November 21, 2013

Heartbreak, Hope, and Blended Families

Meg entered our building and our hearts almost two weeks ago. After living in a crate in a garage for most of her life, she was surrendered to Angles of Assisi with a large group of dogs from a breeder who was going out of business. She was enormously pregnant, and went immediately to a wonderful foster home. While there, she settled into a new bed, a TV watching routine, a couch, and a family who loved her quiet and appreciative ways.

Meg's due date for her puppies came and went. Yesterday, it was decided that a C-section was necessary, and all hands were on deck for the surgery. As soon as Dr. Spangler opened her up, she knew something was wrong,  Blood clotting issues were immediate and dangerous, making the delivery of seven babies difficult. Staff worked very hard to save them all, and soon they were snuggled up in our incubator.

Meg, however, was a different story. Effort after effort to stabilize her did little, and as soon as we could, she was packed in blankets and hot water bottles for a trip to the emergency vet clinic.  As I drove, Dr. Phillips continued to work on her in the backseat, and she was rushed to the waiting EVS staff.

Assessments and consultations were made, and we decided the best, most humane thing to do was let her go. All we had ever wanted for Meg was to have a home besides her crate in the garage, a time when she would be more than a breeding dog, have her very own soft bed, and be a part of a family. She had that for 11 days, and in the world of rescue, sometimes we have to accept that that is enough, and tell ourselves that dogs, unlike humans, live in the moment, and to her she had it all. It was just too damn short.

As fresh as the heartbreak of losing sweet Meg was, we also had a new dilemma on our hands- her seven puppies. Three of them were scooped up with bottles and formula, and went to another wonderful foster home. The other four came home with me, to meet Ella.

Ella is a sweet, beautiful, and under-socialized boxer, who had her own four puppies last week. She was surrendered to Angels of Assisi from the same rescue as Meg, and shared her love of the big soft bed and TV time. We took a deep breath, rubbed Ella's babies with a little bit of homegrown lavender, did the same for Meg's babies, and gave them back to mama.

Things were a bit scary at first, as Ella got up and paced while she took it all in. Babies squirmed and squealed together, while mama took a moment to regroup, and have a major potty break. Sometimes, when someone throws four new kids at you, one just has to do what one has to do. With that out of the way, she went back to the big soft bed, hunkered down, took the babies in like they were hers, and we all exhaled.

The brown boxer babies look enormous next to the little Italian Greyhound babies, but they are all taking their turn and eating well. The last 3 of Meg's puppies came this morning, and mama Ella took them in immediately, no potty break required. And then there were eleven.

We can't bring back Meg, but we can give her babies the safety and security she would have tried to give. No crates in garages, and no being used for breeding. They will have families and toys, and lots of love. Rest in peace sweet girl, you will always be in our hearts, and yet another spark to keep fighting for those behind you.


Death is nothing at all. It does not count. I have only slipped away into the next room. Nothing has happened. Everything remains exactly as it was. I... am I, and you are you, and the old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged.

Whatever we were to each other, that we are still. Call me by the old familiar name. Speak of me in the easy way which you always used. Put no difference into your tone. Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow. Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together. Play, smile, think of me, pray for me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without an effort, without the ghost of a shadow upon it.

Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was. There is absolute and unbroken continuity. What is this death but a negligible accident? Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight? I am but waiting for you, for an interval, somewhere very near, just round the corner. All is well. Nothing is hurt; nothing is lost. One brief moment and all will be as it was before. How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!"
(Thank you, Diane)

Ella, Meg, their babies, and all of the other dogs surrendered from the breeding situation will benefit from the Biscuit Fund.

We really can't say it enough - so we'll say it again. Thank you. We have the best group of supporters that we could ask for, and it's because of you that we the animals in our community get the care that so many need!



  1. Judy Deflin WellerNovember 21, 2013

    This is a sad story but beautifully told. Thank you.

  2. Such an amazing story. I am saddened and joyful all at the same time.

  3. Please send a link to the Biscuit fund


      Thank you :)

  4. And what's happening with Meg's puppies being raised by the Boxer?