Letters from the Issue of September 5, 2002

More puppy horror stories.

Monday I brought her to a vet myself to make sure she had transitioned okay. The vet checked her out and told me she had a fever and the coccidia was getting worse. She said for the kennel cough we should turn the air off in the house. I got home and turned the air off, and my mother-in-law came to help us with Maggie. Wednesday Maggie was not improving except for her kennel cough, which had disappeared.

We went back to the vet and were told she was practically dying and that we really needed to feed her a lot. She was also losing weight. In Florida she was 1.9 pounds. When we brought her home she weighed 1.6 pounds, and now she was down to 1.4 pounds. We fed Maggie every hour to get her weight up. My wife and I fed her till 2:00 a.m., then my mother-in-law got up and fed her the remainder of the night.

Thursday I woke up at 6:30 a.m. to go to work. Maggie looked exhausted. My mother in-law said she could hear gurgling noises coming from her. I told her to stop feeding her because she looked tired and to call the vet at 8:00 a.m. when they opened. My wife and I left for work together. About 10:00 a.m. I got a call from the vet, who told me I had two options: We could put an I.V. in her or put her to sleep. Maggie was just ten weeks old; I was not cashing in my chips on her. I told the vet to put in the I.V. My mother in-law brought Maggie to the vet and stayed with her for about three hours. She came home with the intention of going back to visit her later.Around 2:30 I got a call from the vet saying that Maggie was improving with fluids, however she was in extreme pain. While she is telling me this, I can hear Maggie barking in pain in the background. The vet said her abdomen was swelling, and when she would palpitate her, Maggie would scream in pain. Our only choice was to put her to sleep. I had to give the execution orders.

Ten weeks old, our anniversary gift, and around-the-clock attention like a newborn baby -- all down the drain. I called my mother-in-law and told her she didn't have to return to the vet's office, but she said she wanted to. She didn't understand what I meant until I explained it to her. When I picked up my wife, it was the longest car ride I ever took. I pulled off the road I don't know how many times that day.

I had Maggie Mae cremated. I picked up her ashes on Tuesday, August 20. We are both doing better now. We've been trying to get hold of the pet shop owner, which has been impossible. My uncle and I have both called. We leave message after message and no one calls back. There is a 90-day warranty and we are owed a new puppy. Maggie will not go out like this. I'm sure I am not the first and will not be the last, but I plan to avenge Maggie's death.

That is my story in a nutshell. This was very painful to write. I had to stop numerous times. I appreciate you taking an interest in my story. Most people think, "It's just a friggin' dog." But for others it is like your child. Although we had only two weeks with Maggie, she knew we loved her and we know she loved us. We love you Maggie Mae!

James L. Locilento

Franklin, New Jersey

Puppies and Profit

Why do you think they call them puppy mills? Shame on Puppy Kingdom for taking advantage of people with the good intentions to become responsible pet owners. But I'm shocked that in today's world anyone could be so naive and uninformed. Obviously anyone selling puppies is in it for profit, and purchasing from these merchants perpetuates and supports the "puppy mill" trade.

There is an overabundance of adoptable dogs and cats available through shelters, rescue organizations, and friends. Frequently there's no charge or only a small fee for vaccinations and paperwork. Also for those who have been brainwashed into thinking that purebred is a priority, almost every breed has a rescue group (local and/or national). The bottom line is there is no shortage of wonderful, healthy animals waiting to have a loving family and be a loyal companion. Save a homeless friend instead of buying from a retail store, and send a clear message to the greedy and dishonest participants in this unscrupulous industry.

Leslie Cohen


Not All of Us Are Weirdos

But you'd never know that from the media: Just wanted to let Kirk Nielsen know I thought he wrote a very fair and balanced article on the issue of repealing the homosexual anti-discrimination law ("Between a Frock and a Hard Place," August 15). I have frequently noticed in articles in New Times and Street that Christians are usually painted as lunatics or fanatics, though sometimes we deserve that owing to our behavior. That tends to bother me as I consider myself a very balanced, fair-minded individual who just happens to be a born-again Christian with certain viewpoints based on the Holy Bible.

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