Susie - the one and only........... TRUE STORY
SUZIE …..the one and only
A true story…..
This story dates back a number of years to the early 1990’s when I decided to buy yet another tiny Yorkie for which I have a passion. I met Suzie one day when I went to a breeder in Walkerville in pursuit of a tiny yorkie pup. The Breeder concerned was not available however, her daughter(who assisted her with the breeding) showed me a number of Yorkie pups which were, I felt too big. She told me about a little dog of her mothers which she said did not have a very nice life. She was continually kenneled and to keep her small size had been fed a diet of lettuce and tomato, which she supposedly loved. The dog never saw the sun. This dog was ten months old and weighed 700gms..
When I first saw SUZIE (her Breeders name for her FROLIC), my heart melted I just had to have that little scrap. The daughter assured me I would have a battle getting her from her mom but it would be in the dogs best interests. I phoned on a regular basis begging and pleading to buy that baby.
One day my luck changed and the Breeder agreed to part with her. I was over the moon. I rushed off the next day and bought my little Angel. I parted with a few thousand rand which at that stage many years ago was fairly costly, however, I decided she was well worth it.
Four days after purchasing this little girl I had an appointment with an attorney. A colleague of mine needed me as a witness in a property transaction, I was in real estate at the time. I told my children to watch Suzie as I was going out. It was school holidays. Before I left my teenagers came rushing out of the house with a dog in hand with an obvious broken leg.
I was devastated. I went dog and all to the appointment with the attorney and then to the vet. The dogs leg was indeed broken. My vet sedated her and immediately the dog lost consciousness. It was at this stage that we realised that she would never be able to have an anaesthetic as it would kill her. Being such a tiny dog her leg was splinted with an ice cream stick and elastoplast.
Four days later I was watching Suzie contemplating getting out of her small basket when she suddenly fell forward – unable to stand. I picked her up and noticed the other front leg was broken. I went to the vet, who said it was impossible, I was imagining things. The leg indeed was broken. We went through the same procedure. It became obvious that this dog had a major calcium deficiency – brought on by her salad diet with her breeder. We had changed her diet immediately on getting her to a commercially prepared quality dog pellet.
We were aware of the calcium problem and the dog was x-rayed two weeks after the initial broken leg. No healing had taken place. She was receiving calcium injections etc, two weeks later she again had x-rays taken. No healing was obvious. We were referred to an orthopedic veterinary surgeon. On examining Suzie and looking at the x-rays he commented that he was very surprised she had not sustained more broken bones, and that there was a very real possibility that the animal would have to be put to sleep, but there was just one more thing we could try, if it did not work we would be forced to let her go.
We could not consider that, he referred us back to our vet and advised that she be injected with steroids over a period of time in an attempt to heal her broken legs. This worked and our little girl had her ice cream sticks removed close on three months later.
Suzie was treated like a porcelain doll and never separated from me. I took her everywhere, this included weddings, funerals, business seminars, business meetings, restaurants, bioscope, absolutely everywhere. If any stranger came too close to me she barked furiously to ward them off, and she could be as quite as a mouse if she had to be. People said she was an extension of my arm, I often used to find myself looking for her only to realise that she was sitting in the crook of my arm as usual.
Prior to owning Suzie I had been in property for a number of years and after fourteen years in total I decided it was time to quit. I strangely enough volunteered at an animal shelter an SPCA in our area at the time and became totally involved with assisting the injured, the lost and the unwanted. Suzie came with me everyday. She was now 8 years old. She was up to date with all her shots but came into contact daily with very sick animals. This obviously depleted her reserves and she became off colour on a regular basis. Nothing obvious but just not herself.
The attached photo is of Suzie at a KUSA held dog show, taken by a Professional photographer on one of the good few occasions when I showed my afghan JUSTIN.......... Suzie went to every dog show we went to, and that included, traveling to a few shows away from home.
We decided to move house and during this time Suzie developed Pneumonia. It was in the middle of winter and the vet told us she had breathing capacity of 25% in only one of her lungs. She was not too bad during the day but at night suffered badly with not being able to breathe. The vet told us that everytime we walked out of the door he did not believe he would see Suzie again. We had humidifiers going, as well as using a nebulizer as recommended by the vet. I would spend all day and all night nursing Suzie for 7 long days and nights. She went to the vet twice daily for injections. She had to be weaned off of cortisone and it was at this time that things were most difficult. She would battle to breathe and hold her breath which was frightening to witness. One Sunday morning Suzie started to battle to breathe, it happened so suddenly she went down, she stopped breathing. We rushed her to the vet, on the way I pumped the little heart and did mouth to mouth. I got the heart beat back and breathed for her until we reached a vet on route to our own vet. He also found the heart beat but even with all his attempts she never breathed on her own again. . Our hearts were not broken they were shattered.
Our own vet could not explain how this had come about, he was confident that Suzie was over the worst of it and would make a total recovery.
To this day some 11 years later my eyes fill with tears when I think of Suzie, how blessed we were to have owned and loved such a courageous, brave, adorable little Yorkie…….. I thought at the time I would never get over her death, but with time I have healed, but deep down inside is a special place that will always belong to that very precious little YORKIE - SUZIE
She lives on in our hearts.