Hi, my name is Theo. I was born on June 11th, 2017. My mom had 13 of us Golden pups and seemed to be doing well. When I was not quite 1 day old, my breeder noticed I wasn't really able to muse. She quickly got me onto a warm heating pad and tube fed me some puppy formula. After a few feedings, it seemed that I was getting stronger and able to hold my own. At that point my breeder, Dawn, decided to put me back with my mom.
Everything seemed fine for the first hour or so and then I started to get cold again. Dawn quickly got me back onto the heating pad and my temperature began to rise again. Once I was all cozy again, I was tube fed another meal, it was delicious!!
I was warm and cozy on the heating pad and was sleeping on my back with my mouth slightly open, it was then that Dawn noticed something was wrong..... Dawn discovered I had a cleft palate.
She continued to feed me with a tube and got me in to see a get the very same day. Our regular vet wasn't available, so we had to see someone else. He told Dawn that I probably wouldn't make, as I could not nurse on my own. She said she would continue to tube feed me. He then said I would likely get pneumonia and die from that, she politely told him that she wouldn't give up on me before she even tried.
The very next day she got on the phone and started making calls to other breeders, many of them told her the same thing. Dawn was determined, and not ready to give up on me. She eventually found a veterinarian that was willing to take a look and see what I would need to repair my cleft palate. See, I have a tough case, as both my hard and soft palate needs repair. Again, that didn't discourage Dawn one bit. The estimate for my surgeries was way over 6000.00 dollars.
Unsure of how she would be able to do this, she told her husband that giving up on me was nan option. That is when she thought about all the wonderful families that have adopted my siblings and cousins..........what if they were willing to help me too??
This is were things got a little tricky, you see, Dawn is not good at asking for help. She rarely takes help from people even when they offer. She has worked hard her entire life and that is what makes her so amazing. Dawn felt like the only way to get the word out would be to start a gofundme page..... but she didn't want to do it too early.
You see, when I was only 11 days old, I aspirated on my milk and ended up at the emergency vet on oxygen for more than 14 hours. That Dr said he thought I wouldn't make it and convinced Dawn to put me down. She told him she didn't want me to suffer but felt more comfortable taking me to my regular vet to say goodbye. So now she has called Dr Duvall who has agreed to skip her lunch break so Dawn could say goodbye to me.
Devastated by the decision she has just made, she drove to the e.r. vet to pick me up. When the nurse bought me out to dawn, I could tell she was very sad. I understood why but knew I wasn't ready to give up. I gave her two big kisses so she knew I wasn't ready to give up. We had a 30 minute drive back to our vet, and Dawn let me ride on her lap so I was warm and cozy.
While in the car, I started to feel better. Dawn spoke to another breeder, Gina and she agreed that I was worth fighting for. By the time we got to see Dr Duvall, my breathing was much better. Dawn asked them to put me back on oxygen till the end of the day. By 5:15, I was feeling really good and wanted to go home. They sent me home with medicine to help me with the phenomonia I had gotten.
Dawn went straight back to work taking care of me. She continued to sleep on the coach with and tube feeding me every 2 hours around the clock. I was getting stronger and stronger and gaining weight every day. She was working so hard to save me and I was working so hard too.
Then one night, Dawn decided to give me one last feeding before midnight and try to get a couple hours of sleep. Just about 20 minutes later I woke up with a terrible tummy ache. I cried and cried and she just could not make me feel better. Dawn decided that she and her husband would take me to another emergency vet. It took almost an hour to get there and I cried the whole way. The Dr said he thought I had a neurological condition and would probably not make it. Dawn asked them to get me some pain meds and then she took me back home. I felt a bit better but still cried off and on the next6 hours. Dawn was exhausted but continued to take good care of me, even though she had 11 families coming to get their puppies from a different mama dog.
Dawn shared my story with each of these families and invited them in to meet me. It was so nice to see how many families were rooting for me. I think that it helped me back try harder. Week after week I continued to grow. We visited the surgeon again and she agreed that I was could get the surgery but I had to wait till I was almost 4 months old.
As I got bigger and stronger, I was able to start sleeping on my big boy crate. I was fully crate trained by 6 weeks of age. I also got to start eating crunchy good, although, I usually just swallowedit whole and made Dawn get scared!! Then she realized my mouth might be getting dry. Whenever I tried to drink, it water would go up into my sinuses and make me cough and sneeze. How could she get me water?? I've cubes.... she would give me one ice cube at a time and watch to make sure I didn't try to eat it. Yummy, ice cubes are awesome.
Dawn takes me a lot of places. She said we are trying to become a therapy team and will hopefully get to visit with kids that are in the hospital. I know how scary Drs visits can be but everyone was so nice and really wanted to help me get better.
I went back in to see the surgeon on September 6th and she said I am ready for the surgery. Dawn is really scared but I know the Drs are going to help me be completely normal, like all of my puppy friends are. I can hardly wait till I get to play outside without Dawn telling me to be careful and not chew on stuff. Doesn't she know puppies are supposed to chew on stuff??
My surgery is scheduled for next Tuesday, September 19th. All of our friends are praying for me to do well. Dawn is scared for me, so everyone should pray for her too. I am such a lucky boy that she never have up on me!! Can't wait to tell you about what happens next!! Your pal, Theo