In rescue, there a lot of stories to tell – Stories of brave rescue. Stories of selfless volunteers. Stories of unspeakable abuse and neglect. Stories that hurt. Stories that heal. Beauties and Beasts, Inc is known for using social media to tell the majority of these stories, but we wanted something more. We wanted a channel to document the stories of the dogs and cats that we are working so hard to save. We are excited to start this journey of joy, sadness, healing and RESCUE.
The first story we’d like to tell is…
Big Booty Judy
In September 2017, hurricane Harvey hit Texas. With record rainfall and widespread flooding, shelters quickly filled with dogs needing to be saved. Volunteers with Beauties and Beasts jumped into action and drove a van full of empty kennels to Houston to save as many dogs from the area shelters as possible. One of the first dogs we found was named Biggie. She had been saved from the life of a backyard breeder by another rescue prior to the hurricane, but with the rising water, the rescue quickly found itself flooded. The person who ran the rescue bravely refused to be saved without his dogs. He signed over Biggie (among others) so that she could get someplace safe and dry. Biggie wasn’t much to look at. She was just a chubby bulldog-mix (we think!) who was overweight, had obvious signs of having been a backyard breeder, bad skin and no hair on her ears. Biggie needed us, and that day she became a Beauty.
Biggie came back to Wichita, KS and started her new life here. She spent her first month in boarding decompressing, which allowed us to learn a little bit about who she was. We learned that she was not a fan of her kennel. She would slowly headbutt the door to make sure you knew she was displeased. She did not like walks. She’d go, but you had BETTER have a treat. We thought at first that she didn’t like other dogs because of how she greeted them – head down, tail up. Turns out, she just doesn’t know how to say hi! After that’s out of the way, she does great with other dogs! She also came in contact with many volunteers who loved her for her “RBF” (Resting Biggie Face) and slow-moving ways and acquired quite a few nicknames! Big Booty Judy, BBJ, Bigs, Notorious P.I.G., Pig-Dog, Hippo, Land Manatee, Chunk, Chubs, Chub-a-dub…. the list goes on.
Biggie later went to her foster home (my house!) where she thrived. We found out that she LOVED kids. She would make a concerted effort to be near ‘her’ kids and would protect them from household dangers like the vacuum. She got into the vet and got some care for some of her skin issues and she was feeling much better. After only a few short weeks, Biggie had an adopter! They met her and fell in love! We were so excited to see her go to a family that we knew loved our grunty little Pig-Dog as much as we did!
Unfortunately, Biggie’s story with the Beauties didn’t end there. Life happened, and we were contacted in April by Biggie’s adoptive mom. Biggie’s new mom and dad weren’t staying together and neither one of them could keep Biggie on their own. However, once a Beauty, always a Beauty! Biggie went back to her original foster home to wait for her next adopter. We just knew there was someone else out there!
Back in foster, Biggie saw the vet for a check-up. We had her thyroid tested and had the vet look at a growth on her vagina. (Lack of energy, hairloss on the ears, and inability to lose weight can be symptoms of hypothyroidism in dogs.) We got her on thyroid medication and scheduled a simple surgery to remove the growth, just in case. We saw an almost immediate improvement in her skin condition and energy levels. Biggie is definitely still a couch potato, but she was a couch potato who could walk a whole block!
Biggie recovered from her surgery was feeling great! She played with her foster brother, Olaf, and was actually ASKING to go for walks! Before we knew it, she had another adopter!
Then, the world stopped. On the day she was supposed to have her intro and hopefully start a new life we got a call that no one ever wants to get – Biggie has cancer. The growth that had been removed from her vagina – the one we thought wasn’t anything to worry about – was malignant. A thousand questions…. Are there any treatment options? How much time does she have left? Will she be in pain?
Chemotherapy would not be a good option for Biggie. We don’t know how long she has left. We do know this: What a wonderful opportunity we’ve been given! We have the chance to shower this little lady with all the love in the world. We will make sure that every day she has left is filled with all the good things life has to offer.
We’ve created a bucket list for Biggie – a list of things we’d like for her to be able to do with her time left. I invite you to join us here to celebrate Big Booty Judy’s life.