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Tuff - The Story of a Good Mother


11/6/07 - Update

Home from the Veterinarian, Tuff has a brace screwed into her jaw and is wearing a ring around her neck that she’s not too happy about. She will have this bar attached to her jaw with screws for at least 6 weeks. The vet saved what he took out of her jaw to show me and all I can say is the person who did this is lucky I dont know him. There were pieces of copper bullet casing the size of a nickel or larger that he took out along with the entire bone fragment.

Her palate was re-stitched and he said it looks to be healing up well. The infection is almost gone from her sinuses. She is on antibiotics and pain meds and is asleep right now with her baby girl "Cupcake". (the only pup left for adoption) They were happy to see each other after the initial reaction of Cupcake barking and growling at her because she didn’t recognize her with the ring on her head.

Here is where we stand total cost wise THUS far: $1613.41 (which has been paid by all your donations and DDB -BIG THANK YOU!)

Tuff is going to need to have her brace/pins/screws removed later on, as well as being spayed and she tested heartworm positive. If anyone is able to pass along her update to anyone to help with her costs please do so!

Tuff and Cupcake will be transported to DDB Rescue and Public Liaison Dawn Ashby for rehabilitation, in Central Illinois on Wednesday. Dawn will keep us updated on their progress. “I can’t wait to meet Tuff, she is my heroine! We are planning on a good old fashioned log cabin Christmas with the family, our dogs and fosters, including Tuff who will be the center of attention! Guns are definitely NOT a tradition in this family!” –Dawn Ashby

Tuff and Cupcake will be available for adoption to the perfect families when the time is right.

11/2/2007: Update

Just got off the phone with the vet who did her surgery; Wow, what a mess this sounds. He said when he got her down for surgery today he could not believe all the debris in her jaw. He said it was over a handful of broken sticks, pieces of bone, and a bullet casing. He was able to wire up the bone and he used 4 screws and attached it to some kind of plate on the outside of her jaw that will need to be removed at a later date. She is also wearing on of those lamp shade things to keep her from pawing at her jaw. He said that the hole in her palate had healed up but only half way that the other half didn’t take so he repaired that with different surrounding skin and used non dissolving stitches. He isn’t sure whether this is all going to heal as he wants it to but says he is optimistic. He also removed one of the back teeth because the nerve to her tooth was exposed and had died. He said while he had her under he was going to remove a piece of lead in her throat but after 2.5 hours he thinks she had enough this time. She is going to have a long recovery it seems but she has been a very playful happy girl the last few days.

Also, she has tested positive for heart worms but it’s a very early stage and shouldn’t be a problem to treat when she's healthier.

10/29/2007: Update

Thanks to YOUR donations, Tuff is undergoing her second and hopefully last surgery!

Dogs Deserve Better would like to thank everyone who donated for Tuff’s medical bills and care. She is undergoing her surgery today. All but one of her pups, a brindle female, have families approved for adoption. Once the vet releases Tuff she will recuperate in foster care with Illinois DDB Representative Dawn Ashby until the perfect forever home is found where she will be loved as a part of a family and never fear mistreatment again. Because of YOU Tuff's story WILL have a HAPPY ending!

We will keep you updated on her progress!


Tuff: A Story of a Good Mother

Mother of the Year

In today’s media we are bombarded with stories of moms: Brittany Spears, Angelina Jolie, Nicole Richie, Katie Holmes, but my “Mother of the Year Award” won’t be going to any celebrity mom, it belongs to Tuff; a dog who survived all odds to give birth and nurse her pups, while her own health deteriorated.

I’ve seen a lot in animal rescue. The deeper I’ve become involved and the more focused I have become pulling animals from dire situations, places where no human could survive to watch them thrive in the hands of their new adopters; I’ve seen sadness and witnessed pure joy. I know what it is to hope and to be rewarded as well as I can identify with disappointment and anguish. Yet, no story has touched me as deeply as the story of a mother who by all rights should be dead who managed to survive to give birth and nurse six offspring.

This is the story of Tuff, a dog who meant so little to one person that they put the barrel of a gun into her mouth and pulled the trigger, leaving her for dead. Miracles do happen, I am a true believer of that, and Tuff is a miracle dog. Lying in a pool of her own blood she gave birth to six beautiful puppies. She nursed them with no medical attention and barely a scrap of food for herself and she survived. Wounded, half starved, a mere skeleton of a dog she is the proud parent of six healthy babies.

This is a dog someone thought so little of that they put a gun in her mouth hoping to end her life, and Dogs Deserve Better thinks so much of that with the help of your donations we are funding her medical bills and care. Tuff has to undergo at least two expensive surgeries.

Recent Update: “Tuff already seems to know that her life is going to be better. After undergoing surgery and facing another more extensive and more expensive surgery, she already seems happier. Her pups are doing great!” –Heather Willis, DDB (Tuff’s Rescuer)

West Frankfort, Illinois- When DDB Representative, Heather Willis discovered through a gas station attendant that a female dog had a gun stuck in her mouth, was shot and then delivered 6 puppies, she rushed to the rescue to find a sweet mamma and her precious babies in desperate need of veterinary care.
From Heather: "I can't even begin to tell you what terrible shape (the mother) is in. She could easily stand to gain 30 lbs. She looks to me to be a Labrador Retriever but she is nothing but skin and bones so hard to tell by only a skeletal form. She is very smart, follows commands like sit, stay, and walks on a leash as well as very social and not in the least bit timid. She has a wonderful spirit and is great with kids."
The momma, "Tuff," had taken a bullet in through her mouth and when it hit her jaw it actually split in two pieces. One piece went up through her cleft palat leaving an open hole 1/2 inch wide so each time she eats food lodges feeding the infection. That part continued up through her and into her head. The caved in part of her head is nerve damage and atrophy. The 2nd fragment went through her jaw at a downward angle and did more nerve damage in her throat. There is still lead in her sinuses.
The vet has started her on antibiotics, fluids, and a diet made for her needs. Tuff is scheduled for surgery on Monday to close the hole. The vet thinks she will be able to get weight on her and back to a decent quality of life soon.

If you've been touched by this story, and would like to help us free more chained dogs, all donations are gratefully accepted. Thank you!

If you'd like to donate via regular USPS mail, you may print out this form in .pdf format, and send to P.O. Box 23, Tipton, PA 16684


















Contact Info: Dogs Deserve Better, Inc. • P.O. Box 23 • Tipton, PA 16684 • Toll Free 1.877.636.1408 • 814.941.7447
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