This has been a tragic week. We lost both Pepe and Willie to pneumonia. The rest of the puppies are still very ill and the Veterinarian keeps telling us to be prepared for the worst. Even though they are on medication, he believes the puppies may not make it through the next couple of days and doesn’t want us to have any false hope. The best thing we can do is to keep them warm, fed, and comfortable.
This is devastating. In my years of fostering dogs, I have never experienced the death of a foster dog in my care. It is a terrible feeling that leaves me wondering if I’ve done something wrong or if I could have done more.
I keep thinking about what Pepe and Willie’s lives could have been. I imagine them growing up and exploring the world through curious puppy eyes. Pepe never got to see the world. He died before his eyes opened. Willie had two days with his eyes open before he died. I wish I could have shown him more.
Puppies born in an animal shelter have a higher risk of contracting deadly illnesses and dying prematurely. Mama Emmie gave birth to our foster puppies in a shelter and they spent the first critical ten days of their lives exposed to so many harmful things. They were scheduled to be euthanized due to lack of space and resources, but our rescue offered to take them. They were transported six hours before they got settled in our home.
If there is anything to learn from this devastating experience it is the importance of responsible pet ownership. Always spay and neuter your pets! I cannot say it enough. The price is minimal if not free and it makes all the difference in the world. Spaying and neutering saves lives. Only about half of dogs and cats in shelters ever make it out. The other half will be euthanized. Please don’t contribute to the overpopulation problem. Space, time, and resources are limited for unwanted pets. Be part of the solution. Practice compassion towards animals and teach children that all life is precious.
Mahatma Gandhi once said “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” As a nation, we can do better.
Losing Pepe and Willie is heartbreaking and the idea of losing Matilda, Pork Chop, and Beans is overwhelming. I can only hope that we are offering them the best possible place to either recover, or pass on as peacefully as possible. All we can do now is wait and see.