July 11, 2003

"Chipper" our 19th Heart Murmur Baby.

Meet 2 1/2 Year old "Chipper" in Naples, Florida came into rescue today, with a grade 4 out of 6 heart murmur. He is our 19th Heart Murmur baby.

When we lost MIKEY in New York, after attempting the coil technique there, I promised myself that the next heart murmur baby that we got in, that wasn't within driving distance of Tulsa, I would just get on a plane, go pick up said baby, and fly them down to Texas A&M where we have had success after success.
The Heart Murmur Reunion Page

CHIPPER will be our 19th Heart Murmur baby. TWO of our Heart Murmur Babies were taken to Texas A&M and were not candidates for the surgery. They were Chevy and June.

Our Fairy Dog Pilots, Erik and Sharon Krask have graciously allowed me unlimited airline travel, so I will fly to Florida, pick Chipper up, and then fly back to Austin,Texas, so that we can get him to Texas A&M University Vet School where the experts reside.

A Personal Note: This one is a little extra special to me. He was already named Chipper, which is the same name as my own personal Bichon. I don't think we have ever had another "Chipper" in rescue.

This Chipper is also tall, like my own Chipper. Please pray for him as we try to fix his little broken heart.

UPDATE: Tuesday July 15, 2003 6:00 P.M.

Chipper and I arrived today at College Station Texas, home to Texas A&M University School of Veterinary Medicine, and it was none too soon.
Dr. Gordon, one of the Cardiologists there, told me that 95% of dogs with the kind of heart murmur that Chipper has, are dead by their first birthday.
Chipper is 2 1/2 years old. (GOD THING. HE HELD ON UNTIL WE GOT HIM!)

Chipper's murmur is not a grade four. It is worse. It is a grade six, out of a possible six. It is the loudest murmur he could possibly have. It can be heard without a stethoscope.

Chipper is scheduled to have the coil techinique tomorrow morning, Wednesday, at 10:30 A.M. I will take the camera up there in the morning so that you all can see pictures of the procedure and track Chipper's progress. Thanks to you all for helping with this life saving surgery! More later as it happens from College Station Texas.

Chipper waits to go to anethesia to get his heart fixed.

UPDATE July 16, 2003 3:00 P.M.
Chipper is our of surgery and doing great in recovery! The next 24 hours are critical but so far, so good! They did the less invasive coil prodecure on him. He is doing great! More as it happens!

UPDATE JULY 17, 2003
Just one day after the coil techique, Chipper was released today from the hospital! Andra Heitzman, our South Texas Team Leader and I each drove halfway, so that she could pick Chipper up. Andra and Steve will foster him for us!

Andra's Cammie, another one of our other hear murmur babies, looks on while Chipper models his new blue Elizabethian collar, which prevents him from bothering his stitch.

Andra's Bichons, Maggie and Cameo make room for one more. Chipper is one happy boy! Thanks to all of you for saving his life!
Chipper is available for adoption!
Adoption Application


Subj: Up-date on Chipper for Hear Murmer Reunion Babies
Date: 11/20/2003 3:23:51 PM Central Standard Time
From: CRStoroof@aol.com

My name is Chipper. I was born with a heart murmur about three years ago. For two and a half years, I lived with the heart murmur and was very weak. Life was pretty much food and sleep. One day my owner was taken away and a stranger came and took me far away. I went from Naples, FL to Texas A & M for heart surgery. In 13 days I lost my owner, had a foster home, had a heart operation, and was flown to Raleigh, NC to my new home. I was one terrified puppy!!

I have now spent 5 months in my new home, or should I say, my new world. Everyday is a new adventure. I see, do, and experience things that are so much fun! Because of my heart operation, I now have huge amounts of energy to run, jump, and play. To me life is heaven every day. Now, my new family wants to tell you how they feel.

In July, we lost our Bichon, Bangor, to cancer. Bangor was not a dog but a true member of our family. When we left the hospital and knew he would not make it, we sat in the car and cried but thanked God for letting us share this special life.

For the next few days, Carolyn cried and realized how close she had been to Bangor. One day on her computer, she looked up Bichons and found Small Paws. Out of sadness, she scrolled through the photos of the many Bichons in Small Paws for rescue and adoption. All of a sudden as if God hit her finger to stop, there was a photo of a long legged Bichon that had survived a heart operation - Chipper.

We looked at all the puppies and something continued to bring us back to the photo of this scared little Bichon. It only took one day and we knew God or our Bangor or both, had sent Chipped to us. (By the way, our Bangor was born with 3 paws and the doctor made him a pad for the forth at birth.) Maybe he was saying, Chipper is special. He had a heart problem, now it's fixed, and he has a strong heart full of love.

Chipper has been in our home for 5 months and what has happened is amazing. From a shy, frightened puppy, Chipper has become the life of the house. Everything is new to him. From a leaf blowing in the breeze to climbing stairs. When Chipper first arrived, you could hardly hold him, now he rolls over on his back and begs to play.

I believe he has rubbed every square inch of our home in Cary as well as our beach house. This is truly where he considers home.

I mentioned we felt our Bangor may have sent Chipper. You be the judge. We were told Chipper liked to sleep under the bed. Each night, our other Bichon would get on my wife's side of the bed and go to sleep. During the night, he would move to the foot and eventually to my side. Five months into our lives together, Chipper goes to the same spot and lays the same way. He then moves in the night to the foot (same side) and winds up on my side. Is it a coincidence. You be the judge.

All I can say is, God had touched Small Paws and because of that, Chipper is our new family member. Yes, we miss our Bangor, but Chipper has our hearts.

Van and Carolyn Starling