Vinnie outside enjoying the winter snow. Vinnie's "Mom" says she has always loved playing in the snow! .
I had been working with greyhound rescue for quite a while and adopted a puppymill IG. I told my friend that I was going to start working against puppymills as well as for greyhounds.

I was planning on adopting another little puppymill dog and had been looking for a doxie. I found Vinnie on one of the rescue sites. She was exactly what I wanted and I especially like the older dogs. I had gotten so much enjoyment from my first one, as well as telling people about puppymills that I started right in taking her with me.

Vinnie is a miniature longhaired doxie weighing about 12 lbs. She had spent her whole life so far in a puppymill having babies. She was 9 years old when she got out of the mill. She went to her forever home but about a month later her new mom died. She went back to the foster home, but she missed her new mom so bad that she spent the most of the first couple weeks back there going to the door looking for her mom.

Of course she didn't come, and Vinnie missed her terribly, but she had a great foster home and did very well. There were quite a few dogs there and she got so she would go out with them and help watch out for the younger ones. She had been there a while when I found her. I adopted her and within a very short time she had bonded to me like glue. I knew when I got her that she had a small cataract in one eye, but that didn't concern me, she also had a luxated patella in one leg.

   

Vinnie was such a happy girl. She seemed to appreciate having someone of her own, a good bed to sleep in, and especially "Ooh such good food" as she loved to eat and still does to this day. She did so well right from the start that when we went to the Victorian Christmas parade in Manistee two days after I got her, Vinnie went and she walked every step of the parade with that little tail going a mile a minute, "right in her glory!" Of course, she had a Santa coat on like everybody else, and just seemed "SOOO PROUD!"

She continued along with her new little sister Annie to go to Greyhound Meet and Greets and help tell the story of those terrible things called puppymills. About two years ago I noticed that she also had a cataract coming in the other eye, and it started to be noticeable that she wasn't seeing as well as she did but she never let it bother her. On top of that her hearing was starting to give out, and within the next year that was completely gone as well.

She continued to be just the most loving little thing you ever did see. Then a year ago just before Christmas we got up one morning and she was keeping both of her eyes shut and they were full of matter, the most telling part of the whole thing was her tail was not wagging. I think that was the first time I had seen her not wag that "oh so proud tail". We went to the vet that morning and found that she had glaucoma in the one eye. We started her on medications, it helped for about a week and the pressure came back. Back to the vet, he raised her medications, same old thing a week later, and the pressure went up again. He had told me if that didn't help we might have to remove the eye and sure enough the third time I took her back he changed and raised the meds again, and said that was all he could do.

He had told me not to worry about an appointment if it got to the point where it was really bothering her again just bring her back and he could take time in between surgeries later in the day to take it out. I took her back two days before New Years day and wouldn't you know they had three or four vets out sick that day and were terribly busy, he gave me something to help with the pain and told me to bring her back the next day and I could pick her up New Years day, which is what we did. Within two days she was her old self, she could see a little out of the other eye and she was back to wagging that tail a mile a minute. But over the last 5 or 6 months the other eye has gone completely and on top of that the leg has gotten so bad that it just slides out of under her quite often. I think she has had a stroke or two, it has happened late at night and seemed to hardly faze her so when she went to the vet the next day he said yes he was sure she did but there wasn't much we could do only watch her.

She is still happy as can be most of the time. The biggest problem is if she doesn't trip me up it will be a wonder, she is always right under my feet. I now have a bumper on one side of my bed and make sure my feet are between her and the other side so she won't walk off. She just walks on the rest of the dogs, but she is still happy, so everybody just tries to keep from getting stepped on, and I try not to step on her!

Up until the last six weeks she would still go clear to the back of the yard and stroll around just enjoying herself. I can no longer let her do that as I am afraid she will fall in wheel ruts put in my yard by a well rig. On top of that she gets lost so easily now, and I end up having to go get her. I feel so bad because she has had so little time to really enjoy her life, but at least she's had a few years of love and enjoying life, and will continue to do so as long as she is happy and enjoying herself. She is now over fourteen years old, and aside from the noticeable problems seems to be in good health.

Story of Vinnie - by Louise

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