On the weekend, Eva Skaloud, ECFBC and FBV volunteer, drove 17 hours round trip from London to Montreal to pick up our newest foster Frenchie, Little Miss No Name. Turns out she does (or did) have a name, if “Earlina” can be counted as a name, but Eva quickly re named her “Ema”.
We knew that there was something wrong with Ema – after all, her owners were giving her up because they said she was sickly, and had breathing problems and patella problems. I was working on a ‘wait and see’ approach before deciding just how bad her breathing and her joints really were – call me skeptical, but I’ve seen too many vets who over diagnose doom and gloom in every French Bulldog who walks in their doors. I wanted to see her for myself, and to have my own (sane, Frenchie experienced) Vet have a look at her.
My first clue that maybe something really, really serious was going on was when Eva called me with an update, and said “I was afraid she was going to die in the crate on the way home”. Eva, who owns a Boston and has owned several other Bostons and Frenchies in the past, didn’t strike me as the type to panic at non existent symptoms, so when she said she was scared, I believed her, and on meeting Ema, I instantly understood what all the panic was about.
Ema is a tiny little black masked fawn girl. She’s delicately built, with expressive eyes and a shy but affectionate nature. Within 24 hours, she had tightly bonded to Eva, and spent most of her time either sitting on Eva’s lap, or worrying about where Eva was. She’s a happy little thing, and played a little with Eva’s Boston, Carmen, but it wasn’t easy for her, because Ema just can’t breathe.
She gasps for air almost constantly, her sides working in and out like a bellows. Her tongue and gums are a uniform blue shade, no matter if she is at rest or at play. When she gets excited, Ema gasps for air even more frantically, and Eva told me that, at the worst points, she almost fell over from the effort of trying to catch her breath.
I brought Ema home last night, and I’ve done my best to keep her calm and settled. She was overwhelmed by my household of rowdy Frenchies, and climbed up on my lap for refuge. She and Jacob have sniffed noses, but he’s far too overwhelming for her. It’s such a strange contrast – Jacob is the same age is her, and is a relatively small Frenchie, but in contrast to Ema he’s a bull.
This morning, when I put Ema outside to pee, she was a little bit over excited by the freedom and danced around in a circle. A few seconds later, I saw her staggering and falling to her knees. I can honestly say I’ve rarely been as frightened by anything I’ve seen in Frenchies as I was at that moment. Thankfully, she recovered quite quickly, and I picked her up and attempted to calm her down. Her little heart was pounding like a hammer inside her chest, and mine was beating to match.
Ema is, all in all, a scary little girl – scary, because she so desperately wants to do all of the things that normal Frenchie girls do. She wants to do them, but she’s too busy fighting for her life. Sean was so horrified on meeting her that he blurted out “She reminds me of my mother, when she was dying of emphysema”.
Ema has a veterinary appointment this afternoon, and we’ll do everything we can to give her a chance at a normal, happy life.
So far, we’ve raised almost three hundred dollars towards her surgery, but we still have a ways to go. If you can, please chip in and help us to get Ema the surgery she so desperately needs to have a normal life.
I’ll be posting photos of her this afternoon, when I get a chance to shoot some of her. She’s a little bit camera shy, but she’s awfully adorable!
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