As I have said before I have had and always will have a soft spot in my heart for the under-dog, quite literally in this case. Last weekend while at an adoption event for Cupid’s Corner a woman came in asking if we could help her find volunteers to bottle-feed nine lab puppies that were only 3 days old. Their mother had died the night previous and she did not have the time to take care of them.
This picture is of me sitting with one of the puppies with a hand warmer pack on its belly to help keep it warm. Puppies this young are difficult to care for, even if you do everything right they can still die on you. They need to be kept warm, feed at least every two hours, and you need to make them go to the bathroom, a task which manages to be even more unpleasant than it sounds, but the work is worth knowing that you helped keep that tiny helpless animal alive. My first experience bottle raising a puppy was this past summer. She was also about three days old when she came into my care; her mother had been hit by car. I named her Pip, short for Pip-squeak because she was painfully tiny and emitted a plaintive squeaking sound rather often.
I got to watch her open her eyes for the first time, learn to walk, and eat solid food, it took her about a week of daily struggle and then three more of strengthening but after four weeks she was walking around the house and bravely trying to go up and down the stairs.
She was adopted a few weeks later and is now, to my knowledge, still happily placed in her forever home.
Back to the story of the puppies that I started with. By the end of the adoption event all nine puppies had been placed with fosters. Hopefully they will all do as well as Pip did.