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In memory of








































































Ivy's the talk of the town -- and we couldn't be more proud -- !!


Ivy in memory: 2005 - 2010

Click here to see this girl's three month update -- !!


Here's the story of little Ivy, the deaf pit bull puppy that was rescued from a miserable start in New Haven, CT --

-- Ivy was found at 6 weeks with her momma, who was 10 years old. The momma had given birth each of her heats (roughly 20 times), and Ivy was of her most recent litter --

-- the owner of Ivy and the momma wanted to keep little Ivy, seeing she was so cute, but had no idea she was deaf --

-- while deaf dogs aren't super special-needs, they have a challenge that still needs acknowledgment -- so that's what we set out to do --

-- find the perfect home for this little girl!


First, enter Glenn and Christie -- past adopters from SPBR who stepped-up to help transport Ivy from her dismal situation!


Next, my Elvis steps in to help this girl, teaching her socialization skills and the "ins and outs" of proper pit bull play -- !!


We even went to a local park, where Ivy met little Stephanie and became bestest of gals with her -- !!


Ivy said, "Well, this is fun, y'all, but I think I need to land me a forever home -- !!"


Not so soon, missy!

Next, we socialized her more, taking her to the local county fair to get her share of pets and "ooohhss" and "aaahhhhss"...


... and then finally, her spay -- not something that's fun to do, but absolutely necessary before placement -- !!


Here's the princess, with new noveau e-collar on --

-- she says, "Okay, NOW I'm ready" -- !!


With that, we sped off to suburban Philadelphia, feeling very lucky... and fortunate -- !!


Here, Ivy meets her new 5 year-old brother...


... and then her momma, Kate.

Kate and Brian were married a year ago. Their prior pup, Veda, was an integral part of their family...

Veda was a pit/pinscher mix and was loved very much...

... so much so, that...


... she was part of their wedding photographs -- !!

Kate writes:

"Veda would have been 13 years old this coming April. We just had to put her down this past Saturday. She had surgery about 8 months ago and they removed her spleen and a cancerous tumor. The cancer had come back and spread like wild fire. They told us a tumor had ruptured in her stomach which caused her to be sick and we took her to the vet ER immediately. "

Look at Veda -- what a sweet and gentle soul she is...


Next, Ivy meets her Dad, Brian, and they both do their best "I didn't do it" looks -- !!

Brian and Kate are used to having a deaf dog --

-- Veda went deaf, naturally, during her last three years of life -- she was still part of their family, and they had no problems with Ivy's deafness, and had lots of ideas on training and caring for this girl...


Here you see Ivy has officially flown the coop --

-- she's Daddy's little girl now, all the way -- !!

Kate said that Brian's eyes lit up when he first saw her on Petfinder -- that's a great start -- !!


Next, Ivy meets Kate's aunt, a veterinary tech --

-- Ivy says, "WOW, there's a LOT of good energy coming from this direction -- !!"


And the first games begin -- with everyone pitter-pattering on the floor to play with little Ivy, stimulating her through vibrations --

-- and she RESPONDED wonderfully -- !!


Finally, hand signals had begun --

-- GREAT signs of a wonderful home -- !!

Since the placement, Kate writes:

"She is doing GREAT!!! She is such a daddy's girl it's too cute! Taking naps with dad and all. She is so spunky.

Thank you so much for introducing this little lady to us!!!"


So, there we have it -- little Ivy's a pea in a pod, and her family loves her so --

-- we can all rest well knowing she'll be raised with attention given to her hearing impairment --

-- and most importantly, she'll be raised with FUN, LAUGHTER and JOY --

-- great work all -- look forward to updates soon on this girl!!


Two months later -- and all's well!

Well, Ivy has been in her new home for a few months now --

-- and just look at how BEAUTIFUL our girl is -- !!

You can see here that she's got NO problem being part of the family --

-- and you can see a coy little grin here on her face, sort of like she knows she's in heaven, and she loves it -- !!

Her momma writes --

"Ivy is doing so wonderful. She is getting so big and she is just the happiest girl. Jimmy and her play and wrestle everyday after school.

She even snuggles under the covers with us at bedtime. She really is quite the character."

"I am not the seasoned photographer so I hope they are ok. I am learning though.

Thanks again for introducing this little lady to us! She really is a joy!

