39 Ways To Not Kill Your Best Friend

Set against a real-life backdrop, 39 Ways To Not Kill Your Best Friend shares stories of companion dogs that have tragically died – or narrowly escaped death – at the hands of well-meaning owners. With case files from her own practice, seasoned veterinary surgeon Dr Samson-French delivers harrowing accounts of good intentions gone awry, inviting readers into her clinic to witness the investigative process firsthand. From choke collars and heatstroke to puppy mills and greyhound racing, she tackles polarizing issues head on, compassionate but unflinching as she reinforces the do’s and don’ts of responsible canine care. Woven through with provocative questions and powerful lessons, this compelling life-and-death narrative will challenge and transform your beliefs about the loyal animals that rely on us. This is a reality check that no serious dog owner can afford to miss: what you learn here could save your pet’s life.A dog with no name” will be fed for three days with the purchase of this book. Help to “Give a Dog a Life”.

Chapter 1

BDLD (Big Dog Little Dog) Deadly Encounters

The first entry in Photon’s file was BDLD, the veterinary abbreviation for “big dog little dog”. By the time he arrived at our clinic, Photon, a middle-aged, mixed-breed dog with predominant Spaniel traits, was at death’s door. As the little dog lay on the table, his worried owner reviewed the radiographs with us: as a radiologist in human medicine, he was quite capable of understanding the gravity of Photon’s situation.

In truth, Photon’s owner could not quite believe what had befallen his pet. Not for a moment had Dr. Corbett ever thought there was anything wrong with the “let them fight it out – they will sort it out” approach to dogfights. While at the dog park earlier that day, Photon had met a German Shepherd cross and, as expected, the ritual canine greeting soon occurred: both dogs became intensely engaged in sniffing each other’s private parts. They quickly discovered that both were missing their testicles, as both had been neutered. Suddenly, for no apparent reason that either owner could fathom, the hackles of the Shepherd cross went up and, in a flash, the dogs were embroiled in a frenzied, snarling struggle. Watching, Dr. Corbett thought the brawl would be over in seconds; once both dogs figured who was “top dog,” they’d ease up, and then get along fine on subsequent encounters.

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  Chapter 39

The Tale of Liberty and the Dog Factory

Puppy mills do not exist. As a practicing clinician who sees puppies every week for health checks, I can tell you in all honesty: puppy mills do not exist. If they did exist, then every new puppy owner I have interacted with in the last decade has inadvertently lied to me. How could that be?

In my practice, every new puppy exam starts with the same question: “How long have you had your puppy, and where did it come from?” The reason I ask is to get some background on the mental and emotional, as well as the physical, health of the puppy.

Naturally, a puppy found emaciated and comatose on the side of the road, or in a dumpster, will have a different start in life than a purebred puppy with papers in tow from a reputable breeder to attest to the genetic health of the parents. As you might imagine, the “dumped” puppy is very likely to have a gut crowded with undesirable worms, and minimal socialization. When I ask about the origin of a puppy, not once has an owner ever said, “From a puppy mill, what do you think?”

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