Dear ADR and Potential Adopters,
My husband, Corbett and I, adopted a beautiful, white, 7 year old Maltese/Shih Tzu from ADR in November of 2005. Lily was the light of our lives. Vivacious and full of personality she captivated our hearts. Though she was not always friendly to all, those she loved were showered with her appreciation for their attention. Through the years she made so many improvements personality wise, proof that even an “older” dog can be taught new tricks. This summer I noticed what appeared to be bruises on her back. I immediately took her to our Vet who ran blood tests and diagnosed her with immune mediated thrombocytopenia a disease that attacks blood platelets. He was hopeful that with medications she would be OK. There were many ups and downs during her treatment at home, and after a week she was just not improving. Our Vet told us that for her to have a fighting chance; she needed to go to UT Vet School in Knoxville for treatment. We immediately packed up and headed to Knoxville. That was certainly the longest drive of my life, I prayed for Lily to be healed from that terrible disease the whole way. She was treated at UT for 3 days with chemo drugs, and things appeared to be getting a bit better. While visiting her and giving her dinner (her favorite, chicken) she had a blood clot form in her brain. (This is common with immune mediated thrombocytopenia.) The devastation was almost too much to take. Our doctor told us there was still a chance she could survive with a relatively good quality of life with another transfusion. She also offered that this could be the end of the road. How could I look at my friend and tell her she was not worth every effort? Of course, she had the transfusion overnight and our first call from the doctor that morning was optimistic. I was so happy that it might have worked! While driving to the hospital that morning we got a call from the doctor telling us that she had had another clot and would not make it. We did get there in time to see her again before the end. Corbett and I were heartbroken by the loss. I will say the treatment and compassion shown by everyone we came in contact with at UT was amazing.
The whole time Lily was sick I was emailing Laurie at ADR and keeping her updated on her status. She sent words of encouragement and prayer, both needed and appreciated. A few days after Lily was gone I got an email from Laurie telling me about her own experience with the loss of a special dog and how it had helped her to get a new dog. At first, I was very unsure of the idea because I felt it would be trying to replace Lily. Laurie explained that there was nothing better I could do to honor Lily’s memory than to help another dog who had been in her same situation. That thought clicked with me and I realized that she was right. Corbett and I had a good, loving home to offer a dog that needed one. Laurie suggested a dog she felt would be perfect for us. Tia (now Mia) had a video on her “doggie profile” playing with a quacking duck. She was just beautiful! She looked happy, playful and so sweet. We decided to adopt Mia and donated to ADR in Lily’s memory. Mia was very shy at first. She came out of her shell very slowly, but with lots of treats, attention, toys and love she became herself within a matter of two weeks. Now she is my constant companion! Mia accompanies me almost everywhere she can, even my classroom (when the kids aren’t there.) She’s a quiet, calm, playful, loving, baby. She is so very easy to love. When I arrive home from work she is so excited to see me she literally jumps up into my arms! Adorable! Her favorite things now include, riding in the car, tennis balls, and walks, sleeping on the bed, her cheetah print bone and chewies. None of this happened overnight. She needed a lot of TLC at first to help her learn things like being comfortable walking on a leash, house training and traveling up and down stairs. Whoever said Shih Tzus were not fast learners never met Mia! After our initial two week adjustment time, she has been so easy to train! None of these things are issues at all anymore. While she is still pretty nervous around men, (Corbett included) she is an absolute joy to be around. With time and patience (both so important with rescue dogs) I know she will come to enjoy being around Corbett too.
I have never once regretted our decision to adopt another dog from ADR. They are a simply amazing organization that deserves praise for all the love, time, and effort they donate to these rescue babies that would not always have another chance. We have been lucky enough to have two wonderful dogs come into our lives. Lily will be in our hearts forever, and Mia will continue to bring us joy for many years to come.
Jill Hunt, TN