Poor Tater has had a pretty horrible life so far. Tater is deaf and has
some vision impairment, which is hard enough for a young dog to deal
Tater has had to deal with much worse. At only 10 months old
she has just had and lost a litter of 11 pups because of the stupidity
and callousness of those who were supposed to be helping her.
turned into her local shelter at about 7 months old, to be put to sleep
for some reason (we do not know why). Instead, the shelter gave her to
a part time volunteer. Not the best idea, but not unheard of either.
The problem with this was that the shelter did not get her spayed
the person they gave her to had other Danes, including an intact male
merle. So she ended up pregnant in short order, which should not have
been a surprise to anyone. Her new "family" did not bother to take her
to the vet, heck they never even bothered to name her. Nor did they
give her a decent whelping box. They left
her outside in a muddy enclosure. She had her pups on
her own, despite being way too young for this in the best of
circumstances. And this was not a best case situation. The pups were
born in the wet, cold mud. To make matters even worse, the "owners"
decided to bottle feed for some reason. We are not sure if they did
this in response to the pups dying, or if the bottle feeding came first.
Either way, taking away the only source of immune system
boosters that the puppies had to fight off infection, was just not a
Sept. 24, 2004 a pair of wonderful women named Susan Queen and Joan DiShion
drove a long ways and managed to
talk the owners out the unnamed dog and the 4 remaining pups. Without
their help, Tater would not be alive today. In fact without them,
Tater wouldn't even have had a name. Given that she was such a big
couch potato, they named her Tater. That way no matter what
happened, Tater had a name and at least two people who'd loved her and
cared for her properly.
Despite not having any help in whelping the pups, any experience in being a mom, any sort of decent
environment to whelp and care for her pups, nor any level of vet care,
Tater tried hard to care for her four remaining pups. Even on the drive
home with Susan and Joan, she was nursing and caring for the pups that were
strong enough to suckle. Sadly two of the pups were clearly too far
gone to save, and had to be put down right away. And a third pup soon
followed. But Susan and Tater had high hopes for the last and strongest
of the pups. And between them and their vet, they put up a valiant
fight to save that pup, who had been named Tater Tot. But it was not to
be. Tater Tot ultimately succumbed to the pneumonia that had also claimed the other
pups. But at least Tater Tot died warm and dry, with a name and friends.
After Tater Tot died, Susan called me to see if I could take Tater.
After a few false starts, we got a transport lined up to Dane rescuer
Rhonda Teeter in CO, where Tater could stay for a while and de-stress a
bit, before making the final leg of her journey here to us in OR. But
just 2 days before the transport was to start, Tater began to
hemorrhage. Susan rushed her to the vet and ultimately the diagnosis
was a severe hookworm infestation compounded by a bad uterine
infection. Tater was now on death's doorstep herself, poor girl. We
rallied the Dane and rescue communities, asking for prayers, and we had
the vet begin transfusions to save this sweet little girl's life. At
only 10 months old, Tater is still just a puppy herself, and should be
running and playing with other dogs. She should not be having to
deal with any of this. Especially since there was no reason whatsoever
for her to get pregnant, or for her pregnancy to have been so ill
fated. She deserved much, much better from humanity.
But she is a strong little girl, and a happy one to boot, as abused
and neglected Danes often are. She fought hard to live and between her
efforts, her vet's efforts, and the prayers of supporters from all
did manage to step back from that doorstep. She is not fully recovered
but she was strong enough just one day later, to go home with Susan. Of
course our transport is on hold until she is cleared by the vet. But as
soon as that happens, we will put the gears in motion yet again.
Tater's vet is Dr. Keith Owings and we can not thank him and his staff
enough. As Susan has said, "Keith is a great vet, and despite a huge
number of emergencies Friday
morning, he worked valiantly to save Tater! He and his staff went
of their way to help her, and despite all the work, blood panels,
transfusions, and medications.....he was very reasonable with his
fees...and did a wonderful job even when I had almost given up!"
Susan and her family have been caring for and working with Tater and
have discovered that in addition to not caring for her very well,
Tater's previous owners didn't deal with her very well either.
