Want to Hear the Magical Tale of Two Puppies? #WATWB

We are the World BlogfestTo spread peace and humanity on social media, a few of us have worked together to create the We are the World Blogfest. In a world where news and social media are awash with negativity, we aim to turn the focus on to small but significant stories that renew our faith in humanity.

We are the World Blogfest is here with its thirteenth edition.

The cohosts for the APRIL 2018 WATWB are: Shilpa Garg, Dan Antion, Simon Falk, Michelle Wallace , Mary Giese. Go visit them please and thank them for their hard work behind the scenes.
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My friend Guilie Castillo is a passionate advocate for dog rescue, whose book It’s About the Dog has hit the stands recently.

For today’s We are the World blogfest, I want to share how Guilie and her friends have become the light in the darkness.

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Dog Rescue PawsThank you so much for having me here, Damyanti—especially for the We Are the World ‘fest! In the spirit of spreading light and hope, I thought I’d share a dog rescue story of not just hope but Magic. Many of us at #WATWB are involved with projects to help others, whether it’s children or the elderly or animals or the environment.

The challenge is enormous and it’s all too easy to feel discouraged, depressed even. (In It’s About the Dog, aimed at people new to rescue, I even included a section on how to deal with the inevitable despair and dejection; it’s that prevalent.) So I’m sharing this with the hope you’ll find in it the encouragement to keep you making the world a better place, one action at a time.

Back at the beginning of April, a volunteer from Rescue Paws Curaçao (one of the island’s foremost rescue organizations) spotted an emaciated female dog wandering on a side street. She followed her into ever smaller and smaller streets, until the dog ducked under a fence and into a shabby, neglected yard. Other dogs were there, also emaciated, including some puppies that looked to be three or four weeks old. No sign of food, or even water.

Dog Rescue PawsTwo of the organization’s directors, Mirjan and Karin, armed with diplomatic smiles and more fluent Papiamentu (the island’s language) than the Dutch volunteer’s, came to talk to the property owner and see what they

could do for the dogs. The owner, an elderly preacher who they found out lived on barely 300 guilders a month (about USD 150), was welcoming enough, but seemed more interested in talking God than dogs. Eventually he agreed to let them put kibble out, which allowed them to get a closer look at the dogs.

The puppies they thought were around a month old, once they were brought to the vet, turned to be four months old. They were so scrawny, so malnourished even from the womb (judging by the shape their mom was in), that they weighed in at less than a third of the minimum recommended weight for their age. Their little bodies, tiny bones sticking out everywhere, felt as lithe as a bird’s.

Dog recueTheir ‘owner’, the preacher, didn’t seem to understand he had to provide for the dogs; his reasoning, born not of cruelty but ignorance, was that God provided for the trees and nature in general, and dogs, being a part of nature, also fell into this ‘providence’. Rescue Paws explained, as gently—but effectively—as they could, that this was not the case and, due to the man’s limited income, they are now providing food and medicine to ensure the dogs’ wellbeing.

But two of the puppies—a black-and-white furry babe missing an eye, whom Karin named Seppe, and a white-and-brown lovely that Mirjan named Mala— weren’t eating, didn’t even want water. The day they found them out in the mondi, the wild brush around the house, lying as if dead, they decided more desperate measures would be needed to save these puppies.

The vet determined it wasn’t parvo, fortunately (parvovirus is a death sentence for dogs this young); most likely it was some kind of intestinal infection, but they were so weak, so underfed, and the infection so advanced and entrenched in their little bodies, that they’d need round-the-clock care. Literally 24/7.

Clearly far beyond what the preacher could provide, even if he had been willing.

All of which meant that they needed a foster.

Fosters, as anyone involved with rescue knows, do not grow on trees. A good foster—someone with experience (or with the willingness to learn), with the dedication to follow instructions, with enough flexibility in their schedule to fit in late nights and early mornings and emergency trips to the vet—is impossible to find.

