Puppies to the Rescue

I just finished spending nine glorious and exhausting days caring for seven puppies rescued from a local shelter.  Where did I get seven puppies you ask?

Let me start this story where all stories should start, at the beginning.  Like many of you the new year usually finds me re-evaluation my life.  Ten years ago, before moving to Bakersfield and before developing Fibromyalgia I was lucky enough to have a very rewarding and fulfilling job in Pulmonary Rehabilitation.  I won’t bore you with the details but I felt that I made a difference in the life of someone each and everyday that I went to work.  I wasn’t discovering a cure for any disease or inventing some new and fabulous technology I was just making someone’s life a bit better each day.

Fibro changed that for me and my life became centered on dealing with this frustrating and debilitating condition.  It has taken me seven years but I finally have a bit of a handle on how to minimize and somewhat deal with my symptoms.  I will never be employable again but I do have the need to be needed, to make a difference the world and leave it a better place at the end of my life.

Credit (CBS)

Credit (CBS)

I started thinking about volunteering, I figured that if I paced myself I would be able to contribute somewhere. Naturally I gravitated towards a charity for dogs and finally settled on applying to volunteer for a local organization called Marley’s Mutts.  I envisioned myself doing computer work at home or making phone calls.  That is when I saw a Pinterest post about bottle feeding puppies.

I scoured the internet for information on fostering and bottle feeding puppies.  It seemed like a pretty good fit.  Abandoned newborn pups require an ample supple of attention and patience but I have all the time and patience in the world to sit around and feed puppies with a bottle or eye dropper.  Apparently rescue organizations have trouble finding people who can devote that amount of time.  This was something that I could do.  Sure they would be moving about and eating on their own towards the end of the eight weeks before they were put up for adoption but I felt I could handle that.  I mulled over the possibility for almost two months before decided that I could pull it off.  Both my husband and son were on board with my plan so I filled out the application and waited for a response.  And waited, and waited, and waited.

via Cynthia Samera

via Cynthia Samera

The next two weeks seemed like an eternity.  Once I decide to do something I want to start yesterday.  It was smack dab in middle of the holidays when everything grinds to a halt so I read everything I could find on bottle feeding puppies.  My son was so supportive that for Christmas he gave me a wonderful book about raising puppies which I have read twice.

I finally heard from the volunteer coordinator and since I was willing to do some other work as well as bottle feeding she suggested that I go to a volunteer expo the following Saturday.  I was so excited.  My husband accompanied me to the expo where I met the volunteers in charge of the various activities.  The line to meet the foster coordinator was long but I was finally able to talk with her for a few moments.  It took only a few words for my dreams to fall apart.

As a foster I would need to keep the puppies for a full 12 weeks.  My heart sank.  I knew that eight weeks was pushing it for me but I thought with organization and help from my family I could do it but 12 weeks would be out of the question.  I know it is only four weeks longer but during those four weeks the puppies would be very active and it was too long for me go without a major break where I could rest and recoup.  It wasn’t the time or the place to let the coordinator know so I went home knowing that I would need to call and explain after the weekend.

via The Twins Pin

via The Twins Pin

The next few days were bleak to say the least and I avoided making the call on Monday.   By Tuesday afternoon I still had not made the call and when the phone rang and caller id flashed the foster coordinator’s number I knew it was time to get it over.  But before I could explain that I would not be able to foster puppies she asked if I could foster seven puppies for nine days.  Nine days? Thoughts were flying through my mind and I realized that this might be the only opportunity that I would have to foster puppies.  Nine days?  I figured I could do just about anything for nine days as long as I had enough pain pills.  That is when I heard my own voice say “Yes”.  I would be completely exhausted afterwards but I could do it.

The next nine days were full of mishaps and mayhem and I hope you will return to read the next chapter.  I promise you will not be bored.

Thank you for reading,

Traci

4 Comments
  • Patty
    February 12, 2015

    There is a special place in heaven for people that take care of animals. I also volunteer for a group that provides low cost vaccinations and supplies animal food to people that just don’t have the money to feed them. We have four rescues and would have more except for the cost. I couldn’t take the puppies because I would refuse to give them back and then I would lose my hubby. That was a wonderful thing you did.

    • Traci
      February 12, 2015

      Thank you Patty for your sweet words. I agree there is a special place in heaven for those who take care of animals and everyone involved with Marley’s Mutts is assured of a place there. It is wonderful to be working with these folks. You have mentioned your rescue pups before but I didn’t realize that you have four. I am glad to hear that your working to help people vaccinate their pets, we have had a very difficult year with Parvo here in Bakersfield and it is sad to see people loosing their cherished pets because they couldn’t afford to vaccinate them. Keep up the good work.
      Traci

  • Magali@TheLittleWhiteHouse
    February 12, 2015

    This must have been exhausting, but so interesting! I’ll be back for the next part!

    • Traci
      February 12, 2015

      It was exhausting and invigorating at the same time and while I am glad it is over I am hoping to have another foster dog in the future.
      Traci

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