Thursday, February 18, 2010


We missed our precious Lhasa Apso/poodle, Toby, so much that we wanted another small dog to fill the hole in our lives. My husband spotted an ad in the paper for a free Shih Tzu. It was in our price range so we called the number. Sadly, the advertised dog was gone...but they did have another Shih Tzu they were considering giving up. We asked if we could see him and the owner offered to bring him by the house. She delivered a ragged, semi-clean dog of questionable health. His name was Dallas and he didn't move a muscle when I removed him from the owners arms. He was seven years old and very small...less than eight pounds. We said we would take him on the condition that he passed a Veterinary exam. The owner hesitated but then she agreed.

We took him into the Vet's office and quickly received the bad news, fleas, worms, tapeworm, malnourished, dehydrated, and a severe infection in both ears. In addition he had a heart murmur. I started to cry. Toby had a heart murmur and I couldn't face going through the expense and the sadness again. That was when the Vet said "This is abusive treatment, whatever you do, do not give this dog back to those people!" So there we stood, between a rock and a hard place. My husband and I looked at each other and we knew we couldn't turn back. Dallas was now our dog.

(The picture above is of Dallas. I apologize for the glowing eyes, they are actually black. I'm not a photographer.)

It is expensive to own a pet. Animals need health care just as people do, and if you can't afford to take care of a pet you shouldn't own one. They need regular exams and vaccinations, and treatment when they have health problems. Animals also have feelings, they are not like stuffed animals, they feel pain and fear. They deserve to be treated with respect.

I didn't like Dallas' name so I call him Dustbunny, although his name is still Dallas. He is a pretty quiet pet unless he wants something, then he becomes very vocal. He doesn't like to be left alone so he  usually travels with us when we go to the coast for a few days. He travels well in the car and is good in the motel, but he llimits our ability to go into food establishments. We travel in warm weather so we pick places where we can eat outside...or occasionally in our car.

Shih Tzu's have bug eyes and they are very suseptible to injury. Sadly an accidental injury made it necessary to have Dallas's eye removed recently. He still gets around okay, but he looks a bit like a pirate.

We have had Dallas for three years and we were feeling that Amber and Dallas made for a good sized family...then it happened again.

To be continued...


L. Diane Wolfe said...

Tough decision, but the vet was right - you couldn't give the dog back! Why are people so cruel?

Janet Ann Collins said...

Shari, I can certainly understand why you took that poor dog. All our dogs have been rescued ones, including the poodle-bischon mix we got a few months ago.

NancyCL said...

What special people you are to take on a pet with "special needs" especially after losing your beloved dog to the same illness! This is such a touching story. Thank you so much for sharing!

Cheryl said...

Dallas (a.k.a. Dustbunny) is adorable. I can't believe how cruel some people can be. Why is it always the innocents that are taken advantage of.

I am glad you were able to find a home for Dallas and that he knows what true love is now.


Shari Lyle-Soffe said...

Thank you for your kind remarks. I don't think we are anything special. They certainly have repaid us with love and laughter.


Christina Rodriguez said...

I'm glad you rescued Dustbunny from that horrible situation. My dog is also a rescue and I wouldn't trade him for anything!