But I promised you magic, and Magic delivered. The impossible foster was found: a wonderful woman who met all the requirements and added a few more just for kicks. She took Seppe, and Mirjan—despite already having a houseful of dogs—stayed with little Mala.

Every morning both women brought the puppies to the vet, to be hooked up to an IV for fluids (and antibiotics and vitamins), and stayed on it all day. At night, neither got much sleep, trying to give them water and broth on an eyedropper, trying to feed them bits of chicken and rice. They kept them clean and comfortable, looked after their every need, showering them with love; maybe, just maybe, that would give them a reason to fight, and live.

For Seppe, the improvement started within the week. Still weak, and far from out of the woods, but he was getting better. Mala, however, wasn’t. He still refused to eat more than a mouthful or two, wasn’t drinking nearly enough liquids, seemed tired and listless. Hope, small as it had been, was now dwindling down to nothing.

And then—yes, Magic. Maybe the meds finally kicked in. Maybe the bits of broth Mirjan managed to get into him finally added up into some nourishment. Maybe it was all that love surrounding him, as if he’d decided he couldn’t let down these people who’d become so invested in his recovery. So it came to pass that, one fine day, Mala began to wag his tail. And to walk. And to eat. And then, at last, to play.

Now that Mala is so much better, Mirjan brought him over for a visit with his brother Seppe last week, and the reunion was so extraordinary—they climbed all over each other, licking and play-barking and generally acting absolutely ecstatic to see each other—that the foster offered to take Mala in, too, so that the two brothers could walk—well, more like chase and race—the last steps of their recovery together.

Their story isn’t finished yet. Rescue Paws is trying to find them a forever family together. It’s incredibly difficult to find homes for rescue dogs, not just in Curaçao but anywhere, really, so it’s far-fetched, but… well, maybe there’s still a little bit of Magic left for these two. We hope so. After all, hope is what dog rescuers are made of.

(Would you like to help Rescue Paws save more dogs? Find out more about them on Facebook and at their website. You can donate via PayPal, too—every bit helps!)

Thank you so much, Damyanti, for giving space to little Mala and Seppe, and to everyone for visiting! I hope you found a bit of light in this story, and I look forward to chatting with you in the comments. Do you have dogs, or other animals at home yourself? Have you ever rescued a street dog? Do you think you could? Do you volunteer at any shelters or animal sanctuaries? Just for kicks, care to guess how many dogs Mirjan, the Rescue Paws director, lives with? Hint: it’s more than my eight.

