Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A New Addition to the Family

Last Friday around mid-afternoon, the dogs went to the gate in a state of frenzied agitation They kept alerting me to something out at the left of the door. Since they usually alert me to anything that is either moving, or new to them, I ignored it for a while. But their barking and unusual agitation got me a little curious, especially since they had moved from the left to the right side, and were scratching furiously under the middle of the gate.

I went but they rushed out ahead of me and Queenie grabbed a small animal in her mouth, which at first I thought was a small cat. I immediately got it out of her mouth and saw that it was a tiny puppy.  Emaciated, just skin and bones, it was so limp in my hands I feared it was at death’s door. I ran to the house leaving the dogs outside and put it down on the floor afraid that the shock might have precipitated its final hour. It did not react, even when I brought a saucer with milk and tepid water close to it. So I dipped my finger in the liquid and gently put it to its lips. Without opening its eyes, it reacted slightly. So I kept it up. My greatest fear at that point was that the one shake that Queenie  had given it could have broken its neck as it could not even hold its head up!

But my tenacity paid up. She (as by then I had noticed that it was a tiny German Shepherd female) slowly got up and came to the saucer, drinking all of the milk. I picked her up to get a feel of any wound anywhere. Thankfully I found nothing. I prepared an oatmeal mush and gave her a bit of it. She obviously had not drunk or eaten anything for quite a while. And the weather had been torrid. She was dehydrated and starved. I prayed. How I prayed that she’d make it! She was but just a pelt covering bones. Nothing else!

I kept giving her a bit of mush every hour as her stomach was distended like those of starving children in Africa. At night, I made her a cozy nest in the bodega and set up my alarm to wake up and feed her a bit every 3 hours. At 5:30 in the morning, I could no longer sleep. So I went and held her up to examine her more thoroughly. She was not only filthy but infested with fleas and looked to be about 5 to 6 weeks old. I took her to the veterinarian who is a fantastic woman, very caring, very gentle with all animals. Her love for them is obvious. She also has a grooming facility. Tisha (yep, I named her…) was given 3 gentle baths with a flea soap followed by two baby shampoos. The vet had been on home visits—a normal service here in Tequis—while Tisha was bathed. A wise precaution because of the flea infestation.

The vet declared that had she been discovered one hour later, she’d have died in the interim. She was too weak and debilitated to receive any vaccine for at least 3 to 4 weeks and only depending on her recuperation. The vet advised me to give her small helpings of home cooked food as there was the danger of bursting her stomach left without anything for long. I took her home.

That’s Tisha, two days later. Door, saguan, Tisha 017 She’s already noticeably improved since then.


Isn’t she adorable?






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Barb said...

She's just beautiful! Such a big head, I'll bet she's going to be a large adult. You were so kind to take such good care of her. :)

Tesaje said...

a real cutie. Wonder what happened to her mom. too young to be separated from mom. Yes, you have a very kind heart.

Stargazer said...

She was brought to my door by a Higher Power. How could do nothing? Her head looks slightly out of sync because of her extremely emaciated body. In holding her little thigh, all I felt was the bone and when I brought together the skin on both sides beneath the bone, there was nothing in between. In 5 days, she has already begun to develop some hint of a muscle. Her front legs have noticeably grown in size from just the skin over the bone. I'm really proud of her skill at survival. When I discussed her "abandonment" with the vet, she thought that she'd been born somewhere in the fields part of a large litter, perhaps the 13th puppy. The vet thought that she'd had no food after mother's milk became unavailable. Hard to imagine her suffering, poor little thing...

Unknown said...

I am proud to know you as both a human being and as Mom. Love you.

Bob said...

Looks like your family just got bigger. God bless you!

cruzin2some said...

Tisha is simply beautiful. Those eyes just melted my heart. THANK YOU for being such a caring person. She will be a devoted friend to you.

Travel Safe
Dawn and Denise

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