In January 2010 my husband, my son Austin, and I had to put our 13 year old cocker spaniel, Blaze to sleep.  My son has ADHD and functions fairly well, but has never been around death and this was difficult for for him to accept and understand.  Blaze was never a pal to Austin due to Blaze having been sick most of Austin’s life, but non-the-less it was hard on all of us .  

I found a listing in three months later in March for a three month old puggle.  Her family lived 6 hours away from us but they needed someone to take her because one of their other pets was abusing Gabby. 

When I saw Gabby’s face for the first time I knew I needed her.  Within one week I picked her up by driving several hours to meet this family half way.  She was beautiful and sweet.  I had noticed she threw up in their van several times on the trip but thought nothing of it except motion sickness.  I drove her home and she stared at me the whole trip.  When we got home my husband and my son Austin fell in love as well.  Several months passed and she was doing well except considerable car sickness and lethargy after immunizations.  When she was about six months old she would vomit occasionally, once a week perhaps and would circle the house and not lay down.  This went on for a few more months, but I figured she was just eating items she shouldn't and it passed as that.  She was skinny even though she ate well.  I began switching her foods from time to time because she would stop eating her dog food. , all the while she was still vomiting.  She would urinate constantly all through the house and drink fifteen or more cups of water daily.  She didn't even know she was urinating half of the time.  Eventually she began falling over.   We owned her eight months before I demanded my vet do a blood test.  Two days later I got the horrible news;  a liver shunt.  Her Bile acids were over 300.   

By now we loved her...I mean we really loved her.  My son called her his sister and I thought of her as a daughter.  We were financially unable to afford her surgery at that time. She needed the surgery to possibly save her life.

One night, while on the internet, I found the Liver Shunt and MVD Support Group.  Members gave me advice and support and within two weeks God sent us and ‘Angel’ willing to help us and paid for Gabby surgery.  The following month I prepared her for her surgery.  I slept with her to make sure she wasn't having seizures (getting up every 1/2 hour for her to pee). I walked her daily in 20 degree weather to strengthen her.  I worked hard to get her to gain two pounds as well.   My husband and I were with her around the clock and occasionally our neighbors would watch her if we couldn't.  I soaked in all knowledge from my internet shunt group and accessed the internet all hours of the night to learn more.  

January 11, 2011 Gabby had her surgery in Pittsburgh, PA.  She was home in three days and healed quickly.  March 30, 2011 she had her post surgery bile acid tests and it came back at pre-prandial equaled 1 post-prandial was 23…..  NORMAL!!!  Within two weeks we have started her on a good low protein food and stopped her lactulose.  She has gained another 4 lbs. since the surgery and now we are trying to keep her from getting too plump.  No more incontinence and she consumes much less water than in the past.   I don't know what the future holds for our Gabby, but thanks to prayer, the Liver Shunt and MVD Support Group, and our ‘Angel from GOD’...she has a future.  I have learned a few things: 

1. I remember what the shunt group sent me the first night when I applied to the group...”A liver shunt is not a death sentence”.  That stuck with me greatly. 
2. You can't give up on you pet, you must fight and learn.
3.  GOD picks these little creatures owners only because HE/SHE knows we can handle it.  We don't pick them...GOD picks us.    I thank GOD for my Gabby and EVERYONE who helped me to help her.  

Sincerely The Smiths:   Ray, Melissa, Austin and Gabby

Music Credit: Michael Fenuccio- Gabby's Song (Acoustic Original)