Report from Tootsie
Diagnosis from Vet Visit
*****LATE BREAKING NEWS FROM TOOTSIE HERSELF!*****
Tootsie’s Story ...
Tootsie (Short for "Tootsie Roll." Dale,
who is the son of April, named her. April is the lady who literally saved
Tootsie from death.) was torn away from her Momma, along with her
littermates, at the tender age of five weeks old. She was the smallest of
the litter, but she was active, happy, and playful the first time April
saw her in the pet store she visits just to play with the puppies and look
at the other animals there. However, when April went back the next day
Tootsie was lying listlessly on her side very obviously not feeling at all
well. Tootsie's littermates were picking on her, biting around her head
and neck, but Tootsie just lay there doing nothing to stop them. Even at
that young, tender age it's "survival of the fittest." The "pack" knows
who among them is the weakest, and they set their minds to destroying the
The next time that April went back
Tootsie was not in the same window with her littermates. She had been
transferred to her own window, and one of her littermates was put with her
for company. Unfortunately, that wasn’t how it worked out for that
littermate picked on Tootsie just like he did when they were all together.
Tootsie was in even worse shape, and April took her immediately convincing
the pet shop owner to let her take Tootsie to her own vet for treatment.
When April called the pet store owner to inform him of the treatment
Tootsie would need he told her if her vet could get Tootsie well then she
could keep her. So April proceeded to have her vet treat Tootsie and
restore her to health.
However, Tootsie’s story doesn’t have the
happy ending April had hoped for. You see, it turned out that Tootsie had
Canine Conjunctivitis; she was born blind. She could see shadows but
nothing more. Consequently, Tootsie is afraid of anything that comes
toward her face or cheeks, because she doesn’t know what it might be.
April could only presume Tootsie’s fear went back to when she was picked
on by her littermates in the pet store window.
April was going to start a new job and
knew she wouldn’t have the time to work with Tootsie to get her past her
fears, so she contacted a friend who was involved in rescue. Her friend,
whose name was also April, submitted Tootsie’s pictures and story to a
number of online rescue organizations, and this is where I entered the
picture. One of my own Dachshunds died unexpectedly February 17, 2004 from
a lesion to the brain, and I swore I would not get another one. The five
who still remained with me needed my attention and love. Then I saw
Tootsie’s pictures online and read her story. Her face captured my heart
right away, but I waited almost a full month before writing to “ Rescue
April” that I wanted to adopt her. I sent my credentials to her, she
checked with April (Tootsie’s savior) who prayed about the decision to let
me take Tootsie. Finally she said Tootsie could come to me, and Rescue
April made transportation arrangements.
When Tootsie came to me she weighed 3lbs.
and had worms, but not because April didn’t have her vetted. April’s vet
wormed her as well as totally checked her over, and April took
excellent care of Tootsie. So no one can figure out where Tootsie
picked up worms. She has since been totally vetted again by my vet, is
free of worms, has gained weight, and is growing like a little sprout.
The only thing Tootsie lacks is sight. My
vet did some checking for me and found that the Veterinarian School in
Gainesville, Florida has certified veterinarians who specialize in
ophthalmology. There are also certified veterinarians who specialize in
neurology and, since my own vet feels that Tootsie has a neurological
problem as well, if that’s the case a neurologist would be called in to
examine her at no extra cost. There is a possibility that
Tootsie can be sighted through surgery; she can see vague shadows now, but
I won’t know for sure until I get her to that first examination in
Gainesville. I’m on a fixed income being on disability retirement for
Degenerative Disc Disease as well as being a 10pt. (disabled) veteran so
my income isn’t a tremendous amount. Simply put I don’t have the money it
will take to get Tootsie to that first visit much less for any subsequent
visits and treatments. To take her to Gainesville I will have to board my
other five (5) Dachshunds for two or three days (I will not leave Tootsie
in Gainesville by herself. She has had enough traumas in her short life.),
as well as have the gas there and back, a room during the time I’m there
and, if Tootsie’s sight can be given to her through surgery as well as
have any neurological problem taken care of, money for the surgery. For
now I just want to be able to get Tootsie to Gainesville for that initial
exam. The total cost for it, gas there and back, and a room for me will be
approximately five hundred dollars ($500.00).
I realize that people, while wanting to
help animals, are leery of sending money to a total stranger for fear a
scam is being run. It’s for that reason that Tootsie’s veterinarian has
agreed to accept checks and money orders made out to him and sent to his
clinic. There he will start a file titled "Tootsie’s Fund." I will be more
than willing to send receipts to those who help me help Tootsie.
Asking for monetary assistance to
accomplish this goes totally against my grain, but giving Tootsie her
sight is my greatest desire. It would be the equivalent of watching a
small child see for the very first time. It is for this reason alone that
I am sending this plea to please help me help Tootsie be able to see. If
you can find it in your heart to help please send a check or money order
All Creatures Animal Clinic
1015 W. Pipkin Road
Lakeland, FL 33811
If you would like to call a donation in to Tootsie's Fund the number is: 863-646-5683
or you can donate online to Tootsie's Fund
Carol, Tootsie’s Mommy
Updates about Tootsie will be posted here.