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Case of the Month

The Lights of Paris

The Lights of Paris

By Tracy Douglas

Seven years ago, Suzie wasn’t sure how she felt about her daughter raising a Shih-Tzu puppy. Although she used to raise Shih-Tzus herself, she just wasn’t sure if her daughter was old enough to be responsible for all the care, patience and understanding that needs to be dedicated to raising happy, healthy pets. But her daughter , Jessica, 11, turned out to be a fantastic caregiver, who from the get-go has taken care of all the feeding, watering, bathing, and caring for her beloved dog, Paris. Jessica set such a wonderful example, that her younger sister Janae, got a small dog for herself, a Bichon Frise, whom they named Nae Nae.

“Paris is a very sweet, docile, lap dog,” shared Suzie. “She’s very quiet and calm and lovable. She’s really the perfect dog who’s never done anything mischievous. Nae Nae’s our comedy act who keeps us all laughing. The two of them get along perfectly.”

Last year, Suzie and her daughters moved into her new husband’s home in the Redlands. He’d never had pets, so there were no fences on his property. If Paris and Nae Nae went out to do their business, somebody would let them out and watch them. One day, they got out of the house unbeknownst to anyone, and when Suzie got home Nae Nae was outside the door. Paris wasn’t anywhere to be seen, but Suzie thought she’d be back in a few minutes. Paris did indeed come back shortly thereafter, but she was limping and bloodied all over.

“At first, I thought she’d been hit by a car because she was so bloody, but she wasn’t complaining or crying, so I cleaned her up and kept an eye on her,” said Suzie. “The next day she was wagging her tail and we thought she was on the mend, but then a few more days passed and she started to take a fast turn for the worst.”

Suzie took Paris to the local vet who thought perhaps Paris had gotten into a fight with a larger dog that had reach down and bitten her on her haunches. As the exam progressed, the vet discovered that it appeared as if her intestines were punctured. Since the vet wasn’t located in an animal hospital, resources were limited, so Suzie took Paris to an animal hospital who did x-rays and told Suzie the operation would cost around $6,000. Suzie was staggered. She had been working in the home building industry but had lost her job during the downturn. There was no way she would be able to afford the surgery, and was on the verge having to choose to put Paris down.

“We called Jessica to come home from school,” said Suzie. “She’s a wonderful kid who would have understood any choice I would have made, but when I saw Jessica with Paris in her lap, I just couldn’t bear it.” While Suzie was agonizing over her decision, her husband happened to overhear a receptionist tell another client she knew of a wonderful hospital in Garden Grove that did work at about a third of the cost and worked with clients to arrange payments.

Suzie immediately took Paris to the Community Veterinary Hospital in Garden Grove. Not only would they work with Suzie on payments, but they knew of resources and organizations that would be able to help them.

“I’ve had a lot of different vets for my animals throughout my life,” said Suzie. “Up to that time, I had never had one of them do anything like that to help us.” Suzie and the hospital turned to the Angel Fund to help them save Paris’s life. The surgery was successful, and after a two week stay, Paris returned home where she is to this day, happy, healthy, and beloved.

Suzie sees her two small dogs as the lights of her family’s life. “Our dogs add so much to our life by making our home feel like a home,” said Suzie. “The unconditional love is something I’ve really learned to appreciate and I just couldn’t imagine not having them anymore. I don’t even know what I can do except say “thank you very much” to the Angel Fund and to everyone at the Community Veterinary Hospital.”

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