Hello everyone, I have been asked to tell you a bit about myself.
My name is Giuliana. My fiancé Matt and I are the proud “Parents” to two wonderful dogs. A 4 year old, male Papillion, named Copernicus and our newest addition, 1.5 year old Audrey Hepbull. We live together in an apartment here in St. Louis, MO. My fiancé and I have been together for 2.5 years now. We are getting married in Estes Park, CO on June 12th 2013. We are expecting our first child on April 29th 2013 (That’s right, just 6 weeks before our wedding…oops!).
I adopted my Papillion, Copernicus, before I met my fiancé. He has been my constant companion for the last 4 years. I have been blessed to be able to take him to every job I have ever had since getting him. I have worked at two veterinary offices, and I now currently work at an all natural pet health food store/boutique. Every day we go to work together. Copernicus and I not only work together, but train together too. He trains for AKC Competition Obedience and Agility. We haven’t won any titles yet, but I know we’ll get there one day. He is my best friend.
My fiancé and I adopted Audrey this past April. I had been itching for another dog for a while. My “dream dog” to own is a Doberman Pinscher. We will own one as soon as we buy our home (they are not allowed in our apartment). I plan to show and compete with them in AKC Conformation.
Since we couldn’t get my dobie yet, my fiancé decided he wanted a dog of his own. He fell in love with English Bulldogs. Having worked in the veterinary field for years, I knew they were a ticking time bomb when it came to health woes. We went back and forth for a whole year on whether or not to get one. We had actually decided to NOT get a bulldog (and instead were looking at Cavalier King Charles Spaniels from a local breeder who extensively health tests her dogs----Cavs are also prone to health problems).
One day when I was working at my pet boutique job, one of our customers (who happens to breed English bulldogs----though she is NOT a reputable breeder) mentioned she had a 13 month old female bulldog she was trying to re-home. She said she had sold this bulldog (along with her sister) to someone and that the bulldog had come down with a bad case of Demodectic Mange. The original owner returned the bulldog back to her in horrid shape. She was half the body weight she should be, totally bald, and was essentially just a giant, bleeding scab. The woman said that this bulldog was well on her way to recovery and showed me some pictures on her phone. Her skin didn’t look that bad at all. The woman said that she LOVED men and that she was totally free to a good home. The woman owns a dog daycare and said whoever adopted her would get free daycare for the life of the bulldog. I was sold! I called Matt and convinced him to let us take her home on a trial period for one week. If she wasn’t a good fit, I told him we’d take her back.
I will always remember the day we went to go pick up our bulldog and bring her home. I remember I could barely sleep the night before because I was SO excited. We drove to the woman’s dog daycare and went inside. We walked around a corner and there she was. She looked A LOT worse in person then in the pictures. What I didn’t realize was that because she is brindle it is hard to see her baldness in pictures. It didn’t matter, I fell in love immediately. She came right up to us and she went with us with no question and jumped right into our car. She slept the whole way home. The woman at the daycare obviously did not care about Audrey because she didn’t ask my fiancé’s name, our phone numbers, or any info. We could have been pet killers and she just let us walk out with her dog. I was pretty sad to see that.
Before we had even had her for two full days I knew I wanted to keep her. She got along perfectly with Copernicus, she rode like a champ in the car, didn’t bark, and was a total sweetheart. We tossed around names and decided to name her Audrey Hepbull.
We made an appointment to take her to our vet and get her started on the path to recovery. Audrey has had many ups and downs in the six months that we have had her. I have documented her journey on several threads in the “Health” section of EBN Forum. We have easily spent $3,000 on her medical bills in just 6 months. When we brought her home she had to be treated for an eye ulcer, ear infection, mange, and skin infection all at the same time. Then she had unexplainable diarrhea for 1 whole month. At one point, Audrey was taking so many medications twice daily with each meal, plus getting drops in her ears and eyes, as well as 4 different nutritional supplements:
She also managed to get fleas, and ripped out her toenail during the last six months.
Happily, after 6 months of treatment, Audrey is now free of Demodectic Mange, but she still has several health problems though: She has a cherry eye that needs to be surgically repaired. Scar tissue (cloudiness) on her left eye, from her eye ulcers. A blocked tear duct, bi-lateral entropion, interdigital cysts, several recurrent viral warts all over her body, idiopathic head tremors, hip dysplasia, and now she is fighting off a ringworm (fungal) infection (Meds to treat the infection are $180 a month, and treatment will last for 2 months!).
Through it all, I wouldn’t change a thing. We love Audrey with all our hearts. One thing is for sure though; we have had one heck of an introduction to English Bulldogs!
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