I just got done reading your book and cried my eyes out.
My husband and I adopted a 7 year old female Beagle from the Humane Society on September 30, 2007. I have been a dog lover all my life, but my husband..not so much. After six years of marriage I finally convinced him to get a dog. The one we picked out we named Violet. She had been abandoned and left at the shelter for 3 weeks. After we got her home she slept a lot but I just took that to her being a little bit older. She had never been spayed so I made an appointment on October 15 to get her spayed. The vet called once she was under anasthethia to let me know that she had found a tumor in her intestines and could not get to her uterus to spay her unless this tumor was removed. Of course this would make the cost of the surgery go up to $2,400 with all the testing that needed to be done, etc. I was torn because I didn’t want to not get her spayed but I also didn’t have that kind of money either. I did not have time to call my husband so I took a deep breath and told the vet to go ahead and remove the tumor and I would worry about how I was going to pay for it later.


The vet called back a few hours later and said they had to remove over 4″ of her intestines to get all of the tumor and had to reattach some of her intestines and were keeping her overnight. I was worried, but the vet had high hopes that everything would be fine. When we picked her up the next night the vet informed me that there was a risk that the sutures in the intestines would not hold and might start to leak. Of course I was scared but just happy to have our little Violet home. By Wednesday night, Violet had not been keeping food down, which was one of the signs of intestinal leakage, so I called the vet (luckily they are an emergency animal hospital and open 24 hours) and they told me to bring her in right away. The vet on duty wanted to start with an x-ray of her stomach to see if they could see if the intestines were holding. When the vet came back in, she had a strange look in her face. She said ” I think I know what’s wrong…there is an unborn puppy in her belly.” My jaw about dropped to the floor. I really thought she was joking. I didn’t understand how the vets that operated on her just 2 days before had missed an unborn animal fetus. She explained that they had not done an x-ray for the first surgery because it was supposed to be a normal spay and they were mainly in her intestines, not the abdomen itself. The puppy was ectopic and had never made it to the uterus. When the vet showed me on the x-ray I just couldn’t believe it. The vet informed me that they had to get the puppy out because they thought it was causing an infection. I had to explain that I would not be able to afford more surgery, that I had already spent so much more than I had planned (the cost to adopt the dog was only $15 and my current bill was already $2,400!) The vet explained that the hospital would cover the cost of the surgery. I think they felt bad because we were trying to save this poor little dog and all of this happened. The vet said that she was going to talk to the head of the animal clinic and would decide whether to operate that night or wait until the morning, so I went home, dogless. I told the vet to call me either way to keep me informed. The vet called later that night around 9pm and informed me that they were indeed going to operate that night and would I like them to call me. I said immediately “Yes, I want to know no matter how late.” Around 2am the vet called and said that the unborn puppy had not really been the problem but that the intestines had completely pulled apart and starting to die off. So, they took the unborn puppy out and cut away more intestines and sewed them back together. She informed me that her chance of survivial was only 50%. With tears in my voice I asked “Should we just put her to sleep.” The vet said the next 48 -72 hours would be critical and that we could decide then. She informed me that it would be a long road to recovery and we were encouraged to visit her to lift her spirits.


The next 10 days were an absolute roller coaster. Violet went through 4 more surgeries. It was touch and go almost everyday. Finally on the 8th day, the vet said as a last resort we want to try a blood transfusion. I didn’t even know they did those for dogs! One of the vet techs that worked there was so very kind and brought her dog into donate blood for our little Violet. Within 12 hours she was like a new dog! All of her red blood cells were replaced which gave her strength to start healing and keep the intestines from leaking. I can’t imagine what our final bill would have been. The owner of the vet hospital is our guardian angel. But the story continues. The day before she was due to get her sutures removed I noticed a small lump between her legs towards the end of her mammary tract that I had never seen before. When we went to get the stitches out I mentioned it to the vet and she agreed that the lump had not been there before. She tried to do a needle biopsy but of course the results were inconclusive. My husband and I talked it over and decided to go ahead and have the lump removed. Just the thought that Violet had gone through all of this and then to get cancer just made me sick. So we took her in to get a lumpectomy. While they were in there, the vet found 3 other small lumps and removed those as well. We found out the day before Thanksgiving that it is indeed mammary cancer. The good news is it is slow growing but they got everything when they were in there. The bad news is that the cancer will most likely come back. I find myself wondering every day what her life was like before we got her. Why did someone get rid of her? Did they know she had all these problems? How could they not get her spayed? She would have none of these problems if her previous owners would have done that simple thing. My husband had to keep reminding me if that had happened we may not have ever got her in our home.


Her will to live is something that will stay with me forever. Every time her little face looked up at us when she was in the hospital just broke my heart but she must have known how much we loved her to have fought so hard to live. I don’t know how long we will have Violet, but I do know that she has brought so much joy to us in just the 3 months that we have had her I wouldn’t trade it for anything, even the vet bills! And my husband who had never had a dog his whole life is just as in love with her as I am.

Thank you for your beautiful book and for reading this.


Robyn from OH


2 Responses

  1. gabeandsuzysmom Says:

    You and your wonderful Vet team are truly angels. What a lucky girl Violet is to have all of you in her life. God Bless You all…and to Violet our prayers for a full recovery and many happy days with her wonderful dog parents.

  2. Patricia Says:

    What a wonderful story. I cried. How devoted you must be to your lovely Violet. I hope you have many years with her. You all deserve it.