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This fundraiser ended on 08/19/11

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Reeses a Chihuahua puppy abandoned at a few weeks of age needs surgery for a liver problem. Adoptive family is looking for funds for surgery

The picture you are looking at is of Reeses; aka Bitty. She is 8 months old and weighs 2.5 pounds. She was brought into the vet clinic in terrible shape, hypothermic and with low blood sugar because she was taken from her mother too soon. The people who took her from her mother did not even make sure that she was fed and warm. Once at the vet Reeses was taken out the back to the treatment room to attempt to stabilize her. While the doctor worked to save her, the people who brought her in snuck out and left the clinic. It was estimated that she was between 4 to 5 weeks of age at the time when she was abandoned. By law the clinic had to keep Reeses alive for 2 weeks before they could adopt her out or in this case euthanize her. She was so small at the time (under one pound and about the length of a popsicle stick), her will to live was extremely compromised and they were not sure if the tiny puppy could make it. However no underlying illnesses could be found on tests. The trouble was that Reeses seemed depressed and she would not eat by herself. The staff kept her warm and fed her a high calorie broth by syringe but after days she still did not improve and was the saddest little puppy. The big question was would she survive without long term intensive care.

The Saturday before Christmas, I was asked if I would roast a chicken and bring some of the meat in for Reeses to eat. I walked into the hospital and saw little Reeses for the first time. My very first response was, “Ahh, she’s really cute”. When she heard my voice she raised her head! She had not acknowledged, raised her head, anything like this for anyone in the clinic for days! She even got up and came to the front of the kennel. I opened the door and she began to play with me and even came over and bit me on the nose! This is when the nurses at the clinic started exclaiming wonderful things and were elated that this little dog who was lifeless was not only showing signs of life but playing! Then she drank some water, something she had also not done on her own for days. They ran quickly to get some food to see if she would eat. She did not eat, sadly. However she did play with the food with me for awhile which was a huge improvement. It seemed that this tiny little Chihuahua picked me, so it was decided that I was to take her home and care for her.

We were like new parents. Reeses required syringe feeding every three hours and it was
very difficult for just one person to do it, so we both got through the night to feed her. Because Reese had not been properly weaned from her mother we had to teach her to eat, which was not an easy feat with an unwilling puppy. I work for myself as a decorative painter and fine artist and was able to take Reeses to my studio with me to continue to coax her to eat. Sometimes it would take over an hour for her to eat because she just was so resistant. I lost a lot of work time and income because I could not take jobs where I would be required to leave her for more than 5 hours. We tried over 30 different foods and enlisted the help of our big dogs and our cat Ella (who is now Reeses best friend) and slowly she learnt how to eat. It was a tough and tiring time but this sweet little dog just loves life, so It was worth every minute. She has the best nature and loves to greet everyone and every animal. She often reminds me of the pig in the movie Babe. She just is so innocent and non-judgmental.

Over time Reeses continued to improve and grow into a loving, happy and playful puppy. She now loves to walk with our two big dogs, plays fetch, hangs out with Ella and is a champion at snuggling. Reeses has such a big heart and is so enthusiastic. Her face lights up with joy when she runs through grass or chases leaves as they blow in the breeze. She loves life and it amazes me every day that someone could have this wonderful personality in their life and just ignore her basic needs and then abandoned her.

This is where the story begins to take a turn. We took her in for her spay. When the initial blood work was taken her liver enzymes were elevated. So we ran a liver function test and the results came back that indicated Reeses may have a liver shunt. A liver shunt is where the blood vessels do not run through the liver but around it, which is not a good situation and will eventually cause the liver to fail, meaning a slow death. A surgery can fix them, but it is risky surgery for a 2.5 pound dog. We decided to take her to UC Davis Veterinary Teaching Hospital.

At UC Davis we first ran some more blood tests, an ultrasound as well as a nuclear medicine test. These tests did not produce any concrete answers but did indicate that perhaps she has either a shunt or other congenital liver problem. The next step is to have a specialist surgeon do an exploratory surgery with liver biopsy. Little Reeses is scheduled for this surgery in August.

As you can imagine Reeses medical costs are adding up and we are looking to raise funds to help with the surgery. We would greatly appreciate any donations to help this sweet little Chihuahua.

We are also running a raffle of one of my gilded pieces of artwork and a pet photography portrait. If you would like more information on the raffle please check out Reeses Facebook page and leave me a note, or see information below. You can also follow Reeses on Facebook as "Reeses aka Bitty" to find out how she is doing and spread the word.

Raffle for Reeses
We are raffling off some wonderful prizes in Reeses honor; proceeds are to help with Reeses upcoming surgery costs at UC Davis. So far we have sold only seven tickets so the odds to win are good!!

One ticket for $5, Four tickets for $15

1st Prize - Gilded Artwork by Laura Hering ($850 value). Winner may choose alternate piece of art, (multiple options available, more photos to come).

2nd Prize - Photographic Pet Portrait ($150 value). Generously donated by Vet Tech Pet Care.

3rd Prize - Three bottles of fantastic wine from Sequoia Grove Winery (over $125 value)
2006 Rutherford Bench Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, 2008 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, 2008 Carneros Chardonnay.

Drawing will be held on October 31st 2011.

If you would like to purchase tickets please send me a message to go into the draw to win these awesome prizes and help little Reeses at the same time.

Your support would be greatly appreciated!
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