Column 13 – Part 2

Adopting a dog in Indianapolis, IN? continued……

One morning, in his stool, we notice a huge four inch long white worm. We start to panic a little bit. This is our first dog so we don’t actually know what standard protocol is for treating a pissed-off, worm infected puppy. We start by taking him back to the hospital for a checkup. Come to find out, not only does he have a terrible case of roundworm, but a stool examination shows bacteria consistent with Parvovirus, a deadly virus that eats away the lining of the intestine and kills dogs in as little as three days.

Wow. What a bomb, emotionally especially. We had tried so hard to be prepared, and to make the right, responsible decision, how did we miss something this huge? At adoption, there were a ton of waivers we had to sign concerning the health of the dog, but that didn’t matter because I didn’t blame P.A.K. at all. The point of the long story above was to show you that P.A.K. is that much better in quality from just a typical shelter. But much like a shelter, when a litter of puppies is dumped at their doorstep they don’t know the dog’s history, much about the genetic makeup of mom and dad, or in general where the puppies have been.

A long story, but here comes the point. If you are reading this article, and are preparing to buy a puppy from Petsmart and P.A.K. Rescue in Greenwood / Indianapolis, IN you will be the beneficiaries from our mistakes. If you are serious about the dog, but can resist the cuteness of a puppy long enough to think things through, have it checked out. I know it seems harsh to make a decision about getting a dog or not on whether he is healthy or not, but consider this. Our dog Kellogg ended up being ok. He had a test done for Parvovirus and it came back negative, and his roundworm issues are fairly common and easily treated. All added up, these treatments we not that costly. But it was a cost we didn’t necessarily have to pay, and just think if he did have Parvovirus. The treatments for something that serious are expensive, and don’t guarantee anything depending on the progression of the disease. We could spend a ton of money into a dog that could be beyond saving and pass away.

Back to the point. Take advantage of the “foster a puppy” program if you are serious about looking at a particular dog. The same day you are fostering, make an appointment at a veterinarian, or at Banfield Hospital right there in Petsmart and have them do a rigorous check over of the dog. Have them check for a number of the diseases young dogs get, and ask a lot of questions. Do your research, Banfield provides a pamphlet that gives you an introduction to many of these ailments, but you still need to get online and learn a little more.

This may seem cruel, but I consider myself a businessman, and I don’t like to rush into any decision. You have two options, either you can pay $500 in medical bills for a dog that dies because you didn’t do your research, or if you are so serious that you are taking a dog home, have him checked out for considerably less, make sure he is healthy, and best of all get some peace of mind.

You want to have a long term friend and pet, and you both want to be happy. This is my advice to you, do the right thing and don’t be fooled by those puppy eyes. There is much more to a puppy than face value, and you want to make sure he stays that cute, happy little puppy that you will enjoy for a long time.


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