KITTENS AND PUPPIES AND RESCUES, OH MY!!
Puppies in the truck and coming home
Where is the heart of mankind?
The need never ceases....broken hearts and helpless animals
I’ve heard that God does not give us more than we can handle. I’m putting all my faith in this truth. Because, right now; it’s reaching the point where I’m not really sure just how much more we can handle.
PUPPIES IN THE STREET
Last night, after working all day preparing for a huge yard/rummage sale on Saturday and the subsequent long distance move in our near future, I was already exhausted from the emotional, physical and psychic drain that has become day to day life. Constantly running up and down three flights of stairs, carrying boxes for sale, packed belongings to take with me, my legs were throbbing (and, believe me, this says a lot because I run up and down stairways at both houses every day from am to pm).
Al had worked 8 hours, toiling in the beautiful and sculpted gardens he has created for this community’s wealthy residents. Installing yards and yards of black plastic piping for hundreds of feet of drip systems, designing and creating beautiful rock waterfalls, meandering walkways of native sandstone or indigenous bricks originally fired and "stamped" right here in SE Kansas, and the beautiful floral venues which highlight these unique landscape scenes; on a day which reached the upper 90’s, Al arrived at my house as tired and worn out as I was.
After filling one another in on our individual activities, we decided to grab a few items for dinner at the local market, take the ‘back way’ home so that we could stop by our Veterinarian’s to pick up medications and special diet and, finally…off to home!
Little did we know what was waiting for us just around the corner of a very curvy, steep roadway with an extremely limited view of what was coming just around the next turn.
As we approached a particularly windy part of the road, out dashed a small puppy, running haphazardly in one direction and the next right down the middle of the pavement!
“Al! Stop! What is that puppy doing way out here in the middle of nowhere?” (This part of our sometimes route home is very isolated and treacherous; there is no fathomable reason why any domestic animal would or could survive here ).
Al screeched to a sudden stop as, in the rear view mirror, “Kath, there’s another one.”
We jumped from the truck and walked quickly but carefully towards the little dogs.
HOW MANY PUPPIES IN A TYPICAL LITTER?
All five of them.
By now, three more appeared from out of the heavy brush just off to the side of the road. The first thing I noticed was how thin two of these little dogs were. As we reassuringly moved towards the scared animals, they all scattered in different directions.
Fearful that oncoming traffic would injure, or worse, the frightened pups, we devised a plan; thiking on our feert; Al went one way, I; the other. We were able to gently coax the five back into the safety, such as it was, of the bushy undergrowth.
We had just bought cans of cat food for our sanctuary so, we had enough food to lure the dogs closer. At first, they would not come near…we tossed small balled up wads of tasty smelly food towards each little one, and, ever so slowly; one after the other allowed us to draw nearer.
After several hours and dozens of cars driving by…oblivious or uncaring; even when told what we were doing on the side of the road in such a questionable and , in their eyes, suspicious nature; each and every one drove on away…no offers of help or assistance; no suggestions to call animal control (we would not have allowed that, anyway because, around here, when an animal is surrendered to the “shelter,” it’s a well known death sentence. No..we would not allow that even if someone; ANYONE; had thought it a preferable choice to leaving the dogs…not knowing that Al and I would NEVER do that, either!!)
As I worry, how in the world are we going to deal with this in the face of everything that is going on in our lives, I also wonder, “How many people have driven by these poor, terrified, starving abandoned animals? How could they do that? “
We remained on the side of the road, climbing hills, gathering ticks, burrs, stickers and evergreen needles in our pants and hair and shirts; until we captured each and every one of those young, helpless creatures. One by one, they struggled, yelped and shivered as we first took a hold of them by the scruff of the neck. Within minutes, though, realizing they had been saved, the crying stopped, the shakes receded and the throw aways collapsed into resignation.
Loading one after the other into the cab of Al’s truck; once they were inside, it was obvious they wanted to be safe, secure and to be able to, finally, relax.
Relax, they did. Five little bodies spread out all over the seat, floor and brake, clutch and gas pedals! With much determination bolstered by disgust at the behavior of people abandoning animals, and a deep desire not to let any one of the pups out of the truck, we finally were able to “load up” and continue home.
All the way, little furry canines cuddled on my lap, my knees, feet and beside Al and I in the center of the seat. It was a sight.
BARELY CONTROLLED CHAOS
We arrived home and, thankfully, had just moved Smoky Mama and her kittens to their new place so, we had the bathroom of the cottage available to house the puppies overnight. Today, after work; after another exhausting and draining day; we’ll build a new dog run around the large, insulated dog house we always have ready for whatever eventuality comes our way (and, rest assured, they ALWAYS do!).
We fed the babies - they ate voraciously - and made sure the water we’d already given them was replenished, laid down several thick plush throw rugs for their comfort and continued on with the regular nightly duties.
The night time animal care is similar to the morning except that, each evening, we mix big batches of canned cat food with the kibble so that they have variety in their diet. Some of the cats are given their meds in the pm hours because we have limited time earlier in the day. Again, scooping all around, sweeping, cleaning of counter tops where errant kitties might have left paw prints; special CD for the Urinary tract Toms who keep on developing crystals which can be life threatening. Most recently, we've added 'check on Candy to make sure she's eaten and is continuing to heal after major dental surgery... Blind Honey bear and Goldie are fed separately, old cats given special food in their own private area, Feline Aids and FELV kitties attended to in their separate quarters, high nutritious special menu for nursing Smoky and, finally, feed the dogs who have their own huge dog run and indoor house…there are 5 dogs…Lady, Brandy, Scruffy, Kitty and Bandit.
Time has passed quickly, as it always does, and, at 10:30, it’s “our time.” This is what we say….”ok, babies, now, it’s our time.”
Nuke something hot and fast, sit for a few minutes; half hour if we’re lucky and, off to do the last watering, scooping and checking on the menagerie.
Off to bed.
The next morning; it starts again.
I don’t mind..not at all. This IS our calling; we ARE a sanctuary. However, when others are so calloused, careless, mean hearted and selfish that they find it easy to throw animals away then…well, my ire peaks, my disappointment and disgust builds and my love for humanity lessens.
I’ve heard that God never gives us more than we can handle……..
More by this Author
Decorating Shabby Chic Style. How to distress, paint, and create lovely pieces at home.
America's 4-H teaches impressionable young people all the WRONG messages about loyalty, friendship and trust. A wolf in sheep's clothing.