with great success. And, because Shy did not act like the typical dog with livershunt (i.e., lethargic, poor appetite), and in fact was quite lively with an EXTRAORDINARY appetite, we all just KNEW she would make it through this surgery with flying colors. Therefore, plans were rapidly made to transport Shy to Florida, where one of the 8 facilities that do this surgery, is located.

The last time we saw Shy here in Tennessee was on December 29, 2002. The last picture we took of Shy was on this day and is shown below. This was right before we said goodbye. Little did we know this would be our final goodbye. Although Shy made it through her surgery, her liver was badly damaged, and she never did wake up completely from her surgery. A necropsy later showed that in addition to her liver damage, Shy also had kidney stones and from some previous event in her life - 2 small remnants of green linoleum were in her system. Yet, despite all this, Shy never showed signs of pain or sadness.

Please do not let Shy's death go without meaning. Reputable breeders would spay and neuter any dog known to have passed this gene along to offspring. However, commercial breeders, backyard breeders, and puppymills will breed dogs without thoughts of such matters. If you buy a Yorkie, rather than adopt, PLEASE only go to a reputable breeder. Ask them about livershunt and see if they are knowledgeable in this area. If they are not, then they must not be very knowledgeable about Yorkies, so DO NOT BUY FROM THEM. You see, the occurrence rate for shunts in Yorkies is 1,225 times greater than for ALL OTHER BREEDS COMBINED. So, if someone is a REPUTABLE Yorkie breeder, they should be knowledgeable in this area. For more information on livershunt, please go to the following website -