According to Susan "She LOVES kids, despite what that woman told
us. She told us that
she 'hates kids'.... I have 4 kids, ages 10-17 and she adores them
all. In fact, if I had to pick her "favorite", it would be my
daughter; who is 10 years old. Tater wiggles all over when she
Rebekah....and absolutely stays right by her while Rebekah walks her. "
Tater now knows 2 "commands" since coming to Susan's (told you she was
smart). Susan had this to say about working with Tater, "A hand gently
laid over the bridge
of her nose means 'off'....and a hand gently pushing at her shoulder
means 'crate.' I have trained dogs for years, and Tater is my
deaf dog. If she is any indication at all of how well they
then WOW! Since we walk her 5-6 times a day, it gives each of us
to train her and help learn about her, and the way she responds.
will win over the hardest of hearts!"
Update 10/05/04 -
Tater continues to improve, she is looking better each day. I have
added two new photos taken yesterday, and you can see she is feeling
pretty good. You can also she that she likes to give kisses. That is
Joan getting a bit of chin nibbling in the one photo. Tater is still
not out of the woods. She is a good 30 lb. underweight, and between
that and all the stress she's been through, her immune system is pretty
badly compromised. But we are all very pleased with her recovery so
Update 10/09/04 -
Tater has had a bit of a setback. We got the vet's okay to transport
her, and we started the transport today. But she began bleeding again.
So we got her to Wichita Falls and took her to a vet there that one of
our Dane friends uses. We had blood work done, took some more x-rays
had a few other things checked out. While she is getting better, there
are a few issues. The vet in Wichita Falls also said she could travel,
but we felt it was best
to give her some more time before we put her on the road again. In
talking with Susan the other day I found out that Tater had been
even worse off than we realized. When she was at the vet's in Longview,
she actually died on the table while they were working on her trying to
draw blood. She was clinically dead for 18 seconds apparently. The vet
started immediate transfusions and revived her, which saved her life.
So while she may look a lot better now, we need to keep in mind just
how bad off she was. Dr. Owings says she is a miracle dog, and we all
agree, but it seems we need to give her some more time before we ask
for the next miracle. A week
or so of rest and good food will do her a world of good and make us all
feel better about continuing the transport. I added one more photo today of Tater.
Xrays did show another very
disturbing thing though. Someone had been using her for target practice
at some point in the past. She has a number of pellets lodged
under the skin and in muscle tissue, the vet thought they were likely buckshot. No critical problems from this,
but the implications in terms of the care she has gotten in the past
are profound. We suspected abuse but had no real evidence to back this
up, until we saw this on the x-rays. Someone shooting a puppy with
buckshot, it just boggles the mind. This girl has certainly been
treated poorly by humanity. And yet despite it all, she is still
a happy, outgoing, inquisitive, friendly, and reasonably secure little
girl! Dogs really are a miracle sometimes.
Update 10/19/04 -
Tater is in CO. Tater made the trip from TX to CO this last weekend,
along with two other dogs we are taking in, D.B. and Grace. The 3 met
up with Diva from K.C. and will spend a while in CO before coming here.
Tater really seems to be coming along nicely, though we are still
guarded, as she has shown repeatedly how quickly things can turn around
with her. But now that she is feeling a bit better, we are getting to
see her real personality. Her foster mom in Wichita Falls had this to
say about her, "Seems she likes to crawl all over me and lay in my lap
at the computer. Lay on me watching TV and, just in general, stay
near. umh? I think she's gonna be someone's special, neat little
snuggle bunny one day. She does have potential." And here's what her
current foster mom had to say about her, "Tater is a complete love,
nose dives in your lap and wants to stay there. Flea bites arms, legs
ears and everything that she can get a hold of. She is quite the talker
as well. DB and Tater are very much connected." So all in all
things are going well for Tater. She is still not spayed, we will not
do that until she gets here and we are sure she is not at risk of
bleeding anymore. And It will be a while before she recovers fully from
her malnutrition, but her life is surely looking up at this point.
- Well we have something to give thanks for this year,
that's for sure. I drove out to Boise on the 6th to get Tater and 3
other dogs who were coming from CO. During her time with Donna Soyars
in TX and then with RMGDR in CO, Tater had been steadily putting on
weight. She has continued to do so since she got here, and as amazing
as this will sound, she is actually starting to look a bit plump!
Right after she got here, she had a little bloody discharge for a day or
so, but that cleared up right away. As her health has improved she has
become more and more outgoing and active. She reminds us very much of
another little girl we have here, Hushpuppy, who is about the same size
and age as Tater. In fact they look very much alike as well. If it
weren't for Tater's couple fawn spots, we'd be hard pressed to tell them
apart sometimes. They move and act so much alike you'd think they were
twins or something. But where Tater has had a hard life, Hushpuppy has
grown up here with us and is much more spoiled and demanding of life.
