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Nicole’s Story

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Hello, my name is Kate and my husband is Phil. We live in Northern Virginia and are happy

vcli rescue dog nicole at the aspca emaciatedrescue owners of Coley (formerly known as Nicole) from the Southside kennels. Nicole was the unfortunate dog that was pictured on the Susquehanna SPCA website that was all bones in the front seat of a car.  She was curled up into a little ball with her spine just protruding through her coat. Additional pictures showed her ears jagged from what we believe to be from flies and bugs eating them.  When the SPCA saved her, she weighed in at 34.6 pounds.

We are somewhat embarrassed to say that we knew Frank from Southside Kennels. We made an uneducated decision to buy a puppy from him about 3 years ago because we wanted a pet, and not a performance dog.  We already owned a rescue male vizsla (Paddy) that was a year old and was having issues with separation anxiety as well as other behavioral issues. He was previously abused by someone (we think a male) and was scared of anything and everything. Our vet suggested that we get a puppy to hopefully bring Paddy back to a playful stage. I called and emailed a number of vizsla breeders and was told that they would only consider a performance house first; if there were pups left, they would consider a home where the dog would simply be a pet. This frustrated us because we wanted vizslas to run with and hike in the woods with. We loved the ‘velcroness’ of the breed and truly just enjoyed them sitting with us on the couch.

I am originally from Albany, New York, and my parents only lived about an hour from Southside Kennels. Phil and I took our first visit to Southside to meet Frank and were impressed with the property as a whole. We only toured the stables and met two of the dogs. Although we could hear barking from the kennels, we did not walk up the hill to see how many dogs he actually owned. When we received the call that a litter had been born, I made an unannounced visit when the puppies were 5 weeks old to Southside with my mother and were well received by Frank and his staff. My mother and I played with the litter of vizslas as well as a litter of pointers. I never had a negative thought in my mind about Frank or the kennel.

We picked up Daisy about three weeks later. When she was handed to me, she had a green tight rubber band around her tail. The staff member told me that she forgot to dock their tails earlier, so they put the rubber band around the puppies’ tails and that the tail would “just fall off in a few days.” I was speechless, and just like the staff member stated, Daisy’s tail fell off the second day I had her. Afterwards, my poor little girl whined every time she sat down because it was uncomfortable and infected. When I returned to Virginia, I brought Daisy into the vet to have her puppy wellness visit and she had worms and round worms. In addition, her tail was infected. Our vet let us know that she was going to report Frank. About 5 months later, Daisy started to lose her hair and had bald spots all over her coat. Our vet took some tests and determined that she had mange. I emailed Frank and let him know about the worms, tail and the mange; I added that her mother should not be bread again because she was passing mange onto her pups.  After a long and expensive treatment, Daisy is now mange free.

I was mortified when I saw that Southside Kennels was the kennel that I was hearing rumors about last December. We were so upset to know that we contributed to the success of Frank and his kennels since we purchased a puppy from him.  I immediately contact Debra from New Hope Vizsla Rescue and asked if there was any way we could help. Phil and I decided that we wanted to rescue one of the mommy vizslas because we assumed that they would be harder to find homes for; and possibly trying to rescue Daisy’s mom, Helen.

I received a call from Stephanie in July asking if we were still interested in rescuing an older dog. We were very excited to be adding to our family and also helping a much needed vizsla, to become spoiled pet. Stephanie let me know that Nicole was the only dog left to find a home and she was staying at a local kennel in Oneonta.

I left for Oneonta at 3:30 am on a very hot Saturday morning and drove 7 hours to pick up Nicole.  When I arrived at Hillside Kennels, I was greeted by a tearful woman, Eva, who had just fallen in love with Nicole. She told me that Nicole was her favorite of all the rescues and just had such a wonderful disposition and loved human contact.  When I was introduced to Nicole, she looked much larger than she did in the pictures. It turned out that Eva felt so bad for Nicole, that she fed Nicole a lot of food that wasn’t too good for her (meatballs/cheese).  Nicole was 70 pounds!! Nicole was very compliant and came right over to me. I kneeled down and she just buried her head into my stomach and then tried to put both paws up on my shoulders. Eva told me that Nicole must have had a big bladder because she was urinating a lot.

I put Nicole in the back of my SUV in a wire crate.  She went into the crate without any vcli rescue dog nicole in the backseat of a car snoozing happilyproblems and just lied down and went to sleep. I was very grateful that she traveled so well in the car and did not become anxious or whine at all. I stopped twice to give her some water and biscuits and she was still very gentle and very food motivated.

