#Animal Welfare
State Representatives, Media Networks
United States of America

I can never put into words Titan's entire story. I can never come close to describing what place he had in our family.
I purchased a Chocolate Lab from Petland in Independence Center at the end of 2014. Titan had health problems continously arise since the purchase date. Within a week, Titan was taken for his first puppy checkup to the vet that PetLand specifically used to treat their puppies. Titan had Coccidia and Giardia, two intestinal parasites, and a upper respiratory infection. He had to take medications to eliminate those issues.
As Titan was growing up, I noticed he constantly threw up food and water. Countless fancy food bowls and different techniques were used to help him slow down when he was eating. It was just thought that he ate too fast and made his tummy upset. I didn't think anymore about this until he was a year old and he was diagnosed with an acute Motility Disorder.
This disorder basically caused his digestive tract to fill with gas while he was eating so that he couldn't digest his food properly and he would throw it back up. At a year old, numerous people told me to "put him out of his misery" and "he wasn't worth it". Well, he was worth it to me. My significant other and I decided we were going to do everything in our power to help our Chocolate friend. He stayed in the clinic for a month. When he came home, the challenge began. We quickly learned this was going to be a long and gruesome battle.
Titan was to eat twice a day. With each meal, we had to water it down a half hour before he could eat so that it was soggy and easier to digest. He also had to take three pills with each meal. Titan was so sick when he first came back that we were lucky to get him to eat a cup of food once a day. I spent many nights sobbing as I scrubbed puke from the carpet, crying because I didn't know if I was making the right decision or if I was dragging out his passing and making him miserable. It was not glamorous.
Titan could not get excited. Titan could not chew on toys that had fur or other pieces he could accidentally ingest. Titan could not drink unclean water, this meant no swimming. Swimming was his absolute favorite thing. He would have turned into a fish if I would have let him swim as much as he wanted. Titan also could not have things outside of his diet, which was the hardest. When you have a puppy, all you want to do is let them play and give them treats and sneak them table scraps. Not Titan.
Eventually, we worked our way up to a cup and a fourth. Then, a cup and a half. Even better, two whole cups! It was a gradual change. It took weeks and weeks. Titan began to have more energy (and get into more trouble)! He also began to gain weight! Yay!! We still had setbacks sometimes, but at least we had made progress.
As time passed, I weaned him off of his medication. He got to have SMALL, natural treats, but not very many in a week. We were elated with the progress. We started buying toys within reason, he still didn't get fuzzy ones, but he could have rope and denim toys. Cody and I researched constantly throughout this entire process. Titan was FLOURISHING.
He was happy. We were happy. Sometimes we would still have hiccups along the road. Titan had a habit of being tail deep in trouble all the time. Titan would throw up a couple of times, but the incident would rectify itself in a matter of a couple days and he would be back to himself.
However, at the beginning of August, that changed. All of the sudden he was sick constantly. Nothing we did helped. We changed his dry food. We went to wet food. We gave him more water, we gave him less water. We gave him Pedialyte. We gave him Ensure. We tried Milk of Magnesia. We tried Pepto. We tried to make him homemade dog food. We took away toys. We monitored his every move. It wasn't enough. Our counter was full of attempts, fails, and things to try in the future. We didn't get to try them.
On August 25th, I was coming home from work, planning what we were going to attempt that night. I had high hopes for some approaches. I wasn't going to give up on someone who had given me so much in life. When I arrived home, Cody was sitting in the driveway also, having just got home from class. Thank God. I don't know what I would have done by myself. I walked in and found my baby boy laying on the floor. All I could do was scream. My heart was ripped out of my chest entirely. About 45 minutes after finding my sweet, sweet boy, Cody loaded him up, wrapped in his favorite pink cupcake blanket, and we drove an hour and a half to my parent's house where my father was waiting with the tractor. We buried that sweet soul next to my parents dog, Athena, at the edge of the woods near the creek.

I tell you this because I don't want anyone to EVER experience what Cody and I went through. What Titan fought every single day. Educate and research before purchasing a puppy and DON'T SUPPORT PET STORES.

They took away my best friend. He doesn't get to take Christmas pictures. He doesn't get to play in the snow or rain or ride shotgun in my truck. No matter what though, he is no longer suffering. We gave him everything we could and it wasn't enough. I will NEVER regret not putting him down though. I appreciate every SECOND I got to spend with him. I just wish he could have gotten to see his third birthday this month.
There's your PetLand puppy.

We, the undersigned persons, call to end the sales of unhealthy puppy mill puppies and shut Petland down.

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The Shut Petland Down petition to State Representatives, Media Networks was written by Alexandria Smithson and is in the category Animal Welfare at GoPetition.