Monday, June 25, 2012

Keeping our hearts open in the face of loss and tragedy

I know i'm not alone when I say I feel like i've been on a major rollercoaster ride of emotions these past 10 days. I walk this journey with many others, of advocating and doing our best to be a voice for the animals and for those who often have no voice. With so much loss these past 10 days, I find myself needing to consciously work to keep my heart open. My heart hurts for the animals we have lost, and also for my fellow rescuers who work tirelessly, day in and day out, allowing themselves to remain vulnerable to the hurt that inevitably comes in the work of animal rescue.

On June 15th, we lost little Doug, an 8 week old puppy who was shot 3 times with one bullet lodged in his spinal cord leaving him permanently paralyzed and his lower organs not functioning. Jenny and I were there with him, holding him as he crossed over Rainbow Bridge. We got a text yesterday that his ashes are in .. Jenny is going to pick up little Doug's ashes after work today. I will keep his ashes along with the ashes of others we have lost.

And yesterday at 7:47, Jenny and I received an email from Karen Good of Red Lake Rosie's Rescue. I will always be indebted and grateful to Karen Good for rescuing and leading me to my sweet Ahnung.

Hi Marilou and Jen :

We just concluded a neuter/spay clinic yesterday and when we were leaving the warehouse (vet had left) a boxer/pit mix (we named Hope) was brought to the warehouse  who had been in labor 2 days sitting in the back of a truck in the rain.  She had green slime seeping out of 2 holes in her mammary glands.  She had 2 pups that were dead previously the owner said.  
Hope before the c-section.

Poor Hope was surrendered in very serious condition and we went to the emergency vet in Gonvick MN where the vet opened her up and removed 4 dead puppies and there were 3 still living. Her embryotic fluid was green and foul smelling.

Hope is malnourished and after the pups were taken out- she is VERY skinny.

Hope remains at the vet on antibiotics IV and fluid IV this morning.

We are hoping hoping to find a place for Hope and her 3 surviving pups who are now being syringe fed and have a strong desire to live.  The vet thinks that if Hope lives she may be able to nurse them if

Hope is a very sweet girl.  She is a miracle and we hope you can take her.  

Jenny reached out to Jean of Carver  Scott Humane Society about the possibility of taking Hope and her 3 surviving pups, and without hesitation Jean said YES! Jean and her husband have been angels for so many of the animals. Hope and her 3 surviving pups are loaded up immediately and are transported to the cities by volunteer Heather who has just spent 3 long days up at Red Lake Reservation volunteering at a spay/neuter clinic. She stops every 2-3 hours to feed the puppies. 
Hope arrives at Jean's house

Jenny and I head over to Jean's house and around 6 pm Heather arrives with Hope and her 3 pups (Faith, Wendall and Leonard). Jean immediately takes the less than 24 hour old pups into her house and she and Jenny begin syringe feeding the pups some goat's milk. I'm hanging outside with with Heather and Hope ... her ribs are protruding and a couple of her mammary glands are wide open and it looks like her insides are coming out. Despite all she's been through, her calm, gentle, loving spirit was all I could feel. Once inside the house, she lays like a perfect angel on a blanket. After her babies have had some goat's milk we bring them over to her and she kisses them and cleans them off. What a kind, gentle mama. 

Dr. Vicki of Act V Rescue offered to come over and check on Hope and the pups. I call her and she immediately comes over to Jean's house. The pups are not doing so well. Their bodies are cold and we do everything we can to warm them up. Hope's IV needs to be replaced as she is also dehydrated. Dr. Vicki tells us we need to head to her clinic. Shortly after arriving at her clinic we place Faith, Wendall and Leonard under blankets and a warm air blower. Heather is rubbing them and trying to warm them up and whispering to them to keep fighting! Vicki told me at Jean's house that she was very concerned about Wendall. Less than 5 minutes after we arrive at the clinic we lose Wendall. Heather holds him and kisses him and tears start flowing. She brings Wendall over to Hope so she can say goodbye ... Hope kisses Wendall. Ten minutes later, we lose Faith. Hope kisses  Faith to say goodbye. 
Hope cleaning off Wendell and Leonard after
they had some goat's milk

All this time Hope is laying on the table and being a perfect angel and not even flinching with all the poking and prodding. Vicki stitches up her gaping open mammary gland ... while Vicki is working on Hope and cleaning her wound, Hope calmly rests her head on my right hand and arm. I start to feel my hand vibrating and moments later I hear Hope snoring. She's sound asleep (without the help of any drugs). She has got to be beyond exhausted after being in labor for more than 2 days and after enduring so much pain and suffering. 

At this point Leonard is still hanging in there and Hope has been stitched up and a new IV put in and given fluids. It's almost 9 pm. They head home with Jean who will ensure Leonard is fed every 2-3 hours. Leonard ate at 1 am this morning. But it is with great sadness I share that Leonard passed away at 4 am to join Faith and Wendall, and their other 6 siblings.
Faith being syringe fed by jean

So now, as Jean shared this morning, she must focus her efforts on helping Hope get well. It's hard for me to even comprehend the level of suffering Hope endured, and despite what she endured, has such a loving, gentle spirit. Many hearts are hurting for the loss of Faith, Wendall and Leonard. My only consolation is in knowing that for their brief 24 hours that they were surrounded with love and that Hope is now free of a life of suffering. 

I remind myself as well, that for all the losses, there are many happy endings. While waiting for Heather to arrive from Red Lake, we got to meet Lance, one of four puppies Jean took in from Morrison County Animal Humane Society a few weeks ago. Jean graciously opened her heart and home to foster these four puppies as their siblings had gotten parvo and did not survive. 

Lance ... defied the odds
and escaped parvo and is doing great!

Thank you Karen, Heather, Jean, Dr. Vicki, Jenny for all you did for Hope and her puppies. 

I found a beautiful prayer from "Prayers for Healing" ..

May our eyes remain open even in the face of tragedy.
May we not become disheartened.
May we find in the dissolution
   of our apathy and denial,
   the cup of the broken heart.
May we discover the gift of the fire burning
   in the inner chamber of our being ~
   burning great and bright enough
   to transform any poison.
May we offer the power of our sorrow to the service
   of something greater than ourselves.
May our guilt not rise up to form
   yet another defensive wall.
May the suffering purify and not paralyze us.
May we endure; may sorrow bond us and not separate us.
May we realize the greatness of our sorrow
   and not run from its touch or its flame.
May clarity be our ally and wisdom our support.
May our wrath be cleansing, cutting through
   the confusion of denial and greed.
May we not be afraid to see or speak our truth.
May the bleakness of the wasteland be dispelled.
May the soul's journey be revealed
   and the true hunger fed.
May we be forgiven for what we have forgotten
   and blessed with the remembrance
   of who we really are.

~ The Terma Collective

Heartfelt thanks to those who risk being vulnerable and having their hearts broken, over and over again.  Please continue to keep Hope in your thoughts and prayers ..... 

For more photos of Hope and her puppies:

Heather and Hope :)

1 comment:

  1. Such a sad, sad, story. My thoughts are with Hope and her caretakers.