Duchess started out her life in Louisiana, apparently in a Parish not far from New Orleans. She was in a small puppy mill operation and I wish I knew how many of her puppies were out there but we just don’t. It wasn’t a good situation, judging by her teeth and coat when she arrived in foster care.

At some point this Spring, she had another litter and when it was down to her and one last male pup, a Good Samaritan saw the condition they were in and called the local SPCA. Fortunately in Louisiana the SPCA staff is able to go to a home with the police and if the dog is in distress they can pull the dog immediately. They went ahead and took Duchess and her puppy, Prince.

They were cleaned and vetted, and English Springer Rescue America was called. Within a day or so Duchess and Prince were on their way to a great volunteer in Mississippi. While in MS, they were treated for mange and Prince was allowed to ween. Duchess was posted on the ESRA website and she caught the eye of a family Atlanta and so the adoption process started.

Then the foster family in MS noticed the limp. Which led to a trip to the vet. Which led to Xrays. Which led to a diagnosis of hip dysplasia.

Now, hip dysplasia isn’t the worst thing that could happen and is fairly common in many of the working and hunting breeds as they get older. But Duchess isn’t old. She’s only four. So how did this get so bad?

According to our vet, dogs are born predisposed to hip dysplasia, and can pass it down to their offspring (so I feel bad for those folks who purchased Duchess’ puppies who all probably have hip troubles). Factor in the constant birthing of babies and the subsequent depletion of nutrients, and Duchess was set up to have a lot of pain and trouble for the rest of her life.

Anywho, back in Atlanta the family who was going to adopt her decided this was more than they could take on. And good on them for being honest, as Duchess is an expensive dog to keep. But they transported her here anyway because she had a better chance of being adopted in Atlanta than in Mississippi.

Prince stayed with us for one night and they really were sweet with each other, but when his new foster dad came to get him boy oh boy did Duchess sleeeeeep! This little mama had had enough of those puppies hanging on her! So she slept, got acclimated to a new and easier life. We bought her a cushy dog bed. We introduced her to belly rubs and chewing on deer antlers. And she’s taken to it all like a fish to water.

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