Paisley’s Story

In early January 2017, New Beginnings learned of a pregnant German Shorthaired Pointer in a shelter in Louisiana. The shelter did not have room to keep her and she was going to be euthanized. Another shelter was contacted to see if they had room to take her and they did. On January 18, 2017, Paisley was picked up from the shelter and while enroute to another shelter she went into labor and started to deliver her babies. Her first puppy was born in the car while it was parked on the side of the road. They started out again and the second puppy was born. The driver eventually made it to the shelter where Paisley delivered the last 5 of her 7 babies. She has 3 girls and 4 boys all happy and healthy.

New Beginnings was finally able to pull Paisley and babies out of the shelter and get them to her foster mom. While in foster care, Paisley flourished as did her babies. She loved her babies and her foster mom said she was the best momma she had ever seen.

Thankfully, all of the puppies were adopted but for reasons unknown to us, Paisley’s forever family didn’t come along. In the summer of 2018, while still living with her foster mom, Paisley somehow contracted distemper. Determined to save this sweet and beautiful girl, we jumped into action and did everything that we could. We consulted various veterinarians and specialists, conventional and wholistic, as well as, searching the internet for any tidbit of information to help us. This was the beginning of a long road of hell for Paisley.

Through our research, we learned of a treatment protocol with a wholistic vet that could potentially save Paisley’s life. We knew this would be a long and difficult road to bring her back from the brink of death. The protocol called for a regimen of serum injections, vitamins, and supplements. Her declining condition was tenuous but we were determined not to give up on her and beat this. Paisley’s foster mom went above and beyond to care for her and all of her needs. At her worst, Paisley could not stand or eat on her own, she could not go outside and potty on her own, and she could only lay on her bed and lift her little head.

Even through her weakest point, we could see Paisley’s very strong will to live and both she and her foster mom fought together to fight this horrible disease. Her foster mom hand fed her and carried her outside every day to get fresh air and sunshine. They worked day after day, week after week until one day she got up on her own. That moment was filled with elation and a renewed sense of determination came over everyone to keep the momentum going. Every day Paisley was encouraged to go a little further. She would take a step or two then fall over as if drunk, but she’d get right back up and go again. It was heartbreaking to watch BUT she didn’t give up and neither did we!

We were making progress! Each day she got stronger and stronger. Eventually, her foster mom set up a make shift pool to do some water therapy to help strengthen her muscles but that didn’t go over very well. Paisley hated being in it BUT worked like mad to get out of the pool. Once she got out she would run away as fast as she could. These were definitely times of tears and laughter. Throughout this whole ordeal Paisley was tested and retested for distemper. Finally, she was tested and it came back negative! She was cleared. Our prayers had been answered. Paisley clearly surpassed any expectation we had with her will to live and she would come through this dark time. She continued to get better and stronger. Now that Paisley had survived distemper, we were determined to resume finding her forever home and posted her again on Petfinder. Unfortunately, all applicants inquiring about her turned her down because of the distemper.

Then, one day one of our adopters decided to open their heart and home and wanted Paisley to join their family. All of us in rescue were elated knowing Paisley was finally going to get her forever home and happy ever after. The family was so excited and could hardly wait to welcome Paisley home. As we do for many of our dogs, we worked to get transport set up. The run was posted out, all the legs were quickly filled, and transport day arrived with much anticipation and excitement. All of the transport drivers were well informed and knew she was a high flight risk and to be very cautious with her. Paisley had a harness, martingale collar, and two leashes attached.

Things took off smoothly and the first 3 legs of the transport went off without a hitch. Paisley was on her way.

For the legs 4-8, one driver volunteered to drive all five legs. This driver stopped at a rest stop and the unthinkable happened. She bolted out of his vehicle because she was not properly secured. Once the driver notified the rescue that Paisley had escaped, an emergency post was put out and multiple volunteers arrived on scene to help catch her. Unfortunately, Paisley evaded the volunteers and the search went on for days. Many of these volunteers worked long and tireless hours trying to help. We thank them from the bottom of our hearts and appreciate all of their hard work and effort.

In the days following her escape, Paisley’s future adopter and foster mom also arrived to aid in the search. It was with great sadness on day four, that her adopter, foster mom and a local volunteer found Paisley dead on the side of a back country road being feasted on by vultures. This was the most traumatic and horrid way for them to find this precious baby who had fought so hard to live and have it end this way. Imagine her foster mom’s despair. A woman who devoted so much of her love, time and energy helping this baby girl beat distemper. Imagine her adopter’s despair. The first time seeing Paisley in person, and her last. Imagine the volunteer’s despair. The horror and sadness that they witnessed. A sight that none of them will ever forget.

We want to make it clear that due to several different stories told by the driver to various volunteers, it is unclear exactly which story of his to believe. All we know is, at the end of the day, two leashes and a harness had been removed from her. No apologies or remorse were offered to anyone, the rescue, volunteers on the ground, nor the adopter. As a result of his gross negligence and not following protocol, Paisley needlessly lost her life.

This memorial is to honor Paisley’s short life and her fight to beat distemper and LIVE. Losing any dog on transport is devastating, but Paisley had a special place in our hearts because of what she endured. It is also to bring awareness, to everyone involved with rescue and dog transport, the necessity to FOLLOW PROTOCOL. The rules are in place for a reason, this very reason, so another dog doesn’t escape and end in its death because of a careless, negligent decision.

♥  RIP sweet Paisley  ♥
Run free sweet baby girl with those before you and feel no more fear or pain.
Your babies will see you another time when they cross the rainbow bridge to join you.
You are dearly missed.