Josie Peony

Hi. I don't know exactly how to start writing this, nor have I seriously thought about how I would start this, but I have decided to write this as the words and memories come to my head.
On the morning of July 15, 2012, I was trying to help my boyfriend's bosses get some pets adopted from their own Foster care business on Facebook. They would post up pets that were ready for adoption, and I would share the pictures with a little information of the pet, then information on who to contact for the adoption to take place. I had always shared the pictures without really looking at the pets, because I wasn't honestly looking for a pet due to the possibility of having to move, when all of a sudden, his bosses had posted up a picture of a puppy that I just couldn't quit looking at.
I couldn't help but to like the picture and comment on how simply adorable the puppy was, and asking about the puppy's age. I had signed off after I had commented, and sent the picture to my boyfriend saying how horrible it was for that poor baby to not have a family of it's own to love and nurture it, but he just agreed and changed the subject. Throughout the day, I just couldn't stop getting on Facebook and seeing if anyone had claimed the puppy, so I kept scrolling the comments and seen that my boyfriend's bosses had replied to my comments with encouragements of adopting a puppy ourselves. I instantly started texting my boyfriend about their replies, and kept discussing about the adoption fee and other needs to the bosses, just in case my boyfriend agreed.
I kept talking to my boyfriend about everything that was being said between his bosses and I, and kept informing his bosses how much I would love to adopt a puppy to give it a happy home. By the time my boyfriend returned home from work, a brother and sister had been adopted. I started getting nervous and worried the puppies would start getting adopted left and right, and I wouldn't talk my boyfriend into the adoption of one in time. Finally, he agreed to take me to his job to see one of the remaining puppies that evening!
I couldn't hold my excitement. I wanted to see the puppy so bad in person, and I hoped that if my boyfriend had seen the puppy himself, that he'd love the puppy and go ahead and adopt it without further discussion about it.
On July 16, 2012, my boyfriend surprised me by agreeing to take me to see the puppy after two hours of being awake and out on the road. I texted his bosses' daughter-in-law to find out if us seeing a puppy sooner than the weekend was okay, and of course she happily replied yes! We agreed on wanting to see a female, so the greeting was set. We pulled into his work building, and I quickly jumped out and rushed around our vehicle to get our 15 month old son out of his car seat to rush inside. We were there a few minutes sooner than their daughter-in-law was, so we decided to let our son check out the place and entertain us all. Finally, their daughter-in-law had arrived!
As soon as the puppy's little paws touched the floor, our son took off to meet her. They both met halfway, our son giggling and laughing, while the puppy pranced around him in a circle. I instantly fell in love with the obvious connection between our son and this precious female pup, my heart felt like it would explode if I couldn't get my feelings about adopting her out fast enough, because to me she was PERFECT!
She followed our son everywhere he went, then vise-versa! It was PERFECT! We all seen how they had both connected, and my boyfriend and I only had to look at each other to know our decision was made. Not just by us, but by our son and this adorable female pup.
We happily told his bosses we'd love to adopt her right away, so we were told to return to the shelter and sign papers and pay her adoption. Once we had finished up, said our, "Thank yous," and headed to our house, Josie was finally going home. Little did anyone know that our home wasn't the home calling her so soon.
Josie's brother and sister was euthanized two days later for distemper. I was shocked to be informed of the news because Josie showed no signs of having it. Her and our son played in the house, the baby pool, the yard, and from our son's giggles in his sleep with Josie's feet twitching every once in a while, in their dreams. They were inseparable. I took in the daughter-in-law's news with concern, but was in denial due to the fact I have recordings of Josie playing around with our son from day one.
But the same day we were informed of her brother and sister, Josie kept taking naps, and I started doing research on distemper and anything else that can be mistaken for distemper. Once my concern started getting really stressing, my boyfriend and I agreed on taking her for her first exam immediately.
When we arrived at the veterinarian's, Josie still seemed down in the dumps. We agreed to having her blood drawn to be tested for distemper, and had five days to wait for the results. Our needing to know something was soon forgotten once we were home due to Josie acting normal again.
The days felt as if they hurried themselves, not giving our son and Josie enough time through the day to play, so they continued indoors venturing through the house while chasing each other back and forth seeing what they could find. My videos of her, along with daily pictures of their adventures continued, all the while Josie showing not one sign of even having a cold.
On the sixth night of her being a member of our family, Josie would howl if I wasn't in her sight, so I quickly made me a bed in the recliner in our livingroom and waited for Josie to fall asleep before sneaking back into the bedroom. Not once did I think about her possibly even having distemper, because the signs she should have been showing, not once showed to anyone.
On July 23, 2012, everything with Josie took a turn for the worst. We woke up to a horrible, screeching howl that went on continuously from Josie. She wasn't in her bed, she was in the diningroom stuck under a chair. Our hearts sank as I crawled under and brought her back out, her eyes looked wild, and she wouldn't stop whimpering until I started soothing her with tears in my eyes. My boyfriend called for the results, even though we knew she hadn't been spared in her family's distemper.
We said our goodbyes to Josie Peony the same morning. Her mother was euthanized along side her that day, because she had it, too. Six puppies and their mother lost their lives to a never ending battle. SEVEN pets could have been spared from this deadly disease if only people would listen. Breeding results in abandoned pets, and disasters results in lost pets that are assumed strays. Every day pets are euthanized for diseases, or just not having space in the shelter, or the patience to get one adopted. We don't regret adopting a pet even though our time with her was cut short...But we do regret not to have adopted sooner.
Please, for Josie and her family, and all the other pets who've lost their lives in shelters for whatever reason, please...Stop breeding and buying from pet shops. Stop at a local shelter and help adopt a pet today.
Thank you for reading Josie's story,
The Tooley Family
DoveBreath DoveBreath
26-30, F
1 Response Sep 5, 2012

I HATE it when people jump to euthanizing them and don't give them a chance to fight the disease. There IS a cure for distemper, google Dr. Sears anti-distemper serum. We fostered a puppy who caught distemper while at the vet for a shot appointment and he survived it on his own! Your puppy sounded like she was too sick to make it as you mentioned "the wild look in her eyes" and the howling, those are signs that the distemper has taken ahold of her brain. 20 percent of dogs who contract distemper survive it so statistically speaking one from that litter or the mother could have made it. Our foster puppy Dillan was like yours, never had the flu-like symptoms before the neurological onset but he never had seizures, he would twitch pretty badly and lost the feeling in one of his legs but we refused to put him to sleep and he made it through without any more damage than the loss of feeling in one leg. He was examined by two vets after being officially cleared of the distemper who both said he would adapt to his funky leg and head bob and be just fine. I almost adopted him myself but I couldn't deny the little boy and his mother who wanted him so badly because Dillan absolutely LOVED children. It makes me sad when I read stories like this and people are completely unaware of the newcastle virus's effects on fighting distemper and the more than 90 percent success rate when administered before neurological symptoms begin.

Honestly, I have read stories of them surviving, but there wasn't any vets where I live that would even try to help, due to them all saying it's not curable but they could keep her in their hospitals on I.V.s for prices I couldn't pay in full, nor would they agree to making a payment plan with us. I believe if they would have agreed to a payment plan before the disease got to her brain, she'd still be alive. But it wasn't us who didn't give her a chance to live. It was the vets who supposedly care so much about animals, but yet they won't help anyone out unless they can pay in full.