Thursday, July 27, 2006

Mothers of Pearl

When BTRNC aggreed to accept Pearl into the foster program, we had no idea of the twists and turns her life would take.

We start from the very beginning. Pearl was purchased from a pet store as a young puppy- discounted because her long-legged, lean, athletic build was not typical of a Boston Terrier. The woman who took Pearl home had taken pity on the sad puppy with the wayward eyes. Pearl spent puppyhood in a comfortable home with a mother who loved her dearly. She did not live richly but she lived happily. At the age of 1 Pearl's vet diagnosed her with a collapsed trachea and hip dysplasia. The vet prescribed pain medication and referred Pearl to a specialist for surgery. When the estimate for surgery approached $2500, Pearl's mother was devastated. How would she, living on a fixed income after retiring, afford this surgery? The fact was, she couldn't. She tearfully contacted rescue and begged for Pearl's life. Her pleas were answered and BTRNC agreed to take Pearl. She was promised the long and healthy life that she deserved.

Pearl was taken to BTRNC veterinarians for evaluation. The first veterinarian hinted at a misdiagnosis and referred Pearl to a specialist. The specialist carefully examined Pearl's trachea and hip and detected no problems in either region. Pearl suffered only from a low grade luxating patella- a problem of the knee seen often in Boston Terriers. Surgery was not necessary at the time, but might be needed in the future if her knee worsened. Stunned, BTRNC learned Pearl was a healthy dog.

Pearl's original owner was contacted and informed that Pearl had been grossly misdiagnosed. Did she want Pearl returned to her? She asked how Pearl was doing, she asked about her new life. She learned that Pearl shared her foster home with other dogs and she played day and night. She learned that Pearl had taken a trip to the beach. She learned that Pearl loved the nearby park. She knew without asking that Pearl was happy. Giving Pearl up had been one of the hardest things she had ever done. Bringing her home only to face the possiblity of giving her up again someday because she could not afford knee surgery... that was unimaginable. She allowed Pearl to stay in foster care, she asked that BTRNC find someone who would love Pearl just as much as she had.

A month after her adoption, Pearl's adoptive mother reports,

"She is doing so great and is showing more and more of her hysterical personality every day. We love her so much and are just having a blast with her.

Last weekend, we went for our first visit to Grandma’s house in Cary. When we got there, Pearl marched right into the house like she owned the place. I think she investigated every square inch of the house before greeting the family! A few hours after we got to Grandma’s house, my husband’s brother came over. He brought his dog, Zeppelin, who is the father of our Beagle, Roxy. Roxy and Zeppelin immediately started wrestling around with each other on the floor. Pearl just stood back and watched. When Zeppelin noticed that there was an unfamiliar dog in the house, he came over to say hello. Pearl rolled over on her back and let him sniff her over from head to toe until Zeppelin decided she was alright. This behavior is one of the things that impresses me the most about Pearl. She is so well socialized and so good about meeting new dogs. I wouldn’t say that she is a super submissive dog – she is just smart. It’s as if she “reads” other dogs’ personalities in order to see how she should behave. After all of the introductions, Pearl jumped right in to the game and started head butting the other two dogs as a way of playing.

Later that evening, after Zeppelin went home and Roxy and Pearl had their walks, we got out the rubber balls. The girls love to chase the balls, and each always wants the one that the other has, of course. While we were playing, Pearl started doing this funny thing that I’d never seen her do before. She holds her green ball in her mouth and watches until I throw Roxy’s yellow ball. As soon as I throw the yellow ball, Pearl makes this odd bark/growl sound three times – It’s always three times. While she makes this sound, she shakes her head back and forth like she is trying to shake something apart, and she pounds the ground really hard with both of her front paws at the same time. It is absolutely hysterical to watch and she does it EVERY SINGLE TIME I throw the yellow ball for Roxy.

On the way home from Grandma’s house, Pearl and Roxy snuggled up together for a nap for the very first time! They looked so cute together and slept that way nearly the whole way home. I’ve attached a picture of them sleeping. So precious…

A few weeks ago, we got the girls a little kiddie-pool to play in. Pearl is in no way afraid to jump right in. She also likes to dunk her head to the bottom of the pool to get the toys that don’t float. When the water gets warm, I like to put a bunch of ice cubes in and watch Pearl fish them all out. She takes them out one-by-one and puts them in a pile on the patio. Then she brings me one, drops it at my feet, and cries until I throw it for her.

We absolutely LOVE her!"

It's not often that we begin a story on a happy note and end on an equally happy note. Yes, there were a few bumps along the way, but with the support of her original mom, BTRNC volunteers, sponsors and her adoptive family, Pearl is living the life she was promised.


Post a Comment

<< Home