This is for Polly, who touched our hearts only to steal away after a brave battle against so many odds.
It started with a phone call from a local shelter asking if we had room for three male pugs and a pregnant female pug. I’d like to say we gave it some thought but regarding how quickly volunteers responded with a yes, I don’t think so. Within 24 hours they had left the animal shelter and were in our homes. I wrote up a fun blog called: Here come Da pugs.
Polly went immediately to the vet for a check up and x-rays. The vet said she had three maybe four pups that he could see. Oh, and that she was a week out from delivery!
A few days later Polly was back at our vet’s office with kennel cough and pneumonia. Poor girl. The vet started her on a drug that would not harm the puppies. Polly was such a trooper through it all. Followed her foster mom everywhere including into bed at night with her! During the Open House Polly came out and said “Hi’ to some of our visitors – a brief greeting. She was doing so well.
But that didn’t last. On top of the pneumonia which was proving stronger than the drugs, she became toxic. Our vet tried, we tried to make the best decisions for for Polly and for her puppies.
Polly delivered two puppies Friday morning, June 17th, 2011. Polly was so sick that she was not able to even push out the placenta. Back to the vet. She delivered five puppies total, four living, one dead. And then things went downhill fast. Polly ended up staying at the vet’s office. They tried a strong drug and oxygen tents and more but between her exhaustion, the severe pneumonia and the septic condition she was in it was not enough.
The following day, Saturday afternoon, our vet called to say Polly passed away.
Saddened by her loss, our time was filled with caring for the four puppies. One was so small, so fragile that it had to be tube fed. Try finding a feed tube late at night. We did. It was not an easy task! We grieve the loss of Polly while doing our best to save her four puppies.
Enter a surrogate mom.
This girl came to us with eight puppies who were at the tail end of needing to be nurse – well, according to mom, not to the puppies! We can’t leave the pups with her – she is too big and they are too small. These pups are the size of mice. The first couple days it was hard working with the puppies t o find a nipple and helping them stay in place. They must have felt they were climbing Mount Everest! And sometimes they have milk covered faces and even bodies! So much milk for four tiny puppies.
The foster mom has to take the pups to this mom dog, have her lie down (she really did think she was done with all this nursing) and then help the puppies nurse. It’s not easy but it sure is better than bottle feeding! And mom will clean them up but we have to hold the puppies so she doesn’t accidently swallow one!
The pups should have a good chance at growing up. We will do our best.
As hard as this has been, would we do it again?
I’m willing to bet despite the loss of Polly, despite the fundraising we will need to do to pay her vet bill, despite late night feedings, yes, the volunteers would give a resounding yes without even a second thought.
PetsConnect! is an all volunteer not-for-profit organization moving into out Tenth Year!
All the animals are in foster homes and well cared for, we pay our bills, make our thank yous and our volunteers work very hard to run PetsConnect! as a professional, caring, friendly business!
The animals in our program come from local animal shelters and to the employees and volunteers of our local animal shelters we are most grateful and thankful for the hard, emotionally taxing work they engage in daily.
Want to Volunteer? Learn more now!
Want to Donate? Learn more now! We are always in need of donations to help cover vet and food and more costs as well as material things such as bleach, toys, rawhides, blankets, towels, beds and the list goes on.
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