Anyway, aside from the discharge when she first got her, and an infected
teat she is just now getting over, she has been doing really well. And
both these have been minor issues. Her health just keeps improving, and
she is getting more secure and self assured each day. She sleeps in a
giant crate, on an extra large Kuranda that she shares with Grace. And
by comparison to Grace she looks positively beaming with health and
strength. Her eyesight is not nearly as bad as I feared. She gets along
just fine, again compared to Grace you would swear Tater's eyesight was
And her future is looking good. We expect to keep her here with us for
at least another 6 months, to give her time to heal and to get her
started on her training etc. She will likely always be a high energy
dog, but we see Danes like that all the time, and we always manage to
find an active home looking for an active Dane. And she is a huge
cuddler, she loves to climb into your lap or in bed with you and snooze.
She is an extremely happy, loving, affectionate girl, despite all she
has been through. It is dogs like Tater that amaze me most. How they
manage to keep their positive happy outlook on life through all the bad
times, is always a wondrous thing. Like Magnum
, this little girl never
let the bad things in life get her down.
And now the bad stuff is in her past. As I said, a real Thanksgiving this year.
Tater is on a diet now, if you can believe it. She has really porked
out on us. She is doing really well, she is finally strong enough we
are going to get her spayed here very soon. She is a happy, energetic,
wild child who loves to romp and play with the other dogs. She also
loves a good cuddle and will sleep in your lap at nap time if you let
Tater came through her spay surgery with flying colors and is doing
very well. She is still on a diet and with all this forced inactivity
has actually put a few pounds.
Update 9/11/06 -
I know, terrible date to do
anything on, but with our move and our new sloooow dialup internet
connection, it has been so long since I have had a chance to update
things, and Tater's info is really out of date. Tater is currently
living in the house with us and 5 other dogs (as opposed to out in the
new dog building, if you haven't read about our new home, check it out
She is doing great and gets along just fine with all the "house dogs,"
including one that is blind and one that is blind and deaf. She used to
be a real hell raiser as a pup, which is why we have held on to her so
long, but she has finally matured and has really calmed down. She is a
friendly, outgoing dog that has matured well and is a really nice dog
to have around. She gets along well with the other dogs, adjusting her
interactions based on what they will tolerate. She plays wildly with a
dog named Lilly, but barely interacts at all with Magoo the blind dog,
who generally does not like to be messed with by other dogs. We do not
let her have free run of the house unless someone is home, because she
will get into stuff (we have a lot of stuff in boxes etc., at dog level
right now as we are still not completely unpacked from our move). But
as long as someone is here, or at least on the property, we leave her
loose and she does just fine. She is a huge cuddler and will sleep
curled up next to you all night if you want. Or she will sleep on the
foot of the bed if you prefer. She is also just fine sleeping on a dog
bed in the dog room (which is next to our bedroom and separated at
night by a kiddy gate). Right now my #1 recommendation would be Tater.
She really has matured well and become a very nice dog. Be sure to give
her a look.
Update 7/28/08 -
Not sure why Tater hasn't gotten
much interest, she is a great little dog (maybe it's that little thing,
I don't know). She really is a doll of a dog. we thought we were going
to loose Tater a couple weeks ago. She came up lame and suddenly had
this huge swelling on her upper leg. We and the vet immediately thought
osteosarcoma. It looked just like one, felt like one, and was in the
exact spot for one. We dropped her off at the vet not expecting her to
come home. But the news was all good. It was some sort of infection.
She has been on antibiotics and is recovering well. We were so glad she
wasn't leaving us that way. Now if we can just find her a home where
she won't have to compete with so many dogs for attention...
We got in a couple 7 week old puppies a few weeks back and while Tater
is convalescing we are keeping her in the house which means she is with
the puppies most of the time. Tater immediately started mothering them.
She lays with them on the Kuranda out on the deck most of the day
and is constantly checking on them, cleaning them, and just
generally fussing over them. It is very sweet the way her unfulfilled
mothering instincts jumped right out as soon as she got a whiff of the
puppies. It reminds us of what all she's been through in her poor
little life. She really is am amazing and incredibly resilient