MJ is doing great!

Sent in from Joanna Hackney of Austin, Texas, July 7, 2010:
Hi…I’m MJ and I’m borrowing my mom’s e-mail account to send you this message!

I’m still just a puppy but I’ve been through so much for my young age! I started my life with a loving family but then tragedy struck and they were forced to surrender me to the shelter b/c we lost our home in a house fire. I stayed at the shelter for 10 miserable days and was extremely sad & confused…I mean, what did I do wrong to deserve this? The people at the shelter tried to interact with me but said that I was “shut down” and decided that I wasn’t eligible for their adoption program. So I ended up on their “euthanasia list”. I didn’t want to die…I was just really scared!

Then this wonderful team of loving people called Austin Pets Alive! came to my rescue and pulled me out of the shelter! A lovely lady named Becky took me home with her & the next day, I met my foster mom, Joanna. We had a great first week getting to know one another and I didn’t want to ever let her out of my sight. When she would leave me at home, I would just curl up against the front door waiting for her to come back and love me. On the 10th day though, I woke up feeling awful! As the day progressed, I became more and more ill and when I was rushed to the vet, they diagnosed me with distemper and pneumonia! My temperature went all the way up to 108 degrees! Yikes!

The next 3 weeks of my life were horrible! I couldn’t eat and had to have several IV’s administered each day. Then there were days that I couldn’t take myself out to the bathroom and eventually the infection moved into my brain causing neurological damage. My prognosis was grim and other people would have said that I was a lost cause but Austin Pets Alive! refused to give up on me. I am so incredibly grateful to the amazing Dr. Jefferson, the super caring vet techs Sara & Jordana, and the talented Dr. Zilkha at White Angel Animal Hospital who administered a progressive distemper treatment directly into my spinal cord to kill the virus.

And today, I am fully recovered from my distemper! Sure, I have some weird neurological ticks, but I’m such a happy puppy! And best of all, my foster mom decided she could not part from me after all we have been through together…I’ve been adopted! I truly would not be alive though if it was not for Austin Pets Alive! They saved me once from the kill list at the shelter and then again when I was sick.

My mom thinks it’s important to pay it forward. She’s been volunteering at Austin Pets Alive!, but I want to do something too! She says that my distemper treatment cost about $1000. In puppy speak, that’s the same as 75 bags of kibble!! So I’d like to raise enough donations to Austin Pets Alive! to pay back my medical bills and then some more too so that other pups can be saved just like me!

Please help me achieve this goal! I’m in a contest until July 15th for Austin’s Favorite Dog and each dollar you donate is a vote for me and a donation to Austin Pets Alive! Every vote counts!! Just go to the following website and enter your vote for me…MJ! Thanks!


– MJ the Pup!


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  1. Jessica says:

    What was administered directly to your spinal cord to save you? I am a 5month old labrador puppy recently diagnosed with distemper. I am in the 2nd (neurological) stage and am struggling. I’m strong-willed and well loved but would like to try something more aggresive. Please help!!!