I can feel you waiting — 4-13-2020

It’s been a sad Easter weekend. Both puppies died along with 3 more of the litter of 9 being fostered elsewhere. The first puppy cried/screamed with every breath for over 12 hours. I woke suddenly from dozing in my chair early Sunday morning to “quiet” and I knew he was gone. The second puppy wasn’t acting much better but I continued to work with him until he died this morning at 4 am.

After the excruciating death of Puppy A I prayed that Puppy B would die sooner rather than later if he wasn’t going to survive and I added that I hoped he would die in his sleep.

That was at 3:45 am this morning. His tub was by my chair and when he started whimpering after the last feeding at 3:15, I put my hand into the tub and laid it on his chest. He felt chilly so I put another towel over him and before long he stopped crying softly and I took my hand out so I could sleep. Obviously Puppy B died at that moment because he was in that exact position this morning when I woke for the 5:30 feeding. God answered my prayer.

As of this morning, 5 puppies out of 9 have died. The foster director put out a message to those of us with the orphan pups that the infection, sepsis, that took their mother’s life could likely have passed to the babies and we were probably fighting an uphill battle. And we were all helpless to care for them.

I have acquaintances in CO who are experts in the field of feeding tiny puppies and getting them to thrive. We have talked many times in the last two days and the information I learned will be my guide if this ever happens again. I won’t bore you with the facts here but will just say my puppies likely died from being fed with a syringe and they aspirated. They were so little and the nipples we were given just were too big and stiff so we all resorted to feeding the puppies with a syringe. And they thrive best when fed whole goat milk instead of milk replacer.

I have some more things on my mind but I’m cleaning up all the puppy equipment and towels, etc. right now. I’m very sad but God really answered my prayer and 5 puppies have now been reunited with their Momma over the Rainbow Bridge.

85 thoughts on “I can feel you waiting — 4-13-2020

  1. Kathy Hanson

    So very sad but sounds like it was inevitable. You were wonderful to do your best to help them live.
    Good that they will be reunited across the Rainbow Bridge. You are amazing!

  2. Diana

    How sad! I was hoping that they would thrive for you! Sounds like it wasn’t meant to be with the issue with their Momma. Thank you for having such a big kind heart and trying to save them!!

  3. Rhoda Ebersole

    Yes what a sad message and I am so sorry for you Mary. You did all you could and it wasn’t meant for them to survive. Life can be very cruel at times. Thank you for having a generous heart dear Mary.

  4. Diane Bauer

    I’m so sorry, Mary. Thank you so much for your efforts with the two pups you were caring for. What a labor of love.

  5. Susie Lenz

    So sad,I am sorry Mary. If they had a chance,it was with you.Your love and compassion for animals knows no bounds. You are right,they are with momma getting all love they need, beyond the Rainbow Bridge.💗💗💗💗💗💗💗💗

  6. Angie from Baltimore

    Oh, Mary with tears I can only say how sorry I am. You tried so hard and I am sure they felt the love of you as the United with their Mom over the bridge. How happy the Mom is to have her babies back even though it makes us sad.

  7. Diana Weirich

    My heart is broken along with yours. Sometimes our will is not enough, and God has other plans. Prayers for you.

  8. Barbara Vest

    No words…. Im so sorry, I can only imagine the pain you are going through. But your warm hand and soft voice let them know they were not alone…

  9. Caryn Goulden

    Oh Mary, so sad. Bless you for trying to save the little ones. God is wise and merciful.

  10. Susan Sundermeyer

    I’m so sorry, Mary. I am imagining mama and her pups running with joy in heaven. Blessings to you for your love ❤️ and care for the 2 pups.

  11. Kathy in western NY

    Tears are falling. I am so sorry. I wish I was better losing a defenseless animal but I am not. You did your best Mary. God bless you.

  12. Dianna

    I’m so sorry Mary, you gave comfort to them. God bless you for all your hours with them.

  13. Sheila

    You have so much love and compassion. And that’s where your prayer came from for the second puppy. You didn’t care for them very long, but long enough to become very attached. Sending love and prayers. 💛

  14. Judy Brennan

    Mary, thanks for giving these puppies the love you are go wonderful at. This is so hard. You are right – they went across the Rainbow Bridge and their mama was waiting there for them. What a great visual. Thanks for sharing so much of you not only with the puppies, but with us. God bless you.

  15. Susan

    You did all you could. I, too, can see them running joyfully with their mother over the Rainbow Bridge. That should be a very comforting thought for you. God bless you. You are so kind!

  16. Teresa

    I’m sorry the puppies didn’t survive but not surprised either. Baby animals are just designed by nature to be nursed by their mother. Sometimes a surrogate bitch can work if she’s willing to accept them but human intervention more often fails then is successful.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Teresa – the rescue had two other nursing dogs but neither would accept these puppies. As of supper time, only 2 puppies out of 9 are still alive.

