Thursday, February 2, 2012

A Break from Fostering

This was going to be our "break" from fostering for a few weeks. 

This was the litter that we weren't going to take. 

Famous last words.

Eight little puppies. Six weeks old. I would have them for just two or three weeks. It would be easy.

Famous last words.

They were found with their mother and brought to a brand new, disease free shelter so they would definitely be healthy.

Famous last words.

One of the volunteers dropped the eight beautiful puppies off at our house late Saturday night

a few weeks ago. 

They were stunning.

Two beautiful white, Lab-looking females, two adorable black, bear looking females,

two gorgeous tri-color, German Shepherd looking females,

one exquisite German Shepherd/Chow Chow looking male

and one handsome blonde German Shepherd/Chow Chow looking male.

Gorgeous, sweet, a little scared and very hungry puppies.

We got them settled in and decided to wait until morning to bathe them since it was so late.

By morning, one of the little white Lab looking females, Tawni, was gone. 

She quietly passed away in her sleep. 

We were devastated. 

By the third day, almost all of the puppies were sick with respiratory infections.

This began weeks of veterinary visits, hospital stays and late night emergencies.

So much for my easy litter. So much for my break. 

The "T" puppy litter had more health challenges than any other litter we'd ever fostered.

But we grew closer to the "T" puppy litter than any other. 

This is the litter who wants love before food in the morning. 

These puppies want endless belly rubs and immediately get themselves in position for it!

We missed each one terribly when they were in the hospital. 

We cared for them when they developed symptoms similar to seizures.

We held them as they howled in pain.

We worried while awaiting test results.

We cried for them.

Three of the puppies were diagnosed with Distemper. 

One may be partially blind and fighting for her life. Trixie is a strong, feisty girl.

The second one is disoriented, completely blind and howls if someone isn't touching her because she thinks she is alone. Tikka is the most out-going and friendly of the litter, a little love bug.

The third one didn't make it. Tonka. Sweet, snuggly Tonka. She had the face of a little angel and the 
personality to go along with it. All Tonka wanted in this life was to love and be loved.
We are heart broken over losing you.
In the short time you were on this earth, you mastered what most people never do in their entire life:
Unconditional love.
We only hope you felt it in return.

Four of the puppies were released from the hospital and came home a couple of days ago.

I've never seen happier puppies. They were running and playing and enjoying their "freedom". 

These four puppies are so healthy! And I really think they have a true appreciation for life.

Three of the four are adopted and by Saturday, they will be home with their 

wonderful new families.

We will be happy because we know they'll have great lives with loving families who, even after knowing 
what their health issues were, still wanted them.

They will have a whole new life.

And we will have an empty place in our hearts.

A place that will no doubt have room for more litters.

But none like the "T" puppies.

Our "break from fostering" was the best break we never took.

With it's challenges and worries.

Fun and love.

It's heart warming and enriching moments will be cherished forever.


Kathy said...

I wondered how you were doing with this litter when you stopped posting. Being on the front lines of rescue, especially with puppies, takes an emotional toll on caregivers that can sneak up on you when you least expect it. Like the "T" puppies. So, take some time to heal yourself - You don't want to "crash and burn" yourself out.

Susansacre said...

Your story is heartbreaking and you tell it with such love, compassion, empathy - I love you for all that you gave & are giving the "T" puppies. They are so lucky to have had you to help them through their tough introduction to life. And for the ones that didn't make it - you showed them what a good home and lots of love and yummy food was like - they were loved and they knew it. :(((

Anonymous said...

You guys are nothing short of amazing..


The Wag Tales said...

Thank you everyone, your comments warmed my heart...