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RIP Tater 7/27/09
We had to have Tater PTS today. Health and vision problems were causing behavioral changes and she was becoming more and more dog aggressive. She was no longer safe around other dogs. We felt it best to let her go while she still had a decent quality of life and before she or another dog got seriously injured. Poor Tater never really had a fair shot in life. We tried to give her a good life here and we think we accomplished that. She was a happy and joyous dog for the most part, and loved being around people. We gave her a special last day, and were with her, giving her loves and kisses, to the very end.
Rest well our little TaterBug
  • Gender - female
  • Age/DOB - about 1 yr
  • Height  at the shoulder -
  • Weight - 104
  • Spayed/Neutered - Yes
  • Taken in on  - 09/26/04
  • Available as of - 04/26/05
  • Housebroken - Working on it
  • Obedience trained - working on it
  • Good with other dogs - Yes
    • with cats - Yes
    • with kids - Unk
    • with the elderly - Unk
  • Temperament - very smart - she is another of these southern teacup Danes, small and high energy. Very sweet and affectionate girl.

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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 with. But 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.

She was 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 first. And 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 good idea.

On 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 white 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 over, she did manage to step back from that doorstep. She is not fully recovered yet, 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 out 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 youngest daughter; who is 10 years old.  Tater wiggles all over when she sees Rebekah....and absolutely stays right by her while Rebekah walks her. "
Also 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 first deaf dog.  If she is any indication at all of how well they respond, then WOW!  Since we walk her 5-6 times a day, it gives each of us time to train her and help learn about her, and the way she responds.  She 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 far.

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 and 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.

Update 11/24/04 - 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 perfect.

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.

Update 4/25/05 - 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 her.

Update 5/14/05 - 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 creature.

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" Never trust a dog to watch your food." - Patrick age 10 Advice from Kids.

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