If you’d like to take part in this blogfest, sign up in the WE ARE THE WORLD Blogfest Linky List below and please help spread the word on social media via the hashtag #WATWB.

~~~GUIDELINES~~~

  1. Keep your post to below 500 words.
  2. All we ask is you link to a human news story on your blog on the last Friday of each month, one that shows love and humanity.
  3. Join us in sharing news that warms the cockles of our heart. No story is too big or small, as long as it goes beyond religion and politics, into the core of humanity.
  4. Place the WE ARE THE WORLD BLOGFEST Badge on your sidebar, and help us spread the word on social media. Tweets, Facebook shares, G+ shares using the #WATWB hashtag through the month most welcome. More We Are the World Blogfest signups mean more friends, love and light for all of us.
  5. We’ll read and comment on each others’ posts, get to know each other better, and hopefully, make or renew some friendships with everyone who signs on as participants in the coming months.
  6. Add your post HERE so we can all find it quickly.

 The We are The World Blogfest Community Page on Facebook will continue to show links to the various blog posts. So you don’t have to hurry through. You can always enjoy one a day. Like the page and share your posts on the thread for the purpose.

Paws dog rescue

Dog Rescue PawsI’m going to pick up Guilie’s book today, and I hope you do, too. It is the perfect gift for the dog lover in your family, and for you, if you are interested in helping animals in dire straits. I’m also sending off a small donation to Rescue Paws, so more Malas and Seppes are given a second chance at life.

With each comment on this post, you’re being entered into It’s About the Dog giveaway!

ABOUT GUILIE: A Mexican writer and dog rescuer who moved to Curaçao “for six months”—and, twelve years later, has yet to find a reason to leave. Her work has been published online and in print anthologies. THE MIRACLE OF SMALL THINGS is her first book. Find Guilie on Facebook and Twitter, at Quiet Laughter where she blogs about life and writing, and at Life in Dogs where she blogs about life and… well, dogs.

We Are the World Blogfest

Please join Daily (w)rite on its Facebook Page in case you’d like to be heard by this community (Click on See First).

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I love comments, and I always visit back. Blogging is all about being a part of a community, and communities are about communication! Tweet me up @damyantig !

59 comments

Add Yours
  1. B Pradeep Nair

    Hello….

    I am new to #WATWB. A great idea to discover like-minded people and connect with them.

    Today I entered my link to a heart-warming post for the first time. My number in the list is 61.

    One thing I noticed in the Linky List is that all the links I clicked so far, point to the home page of a particular blog, and not to an individual post that has been shared.

    If I understand right, we need to post the link to a particular post, and not to the home page of the blog.

    Only this way we all will know easily which is the heart-warming post that has been shared on the last Friday of the month.

    I hope I am right. Please do correct me, if I am wrong.

    Take care, Pradeep | bpradeepnair.blogspot.in

    • Damyanti Biswas

      Welcome to WATWB, Pradeep.

      The list indeed contains links to home pages, and this is by intention: this way, we don’t have to open a list each month, nor do the participants have to sign up each month.

      We visit the blogs in the list on the last weekend, and are easily able to find the #WATWB posts. We also encourage participants to post a link on FB, in the thread meant for it. That’s where we all can get a snapshot of all the posts: cohosts add the links to the posts for those participants who cannot for some reason. You can also find them via the #WATWB hashtags on all social media.

      Thankyou for participating, and hope you’d not only keep spreading positivity via your blog, but also encourage others to do the same.

    • Guilie Castillo

      You’ll be happy to know, Inge, that Seppe *did* get adopted already! The same week that this post went up a tourist visiting from New Jersey (USA) fell in love with him and took him back home with her. She already owns several rescues, even another one who’s also missing an eye, so she’s the perfect human for him and we’re all sure he’s going to have a fabulous, fabulous life. And Mala will undoubtedly find his ‘gouden mand’ very soon as well… Yep, these two little ones got lucky 🙂

      Nog hartelijk bedankt, schat!
      Guilie @ Life In Dogs

  2. Anita

    Touching & heartwarming story. Our world transforms into a great place with care.
    Imagine how wonderful Planet Earth will be if we show such love to all our fellow-creatures!
    Congrats for your book, Guilie 🙂

    • Guilie Castillo

      I’m so happy you liked the story, Anita. And you’re absolutely right: love and respect to all creatures…just imagine the transformation that would produce!

