Looking back at my time with the litter of puppies, I have little regrets, but there is one thing that always lingers in my mind wondering if I should have done something differently.
Blaze at four weeks old
Part of the agreement of picking out a puppy was visiting at least a couple of times so that the new owners weren't a complete stranger to the puppies. Blaze was the first picked at about three weeks old. She met with her new owners several times as we would not let the puppies go to their new homes until they were about nine weeks old.
Every meeting between Blaze and her new owners repeated the same cycle. Blaze kept running back to the whelping box during their visit. She didn't seem to have any interest in them. Feeling somewhat out of tune with why she was acting this way, I didn't know exactly what to do about it. I should have seen it as a sign of something. I thought maybe she just was too shy or would rather be with her brothers and sisters. Secretly I was smiling on the inside because I took it as she really didn't want to leave and even though she was quite the terror of the group, we were having a hard time with letting any of the puppies go.
When the time came and Blaze was the first to leave the litter, I was relieved. Ten puppies that were all teeth and running around the house, I was ready to say goodbye.
|Blaze saying goodbye to Mommy Silver|
If I knew then what I know now. We visited about once a month to see how Blaze was doing and get pictures of her growth. It didn't take long to know something was wrong. It was nothing we could ever prove, but something wasn't right. When we saw her at six months old she jumped into our car before we could even get out. It was obvious things for her were intensifying. A month later we got the call that they wanted to return her and we jumped at the chance to save her. The horrors she had lived through shown in her quiet demeanor. She was a shell of herself and haunted with every move. We were ever so grateful that they had returned her. It was the only good thing I think they ever did.
We never knew the abuser of the family existed until after they took Blaze home. He never came to any of the visited and was never spoken of. It was he who made the call. A call we are forever blessed with as it could have ended so many different ways.
|Chance and Blaze (3 mos. old) at their new homes|
I still wonder as I look back at those visits what would have happened if I had intervened and told the new owners I didn't think this puppy was for them . As difficult as these thoughts are, I also believe everything happens for a reason. Chance's new owners were related to Blaze's and they basically grew up together. If Blaze's owners hadn't of made that call to return her, then there was a chance that Chance's owners wouldn't have made the call to give him back either. I suspected that once Blaze came back, it was only a matter of time before Chance did and that's exactly how it happened. For the last three years I have struggled with the "what if" and the regret of not listening to those puppy instincts. Today whatever the reasons are, I am glad they are both back, safe and sound and part of the 24 Paws of Love. For I have no doubts about that.
Chance and Blaze home with us.