The Sutters"


Here's baby Ivy, just playing with her moose --

-- not destroying it, mind you -- just playing -- !!

And here she is, wrasslin' and having a ball -- !!

Thank you, Kate and all, for letting this little princess blossom in her new home --

-- her challenge of deafness isn't holding her back one bit, and that's a great thing to see -- !!

THANK YOU, and keep us up to date with this Aphrodite's life -- !!

Quietly, my heart breaks --

On the morning or March 3rd, I received the following from Kate...

Dear Eric,

"I write with some very sad news. After a battle with a very aggressive cancer we had to say goodbye to our beloved Ivy last night. This is very hard to write as it's still very fresh in our hearts and minds.

About 2.5 years ago we noticed Ivy was getting mole like lumps on her legs and head and at first thought nothing of it as the breed tends to be prone to moles. Once they were getting bigger in size and more started to pop up we decided it best she be seen by the vet just to be sure. After a biopsy and some blood work were done and the results came back inconclusive we scheduled a surgery to have them removed as they were started to bother her. Once removed, the lumps were then sent to a lab to be examined closer since the vet and us were not happy with the inconclusive results. These results again came back inconclusive. About a year later we noticed more of the same lumps appearing again in the same general areas (her legs and head) we also noticed quite a few smaller nodules appearing on her belly. Back to the vet we went again for some more tests and scheduled the removal of these lumps. After these were removed it was about another 4 months and a few more appeared. One in particular on her front leg was growing very quickly. When we went back to the vet this time and tests were again done and came back with the same inconclusive results they referred us to an oncology group b/c they weren't convinced of the results we were continuing to get. After doing some research on the oncologist we found she happened to be the best of the best in her field so that helped ease our minds knowing what good hands our lovely lady was in. After consulting and reviewing Ivy's previous test results and slides as well as conducting her own tests we were told Ivy did in fact have cancer. You'll have to forgive me right now, but I cannot think of the exact name of the cancer.  So we decided to try a round of oral chemo along with some antibiotics and steroids to help with the swelling of this very large lump on her leg. After this initial round we headed back for some tests only to find that it had not worked as the cancer was becoming very aggressive. Our next step was to try a more aggressive IV chemo. We decided we would go for it as she was still so young and such a strong girl. This round was very hard as it made her very sick and weak. After this was complete the oncologist wanted to wait about a week to see her again and when we went back and more tests were done we found the chemo again had done nothing to help put her in remission. After lots of information and talking to the oncologist and our regular vet we decided it would be best to say goodbye to our best girl. This decision did not come easy at all it took quite a few sleepless nights and some distraught days.

It basically came down to Ivy's quality of life. She has always been a very energetic, happy, playful and lovable girl. The cancer would have started to take over and take all of those things away from her. She would have been back and forth to the doctors, continuously on meds and getting treatment that made her sick, lethargic and have zero appetite. She also would have had to continue wearing her cone which she did not like at all as it didn't allow her to do most of the things she loved to.  And in the end these things would not have worked as the cancer was just too powerful and she would have become very sick and we decided to not make her go through this.

Attached are some pictures of our girl before she started her treatments. She was always hogging up her dads chair and lounging and she sure did love snuggling with her best bud Jimmy on lazy days.

I wanted to thank you and your organization for introducing us to this incredible girl! She was truly loved and a part of our family in every sense of the word. She will always hold a very special place in our hearts.


Brian, Kate, Trevor, Dylan and Jimmy"


Well, all I can say is that I am sorry -- to Ivy, to Brian, to Kate, to Trevor, to Dylan and to Jimmy.

Cancer is such a difficult and devastating disease, and it breaks my heart to see this girl gone.

What a great family though -- and how proud I am of them for being responsible, loving owners, and for giving Ivy the life of a princess, and for exploring every available option for her.

What really breaks my heart is this picture -- of Jimmy with his girl -- his best friend of childhood.

Many hearts are broken today in Ivy's home, and the grieving will now begin -- which is often much harder when losing a dog than a person --

-- because with a dog, often unlike people, they lived their lives innocently -- here, Ivy came to this family only offering unconditional love, and that's what she delivered for five solid years.

All of us at SPBR mourn your loss, Brian and Kate, and it is our loss, too -- as a personal foster of mine, Ivy was truly special.

Thank you for re-affirming to me "this is why we do what we do" -- for loving families like yours, till the very last breath.