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Lifestyle & Human Interest

Teenager's Dirty Little Secret Leads to Beloved Puppy's Death

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Savvy pet owners and parents can tell with a sweep of a glance if a room has been sufficiently puppy- or child-proofed. Their experienced eyes pick out hazards that most others would be blind to.

Unstable decor? Glass baubles within reach on a low coffee table? Anything that could fit into a greedy, exploratory little mouth? Noted, and swiftly taken care of.

It’s the hidden dangers that often catch us unawares, and those hidden dangers are often random one-offs, not something we can generally plan for.

That’s what happened to one family and their adorable chunk of fluff, a 12-week-old St. Bernard named “Molly.”

Katie Baars brought Molly home when she was 9 weeks old, and the impact she had on Baars’ life for those three short weeks was incredible.

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Baars told Liftable, a section of The Western Journal, that she had suffered a car accident the year before, leaving her left arm damaged and putting her out of work. Depression set in, but Molly helped change that.

Molly wasn’t the family’s first St. Bernard, either. They were veterans of the breed, as they’d had another who had been an important part of their family, helping care for the children and tagging along dutifully for farm chores.

When Baars was contacted by their former dog’s breeder, who informed them that she had a puppy available related to their old dog, she couldn’t say no. Despite the fact that the puppy had a damaged eye, Baars was excited to bring the new little one home.

“She really helped me with depression after being injured in a car accident last year and being unable to work as a result,” Baars told Liftable. “She was always ready for a good cuddle on the couch.”

“Happy to walk along with farm chores. Loved to go for walks and visit the neighbors. She got me moving again with the depression I have been dealing with. She was always with me.

“Everyone loved her. She was a clown she was just a good girl. She loved the puppy play days at petco she even loved the vet.”

But one night the roly-poly pup stopped acting like herself. She started whining, making a sound that Baars said just “sounded wrong.” The puppy was unable to stay upright, so Baars and her daughter rushed her to the vet.

Molly started to experience seizures and her condition deteriorated rapidly.

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“The next morning I got the call she didn’t make it,” Barrs recalled.

Baars scoured the house, the yard and anywhere the puppy had been, trying to find some sort of clue as to why the poor creature passed so suddenly. She found what she was looking for in the living room, hidden beneath the couch.

“I found my 17yr old sons stash under the couch and a chewed up juul pod and bottle of e- juice,” she told Liftable. “I know these items were just put there I had just had that couch out and cleaned.”

Her son hadn’t known how toxic his vaping supplies were, but they contain high amounts of liquid nicotine that can quickly sicken or incapacitate a pet, according to PetMD.

“There is no antidote for this stuff,” Baars wrote in a Facebook post. “Only supportive treatment. It’s extremely toxic even in small amounts. Plus the flavors often attract pets to it.”

While this was an accidental poisoning and no doubt Baars’ son is crushed, Baars is using this heartbreaking episode to educate people on the dangers of these sorts of products. She hopes to make other pet owners aware of the deadly items that could be lurking in their own homes.

“I hope in her tragic untimely death her story can create awareness on the dangers of this stuff,” Baars wrote.

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking