New puppy – the best medicine ever

By Linda Weiford, WSU News

Blazie-100PULLMAN, Wash. – When a child says, “I want a puppy!” most parents cringe. But for Jimmy and Lisa Gilder of Troy, Idaho, it was a wish they wanted to make true for their daughter.

After 12-year-old Blazie underwent almost a year of treatments for non-Hodgkins lymphoma, her doctors announced in February that the cancer is in remission. So forget the chemotherapy and other drugs that helped fight off the disease. Now she wants the healing power of a puppy – a bulldog puppy.

Blazie with one of the bulldog puppies that could soon be hers. (Photos by Shelly Hanks, WSU Photo Services)

Soon, Blazie will receive a sweet, loose-skinned furball with jowls.

And talk about it taking a village. Shree Yockey and her husband, also of Troy, had their female bulldog artificially inseminated with sperm from a male bulldog owned by Chad and Jackie Zollman of Genesee, Idaho.

The procedure was done by veterinarian and reproduction specialist Mushtaq Memon at Washington State University’s Veterinary Hospital.  In early April, the mother bulldog gave birth to six healthy puppies at the hospital.

Blazie and her 15-year-old sister, Jimmie, have named each pup and visit them often at the Yockey home where the whole brood is being cared for until the puppies are older.  In another few weeks, Blazie will pick one and take it home.

Another puppy from the litter.

“Blazie has always loved animals, period,” said her mother. “But bulldogs – she absolutely adores them.”

While some think that bulldogs – with their low-to-the-ground barrel chests and smooshed faces – are goofy looking, “I think they’re unique and beautiful,” said Blazie, who turns 13 on May 29. “I plan to cuddle mine a lot.”

Her mother said the family is prepared for the extra work involved in raising a puppy: “Blazie’s illness was so challenging but it brought us closer together. We live our lives to the fullest. When that bulldog joins us, it will be happy and loved.”

To follow Blazie’s progress and see photographs, go to Site password: Blazie33.



Lisa Gilder, 208-835-4901

Mushtaq Memon, WSU veterinarian,

Linda Weiford, WSU News, 509-335-7209,