With help from the Angel Fund, Tater Pie is healthy again

Tater PieIn July, 2012, Stacey Hirsh noticed that her dachshund, Tater Pie, was having problems. “Hhe started having breath only a mother could love,” she said. “It was really bad. It got to the point where his breath was so bad that I knew if I could smell it he could taste it.”

She took her dog, then nearly 12 years old, to VCA All Care Animal Referral Center in Fountain Valley. “They said that some of his teeth needed to be pulled,” she said.  “It was affecting his sinuses. He couldn’t breathe. It really hurt when he chewed. And this dog is like a bottomless pit when it comes to food. I couldn’t brush his teeth. I couldn’t touch him or anything. He didn’t want anything to go near his mouth.”

Stacey was virtually broke and was unemployed and looking for work at the time. “I was really struggling but Tater Pie always came first. He makes my heart go pitter-patter,” she said.

She had a savings account but it was gone. “All of it went for him.”

At All Care, Dr. Robert Murtaugh told her about Angel Fund. “I’d never heard about it until he brought it up. I can’t say enough about the VCA in Fountain Valley. Without them it never would have happened.” Angel Fund provided $500 to help pay for Tater Pie’s surgery. The hospital also made a substantial contribution.

“There was quite a bit of work that needed to be done – Tater Pie had seven or eight abscessed teeth pulled. And, I gotta tell you, the day after they pulled his teeth, he had more energy than he’s ever had before. He was in there [the hospital] for a day and a half maybe and he started running around like he was a little puppy. Forty-eight hours after his surgery he was eating.  He was on medication for sinus infections before the extractions. Now he is taking nothing.”

Stacey who lives in Irvine, and her dog have a bond that is rare.  “He is my heart beat,” she said. “He is the love of my life. I never had a child and he’s it. I would clone him if I could. He’s amazing. I don’t leash him but he follows me everywhere.  He has a great appetite now. He’s a whole different dog. He has been life-changing for me.”

Not too long after her dog’s surgery, she found a trinket in a pet store while visiting New York. “It was this magnet,” she said.  “It says: ‘Saving one dog will not change the world but, for that one dog, the world will be forever changed.’”  That says it all for her.

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