A Second Chance

Sheryl Ponce
Staff Writer
Elk City Daily News

A little English Bull Ter-rier named Abby pulled on the heartstrings of people all over the nation. She began her story with her sister in Dallas where her breeder surrendered them to the animal shelter.

She had a severe heart murmur and in most cases she would have been euthanized. Because of the actions and cooperation of some dog lovers, Abby lives and is ready for a forever home.

That was just the beginning for the five-month old pup. She was underweight and the cost of her surgery was going to be prohibitive of adopting her to a forever home.
Her sister went straight to adoption, but Abby had a longer road ahead of her.

There were several key people that stepped into action to get her the help she needed. May Ross of the Bull Terrier Rescue of Dallas was the first to see potential of the small ball of energy.

“She had a bad heart murmur. On a scale of one to six, with six being the worst, Abby had a five. Without the help of the national rescue organization she would have been put down because her problems were so extensive.”

May Ross
Bull Terrier Rescue of Dallas 

The rescue group ran a sonogram on Abby and found that her problems were fixable. They had to find a place that could handle this type of problem. The organization, Rescue Welfare Trust Fund of the Bull Terrier Club of America, would pay for the expenses of healing little Abby.

With the help of Marji Anderson, Clinton, she was off to Oklahoma State University Vetenary School for surgery. Anderson retrieved her from Dallas and took her to OSU to meet Dr. Ryan Braumwart, DVM, NCCIN, who is a veterinary cardiologist. Braumwart also has a local connection because his father, Dr. Alvin Braumwart, DVM has a practice in Clinton.

“Abby had two problems, which resulted in two separate surgeries. One, called Patent Ductus Arteriosus, PDA was fi xed with a device put in her heart, we fused the valve. The other problem was fixed with a balloon catheter, called balloon angioplasty. She is very good now and prognosis is excellent,” Braumwart said.

The National Bull Terrier Trust paid for both procedures and her care.

“The surgeries cost around $4,000 to $5,000. We were able to pay for this because we had a couple of very nice donations. We help rescue Bull Terriers all over the country,” Glenna Wright, chairman of the club, said.

When the five-month-old Abby went into the rescue, Anderson cared for her. She nurtured her back to health and last Wednesday she was able to return Abby to Dallas so she could be given a second chance at happiness in a forever home.

“I would like to give a shout out to the Bull Terrier organization. “They were top notch to work with. We always try to give discounts and work with groups, but this one was exceptional. I would also like to give credit to Dr. Zent of Elk City. He is a knowledge, caring doctor who has helped this process” Brawmwart explained.

The problems Abby was born with are not necessarily typical for the breed. They have their reputations and problems, but this congenital problem was not one of them.

Wright assumes the breeder surrendered her because she knew of the heart murmur.

“If someone is thinking about getting a Bull Terrier they need to do their research. They are considered little clowns and not for a novice owner,” Wright warned.

The individuals who are part of the rescue seemed to be devoted owners and love the dogs’ funny antics.

“I love this breed. It’s like having a three-year-old, always a laugh. If you have more than one, it’s like having a continuous birthday party of three year olds,” Ross laughed.

The love that Abby received in her short life is giving her a second chance to live.

It is allowing her adoptive family the chance to love the little girl that touched so many lives along her journey back.

“She has such a sweet spirit. I’m going to miss her,” Anderson confessed.

She took Miss Abby to the day spa, got her nails painted pink and wrapped her with printed scarf and jeweled collar before she left on her trip back to Dallas.

Fellow dog lover Elizabeth Wade escorted the two on their return trip. Anderson and Wade have been instrumental in Abby’s recovery.

The three-week evaluation that all Bull Terriers go through before they are adopted will run short because the organization already knows her energy level, how she cooperates and gets along with other pets.

Next, it is up to the potential families to do their part and fill out the required paperwork and wait for the match made in heaven.

Abby left her mark on each person she came into contact with and she will be remembered for that sweet look and her inquisitive nature.

She has been an inspiration to each one who was put in her path. As Abby follows her destiny she may not remember her humble beginnings, but she will be remembered by all of those who loved her back to health.