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22 Fuller Farm Road
Plymouth, MA 02360
508-747-1864
 
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Tiffany - A Dog to Remember

Naku's Tiffany headshot

About 10 years ago, I had just moved into a new house and felt it was time to get a dog. I was looking for one that could be calm in an office situation and be a good watchdog and companion at home. In addition, it had to get along with my cats. I did much research and kept coming back to one breed that I had never heard of before, called the Eurasier. I combed through many books and magazines, looking for a breeder, and found the only one in North America, "Naku's" outside of Toronto.

The breeder, Margaret Knight, couldn't have been nicer, and I immediately got on her waiting list, at #7. Her female (Molly) then had a litter of four, which was a disappointment for me because it meant that I had to wait for the next litter. Out of the blue, Margaret called and told me that some people before me on the waiting list had backed out, and she had one little girl left! I can't tell you how excited I was, although I know all of you in line for a Eurasier feel the same way. At eight weeks old, I picked up my little girl and we named her Tiffany. She was everything I had hoped for, so calm, sweet and very playful. Her coloring changed daily but once she was an adult, her coat was a striking, mahogany red. I introduced her to a dog park and she enjoyed playing with all the dogs and afterwards we all went for walks in the woods along the paths. I enjoyed the socializing and she enjoyed all the attention she got, not only from the dogs but also from all the people who met her. We were really inseparable, she went to work everyday with me and at home she was only alone if I went out at night.

Naku's Tiffany full body

She was the ideal pet, so I thought I would breed her. I talked to Margaret and we decided to use Geroa for the stud. I went up to Canada and bred Tiffany; weeks later we found out she never was pregnant. In retrospect, it was best she didn't get pregnant because a month later she had (what we thought) was a bad inner ear infection. She was treated for it and finally it went away. About three weeks later, it came back. My vet knew now it was something neurological. The neurologist we went to took one look into Tiffany's eyes and diagnosed her with encephalitis. He believed that she got it from a lime disease vaccination because he was seeing a rapid rise in dogs with encephalitis. The outlook was pretty grim. She had to be medicated with Prednisone for the rest of her life and because of that, her life span would be decreased. I actually felt I lost her that day. I vowed to myself I would do everything in my power to help her live a normal life, with little to no medication.

Encephalitis is a terrible brain disease, it just will never go away, and if you miss a treatment it comes back with a vengeance. Prednisone changed Tiffany's temperament; she could be moody, depressed, just not herself. We tried other less pervasive medication but she always relapsed. The Prednisone was the only thing that helped. Through the years with a lot of patience and perseverance, I very successfully weaned her down to only 5mg, every other day. It was one thing I could not forget to do, she needed that little pill and only once through the years, do I remember forgetting to give it to her. The Prednisone did a job on Tiffany's health just like the neurologist predicted. She gained weight, had cataracts, pyrometra and other ailments, but her moods got much better as I was weaning her.

By the time she was 6 years old, her cataracts were bad in both eyes and they were getting worse. Even though she was quite overweight and slow, she always joined me and my other dogs for our daily walks. After she continually walked off the path and I would later find her deep in the woods, I realized she was going blind. I felt for her, as I knew she really enjoyed walking with us; she enjoyed all the smells of other dogs and just being outside. I decided to have the cataract in one of her eyes removed. Poor Tiffany and her luck, she actually saw normally for 2 weeks and then glaucoma set in and she was even blinder than before. Worse yet, we were at the vet's weekly for eye checkups just trying not to lose the eye altogether. With all the trips to the vet's, she was always a trooper, she never gave me a bit of trouble, she just walked right in. Tiffany actually adjusted to her blindness very well, she knew where her water bowl was and of course, her food bowl. She knew the house and where all the doors were and she knew where to walk without bumping into anything. She greeted everyone who came to the door, and she was ecstatic each time I came in. She had the best hearing and could hear my truck once I turned down the driveway. I had 4 other watchdogs in the house besides Tiffany, and she always barked first, the rest would follow suit. I always felt a sense of warmth hearing her bark when I came home.

In September, I planned a small vacation to Maine and Nova Scotia, seeing Pat and Don Renn, Josee and Gerri along the way. The Friday before I was to go, Tiffany had diarrhea. I didn't think too much of it, she had it before but the next day I saw blood in it. Taking her to the vet's they did a bunch of tests on her and everything turned out negative. They knew I was going on vacation and they said they would watch her for a couple of days and then release her to my father. I never once had the notion that this was serious. I was in contact with the vet the whole time and she called me daily on my cell phone. The second day she called me at Pat and Don's home. Tiffany had taken a turn for the worse. She was bleeding internally and they did not know why, the only hope for her was a bone marrow transplant and they said her chances were slight. Tiffany had been through hell her whole life and a transplant would most likely cause her pain; I made the decision to put her down. I drove back home to be with her. I had never euthanized a dog before and although I didn't want to do it, I realize now how peaceful it really is. As sick as Tiffany was, she walked into the room where I was to spend time with her and amazingly she acted normal and was so excited to see me. I immediately broke down knowing what was going to happen. Tiffany died peacefully and with such dignity, I was always so proud of her, especially with all that she went through. Everyone loved Tiffany; she was a genuine people's dog. Through all the years, deep down she was my favorite. She was my first Eurasier and the reason for me breeding this wonderful breed. She will surely be missed. She's up there in doggie heaven now, hopefully feeling very healthy and happy; having Otto showing her the ropes.


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