"We lost Bekka and the puppies. Distemper." My heart, which was
flying at the top of the world, dropped through the floor. Bekka was a
rescue that had inspired the Aussie rescue world, and in fact, the dog
rescue world. She was a dog that pushed all of us to the edge of the
envelope, pulling in everyone's heart, and made us all pull together a
tighter to save her. A beautiful blue merle female, with two blue eyes,
sweet, loving, and young, but she came with a catch. Another breed
rescue person saw her at the shelter, and gave us a call. "She is a great
dog, but very very pregnant. And her time is up on Wednesday."
With a mere five days, the calls went out. Thankfully, a rep stepped up to
the plate. "I'll take her, and whelp her out." The Second Time Around
team sprang into action. Plans were made, schedules were changed, and
joy was spreading because this one we would save. The rep was
scheduled to pull her on Monday, the first day that the shelter opened
again. And she was there, waiting, only this time she wasn't alone. Her
eight baby pups were there with her.
Problem! The first rep couldn't take her now, as it would increase the risk
of exposure to her property from the pups having whelped in the shelter.
The rep has a litter planned for this year as well as not wanting to not
expose her clients' dogs. A wise decision, and one that we all agreed
was the right one. That rep's heart was breaking because she couldn't
help right then, so we again sprang back in action. Calls were made,
promises of help from all were guaranteed, and another angel stepped in.
A new rep, and a new foster home, agreed to take Bekka and her pups
into their homes and hearts.
New plans were made, schedules were changed, and joy was spreading
because these nine we would save. Well, these eight we would save.
One puppy was at the Rainbow Bridge now. Another trip to the shelter,
from a rescue rep from another breed, and Bekka and babies were safe
at the vet clinic. A few days later, the transport from Texas to Louisiana
to the new foster home occurred, and we all thought we were safe.
For a couple of weeks, all seemed to go well. Then Bekka got sick, and
the puppies got sick, and the vet tried so hard. The uncaring people had
won again, and we had lost. These eight, we did not save.
But we did save them. They knew kindness, warmth, clean bedding,
food, and most importantly, love. Then they slipped away, and left hearts
breaking across the organization. But we have done our job again, helping
to ease the transition from this world to the next, because we had to.
This is rescue, and it takes a toll on the heart. But it also gives joy.
While I am saddened, I also know that there are many rescue dogs out there
today who will get an extra dog treat for Valentines. Or they may be the
only companion for someone who will appreciate them just that little bit
more today. And this is a day for Bekka, and the puppies, which go with
love from us to a better place.