  17. Carol

    They used to sell doll bottles with a rubber-like nipple, they worked well but don’t think you can find them anymore.

  18. Donna J

    Bless you Mary. You did your best with the Grace God gave you and He truly answered your prayers.

  19. Holly in Two Harbors

    How sad! Poor puppies! And poor you, to try so hard for them! And you’re right, I was waiting to hear and hoping for better news. What a difficult situation for you, and on Easter, too. I’m so sorry.

  20. Cathy Davis

    Bless your heart Mary for taking this on and providing those two little puppies love during their short lives ❤

  21. Carol Nichols

    I am so sorry Mary. You certainly did everything you could. But I know it is still hard and very sad.

  22. mary jane. hudson wi

    Just now as I was reading your blog, we had a few snowflakes floating down, as predicted for the day. When I finished reading it the sun was out and shining brightly..I look at these as good omens. I think it is saying what a great gift you offered those little puppies and yourself. It didn’t work out like one planned but for a few days it did. In todays world, such as it is now, we can be grateful for the kindness we give and receive..Again Mary thank you for your effort and kindness you gave to these little sweet puppies.

  23. the other Angie

    Thanks to you, those puppies left this world surrounded with love. It is so very sad to lose them, but you did a very good thing. ❤️

  24. Carol at Pin Oak Quilting

    Well, I had to wait a bit to reply today, I felt sad for the loss of your puppies, even though it seems it was inevitable. I am one of those people who cries when babies are born on a fictional show on TV, I started crying about Lassie and her adventures/ misadventures when I was 5, so we’re talking a 62 year old habit/conditioning that isn’t likely to change! I’m biting my molars together tightly to get a grip here. I guess I’ve lost enough pets to keep those sad feelings close.

    Oh, well, people who know people with COVID surely think I’m crazy but it’s who I am.

    Tonight we are expecting hurricane force winds here in the Western New York area, so I hope to not wake up to something to cry about!

    Trying to be still…

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Carol at Pin Oak Quilting – we heard about your winds and the damage they caused – probably more on the news tomorrow. Very scary! Hope you didn’t have any damage!

      1. Carol at Pin Oak Quilting

        We were very lucky in our area, minimal damage to trees, houses were fine! I’m not sure why Chicago is the Windy City, the last four or five years here have been brutal. I hope you’re getting fine spring weather, we’ve had sniw fir two days.

  25. Debbie R.

    If there is one thing I have learned from being a dairy farmers wife of over 40 years is that there is a lot of death on the farm. Not fun to deal with, but we know most of the time it is for the best. Albeit sad, you know you did your very best for the puppies!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Debbie R – you’re right, there IS a lot of death on a farm.

  26. Sandy Bessingpas

    A farmer had some puppies he needed to sell. He painted a sign advertising the 4 pups and set about nailing it to a post on the edge of his yard. As he was driving the last nail into the post, he felt a tug on his overalls. He looked down into the eyes of a little boy.

    “Mister,” he said, “I want to buy one of your puppies.”

    “Well,” said the farmer, as he rubbed the sweat off the back of his neck, “These puppies come from fine parents and cost a good deal of money.”

    The boy dropped his head for a moment. Then reaching deep into his pocket, he pulled out a handful of change and held it up to the farmer.

    “I’ve got thirty-nine cents. Is that enough to take a look?”

    “Sure,” said the farmer. And with that he let out a whistle. “Here, Dolly!” he called.

    Out from the doghouse and down the ramp ran Dolly followed by four little balls of fur. The little boy pressed his face against the chain link fence. His eyes danced with delight. As the dogs made their way to the fence, the little boy noticed something else stirring inside the doghouse.

    Slowly another little ball appeared, this one noticeably smaller. Down the ramp it slid. Then in a somewhat awkward manner, the little pup began hobbling toward the others, doing its best to catch up…

    “I want that one,” the little boy said, pointing to the runt.

    The farmer knelt down at the boy’s side and said, “Son, you don’t want that puppy. He will never be able to run and play with you like these other dogs would.”

    With that the little boy stepped back from the fence, reached down, and began rolling up one leg of his trousers. In doing so he revealed a steel brace running down both sides of his leg attaching itself to a specially made shoe. Looking back up at the farmer, he said, “You see sir, I don’t run too well myself, and he will need someone who understands.”

    With tears in his eyes, the farmer reached down and picked up the little pup. Holding it carefully he handed it to the little boy.

    “How much?” asked the little boy…

    “No charge,” answered the farmer, “There’s no charge for love.”


