On July 8,2008 this very special little girl entered my life along with her brothers and sisters. Hope was the runt of the litter and I had concerns about her from the instant she was born. Her coloring was off and she was considerably smaller than the rest. She had the motivation to nurse but didn't seem to be able to nurse for that long even if I tried to help her. Lola and the puppies were all checked over by my vet the day after they were born and I had her give Hope a much closer look. I started supplementing Hope's feedings by tube feeding her every couple of hours round the clock in addition to helping her nurse from Lola before she fed the other pups. The puppies' tails were docked and dew claws removed on day 3 and the I had the vet doing that again give Hope a much closer check. I made the decision for her to keep her long tail and dew claws because I didn't want to stress her. I named her Hope because I refused to give up hope on my fiesty little girl.
Over the next several weeks, Hope did make many steps toward progress and also had several set backs. She was gaining weight and growing but so slowly.. no matter how full I kept her tummy her sibllings were leave her further and further behind. She was such a spitfire and always insisting on being right where she belonged which was right in the middle of them. She'd crawl over the top of them and push against them until she got her spot. She also took a puppy treat away from her much larger brother and then laid on top of it so that he couldn't get it back and nibbled on the end of it. When I got home from work in the morning and sneaked into the house to peek in on them, there she sat with all the others in their playpen, looking for me and just waiting for me to get home. As soon as one spotted me or heard my voice, the chorus started and Hope chimed right in.
On Labor Day, Hope started making periodic, high pitched squealing noises.. like something was hurting her. She wasn't very stable of her feet and seemed to be losing her balance. I took her to the vet again the next morning.. on her 8 week birthday. She checked my tiny one out and told me that the main part of Hope's brain just didn't develope properly and that affected her digestive and her balance. She also suspected that Hope had other issues going on as well. She told me that I could continue to care for Hope as I had been doing with the tube feedings and feedings with the small animal feeder, but it was only a matter of time before I lost her.
I would have gladly done whatever it took for Hope for the remainder of her life.. but I could not bare the thought of her hurting and something was causing the squeals. It totally broke my heart, but I made the decision to let her go.
I love this little girl so very much and she will never be forgotten. Our Tara watches over her now. I am her forever mommy.
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