      Thank you so much for visiting, and for caring 🙂
      Guilie @ Life In Dogs

  3. Crystal Collier

    Kinda makes your heart break for those little critters. At least they got the care they need. I think of how many people there are out there who need that kind of care and attention, and that’s where my heart goes.

    • Guilie Castillo

      Heartbreaking is right, Crystal. More often than not, when it comes to rescue, it’s too late to do anything but give them a painless death, a little dignity that doesn’t begin to make up for everything else we’ve inflicted on them. Happy endings like Seppe’s and Mala’s are few and far, far in between—which is why we celebrate them so much 🙂

      Thanks for the visit!

  4. Kalpana

    What a wonderful story of love and care for the little mites. Foster parents are amazing in how they put themselves out for the dogs. Congratulations Guilie on your book – I look forward to reading it.

  5. Shilpa Garg

    That’s so amazing that poor lil babies were rescued and treated with so much love and care. Thanks for sharing this heartwarming story, Guilie and Damyanti. Congratulations for your book, Guilie!!

    • Guilie Castillo

      Thank you, Shilpa! I agree—the recovery of these two has been fascinating the dog rescue community here on the island for weeks now; we’re all cheering for them 🙂

      Thanks so much for coming by!
      Guilie @ Life In Dogs

    • Guilie Castillo

      I’m glad you enjoyed it! You’ll be happy to know one of the pups—Seppe, the black, furry one—has been adopted. A tourist visiting from New Jersey fell in love with little Seppe and brought him home. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before Mala finds his happy ending as well 🙂 Thanks for coming by!
      Guilie @ Life In Dogs

  6. Susan Scott

    I’ve followed Guilie’s story for a long while now and have the deepest admiration for her love and concern for our 4 footed pals! Yes, we’ve rescued a few, and cats too …

    Thank you Damyanti & Guilie! 🙂 🙂 🙂 xxx

  7. simonfalk28

    Damyanti and Guilie, fancy the two of you teaming up for such a clever post on those poor dogs. How ingenious of you. Thanks for all you do for our WATWB. 🙂

    • Guilie Castillo

      I’ve been missing my WATWB fix, Simon—so I was thrilled to pair up with Damyanti for this month’s event. Plus, this was the perfect story to share 🙂

      Thank *you* for all your effort and positivity and light! You really do make the world a better place, Simon 🙂

      Have a wonderful Sunday!
      Guilie @ Life In Dogs

  8. Lisa Southard

    My dog is a rescue pup – was, I should say, she’s nearly ten years old now but she doesn’t seem to know that until after she’s been running around and needs a long nap. Happiness everyday 🙂

    • Guilie Castillo

      Lisa, what a pleasure to connect with a fellow rescue-dog lover! Of our eight, three are seniors; one, like yours, is ten, and the other two are thirteen (guesstimates, of course; they’re all from the street and came to us as adults already), but none of them could give a rat’s butt about ‘aging gracefully’ or growing ‘stately’ in their old age, haha. I take them on long walks to the beach and wilderness areas, and they act like they’re in their prime. For that I’m thankful every day, as I’m sure you are 🙂

      Thanks so much for coming by, and for your lovely comment!
      Guilie @ Life In Dogs

  9. ianscyberspace

    Yes animals were placed on this earth to be looked after and in return to give us pleasure in watching them in the wild. The preacher was correct in his belief that animals in the wild are best left alone to eat what nature provides. Sometimes we humans tend to feed them foods they will eat but are not in their best health interest. But of course that does not apply to animals that have been domesticated like the dogs you mention here. Those kind of special animals are given us as a special gift to nurture and protect and in return they give us endless unreserved love and pleasure. In addition we need to be aware we have a responsibility to each other as humans. There are the poor and helpless among us who need to have the same kind of charity and love. Unfortunately we have hardened ourselves to their plight in the West, but I pay tribute to those few moved with compassion for their fellow humans in need.

    • Guilie Castillo

      Perhaps one day we’ll come to understand, and accept, that all life is sacred, no matter how small or ‘intelligent’ or ‘cute’. I believe on that day the world will cease to know suffering.

      Thanks for the visit!
      Guilie @ Life In Dogs

  10. Dan Antion

    This is such a uplifting story, These are real rescuers. In the US, some dog-rescue companies are making so much money that they are actually buying dogs from the puppy-mill breeders they used to rail against. These people are working from a kind heart and a giving soul. Thank you so much for sharing this for #WATWB.

