The recent story of Dixie and Duncan, two littermates living with a medical condition known as Megaesophagus (ME), who were reunited after about 15 months apart has warmed all our hearts within the BAM family. We hope you enjoy watching just the highlights of their story here. And to give you a little more backstory that could've made for a short film rather than a quick(ish) video, read on:
We continue to be floored at how many instances of luck or divine intervention and parallels these two sweethearts have lived from the start. One of BAM's volunteers happened to be visiting a local vet clinic when she overheard a family discussing their sick puppy. Trying not to be too pushy she interjected and offered BAM's contact information to them. You see, after weeks of having their new puppy, Dixi,e be sick and throwing up nearly every meal, the veterinarian had officially diagnosed her as having ME. For Dixie that means that she has an enlarged pocket on her esophagus. It traps food and water before it makes it to her digestive tract. It is almost constantly sloshing and making her want to regurgitate. And that can be very scary because aspirating any of that food or fluid can lead to pneumonia. Dixie's first owners were gracious enough to realize Dixie's life still had value and with proper care she would have the quality of life we would all hope for any puppy. But they also knew they weren't able to support those needs and that's why they decided to reach out and relinquish her to BAM. What we didn't know at that time is that her brother Duncan was suffering from his own version of ME and had nearly been put down my his first family. The poor pup had been so sick they didn't think it was right to make him suffer. But like Dixie's first family, Duncan's veterinarian thought there may be hope for him and suggested Best Friends Animal Sanctuary and their experienced staff might intervene with his care.
The parallels continued in that Dixie was transported across Utah to her new foster-to-adopt home on the exact day Duncan's new family, Harold and Debbie from Missouri, announced they were officially adopting him. Another twist of fate was that BAM's Program and Development Coordinator, Aggie, was on vacation (out of the country!) when she spotted Dixie posted online as a stray hold in a Northern Utah shelter. We'll never know if anyone else would have had the timing and knowledge on their side to put the details together, but we are so thrilled to have found Dixie in her time of need.
Because BAM had posted Dixie's story online and created a Facebook page for her as a puppy Duncan's mom Debbie had been aware of BAM having had her boy's sister. And she wanted to know more about the other littermates. Debbie contacted BAM to learn about Dixie's adoption status and wellbeing only two weeks before Dixie was posted as a stray. Because of that contact, BAM's Foster Care Coordinator (and Founder and VP and Dixie's former foster mom), J, sent a quick mesage to Debbie as soon as we knew Dixie was returning to our care. What had been missed in all earlier communication is that Harold and Debbie weren't in Utah and couldn't easily foster Dixie. The distance from Missouri to Utah hadn't phased them with Duncan's adoption, however, so within about 15 minutes of hearing about Dixie needing a new home they had already decided they would be making the days-long drive out to Utah one more time. This time to pick up their new little girl. Harold and Debbie adopted Dixie one year and 2 days after having driven to Utah to adopt her brother.
Though it is now clear the ME has manifested uniquely to each pup, the treatment and attention to care is much the same. What we hope people will learn from their story is that careless backyard breeding can lead to tragedy in the blink of an eye. Whatever power it was that got Duncan into care at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary and Dixie into BAM's foster program, we have no idea what came of the other two puppies from their litter who were also struggling with this disorder and we hope they have not suffered.
Thank you to everyone who has been so supportive of BAM's pet welfare, adoption, and community programs in the past and as we move forward. Your support makes "Happy Tails" like this one possible!
A huge Thank You goes out to Natalie and Bone Appetit! Pet Food Pantry for their recent hosting of BAM's annual Barking Lot Sale. We had a great turnout and took in more donations than ever before AND received a donation of a portion of Bone Appetit's sales on that day.
In addition to this support, Bone Appetit! just donated over 500 POUNDS of quality dog food, helping support not just the foster dogs in our care but also the Kibbles on Wheels program we run to aide seniors and homebound pet owners.
We can only do what we do with the generous support of businesses (and individuals) like Bone Appetit! and all those who supported the Barking Lot Sale by donating so many great items. Thank you for helping us to make a difference!
Thank you to Tex and the employees of Thompson Steel in Hurricane! They were kind enough to not only supply the roofing to BAM's new storage shed, but also donated their time and skills to install it all. The shed was all volunteer built and will be a huge relief to the volunteers who store BAM supplies in their homes and businesses.
Learn more about this unique local business online.
BAM Donates Pet Oxygen Masks to City of Hurricane
Hurricane, UT (December 20, 2013) – The final Hurricane City Council meeting of 2013 marked a milestone for local pet welfare organization Because Animals Matter (BAM), and the City of Hurricane. BAM presented the donation of two sets of pet oxygen masks to city officials; one set of masks for each Hurricane fire station.
Because Animals Matter President September Smith made the presentation, commenting that BAM has been experiencing an almost exponential impact with the community’s growing pet population since the organization was founded in 2006. BAM saw the growth in pet ownership and wanted to respond in a way that could lend support to the City and its residents.
When BAM initially began researching the pet oxygen masks they looked to local veterinarian Allen Bice of The Desert Vet. He has a history as a volunteer with the Hurricane Fire Department and offered to train the Fire and EMS crews on the proper use of the masks.
Smith mentioned that the Fire Department is one group all residents appreciate yet never want to see. “We hope these masks never have to be used,” Smith said, “but we wanted them to be available if the need arose.”
To learn more about Because Animals Matter’s community programs visit the Services and Programs tab above, and the BAM Facebook page.