Well, the past few days have been eventful, to say the least.
A pregnant Basset Hound was at the pound, and after spreading the word I received encouragement and support to help her. As a result, I let the shelter know that I’d take her into rescue if she’d not been spoken for already. They asked me to please come and get her right away because she’d given birth that morning (Wednesday).
About a half hour later, Carolina Basset Rescue said they could take her, so I let them know that was fine since they’d probably find homes faster with them. I decided to go ahead and get her and the puppies for them, however, since any time at a shelter can be harmful to newborns. So, mother and I headed in that direction to pull them to safety.
When we picked her up, they explained that she’d lost two, and they handed us one wrapped up in a blanket who’d been on a heating pad and bottle fed. We loaded everyone up and headed for home. Initially stopping at mom’s house to finish some work, we fed the bottle baby and tried to keep her stimulated. She gave us a scare a couple of times, but she bounced back. We let Honey nose her around and stimulate her, and the baby really responded. She livened up, was more responsive…I have to say that it was amazing. Honey was in complete and total Heaven, worried sick about this little baby that wasn’t even hers. She stuck by her side as the bottle baby snuggled in her blankie on the heating pad, and Honey couldn’t stand to be away from her. Honey is such a darling girl with a heart of gold.
Mama Basset continued to nurse the others and it seemed everyone was doing well.
I brought them all home and set them up in my bedroom as I planned for the night ahead. When you have a bottle baby, you have to feed them every two hours around the clock. This is exactly what I did, setting the alarm, warming up the formula, feeding the puppy, checking on them all, etc. The last time I woke up I found another pup in distress. To my dismay, it didn’t take long and he passed, despite my efforts. I laid him down, checked out the bottle baby, and found her in in distress, as well…she, too, passed. It was heartbreaking.
We were down to 4 babies left out of the original 8, and I was praying for no more deaths. Unfortunately, Thursday evening during my “check,” I found one dead. Then, later that night in the wee hours, another one who seemed strong was on his way, as well. I worked and worked on him, and he really started to respond. When I laid him down on the heating pad right before I went to sleep, he was active, vocal and doing well. When I woke up a couple of hours later, sadly, he was gone, too. At this point I was just devastated. Despite what you know, it’s never easy to lose them. We were now down to two babies.
I took the last two and the mama to the vet for examination, and Dr Powell looked them all over. Her and Dr Storm came to the conclusion that it was Fading Puppy Syndrome, which is similar to SIDS in humans. I’d seen this before and knew it was a possibility, but didn’t like it just the same. Veterinary medicine has determined that it’s viral, so we put them on an antibiotic to boost their little immune systems, which they are receiving twice daily. Doc said their heart and lungs sounded good, that they looked pretty good themselves, and hopefully since they were eating well we’d have no more problems. So far, all is grand, and the puppies have talked a lot to me today, one in protest of her medicine. 🙂 They continue to eat well, and their mama, Miss Tallulah Belle, is doing much better, too.
This was difficult for her, for she loves her babies tremendously. I felt horrible because I knew she was thinking “Every time you take one of my babies, they don’t come back.” I can’t imagine how she must feel. She knew the last baby was in the crate across from her, on the heating pad, and it broke my heart to see her cry and look for him after he’d died. I tried my best to comfort her, and although she’s doing fine now, my heart ached to see her so upset. She is such a sweet, sweet girl, and such a good, loving mother, and I hated to see her afraid of what had happened to her baby.
However, she’s taking good care of the last two, and I’m keeping an eye on them, as well. Keep those paws crossed and say your prayers that these guys continue to be strong. They will go to Basset Rescue sometime this week, as soon as we can get the transport set up, and from there will find loving homes. Carolina Basset Rescue has been so good to us and so kind, and I have to say their volunteers have been a delight to work with. They all have huge hearts and have been so supportive of me the last few days, providing strength and encouragement, while being extremely gracious. I’m so glad this has provided me the opportunity to get to know them, and I look forward to working with them in the future.
Here are some photos of the babies and their mama, Tallulah Belle. Some are a bit blurry because Tallulah Belle wouldn’t sit still…she wanted her babies! I have some additional pictures, which I will share when I load them to the computer. For now, enjoy these cuties and keep them in your thoughts are prayers.
Notice that she’s covering her babies with her “basset ear blanket” – CUTE!!!!!
As for Honey, she was apparently feeling slighted, so she decided to get some attention.
Honey’s imitation of a Basset Hound (Kids can be so silly!):
I will post more later on the babies and Tallulah Belle. Off to check on them right now. 🙂