Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Say Hello, Say Good Bye

Well this started out as a completely different post, but what a drastic turn 7 days can make.

I have always, always, always felt that everything happens for a reason, and God works in mysterious ways. The number of events that have lead to this exact moment, which to me absolutely solidifies my belief in this, is staggering. But in this moment, I feel broken and defeated.

Last Monday we put down Dusty, our family cocker spaniel of 15 years. It's what's best for him, he can hardly walk, and it's no life for him to live having to be carried everywhere. Logical Natalie knows it's his time. Emotional Natalie is having a really hard time letting go, and is a bit of a emotional wreck.

RIP Dusty
15 years is no joke and he's lived a loved life. I begged by father while he was PIA president (sorry, I was 13 and a jerk) by leaving notes on his pillow every night that I wanted a puppy. That fateful March rainy morning when we went to get Dusty I was terrified, but he's been the best and most loyal dog. On multiple occasions, Nick and I would watch him while my parents were away and he absolutely accepted Nick as part of our pack.

One of those occasions was after Nick and I moved into our own home. Dusty came and stayed with us for a number of days, and when he left to go back to my parents, we felt like the house was empty. It was then that we started our quest for our own dog.

We knew we wanted to rescue a dog, since there are so many perfectly good pups that get euthanized simply because of overcrowding in shelters. While searching for pups on PetFinder, we stumbled across Puppies and More Rescue right in Marlton, NJ. We fell in love with the pictures of a pup named Bubba, and you can read the story of our adoption here. I won't repeat myself, but I cannot thank Jennifer enough for being such an incredible foster mommy and welcoming us into her home and life when we came for Bubba.

Recently Nick and I have wanted to give back in some way, and it was his idea to foster puppies for that same rescue. Homer is incredibly friendly and social dog, and we'd love to be able to help those who can't help themselves. We applied and were approved as foster parents, and the first transport we were participating in was last Sunday.

Our two lab pups were amazing, so tiny but so full of personality. Sadly the litter succumbed to Parvo. We had to bring our first pup to the clinic Tuesday evening, and our second on Thursday morning. As of this morning, only one of the six pups has survived, and he's not out of the woods yet.

Obviously this is a freak occurrence. Our director was incredibly upset, and I was blessed to have the two other foster mamas housing the litter find me on Facebook, so we didn't have to go through this tragedy alone. Needless to say our first time fostering was terrible. This is probably the worst and most difficult week that I can remember.

But I believe the proverb goes "Fall down 7 times stand up 8".  I'm not saying I wish this pain on anyone. But Nick and I are going to embrace the sadness, let some time pass, and be ready for the next transport.  There are plenty more puppy lives that need saving.

All I can ask is this: if you can't afford your dog to have puppies, get them spayed or neutered. Or if you can't afford the care of a dog, don't get one. If you're looking to get a dog, think about adopting before 'shopping'. And remember that the people that save those dogs who were dumped on the side of the road, we love them and care for them the second they come into our arms. And our lives are forever changed if/when they don't make it. 

RIP Maggie and Artemis

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