I know some of you are dog lovers so I thought I would share this story with you.
Two weeks ago my wife told me about two beagles that had been dropped off at the Hardeman County, Tennessee dog pound by the owner. Both girls were very pregnant and were covered in fleas and ticks, filthy and stressed.
My sister in laws dog rescue group, Bark & Ride Transport, arranged transport so the girls could have their puppies in a safe environment. We usually will provide a name the dogs for the trip and many times use theme names. Since these two were sisters we named them Mary Kate and Ashley. Ashley came to my house and Mary Kate to another home for the big event.
Ashley went into labor on Monday, March 30 and was able to deliver five healthy pups. Unfortunately the sixth pup was too big to be delivered and Ashley was exhausted. She was rushed to the vet where an emergency c-section was performed. Two more puppies were delivered but the female that was stuck was set aside by the vet to work on the other as she was not showing any life signs and had been in the birth canal for about two hours by that time. I took the pup and rubbed it up and swung it to get the fluids oiut of its lungs and gave it some mouth to mouth while the vet was finishing up the surgery and the assistant was getting the seventh pup cleaned up. Within a few minutes the pup was breathing on its own and is just fine now.
We brought Ashley and the seven pups: Lily, Peter, Bunny, Cottontail, Peep, Jelly bean Jeannie and Cadbury Dave back home to my house. (See the Easter theme there?)
Just a few hours later, early in the morning of March 31, Ashley's beagle sister Mary Kate started showing signs of distress. She was shaking and too weak to stand up. She was quickly rushed to the vet. Immediately upon arrival it was discovered that she was suffering from eclampsia, caused by extremely depleted calcium levels. Eclampsia can be life-threatening if left untreated. After medical support was given and failed to progress Mary Kate's labor, it was determined that she also would need a c-section. Mary Kate delivered seven puppies, all but one survived. Mary Kate was not able to feed her pups at this time due to her medical condition.
So we brought her six pups to aunt Ashley. She took them in without hesitation and started licking them up and feeding them.
We had to include supplemental formula (bottle feeding) as not to drain Ashley. We were feeding the six Mary Kate pups around the clock and keeping them warm on heating pads when they were not in with Ashley.
Mary Kate was given a few days to recover but was able to be reunited with her pups on April 2 and is taking care of them and all is going well. Keep your fingers crossed.
At the time of both c-sections, Ashley and Mary Kate were spayed. They will never have to go through this again! During her medical workup, it was discovered that Ashley is heartworm positive and will need treatment after she weans her seven pups.
Our plan is to have both girls and their puppies stay in their maternity foster homes for a few more weeks until just the right rescue comes along. The ultimate goal is that all puppies remain with their moms until they are at least 7-8 weeks old before being available for adoption through a rescue.
My wife and her sisters have been involved in dog rescue for the past five years or so. What this involves is selecting good dogs that are in kill shelter dog pounds across the south and arranging to get the vetted and transported up to a rescue shelter where they are then placed in a Fur –ever home with an adopting family. The cultural differences between dog owners in TN, KY MO and other states us such that the dogs are rarely spayed or neutered while in IL WI an MN and other more northern states the amount of pet population control is such that there actually are shortages of dogs to adopt. When a dog is surrendered to a dog pound or county shelter they can be on borrowed time and many are euthanized just because there is no room or money to care for them. This is where the rescues step in and pull suitable dogs out and move them up to no kill shelters where there is more demand for the dogs. This is kind of like the Underground Railroad for
dogs. We will pack as many dogs as we can arrange drivers for into crates and move them up the interstate system about 90 miles at a time where another driver moves the dogs into their vehicle and continues the trek. Almost every weekend we have dogs who are half way in the trip overnight at my house. I would guess I have had about 1000 dogs visit since we started doing this. We feed them clean them up a bit if they need it and give them some lovin’s and many times a lap on the couch with me to watch TV. The next morning they are back on the road again until they reach the final destination.
Obviously the medical expenses for these two beagles and their pups, as well as the heartworm treatment Ashley will need were unexpected. But we have been blessed to have a fund set up on you caring .com and much of the expenses will be covered.
For more pictures and updates you can go to Facebook page