"He was our baby," the mother said. "It was my daughter's best friend, my dog's best friend, it was ours."
When Andrea Martinez took her puppy, Ziggy, to the vet, she was hoping that the sweet dachshund would soon come back home with Ziggy tucked in their arms. But a heartbreaking mix-up at the animal hospital in Utah led to Ziggy never returning to the home she belongs to.
Andrea described Ziggy as a delightful puppy who would tail her around, snuggle up with her at night, and ease her anxiety. Ziggy was also best friends with Andrea's daughter and the family's baby.
But their beloved puppy had to be rushed to the vet when he was struggling to breathe and threw up whatever she ate. "It kind of scared us and so we took him to the vet around 9 pm," she said.
When they got him to the Davis County Animal Hospital, they were told that Ziggy would need a complicated and expensive surgery, which Andrea gave her permission for, as reported by ABC 7. "He was our baby," she said. "It was my daughter's best friend, my dog's best friend, it was ours. Money wasn't an issue."
At around 2:30 am, Andrea received a call from the hospital informing her that Ziggy had passed. Andrea recalled, "He kept beating around the bush about it, but he was saying it like I should’ve known."
After the conversation got confusing, she was put on hold. "Then he got back on there and he apologized and said, ‘I’m so sorry that this happened, we got confused and ended up calling another dog’s mom,'" Andrea said.
What had happened was that another owner, whose dog was also named Ziggy, was rung up by the hospital and asked if they wanted to proceed with a surgery on their dog. After the other owner gave permission to euthanize the dog, it ended up being Andrea's Ziggy who was put down.
"They were still in the middle of surgery when they called the other person asking, ‘it’s going to be more expensive, it’s going to be a more extended surgery, do you want to continue it or do you want to let him go?’ They chose to let him go," Andrea said.
Heartbroken by the terrible incident, Andrea wrote on Facebook and said, "They let a stranger decide my dog's fate. They robbed me the choice of saying 'at-least We tried'. I feel so sick and can't stop crying," as quoted by The Sun.
The loss of Ziggy wasn't just hard for her to bear but also for her daughter. "How do you tell a six-year-old her best friend died and we didn't have a choice to try everything to stop him from dying," Andrea said. "This whole thing seriously makes me so sick to my stomach."
What made her feel worse was losing Ziggy before she was even given the opportunity to decide what happens to her pet. According to Local12, she said, "I just wish we would’ve had the say, I wish we would’ve been able to say we tried everything that we could have."
Although the mistake couldn't be reversed, the vet tried their best to apologize and provided Andrea's family with a Christmas ornament that had Ziggy's paw print on it, along with an urn and a plaque. "She said there is no making it right, but this is what we can do to show that they are sorry," Andrea said.
Finding some comfort in knowing that Ziggy is at least not in pain, the mother posted a message on Facebook, thanking people for sharing kind words with her. "I have chosen to not mention the Vets name and to not sue because it was a honest mistake, they owned it, and are taking steps to make things okay," Andrea also wrote. "Ziggy was really sick and from the sounds of it I’m not sure he would’ve even made it after all said and done."
"I do wish we would’ve had to chance to find out tho but life happens and we have to learn to adjust and learn and grow from it. I will forever miss him but at least I know he’s not in pain anymore."