This wonderful little puppy was Porkchop. He was an import from Columbia, South America, born on 12/31/2010, the last day of the old year. His happy owner was a young woman who had saved up to buy her first puppy, and when he came into the French Bulldog Village, he brought with him all those loving gifts that new owners buy their first puppies, a beautiful little plush bed, a little harness and matching leash, and a little musical pink pig which he never got to play with. Within a week and a half of his arrival at his new home, this little puppy began to develop alarming symptoms: rhythmic crying, rhythmic head twitching, trembling, stumbling and falling. Unable to pay his growing veterinary costs and unwilling to have her new puppy euthanized, his young owner tearfully turned him over to me, wrapped in his little blanket against the March chill, hoping that we could help him. The whole family, mother, father, sister, niece, were all crying when I drove away.

The veterinary neurologist suspected distemper, a diagnosis that was later confirmed by autopsy, and advised me that puppies almost never survived the illness, but she did not tell me not to try. Over the next nine days, we tried very hard to save him, but his illness was too far advanced. I can say that up until the last few hours, he was in no real discomfort, other than his frustration at not being able to move about like any normal puppy. He slept with me every single night, swaddled tight in a blanket to control his tremors and tucked up against my Pug, and during the day when I was home, he was beside me in his portable crib. He succeeded in grabbing a curious cat’s tail, from his prone position on the floor. He even passed that first French Bulldog puppy milestone, when first one ear and then the other sprang erect – his big boy ears. And then he died.  

Sleep sweetly, my little baby boy.