One year ago today, this is what I was doing…
At almost this exact hour I was giving Ezra James mouth to mouth to try and revive his tiny, just born body. By this time of day I had realized that things were very wrong. Vera had been giving birth all day but the puppies were not ready to have come out. They were not “fully baked”. Naked heads and legs, bright pink skin, noses barely formed, these kids should have still been safely in the womb. One year ago today began one of the toughest challenges I’ve faced in rescue. One year ago today, at this time, I was still mercifully unaware of the exact enormity of what the days and weeks to follow would bring. Bring on the every two hour feedings around the clock, the weighing, the tube feeding, the learning how to “milk” a dog (still the best food for pups too weak to nurse), the worry, the exhaustion. Bring on a crash course on preemie pups, trial by fire and desperation. Bring on the Safe Hands family to rally around these babies and extend a circle of love and protection. Bring on some of the hardest and most miraculous days of my life.
Today is the first anniversary of birth day for Vera’s kids, Shane, Vivian, Ezra James, Buckley and Brando, and one girl and one boy, who did not make it through that first night. Today I have watched the clock, remembering each moment of this day one year ago as if it were yesterday. Unlike one year ago though, today I get to celebrate. Today I get to celebrate the precious lives of the sweet little kids who through the village of Safe Hands Rescue and sometimes I think with the sheer force of my will, got to grow up. Shane, Vivi, Ezzie, Buckley and Brando got to grow up to know lots of hugs and kisses, to discover the joy of toys and new friends, the feel of the sunlight and the grass under feet and snow! They got to find families of their own to love and to treasure them.
So today I celebrate. I celebrate not only their lives but the lives of the folks who helped them and helped me along the way. I treasure the friendships and the “teamship” that comes with being in our rescue family. From the people who dropped off food for momma and for me to those who babysat so I could work or took a night shift so I could sleep once in a while, who cleaned or did laundry or picked up other rescue responsibilities so I could focus on the pups, it took an army and our army was there. Grateful doesn’t begin to describe how I feel about everyone involved in saving these kids…and in saving the many whom have passed through our doors since. I celebrate the Safe Hands family with incredible gratitude, thanks and big, big love. Happy Birthday babies.