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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 weak link.

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 to:

Timothy Lockhart, D.V.M.
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

God Bless.
Carol, Tootsie’s Mommy

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Updates about Tootsie will be posted here.


email: DoxiMadre@yahoo.com

Doggie Dreams....




Do Animals Have Souls?

by Stacy Mantle

I was talking with a coworker the other day and he informed me that animals do not have emotions.

This is just after he told me (the day that I put my dog of 17 yrs down) that animals do not have souls and therefore will never enjoy the concept of heaven.

Animals do have emotions and they also have souls, and I'll tell you how I know that.

In over twenty years of working with animals, I have never seen a kitten duct-tape a live human baby to a freeway.

I also have never seen a cat find enjoyment from setting a human on fire.

I've never gone hiking in the desert to find a child that dogs have left tied to a stake, without food and water, subjecting it to a painful death in the desert heat.

I have never seen a chicken force two unwilling humans to fight in a ring with razor blades attached to their feet while the chickens place bets on who will be the first to die.

I haven't seen a puppy place eight children in a gunnysack and drown them in a river.

Neither have I seen an eagle aim a shotgun at an unarmed human.

I have yet to see a bear kill a human simply to place a head on the wall of their cave.

And to this day, I have not seen a pigeon drive a car down the road and aim for humans who were walking around the park.

Let me tell you what I have seen.

I have seen my own cats sleep next to me so they may keep me a little warmer while I was ill.

I've seen my dogs play games with me just to force a smile to my face.

I have seen a cat rush into a burning home not once, not twice, but six times to save her kittens, nearly losing her own life in the process.

I have seen a ferret pull a frightened kitten out of a deep hole in the ground.

I have seen a coyote fetch another dog so that it may get the proper medical care that it needs.

I've seen a dog, who loves to jump on people, avoid jumping on me when I injured my back.

I've seen elephants cry.

I've seen monkeys scream in empathy when one of their own were injured.

I've seen puppies whine all night long when they were separated from their mothers.

I've seen a dog pull a child away from a fire.

These are only a few of the things that I've seen.

To list them all would take a lifetime, and I think you get my point.

As for the soul thing?

Well, it is my humble opinion that if you have emotions, any kind of emotions, then you have a soul.

Ironically, the (old) Pope of the Roman Catholic Church recently stated that he feels the same way.

Now, I can't prove that animals have souls. But then, I can't prove that you or I have one either.

And for all those people who firmly believe that animals don't have souls - well, I suppose if there really is a heaven, you'll probably have the job of cleaning out all the litter boxes.......