As many of you know, this past weekend, I lost my puppy, Perry, on his first birthday. Perry passed away after his second abdominal surgery after he ingested pieces of rope from a rope toy marketed for dogs at Petsmart. Needless to say, I am heartbroken. Something I brought into the house ultimately caused him to lose his life. Perry was such a huge part of our family. There is an enormous hole in my life today.
I don’t want to go into the medical details of what happened to Perry. It isn’t pretty. But the poor little guy had a horrible past three weeks. The only thing that made any of this any easier (besides a wonderful family) is an amazing vet, who is just as saddened today as we are. My goal is to get these unsafe products off of the shelves and out of our homes. If I can save one dog and spare one family this pain, then I did my job.
I want to write to tell you how wonderful Perry was. But I’m not ready yet. I am writing to tell you that I now have a new mission- to save dogs and puppies from this painful death. So here it is…I am going to research and find other stories like this. I am going to talk to the Petsmart store manager about getting these products off of the shelf. I am going to consumer groups and anywhere else that I can to make sure that NO ONE ever has to go through the pain, the guilt and the loss that I am sitting here with today.
I will be creating a Facebook page to keep everyone updated on this endeavor, and I will continue to blog about it as well. Please follow this page and this blog. And make sure your friends and families know about this horrible danger for their pets. And thank you in advance for your support and for all of the prayers, kind thoughts and messages about Perry. He truly was a remarkable dog who was taken way before his time.
Wow, a lot has happened since my last blog post two days ago. I decided to create Perry’s Mission to get the word out to everyone that rope toys are not safe for our dogs and puppies. It was a rope toy that killed my beloved puggle puppy, Perry, on his first birthday. Last post, I didn’t want to talk about what happened, but readers deserve to know a little more about how deadly these toys can be.
I bought an innocent looking toy at PetSmart one day about four weeks ago thinking that Perry would love it! It was Halloween themed, and he and our other dog could play tug of war. How I wish I could go back and change that day. Perry was able to destroy the toy in a matter of an hour. He didn’t just pull strings out of it, he untied the knots, and he tore up the tennis ball on the middle of the rope. I found several long strings in bunches on our back porch and in the back yard. I’m still finding it. That’s how much there was.
One day about three weeks ago, I noticed that Perry wasn’t feeling so well. He stopped eating, and he just wanted to lay around. One Saturday, I took him to Banfield Pet Hospital, which wasn’t his normal vet, but they were open on the weekends. His temperature was normal, and the gave me some recommendations for some bland food and Pepcid. I offered him the different food and still nothing. If anything, he even looked worse. That Monday morning, we took Perry to our regular vet. They ran some tests, and they found that his white blood cell count was through the roof, but we still didn’t know why. He had us keep Perry home that night and told us to call the next morning if things looked worse. By Tuesday morning, he still wasn’t eating, and I knew something was really wrong. We called the next morning, and they ordered us to go get him an ultrasound. The ultrasound showed a blockage which meant surgery.
He went into surgery that afternoon. We were told it would be a 30 minute to an hour long surgery. But then he called us on speakerphone during the surgery. The vet told my husband to prepare us for the worst because it didn’t look good. It was horrible waiting. The surgery took almost three hours. Then we got the phone call that said he made it through the surgery and he was awake. Things were good.
We were able to take Perry home the next morning with strict care instructions. He was doing well. He was starting to eat. He was starting to howl and bark again. We started to see signs of the old Perry again. But last Thursday, I noticed he wasn’t eating again. We took him in that day to get his staples removed, and they did a CBC, and the blood tests all came back normal, with the exception of low red blood cell counts. We thought maybe he just overdid it, and he needed to rest. Friday, he was even more lethargic. I took him back in, and they did another CBC count. His results looked even better.
By Saturday, he still hadn’t eaten. He was moving very gingerly. I knew something was really wrong. I rushed him to the emergency vet clinic. They looked at his gray gums and his overall demeanor, and they immediately took him back to get his vitals and to place him on oxygen. I never saw him again. I met with the vet who told me his belly was full of fluid and bacteria. They were transferring him over for emergency exploratory surgery.
We met with the surgeon who gave him a 50/50 shot of making it through the surgery. He had thrown up a big ball of black string before the surgery, even though he had already had a bunch of string removed in the first surgery. That’s how much was in that little body. We left to go home and wait it out. The surgeon called us at 11:40 pm Saturday night, and she said that he had made it through the surgery, but the recovery would be long. Then at 12:30 the next morning, the phone rang again. We knew it was bad. Perry had a cardiac arrest. They were trying to revive him, but they warned us that even if they could get the heart started, he would more than likely arrest again. They needed our permission to stop trying, which we gave him. Perry died on his 1st birthday.
The past few days have been surreal. Many people may think “he’s just a dog”, but he was so much more than that. I have gone through bouts of sadness, anger, guilt, depression. I am smiling more than I am crying now, but the pain is great. Perry died because of something that I gave him- something that should have been preventable.
I don’t want ANYONE else to ever have to go through what we have been going through. So I created Perry’s Mission to get the word out about the dangers of these toys. I have found others who have gone through the same thing because of a rope toy. I have started a Facebook page to post about my findings and the results of my dealings with PetSmart over the sale of this toy (www.facebook.com/PerrysMission). I am being interviewed today by WOAI Channel 4 so others can be spared. I have worked with PetSmart’s Corporate office on getting reimbursed for the thousands of dollars of vet bills AND more importantly, to get this particular toy off of the shelf. I’m only 3 days into Perry’s Mission, and the support has been amazing.
Please tell others about Perry’s Mission and his story. Please continue to get the word out about rope toys and other dangerous pet products. Please like our Facebook page.
And thank you for taking the time to read about Perry. He was so special to us, and he was taken way before his time.