Time has dragged lately. Hardship and sadness have filled much of the last few months for us and the weather cooperated with the bleakness by being gray. 

There are times nothing can be controlled and no choices are left but to accept. For us, this meant losing one of Eve's pups after just a few days of life and another of her pups on the operating table at seven weeks of age. Her name had been Apple and her small intestine moved into her large intestine and she didn't survive this condition known as Intussusception. All of Prom Queen's pups died over a two day period because they just weren't strong enough to take nourishment. Prom understood this well before we did but we kept putting them up to her to feed and then cared for the last surviving pup on our own until she too let go. A parasitic overload wore their little bodies out before they even had a chance. Broke our hearts to have known them so briefly and to then witness Prom's grief. 

Five Roxer (Rotti/Boxer) pups were surrendered to us from nearby and they too were sick. Even after overnight stays at the vets and diligent home care we lost three of them. They fought hard but lost the struggle and they deserved so much more. They were Praline, Yat and Gumbo. 

All but one of these pups was held but all were loved and lost too soon. The other dogs in our care allowed a window of time for mourning the losses but reminded us that life continues and their needs remained. I just wanted to lie down though. As much as I believe the dogs teach us what we need to learn, I could not even begin to grasp any reason behind losing twelve puppies within a four month period. What were we meant to understand, change or grow from? I still don't know and maybe that is the lesson - not knowing has to be enough at times. Puppies can be profound I suppose.

We had Prom Queen and Macy with us for months as they came to us from Quebec pregnant and gave birth in our home. Eve arrived with her five day old pups and remained until they were weaned and independent after a month and a half. Nellie too stayed for quite a time as she had to gain her health back before her amputation surgery and then to recover. All the adults blended with our pack of seven but still, the burden of loss weighed on us all.

I felt anger too for just a moment. It was directed at those who criticize rescuers and find fault with things they know little about. Much of rescue work is coping with more than we can stand and letting go of more than we are able to. The needs and demands we choose to deal with when we really don't have to are more than the naysayers would do. I speak for all true rescue workers when I say this. The absence of pay matters not, because that is not the motivation or the reward of what we all do. Joy competes with grief and we constantly have to make that okay. And we do, so that we can continue. Pride then replaced anger.

The spirit of a dog flows though and even when resisting, it sweeps you up with it. That is just what happened recently and a lightness returned with the coming of Spring. We now share our home with seven pups from Attawapiskat named, Marigold, Calla Lily, Freesia, Carnation, Crocus, Orchid and Earl. Innocence shines through their eyes and the promise of possibilities moves time forward. Just what we needed. Puppy breath in Spring is a tonic the world could benefit from and I wish I could share it.

I still don't know why we lost so much all at once and why puppies suffered but I am grateful they had names and were here long enough to be known, loved and to matter. I wished so much more for them but in the end, it is enough.