Once upon a time a lovely Maremma Sheepdog named Marcella had 8 lovely puppies, 4 girls and 4 boys. Marcella's owner also raises dairy goats and she had experienced a lot of problems with Navel Ill in her baby goats the year before. Navel Ill is a really horrible disease in which a baby animal contracts bacteria through its umbilical cord. This infection can travel through the baby animal's body, settling in its joints, causing crippling pain, high fever and even death. The only cure for navel ill is very strong antibiotics, pain medicines and anti-inflammatories, but even these medicines themselves can cause lasting damage to the baby.
Now the way to prevent Navel Ill is by spraying the umbilical cord with a strong solution made for this purpose, as well as to ensure the babies get adequate colostrum. Of course Marcella's owner always took these steps but after still having multiple kids get sick she found she needed to be even more diligent, being sure each baby goat was sprayed multiple times over the first couple of days, until the cords dried up. She did this and was successful, and had no more cases of Navel Ill the following year.
The time came for Marcella to have her puppies and her owner, being worried about the puppies contracting Navel Ill, decided she would be extra diligent with them, too. Since Marcella is a Maremma all her puppies are white and as each new puppy was born it was often hard to tell which was the new puppy and which were born earlier. So each time that Marcella's owner checked on the puppies and found there were more than there had been earlier she simply sprayed all the puppies with navel dip.
Navel dip, if you don't know, is the stuff that prevents Navel Ill. It comes in a spray bottle and is bright orange and oily and very messy. When you spray it on a white, wet puppy it gets everywhere: all over the puppies, all over the mom, all over the bedding and all over Marcella's owner. It stains skin and fur and clothing, but that's ok, so long as the babies don't get sick.
So as each puppy was born Marcella's owner sprayed all the puppies again, and sometimes she sprayed them in between, just for good measure. It was really silly now that she thinks about it, but at the time she was really worried about those puppies and it seemed like a really good idea. The puppies that were born first did really get a lot of orange staining because they were sprayed so many times, so much that it took several weeks to wear off, but it seemed like a good tradeoff. One little girl puppy, who would later be named Abby (But started out as Purple Girl, because she had purple paint on her fur to mark her. That's how Marcella's owner knows it was Abby.) was so covered in the stuff she looked like a white and orange puppy, instead of a white puppy.
What Marcella's owner didn't know was that every time she sprayed the puppies with the navel dip, Marcella, being the good mommy that she is, wanted to get that icky, smelly stuff off of her puppies. So she kept licking the puppies and her owner kept spraying them, over and over until all the puppies were born, at which point it looked like a pumpkin juice truck had exploded in the whelping box. But at least the puppies wouldn't get Navel Ill.
Unfortunately, what did happen was this. Some of the puppies, who were born earlier and had been sprayed and licked over and over, ended up with hernias, which are teeny little holes in their abdomens, where the umbilical cords were. What Marcella's owner didn't realize was that all that licking by Marcella caused damage to that delicate navel area, resulting in hernias in some of the puppies.
Luckily hernias are almost never dangerous to dogs. A dog is hundreds of times more likely to die of cancer, bloat or any number of things than a hernia. Most close up on their own and if they don't they can be surgically repaired either during a spay or neuter or during a PennHip procedure if it's a breeding dog, or they often don't need to be repaired at all. Like humans, dogs can live healthy, happy lives with hernias and even have babies. Most serious and knowledgeable breeders and veterinarians don't think they are anything to be concerned about, even in breeding dogs. In fact, you can even show dogs with hernias. There are a few people who still believe that hernias are "very dangerous" but there are people who believe "aliens are real", too. It takes all kinds these days.
Knowing this, and respecting this, Marcella's owner told everyone that was supposed to buy one of Marcella's puppies to DO THEIR OWN RESEARCH on hernias, and gave everyone a choice between a puppy with a hernia, or a puppy without one. If there weren't enough puppies without hernias in the gender they wanted she let them choose a puppy from the next litter. Some chose to wait for the next litter, some chose a puppy without a hernia from Marcella's litter, and some chose a puppy WITH a hernia from Marcella's litter.
One lucky man was given FIVE puppies to choose from, a puppy from Marcella's litter that didn't have a hernia, a puppy from Marcella's litter who did have a hernia but who was a beautiful, sweet puppy, just like Cinderella, and FOUR puppies from the younger litter. The puppy with the hernia was the breeder's favorite puppy and the "fairest of all". She wanted to keep that puppy for herself but wanted the man to have all the choices so she included her favorite puppy in the lot of puppies. He chose the breeder's favorite, the puppy with the hernia, and named her Abby.
All the puppies went to their new homes and everyone was happy with their puppies EXCEPT Abby's owner. The man who had been given the most puppies to choose from soon decided he had been sold a "defective" puppy. It's not clear what new "research" he came across that he hadn't come across when he did his research the first time, when Marcella's owner told him "do your own research", but he must have found a lot of really compelling, scientific studies. Or maybe a witch or a bunch of wicked fairies whispered nasty things in his ear or put him under a spell. It's hard to say.
But, unfortunately, he decided that "he had been robbed". He decided that his "hopes of breeding his own puppies were dashed" because of Abby's hernia. Never mind the fact that Marcella's owner hadn't given him permission to breed Abby. Now this could possibly have been worked out somehow, if only he had come to Marcella's owner and discussed matters with her. If only he had talked to her she would have reminded him about what she had told him about how the puppies got the hernias in the first place, and that it was not a "big deal" anyway. But sadly, he did not. Instead he decided to start a war against Abby's breeder, and even when she tried to remind him of the previous discussion about the hernias he wouldn't listen. All he did was demand money, because he felt "he had been robbed". Again, I think maybe witches or evil fairies had him under their spell, but I can't be sure.
So Abby's owner continued to make "mean videos" about Abby's breeder and eventually he became so upset that he did a really sad thing. He spayed Abby, so she could never have puppies. The beautiful dog that Abby's breeder had originally planned to keep for herself will never have puppies. Which is too bad, because if Abby's owner had come to her breeder they probably could have worked something out. Maybe he could have even found a new prince for Abby to marry and have puppies. But Abby, whose hernia wasn't even "genetic" or a "big deal" to begin with, and in fact, who doesn't even have a hernia anymore, since it was repaired 2 months ago, will never have puppies. And Abby's owner's dreams of breeding dogs truly have been dashed, by his own hand.
And, as if that weren't bad enough, all the people in the kingdom realized that the Emperor has no clothes. The End.
Author Hi I'm Kim. I love all animals but goats and dogs are my favorites so I built a business around them, breeding miniature dairy goats and Maremma Sheepdogs. I love sharing my passion and knowelege of these amazing creatures with others.