    Photo courtesy of cinderisash via reddit

    Author Unknown

    1. mjg

      love it. … we all need more understanding these days for people, land, water and of course puppies and kitty’s. thanks for sharing this…mj

    2. CountryThreads Post author

      Sandy Bessingas – I have goosebumps after reading this story! Thank you so much!

      1. Sandy Bessingpas

        Mary I saw your comment today about people not replying when you comment on their post..I had no idea you commented on mine..I went back to the original post and found your comment..I wonder how we are supposed to know if you ask a question that needs answering

  27. Elaine Kopischke-Trejo

    I’m so sorry that they passed. It’s such heartache, even if you hadn’t had them long and that they weren’t yours. But you tried! That’s more than a lot would do. Thank you for trying.

  28. Beryl in Owatonna

    You did your very best, Mary. So sorry they didn’t make it. HUGS and tears for you…you are so caring!
    Was the black and white Husky you showed on FB last night the one that was lost? It sure looked like a dirty match! Hoping he was reunited with his family.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Beryl in Owatonna – I so hope they can catch the dog and determine if it’s the missing dog – missing for a year now!!!! I don’t know them personally but they live in Clear Lake. I’m keeping my fingers crossed!


    Oh gosh, sad is not the word.I know you tried so hard, and now they are happy with their Ma. Yesterday was one of those emotional days for me, you know when you can’t hold all the tears back, but my son got a video of almost my whole family so we could visit on Easter, made my day.I pray your days go smoother from now on.. love your blog

  30. JudyE

    The love you gave those puppies was special during their time here on earth. God blessed them with a woman who He knew would do her very best. Thanks for all you do!

  31. Jane from St Marys

    I feel your heartache Mary. I’ve been working with a little tiny heifer calf the past few days & last night I thought she was going to die. I was so mad & so sad at the same time that I asked God that if he wanted her to take her before I gave more of my heart to keeping her alive. Shortly after that prayer she lifted her head & laid like a calf should. This morning she was back with Mom but still not nursing as well as I want her to. She had a tough start to life & I’ve done the best I can but it’s time like these that you just feel it’s not enough. You did a wonderful job with the situation you had. Your heart is in the right place & now the puppies have their mom back! This world has us all on edge & some days are just way harder than others. Life on the farm is so tough some days but a joy other days!

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Jane from St Mary’s – gosh I hope your little heifer makes it ok! In talking to my friend Margaret today whose family raises Simmentals, she mentioned a prize heifer born in January as a result of artificial insemination who has been the perfect little heifer. She suddenly died last Friday. Steve had her posted just in case she died of something contagious to his herd. Her heart was as large as her mother’s – for some sad reason – and she died of an apparent heart attack! It’s hard on every level when you have animals, isn’t it? Good luck with your calf!

    2. CountryThreads Post author

      Jane from St Mary’s – on second thought I just don’t know how you and the Jass’s manage to have those calves during the coldest months of the year and keep them alive. I always hate when I know they start calving in the cold weather. I always feel bad for the calves. I would never be a good cattle person.

      1. Jane from St Marys

        Oh my…that’s so sad too about the Jass heifer. Of course my husband found that interesting but I find it sad! Our heifer has had a hard start to life with a mother who rejected her & so we put her on a cow that lost her calf 19 days ago. Needless to say her milk was almost dried up but we’re working with her daily. This heifer is tiny so she doesn’t take much milk but the weather yesterday & not getting enough milk almost did her in. I’ve gone back to bottle feeding her as well as what her adopted mom will give & today she seemed better. I can’t say she’s out of the woods yet but she is better. I’m not a very good cattle person some days either! You have to be tougher than I am some days but it’s our life! Actually calving in colder weather is easier than this cold rainy muddy stuff…but we have no control over the weather & just deal with what we’re handed.

        1. CountryThreads Post author

          Jane from st Mary’s – you cattle raisers are a tough bunch! Hope the little heifer makes it!

  32. Diane and Squeak

    Oh, Mary. I read your words with tears in my eyes. That is so sad. Please know you did all you could and those babies had your kind voice and soft touch before they died. Bless you.

    1. Patty McDonald

      So very sorry to read the puppies didn’t make it. It is so heart wrenching to have an animal die. My Banty rooster died 2 weeks ago. He was over 8yo and we knew he wasn’t feeling well but it still hurt my heart to lose him. There is rejoicing…..they are with their mama. Get a good night sleep tonight. Patty McDonald

  33. linda

    How sad for you Mary. You did the best you could and this was meant to be. I feel sad as well. Mary you have a heart of gold.

  34. Linda

    No words can express how very sad it is that the puppies didn’t have a chance. Bless you for doing your best to help them. It’s truly heartbreaking.

  35. Jeanice Domino

    Thank you for everything that you did for those sweet little puppies. May they Rest In Peace.

