I’ve always believed ‘If you lose your why, you lose your way’. So why do I care so much for these wonderful little creatures? Let me share with you the heart wrenching look I had from a severely sick pup brought into the rehabilitation centre where I was volunteering.
In front of me, a damp, bedraggled looking creature its white fur tinged with a green and yellowy brown stain. Barely a week old, cold, thin, its coat sagging with rolls of skin which should have been padded out with a nourishing fat reserve. It smelled awful as it lay there motionless barely alive. This pup was a million miles away from where it should have been lying next to its mum on a quiet secluded beach somewhere. Instead, it’s now in a cell surrounded by three walls and a big, metal door.
The floor is not a safe sandy beach or a shingled sea cave but a cold green painted concrete floor with a dark well-worn rubber mat providing a small degree of comfort. Over a hinged half door, I peered into its cell. As I did, this little mess in front of me looked up and I melted. The look it gave me was one of despair, sheer despair. Its sad dark eyes were soulless, dry looking clearly telling me a story of helplessness and unhappiness.
I said ‘Hello my little baby’ as I always did with all the pups in my care. But there was no response, no snarl, no shriek or neck lunging towards me. There was no response whatsoever.
That look in its little face said one thing ‘Please help me’.
A few days earlier. somewhere on a distant Cornish beach, this little girl had been loved, looked after and regularly fed by its doting Mum. Life was looking good. Mum was so attentive as they all are. Feeding and caring for her gorgeous pup she’d carefully carried for nearly twelve months. Mum knows she has to feed her precious present with as much goodness before starvation forces her to leave and her daughter has to fend for herself. She knows that her pup needs all the fat reserves she can lovingly provide if it’s to become one of the fortunate 25 percent who will survive its first 18 months of life.
This pup looks so cute and who doesn’t love a cute pup! It’s so cute people want to take photos and post them on social media. A close-up photo looks fantastic and will guarantee them so many views, likes, hearts and wows from a brief and fleeting audience. It will go some way to satisfy their self-indulgence be it for just a minute or two. A quick pose next to it and yes, we got the shot we wanted! At what price I thought as this pup looked up at me. Your mum has left you, disturbed by a moment of sheer madness. That loving bond between you and your mum has been broken forever and for what reason…a like a heart a view, a share! Its best chance of life and survival has gone. A grieving mum, a helpless pup all because they were not left alone.
Thankfully, this pup is one of the lucky ones. It has another chance to survive and thrive in the loving hands of so many loving and dedicated staff who will look after it and give it the gift of a second chance. Hopefully if it does survive, it may in a few months’ time be released back to the wild where it belongs.
With a sense of urgency, we immediately kick into action…
So why do I do it? Do I really need to tell you why!