Dolly Dot

DollyDot is a mini, mini schnauzer, as she weighs in at about 5k! She is the adopted dog of DBARC volunteer Donna, who shares her story and why Schnauzerfest fundraising is so important for DBARC, and what it makes possible.

“I think Dolly Dot is the result of inbreeding to achieve extra small dogs. DBARC has had several small foster Schnauzers come our way from the dark world of puppy farming, all with congenital defects, and it’s likely that Dolly Dot’s problem is similar, as sadly she has a very abnormal spine, one of her vertabrae being massively out of place.

This is either congenital or the result of trauma in very early life. Eventually rejected by the puppy farmer as unsellable, she was about 6 months old when I started to foster her, and although this was over three years ago, I still remember the astonishment on DBARC Manager Janet’s face when she saw DollyDot’s X-ray. How could a dog even walk with an abnormality like this? Yet DollyDot would race around the place like any puppy, albeit with a weird, bunny-hopping gait. The DBARC vets were equally surprised, very worried for what this might mean for her, and said a CT scan was necessary, if the charity was able to justify the expense, as a CT scan would cost several hundred pounds. DollyDot justified the expense. This cheeky, funny, naughty, happy, loving little girl deserved the best, as in her short life she had survived the worst. She was scanned, and the results referred to an orthopaedic expert.

Sadly, nothing could be done to “repair” DollyDot, and it was impossible to say for how long her spine would be stable, or even to advise whether she should be given a restricted lifestyle to keep her safe for as long as possible. The suggestion was that she was not rehomeable, unless someone would be very careful with her. We thought long and hard about this.

DollyDot’s quality of life was what mattered, and her opinion. She clearly thought that she should have a full and active life, playing energetically with her foster family. She didn’t “do” restricted exercise or confinement, and it would be both impossible and very unkind to try to make her, and whilst it would be heartbreaking if and when a traumatic event to her spine finally caused her to be paralysed, which the expert warned could happen at any time, she obviously had no awareness of this possibility. By now I had come to love this cheeky little madam, so all things considered, it seemed best (certainly for me!) if I accepted being a failure once again and that DollyDot stayed with us for as long as we were lucky enough to have her. The DBARC Vets would be able to keep an eye on her, and of course Janet would be able to advise on her care.

It’s been over three years now, and I am daily thankful that DBARC has enabled this very special little girl to have the life she was meant to have, however long that may be. Her life is full of joy, and she shares this with the many fosters that pass through our home, always ready to teach a new and terrified little soul that they can put their miserable past behind them now and have fun.

DollyDot is also looking forward to Schnauzerfest. She’s hoping to meet lots of new canine friends to demonstrate her unusual walking style, and unusually loud voice – a small dog with a big voice and an even bigger personality, but where would she be, had not DBARC been able to help her?”

When you donate to Schnauzerfest, THIS is what you make possible. You give dogs that don’t have a chance, a big one, and a new life.