(Images in collage:Top picture is when they were about 7-8 weeks old, right before they started finding homes.Third picture down on the left is Nova when she was just a few days old, then Nova with my full Shepherd Sniper, and Nova today.Bottom picture is their one year reunion – except one puppy who moved too far away to make it.Other pictures are Nova with her siblings Barstow, Kona, and Murphy)
A litter of eight newborn German Shepherd/ Border Collie puppies were brought into the veterinary hospital where I worked. The story we were told was that these puppies were found in a field with the mother, but she was mysteriously already dead. Probably not the true story, who knows. Luckily someone cared enough to bring the puppies to help instead of “disposing” of them.
I’ll skip ahead a little here because this is actually a very long story, but to cut to the chase, two of the puppies ended up dying before I could get them all in my care. My mom, my sister and I ended up raising the remaining six – of course having to tube feed them until we could train them to suck on a bottle.
I can’t tell you how many extreme ups and downs we had, including one late Sunday when we thought we would lose every single one of them. Turns out, they had all developed pneumonia at varying stages and so just when we were starting to get them used to bottles, we had to revert back to tube feeding. Like I said, these puppies were on death’s doorstep. So, as tired as we already were, we vigilantly gave it our all and tube fed them all every two hours as well as giving antibiotics for their pneumonia and giving subcutaneous fluids almost daily. Every night I sat next to their big rubber-maid bed and watched them for ever it seemed, terrified I would wake up (in two hours) and find we had lost another one. But slowly, miraculously, over the next week the life came back to every one of them.
The following weeks were filled with almost endless laughs and we were dazed with melt-the-world-away puppy therapy. And then the time came to find them homes. Bittersweet doesn’t cover the half of it, although what saved my sanity was sweet little Nova, the yellow collar female that I kept. And once the heartache of saying goodbye, the empty kennels and silent toys wore off, we came out of this with great new friends in the puppies’ new owners. It’s amazing thinking that we changed their lives, and the lives of those six little black blobs who are now absolutely beautiful four year old dogs.
I will always love these mutt-puppies!
Thank you for sharing your rescue and adoption story with us, Karis! We’re so glad that through your dedication, these puppies survived and found forever homes.