My very best friend in the whole world, Chompers, was diagnosed with Mitral Valve Disease about four years ago.
We have worked closely with cardiologists to manage his condition with medication and at home monitoring, but over the past few months, his condition has taken a turn for the worse, and we are quickly running out of options. I came across Dr. Kramer’s website and for the first time since Chomper’s diagnosis, I saw a glimmer of hope when I read about his “Tucker Valve” for dog’s with MVD. There is currently no cure for mitral valve disease. All I can do is give Chomper’s medications to help manage the symptoms of the disease. As his mom, I feel helpless and it pains me beyond words that there is currently nothing more I can do to save him.
Chompers was my first dog, EVER! He has been my constant companion and has stolen a special place in my heart that will always be his. We have shared many great memories together and I cherish every day I have with him. He has given me more than he will ever know and I try my best to repay him. The greatest gift he has instilled upon me is a compassion for animals. Over the past several years, I have become extremely involved with animal rescue. My efforts started with volunteering and have grown into fostering and adopting dogs. We are proud parents of eight, all Chihuahuas, like Chompers.
We now take in the broken ones- several pulled from the shelter hours before being euthanized. The most rewarding feeling is when you earn the trust and love of an animal that doesn’t even know love exists. They each give me so much more than I will ever be able to give them.
Here is our rescue story of how each of our babies came to us, all because of Chomper’s love.
We rescued Molly a few years ago from the kill list at our local shelter. She was found as a stray, with 13 teeth, all of which were extremely decayed. The infection from her rotten teeth was so severe, that it caused her jawbone to break. She was so congested from all of the fluid and bacteria stemming from the infection, that she could barely breathe. I spent many nights sitting in a steamed bathroom with her, praying she would make it to the morning. All of her teeth were removed, and with the help of antibiotics and lots of love, she has made a full recovery. When I met her, I couldn’t stand near her without her crying out in fear. Today, she is the most loving little girl who never lets me out of her sight.
Cali was less than a year old when we pulled her from the shelter. She was set to be euthanized for luxating patella in one of her legs. She required immediate surgery, which did not allow her to make it into adoptions. We got her the surgery she needed for her hurt leg. Soon after she came home and healed up, she went into a heat cycle, which surprised us as we thought she was spayed. Turned out, that the shelter had left half of her ovary in by mistake. She needed emergency surgery due to complications and she underwent another surgery to have the ovary remnants removed. She has recovered well from both surgeries, but unfortunately she will require one more as her other leg is now luxating. She is happy little girl, who loves to play with her toys. She is 100% a daddy’s girl and her daddy wouldn’t have it any other way!
Olivia was supposed to be a foster until her forever home was found. Her story is pretty incredible! She was pulled from the kill list and came to live at our house until she found an adopter. While living with us, she became aggressive towards our other dogs and I called the rescue that pulled her and asked that they find another foster home for her, as I felt the situation was becoming unsafe. Later that day, I took her to her new foster home andimmediately had a bad feeling and regretted giving up on her. I was about to call Olivia’s new foster mom to say I had made a mistake, but she called me first, telling me that Olivia had gotten loose from her home. A team of people were trying to find her, but every time someone got close, she would try to bite and run further away. I jumped into my car and made my way over to aid in the search. As I got closer to the area she was last seen, a miracle happened and I found her within five minutes of searching. She was in an empty field, and at first, all I saw was a fast moving shadow. As soon as I called her name, she came running at me and jumped into my arms, showering me with kisses. I was so relieved that she was safe and I made a deal with her right then and there: As long as she was good, she could stay with us forever. Neither of us have broken our promises to each other and she is the happiest dog I know.
Lulu was rescued from our local shelter just in the nick of time. She had been in adoptions for over 30 days, with no interest, and from the look of it, she hadn’t eaten much during her time there. She had lost four pounds since her intake, and was just skin and bones when I met her. I have no doubt that Lulu was abandoned at the shelter by a family she truly loved. She is very sensitive and at times insecure, and feels the most comfortable at home. She loves to cuddle with us and her furry brothers and sisters. I tell her every day that she is ours forever and that we will never let her go.
Boom Boom was in need of a home and in jeopardy of being dumped at the shelter. We of course brought him into our home without hesitation. He was very young when we took him in and he has grown up living the good life. He is very high energy and loves to play fetch. He is the best big brother a pup could have!
Ella came to us in very bad shape. She was dumped at the shelter by her previous owners and was not healthy enough to make it into adoptions, which resulted in her ending up on the kill list. Her stomach was covered in mammary tumors, likely from being over-bred. Her legs were weak from years of sitting in a cage. All fourteen of her teeth were rotten. We provided her with surgery to remove her infected teeth and themammary tumors. Luckily, all tumors were benign and she healed well from her surgeries. Ella was so scared when she got here, that we weren’t able to pet or hold her for over six months. She now trusts us fully, and not only walks and runs, but can stand up on her hind legs when she wants treats. It has been a true pleasure watching her become part of our family and she will know nothing but love for the rest of her life.
Beepers was our latest rescue. He was found running through traffic, unable to see because he had severe glaucoma. The wonderful folks at the Nevada SPCA took him in and performed a surgery to removed his severely diseased eyeballs. After healing from surgery, he was placed up for adoption. We had just moved from Las Vegas to the DC area, but when I saw his face online, I fell in love and knew he belonged with us. I flew back to Las Vegas, adopted him, and brought him back to our home where he will be loved forever. He is adjusting to life without sight well, and we think he is perfect just the way he is.
I will never understand how someone abandons their pet when they become sick, too old, or simply unwanted. To me, a pet is forever and every day I try my hardest to give them the best life possible.
Learning about Chomper’s heart disease diagnosis has been very difficult to accept. I know in the very near future a cure will be found, and I hope and pray every day that one will become available before it’s too late for him. I owe him so much for inspiring me to be the person I am today. He has unknowingly saved so many lives and I will stop at nothing to save his.
I am not a rescue, I am just a mom who would do anything for the little lives I am responsible for.
Rotten teeth can be pulled, benign tumors can be removed, and legs that don’t work quite right can be treated with surgery and therapy. Mitral valve disease, however, is a killer and will continue to kill thousands of dogs a year, unless a cure is found.
I am so grateful for Dr. Kramer’s effort and PASSION in working towards discovering a cure for mitral valve disease. Dr. Kramer is a hero to dog’s like Chompers.
They say that all dogs go to heaven, but I am hoping that heaven can wait.