On October 21st, 1988 TOASTY was born in St. Louis, Missouri. She was the 3rd pup of a litter of 4. Her surviving siblings were Persnicky and Snuggles. Her mother was Lisa, a Yellow Lab and Shepard mixed breed and her father was Teddy, a total Heinz 57 mixed breed consisting of bassett hound, beagle, spitz, cock-a-poo, and many other breeds. TOASTY was the runt of the litter, with short light brown hair with a touch of white on her chest and her feet. She was the coward of the pack, afraid of even her own shadow. She was a true family member and brought joy and warmth to all of us. Just like a new child in the family, she brought many years of happiness to us. One would have never guessed on what her fate would have become .....
On December 11, 1997, Toasty was taken into our local Animal Hospital in Arnold, Missouri and diagnosed as having diabetes. She was prescribed insulin and sent home for treatment and observation. On Saturday December 13, 1997 she was taken back to the Animal Hospital in Arnold, Missouri. They told us that her sugar levels were at a dangerous high, and that Toasty needed to be hospitalized. She was admitted under a verbal agreement with the staff "not to take her outside", due to her insecure temperment. On December 16, 1997 we were called at our house by this establishment, informing us that they "Lost our dog." They let us believe that she passed away, then they informed us later in the call that they LOST her while taking her outside for a walk. We later found out that their call was between 2 to 4 hours after the fact. They initially thought that she just would find her way home, until we informed them that home was with my mother in St. Peters, Missouri, well over a one hours drive!
They eventually had some friends and staff go out looking for her (a total of 3 people), in an area filled with dense wooded terrain, several creek beds, and boardered by the dangerous Meremac River. Later when asked about signs being posted, they informed us that the girl who lost Toasty would put some up. This did not happen until the 3rd day after Toasty's disappearence, and the signs were just hand written, poorly displayed and did not coform to our local ordinances in Arnold, Missouri.... thus being removed by the city soon after being posted. One would think that a well established business (an Animal Hospital) with a staff of 4 or more Vets would have been able to display more professionalism in notifying the owners (us) promptly on her loss, printing out professional signs on their computer, and legally displaying them in a timely manner.
When we asked the Animal Hospital about listing a "Lost Dog" Ad in the newspaper, they refered this responsibility to us, not wanting to take proper responsibility for their actions. Only after we notified a local Country/Western Radio Station of our predicument, did they agree to place ads in the local papers, but they refused to offer any reward. However, a "lost ad" did not appear until December 21st, 1997 (5 days after the fact) plus the ad had a wrong and inaccurate description of Toasty. Our local Jefferson County Journal Newspaper wanted to run a local intrest story on the above events and a picture of Toasty in hopes to help us recover her, however the Animal Hospital in Arnold, Missouri did not cooperate and the article did not get out until December 25, 1997, the Christmas Edition of the Jefferson County Journal.
After over one year of spending hour after hour on foot, in cars, and on the telephone, we stil have never found our 9 (now 12) year old beloved family member "Toasty". In all of our efforts, it was and still is like a battle with the Animal Hospital in Arnold, MO; with threats from their attornies on suing us over defamatory statements about this situation. Which to them, being defamatory, is just stating the fact that they "THE ANIMAL HOSPITAL IN ARNOLD, MISSOURI" lost her, and defamatory to them is also just the fact of "us" asking other people in the community to help us find her.
Now since Toasty's disappearence, her brother Snuggles passed away from a heart attack on November 12, 1998 at age 10. Not only did we lose the last year of our lives with our beloved Toasty, but we also lost the last year of our lives with our beloved Snuggles, due to the disappearence and searching for Toasty. What this sums up to is that because of the ignorance and carelessness of the Animal Hospital in Arnold, MO, we lost the joys of both family members at the same time.