Pets are Family, Not Property: Here Comes Meatball

Did you know that under the law pets are seen as replaceable property? That’s right, the law essentially treats losing a pet the same way as losing a table. In honor of Chloe the Mini Frenchie, Loni Edwards’ beloved dog who passed away due to medical error, PetInsider will be featuring a story every Wednesday about pets being family, not property. Please join us by reading the stories and signing the pledge we created with the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ALDF) to push for change


Hello, my name is Tony.  In the half century plus that I’ve been spinning through space on this planet, I’ve seen and done a lot.   So many people have come in and out of my life and today, I am a conglomerate of the best and sometimes the worst of all of that commonality.



But when I look back to what tethered me.  When I think of who I told my deepest secrets to and who I privately cried through adolescence with.  It wasn’t a human… it was a furry four-legged friend.  You see, because I’ve had a dog my whole life, my life has actually been whole.


Where the thread of consistency comes in is the make and the model.  Oh, there have been some factory upgrade features throughout the years however I am brand loyal.  The dachshund has always been the little heartbeat at my feet since the Carter administration.


Like vines in the jungle, swinging for dear life.. I would always grab onto the next thing that I could love before releasing the last.   I swung through the early seventies with the black and tan Arabelle and then onto Spirit who was born in 1976.   In the nineties, Mister Ruko loved me as much as he could until his doxie heart gave out and it was that rift… that moment that I didn’t have another vine to grab onto.  I was left with a hole in my heart the shape of a dachshund and I was desperate to fill it.



Sweet Reese of Harlow and Sage was my first exposure to the Piebald Minature Dachshund.  I’ve always had black and tan’s so I was determined to find a piebald to love and I desperately began scouring the southeast for a breeder.   Overeager and without properly researching I flew far away and drove back with what I eventually learned was a sick little dog that had questionable health.


Oh, this isn’t what I wanted.  I craved something to love not something to fix.  So I thought.    I named the frail two and a half pound puppy Meatball.   My father’s health was deteriorating and that was his military nickname.   Remember, this little pup was the next thing that I got to love so I thought that was a suitable honor.


Meatball was diagnosed with Cerebral Hypoplasia – a neurological condition in which the cerebellum is not completely developed.  The wobbly walker was struggling with twitches and seizures and without much knowledge of the dysfunction, I began searching for help.


Well that’s actually where the story gets interesting, because when I was the most desolate and confused… I would almost pretend that the disability wasn’t there.  I proped the puppy up and took adorable and delightful photos in an attempt that he could be just like the remarkable Reese or as incredible as the creative Crusoe.    I gave Meatball a social media platform called HERECOMESMEATBALL and suddenly and virally the little puppy gained global cheerleaders.   Veterinarians from far away slowed down his videos and gave me vital important advice about his hip displacement and instructed me to seek out immediate aggressive acupuncture.   For six months I invested every available moment into holistic healings for the happy hound.  And it paid off.



Four years later and a little skip in his hop.. Meatball is a very happy healthy dachshund.    It has been a level of bonuses, bonding and blessings that I’ve never experienced before.   There is an INVESTMENT in this little guy that isn’t replaceable and we’re going to swing on this vine of love for as long as we can.  Which is why I couldn’t comprehend that if a veterinarian medical error happened to Meatball like the unthinkable one that happened to Loni Edwards’ beloved dog Chloe the Mini Frenchie in October of 2017.. he would be considered property and not family with no animal legal defense.  Remember,  I never told my secrets to my sofa… I told them to my best friend.


In honor of sweet Chloe who we never got to meet due to an unimaginable medical error, we want to help make a difference and raise awareness.  Our pets are not property, and anyone who has had a tear licked away from a furry family member knows this to be true.


Please join us in pushing for much needed change by signing and sharing the pledge ( Follow along every Wednesday for a new story, and sign up for our newsletter to receive it in your inbox. 

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Here Comes Meatball

Here comes MEATBALL! I'm a slightly underdeveloped angel who has a little difficulty flapping my wings due to cerebral hypoplasia. Ready for my adventure?

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