When I arrived home around 6:00 pm, I brought Nicole into the backyard and then let my other two rascals out to check her out. Daisy barked a little and Paddy kept his distance and Nicole just walked around the backyard and kept urinating, a lot.  When I brought Nicole inside, she drank an excessive amount of water and kept urinating a lot in the house.  I called Stephanie to give her a progress report and I mentioned that Nicole was just sitting in front of me and was panting heavily.  Stephanie suggested that I bring Nicole to the emergency room.

vcli rescue dog nicole side view

When we arrived at the emergency room, the vet took a urine sample and checked Nicole all over. Her test came back with a urinary tract infection, ecoli and pseudomonas. She was placed on two different antibiotics and I was told that she needed to go on a diet L This poor girl had had an infection and most likely, had been living with the infection for quite a while.  We arrived home after midnight and I slept on the couch with Nicole so that she wouldn’t be scared in a new environment. Daisy and Paddy decided that they wanted to comfort her as well, and slept on the couch with us.

vcli rescue dognicole walking on a leash with two other v'sNicole was then renamed “Coley.” We wanted her to have a name that was similar to her original name even though, we’re not sure if she would even remember her original name! I started to walk Coley by herself every morning, afternoon and evening. This poor girl didn’t have any muscles in her legs and could only last about 5 minutes each walk for the first week. She tired easily and panted heavily; she also could not jump up on the couch or bed by herself. Five minutes turned into ten and ten minutes turned into 30. Now, all three dogs are walked together and are one small pack that bark together, pull together and pee together on leash.

Over the past 3 months, Coley has had some medical concerns. We had to wait to schedule her for a spay because the vet wanted her to lose some weight before the surgery. She also had rotted canines that had to be pulled, four noticeable lumps and a cyst on the side of her rib cage. The vet performed a needle aspirate of the largest mammary lump which came back inconclusive.  When Coley’s weight dropped to 57 pounds, she was scheduled to have a spay, one lump removal and teeth cleaning/extraction.  I received a call at work during Coley’s spay from the vet who called with depressing news. Coley was losing a lot of blood during the spay because her blood vessels kept bleeding and the vet could not get the vessels to stop. She advised me that she would be able to complete the spay, but not the teeth and lump because the time would be too great for Coley under anesthesia.  The vet decided that removing the lumps in her belly would not be a great idea since Coley did not do well for the spay.  Another interesting fact was that during the spay, the vet noticed that Coley was missing a nipple and there were old suture scars. The vet believes that she may have had a lump removed when she was young.  We decided, with the vet, that we would not pursue any additional surgeries for Coley’s stomach due to the complications and her age (a mastectomy would be too evasive for her).

One month later, Coley was ready for extracted dog teeth with a ruler showing the size ofthe teethher teeth cleaning. I received a call at work again and was told that Coley’s two top canine were rotted and cracked.  The vet extracted both canines and Coley was ready to come home that evening.  She was such a good girl that evening and just wanted to snuggle next to me. She didn’t whine at all even though she had a mouth full of stitches.

It has been 2 months since Coley’s last surgery and she is doing absolutely wonderful.  She now gets to enjoy off-leash hikes in Prince William Forrest with her brother and sister, as well as her rescue vizsla and gsp friends, Annie and Gus.  Her recall is improving, but currently when called, she runs back only when she sees Paddy and Daisy coming back. Coley recently was introduced to the beach, when I took all three dogs to the Outer banks, NC. Coley chased the seagulls and ran head first into the waves.

vcli rescue dog nicole at the beach

Coley knows how to use the doggie door and she sits and shakes, and loves receiving treats.  She, Paddy and Daisy all know where “place” is before feeding time and know to wait to run to their bowls until all the bowls are filled. Another funny thing that happens at our house is when I leave for work in the morning and I drive behind the house to find all three dogs chasing each other in the back yard.  When I come home in the evening, all three dogs are waiting outside in the backyard looking at the driveway. Coley also is an avid fan of ‘fetch’, especially with Phil’s socks.

We want to thank the Long Island Vizsla Rescue, especially Stephanie, for allowing us to bring this wonderful, kind hearted vizsla into our family. Stephanie has helped me through many stressful days and nights while I, as well as the other dogs, have tried to adjust to the change. Stephanie has always answered my calls, no matter what time of day, and has always provided me great advice on how to handle a new dog in the house.

 



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