Happy birthday

This day can not go by without some acknowledgement to an important milestone for one little dog, and of course her brother and sisters.

“Baby” Hope (and the crew) turned one year old today. She is no longer a “baby”.

There were many moments in those first few weeks of her life, that I thought would be her last. But her little fighting spirit, some long nights and many prayers pulled her through.

12459Her first “portrait” <3

13861She was feisty from the start!

13808She went everywhere with me.

13531And since her mom Faith, had such a big litter, we fostered Hope over to Reba.

13493For those of you that don’t know the story, Hope is a purebred Cavalier from our Faith (now retired) and our Dickens. This was to be Faith’s “retirement” litter so I could have a daughter (or two) to carry on her legacy before she officially became a couch potato. Faith delivered seven, yes seven beautiful puppies! There was one boy and six girls. Little Hope was born with a soft palate cleft which wasn’t officially diagnosed for several weeks. (Even our vet missed it on the initial visit). She was tube feed (because she could not nurse) for the first few weeks of her life until she finally learned how to eat solid food and drink water from a water bottle.

13167When I had to go to town, this is how we traveled. I bought a cute, insulated lunch bag (it looked like a purse for her to travel in. When we were in the truck, the heating pad was turned on low to keep her toasty. then I’d unplug it, cover her with a blanket and carry her where ever I went, in her little bag. There were so many places she visited and no body knew there was a tiny dog with me. 😉


13959Hope (bottom right) with her litter mates. <3

190Learning to eat “real” food at about six-seven weeks.

111The shirt didn’t fit he very long, but part of it still fits.  😉

369When she was a couple months old, I took her to see a surgical specialist for a consultation. Surgery estimate to repair her cleft would be just shy of $2000.

In the meantime, I was connected with a group of people that had raised many cleft palate pups, and was encouraged to find out that most dogs can live just fine without having the cleft surgically repaired. So Hope never went in for surgery. We have all learned to live with her different-ability. Yes, we live with a sometimes snotty nose, and always bad breath, some sneezing, and snoring (but don’t most Cavaliers do that?!). But those outweighed the risks of anesthesia and the prohibitive cost of surgery.


217Can’t forget the rest of the birthday kids! <3

123I’m so thankful the little stinker made it.

Happy birthday Hope, Grace, Joy, Mercy, Glory, Charity (aka Smudgie) and Justice!


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10 Responses to Happy birthday

  1. ahuva hammer says:

    what a beautiful story, as a Life Coach who works with special needs adults and children, i love how you say differences! Yes arent we all a bit different? Lucky for Hope to have been placed in your home. Is it possible to breed a dog with clef palate? is the clef part of her gene make up? Just curious, i am sure you would only do whatever is best for all dogs present and future. Have a happy holiday, happy b-day to all the Faithful litters and may G_D continue to give you much success and blessing in all that you do.

    • Cleft palates (from what I understand) can be genetic and also environmental (something happened to mom or something she was exposed to, etc). We don’t know why Hope was born with one. Although she is the first known cleft palate pup we know of from our dogs. Her litter mates are all fine. Hope will never be bred, because she could pass it on, so she will be spayed probably before winter is over. Thanks so much for your kind comments. We are blessed to have her (and her litter mates) <3

  2. Olga Standidge says:

    She is beautiful. Happy Birthday Hope.💕

  3. Dianne M. says:

    Happy Birthday to sweet little Hope👍🎂

  4. Susan Redmond says:

    Jennifer, Which of her litter mates did you keep to carry on for Faith?

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