  36. Theresa

    Hi Mary Thank you for your generous heart in caring for the puppies. How can you not be sad? God is good but don’t always understand the why at times like this.

  37. Rita in Iowa

    No words can help the loss but thanks for being kind, generous and caring. Now get some much deserved sleep and stay safe and warm.

  38. Patti in W Barnstable

    Dear Mary, I’m very sorry for the loss of the puppies. You tried so hard. What a wonderful person you are. My thoughts and prayers are with you.


    Mary – I don’t know how you could do that. That is so hard. We need caring people like you. I know I could do it but I would be crying for days. My grandson brought home a kitten that someone left by the side of the county rd. that he was working on. I’m not crazy about cats but she is now very much a part of my life. Thank you for what you do. Nancy P.

  40. Martha Engstler Gettysburg

    You are an angel for the animals and friends. God for sure put you here for a reason. You shine love.

  41. Nikki M

    I am so sorry but also know they had a loving, caring caregiver. They were blessed to be in your care.

  42. Diane in Maryland

    We are all sad with you. They were precious little pups and didn’t have a long life but they knew love while they were here. You were their angel on earth

  43. Chris H. in Washington

    So terribly sorry, Mary. We know of your great love for all of God’s creatures so having your prayer answered for the second pup was a real blessing. Thank you for trying. Hugs to you~

  44. Connie

    I can barely see the keyboard and laptop screen, my eyes are full of tears. I am so sorry for your loss. But I am glad that your prayers were answered. God Bless you, Mary!

  45. Janice

    Mary, it is very heart wrenching. Your in my thoughts and prayers. May God give you comfort during this time.

  46. Bobbie

    That is so sad Mary. God bless the mom and puppies. I always feel sad when babies don’t do good when something happens to there mom.
    The world is just so crazy right now. I pray God blesses us and this get better soon. My hubby has a Dr. appointment today he had to go to.
    No one except the patient can go into the building. Then I went to get groceries, it wasn’t over crowded but a lot of people didn’t have mask and gloves on. I did and hope they protected me. When I got everything in car I guess Jack had the radio on and the car wouldn’t crank. We called his brother and he brought cables that we had to put with our cables to reach to crank it. We were parked in head first against the fence. We couldn’t even put the car in natural to push it back. But we finely got it started and kept our distance. Took me over a hour to wash everything with Clorox wipes before I brought it in the house. But I don’t have to shop again for over a month. I bought one loaf of bread but flour to make my own, that way we can have fresh bread not some we take out of the freezer and it’s mushy.
    I hope everyone is still staying in and doing good. This is the first time we have been out in a month. This isn’t over yet and there is so much unknown yet. The information seems to change almost daily.

  47. Diane in WI

    Thank goodness the puppies were with you. They had someone who truly loved them. I am so very sorry for you. I’m sure the puppies are happy with their mom in Rainbow bridge. Take care.

  48. Linda

    How sad for you, gentle hugs to you. I have bottle feed a rabbit & puppy, we got the bottle at a feed store & used can milk. After the rabbit got older, we let him loose in the yard. The puppy was adopted by a good of mine & had a happy life.
    Love reading about your farm life & all the animals
    Hugs, Linda

  49. Vickie Lemonds

    I’m so sorry about the puppies. What sad news for those little sweeties and for you too. Knowing how much you love animals, it’s a heartbreaking end. Thinking about everyone there.

  50. Gayle Lacey

    I’m so very sorry for you and sad for the puppies. Makes me cry. You are an angel for loving our special friends.

  51. Sue in Oregon

    Coming in late to say how very sorry I was to read your sad post. Those puppies were so sweet. But, at least they were given kind and gentle love by you Mary. You are the best.

  52. Sharon Lowy

    So very sad for you. Years ago our cat, Farrah, had 6 babies. Three died and we found out Farrah had mastitis and her m ilk was poisoning her litter. We managed to save three babies but it was really hard and our poor Farrah was grief stricken because she couldn’t nurture her babies. It was a very kind and brave thing you did and I know those little puppies felt your love.

  53. Beth T.

    Oh, Mary. I was praying for them, too. I’m so sorry, but I hope it helps to know that they lived their lives surrounded by love. that is not the case for most stray puppies, and it must have been a comfort to them. They will think this world was a kind place, because you made it so.

    1. CountryThreads Post author

      Beth T – what you wrote is eloquent! I should remember your thoughts! In fact I wrote them down to share with the other fosters who took on puppies.

  54. Wendy

    Well I had certainly hoped the puppies would be a story of survival against the odds but it was not to be. I admire your (and others) willingness to jump in and foster them. That is a big commitment and not to be taken lightly. Hope you can catch up on your rest now.

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