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.
Her first “portrait” <3
She was feisty from the start!
She went everywhere with me.
And since her mom Faith, had such a big litter, we fostered Hope over to Reba.
For 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.
When 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. 😉
Hope (bottom right) with her litter mates. <3
Learning to eat “real” food at about six-seven weeks.
The shirt didn’t fit he very long, but part of it still fits. 😉
When 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.
Can’t forget the rest of the birthday kids! <3
I’m so thankful the little stinker made it.
Happy birthday Hope, Grace, Joy, Mercy, Glory, Charity (aka Smudgie) and Justice!