Hope, a dog who lives up to her name
A year an a half ago I got a foster from my mother's friend, a lab shepherd pit mix named Hope, and her 10 adorable puppies. Hope was very skittish, and could not stand to be crated, kenneled, or tied out, she even tried to chew her way out of a dog leash.
Hope's story begins in South Carolina, she was bought as a puppy from a 'back yard breeder' but the people who eventually turned her over to the rescue (after her first owners abandoned her) said the breeder was in fact a puppy mill that they had raided with the local animal control a year after Hope was purchased. Hope's first owners kept her locked in a crate most of her life, she was punished for messing the crate, but only allowed out of the crate a few hours a day. When she was 3 she was left behind when her owners moved. she was chained to a fence with only three feet of chain for space. She was bred by who knows how many stray males, and after being rescued by her owners neighbors, gave birth to eleven puppies. Sadly one of these puppies died of coxcydia (sorry not sure of spelling). She was placed in a shelter with six other black lab mixes named Hope (the shelter simply named every dog according to the day they were picked up). She came to us with a certificate of spay, but had not actually been spayed.
After arriving at my home with her ten 8 month old puppies, Hope was bred to my then four year old GSD husky mix Baldr, who is allergic to anesthesia and thus cannot be put under for neuter and I refuse to use an elastic band to do this, despite the vet's assurances it is safe. I wouldn't want to be done that way I wont do it to my dog. Hope gave birth to six beautiful puppies. Two whites, one that looks like a shepherd and one that looks like a lab, a brown that eventually looked like a classic shepherd, and three blacks. They all found loving homes and hope was soon on the books for a spay. The vet said she would go into heat in March of 2015. She went into heat in January while I was away for work, and my dog sitter was only there four times a day to feed and walk the dogs. On March 7 at 4 PM she went into labor a full two weeks after her spay appointment, and while I feel awful that she had two litters that close together, she gave birth to 7 incredible puppies. The first two were runts, twin boy and girl named Hoshi and Chevy, they were classic shepherds, and Hoshi is now an ESA for an older woman with Lupus and other health issues. Chevy is going to have a two legged baby sibling soon. The other puppies consisted of one black lab with silver toes, two white labby shepherd twin girls, and born at exactly 7PM on March 7th, the 7th and final puppy of the litter, was daddy's little doppelganger, Seven, who is my mother's ESA, and even protects the goats at my mother's home.
Hope was fixed while still with milk when the puppies were 8 weeks old and weaned. We found a vet willing to do the surgery at this point rather than wait like our original vet wanted. Hope is now fixed, but despite this she has not found a home away from me. we tried six times to find her a good home, and six times she was returned to us, several pounds lighter and covered in her own leavings because she would hide in closets and not leave them to eat or go potty. Every time she came back she would climb all over me in her desperate dash for Badlr. The two are so deeply bonded that Hope is not willing to live away from him. They sleep together, play together, and even eat together. Baldr is still not fixed, in fact I intend to find a good GSD female to breed him with one more time, as his puppies are not only amazing to see, but amazing in temperament and personality. One of Baldr and Hope's pups is Rosie, the white girl from the first litter. She is the furkid of a professional photographer, who uses her to calm children and make them sit still for pictures. Seven is amazing in his own way, he is 8 months old now, and even though he can jump out of my mother's dog yard he never goes anywhere, just goes to his favorite spot and lays in the sun. When its time for a car ride he jumps in and climbs in the back.
As for Hope, she loves to see her son, and makes of him every time he comes to visit. The truly amazing thing, I think, about Hope and Baldr is that they both raised their puppies together, while Hope nursed them, Baldr would clean them, and keep them warm while Hope was eating or just taking a break. Many people tell me it is not safe to leave a male dog with puppies, these people have obviously never had a GSD before. Most of the GSD breeders I have contacted all tell me that they make great fathers.
So Hope's Rescue was a rocky one, some unplanned things happened, but I am a firm believer in the fact that things happen for a reason. Not everything is planned out I suppose, but things like Seven and his Siblings? That shows me that there is such a thing as Divine intervention.