    • Guilie Castillo

      How sad, Dan! I guess there are ‘pseudo’ rescuers everywhere (I know a woman here in Curaçao who supposedly runs a cat rescue but she refuses to take in an animal unless she gets paid upfront for ‘food and supplies’…), but it still feels like such a betrayal, doesn’t it?

      Thank you so much for your kind words (I will pass them on to the Rescue Paws people; they really are amazing), and for the visit and the read. I’m happy you found a source of light here 🙂
      Guilie @ Life In Dogs

  11. ccyager

    I love stories about animal rescues! Thank you to Guilie for the great work she’s doing with dog rescue. It often amazes me how cruel humans can be to their fellow creatures just because in human law (in the USA) they are defined as “property.” Animal lovers know how wrong that is. I grew up with dogs and cats as well as other small animals, rode horses growing up, and mourn the day I developed allergies to furry animals. Thanks, Damyanti, for giving me my dog fix for the weekend!

    • Guilie Castillo

      So happy you enjoyed this! ‘Property’ indeed! Here in Curaçao we’ve come a long, long way in terms of legislating animal rights and abuse; when I first came to live here, fifteen years ago, there was simply no recourse for denouncing even neglect, there was one shelter, which was always full (duh), and basically no animal rights culture. We still have so many deficiencies, especially compared to, say, Europe or the US (and, honestly, those laws are still only a start, in my opinion), but it gives me hope that, in such a comparably short period of time, there’s been such a powerful move forward.

      Thanks so much for visiting, and for sharing your thoughts. I’m so sorry about your allergy… I’d be devastated 🙂 Have a wonderful Sunday!
      Guilie @ Life In Dogs

  12. bikerchick57

    Thank you, Damyanti, and Guilie, for bringing this happy-ending rescue story to #WATWB. Mala and Seppe are adorable and must be so happy with their new lives and the ability to be a dog and play. If circumstance and location didn’t matter, I’d adopt those two cuties in a heartbeat. 🙂

    • Guilie Castillo

      These two really are the cutest, aren’t they? (Though, to be honest, I say that about *every* rescue pup.) Watching their recovery has been amazing; they had us all biting our nails. Thanks so much for wanting to give them a home! I’m sure they’d have a fabulous life with you. Sucks that we’re so far away, eh?

      Thanks so much for coming by!
      Guilie @ Life In Dogs

    • Guilie Castillo

      I’m so glad you found this uplifting! The story of these two pups touched me from the first. Everyone was so sure they wouldn’t make it, especially Mala. To see them now so happy, so healthy—well, the feeling defies description 🙂 Their story took another turn of magic this past Wednesday: Seppe, the black furry one, got adopted in New Jersey. A tourist visiting the island fell in love with him and brought him home, where he now lives with another three rescues in the very best home we could have wished for him. Pretty awesome as far as happy endings go, right?

      Thanks so much for coming by!
      Guilie @ Life In Dogs

        • Guilie Castillo

          Another fellow rescuer! I’m thrilled to connect! So happy you’re giving a wonderful life to your furry babes—may they live long, long lives and fill many more years of yours with their happy faces 🙂

  13. hilarymb

    Hi Damyanti and Guilie – a wonderful story … just a desperate read to start with – so interesting to read the ‘illogic’ … but yes … always lots of dogs needing love all around … thanks for this – cheers Hilary

    My post will go up Sunday … after my Z for the A-Z challenge …

    • Guilie Castillo

      Hi Hilary! So good to find you here—thanks for coming by! Yes, all rescue starts with desperate situations, and, quite honestly, most of them don’t end well. So when we find a happy ending, we celebrate like crazy 🙂 That man’s thought processes were… interesting, hahaha. Still, he meant well, and he’s allowed Rescue Paws to help in giving his dogs a better life; you’d be surprised how many people here don’t accept that help. (And then police have to intervene and it becomes a big mess.)

      Looking forward to your WATWB post! Happy weekend in the meantime.
      Guilie @ Life In Dogs

    • Guilie Castillo

      So glad you enjoyed it, Shilpa! Judging by your profile pic here, you also belong to the Dog Lover’s Tribe! Can’t enlarge the photo too well here, but he (she?) looks like an absolute cutie.

      Thanks for coming by!
      Gulie @ Life In Dogs

  14. Emily Bloomquist

    Outstanding work, Rescue Paws! I am very impressed by the dedication.

    Do you have dogs, or other animals at home yourself? Three cats.

    Have you ever rescued a street dog? Yes, I rescued a puppy sick with bebesia and covered in ticks from head to toe. He was on an IV at a vet’s office for three weeks. The vet estimated he had maybe a day or two to live when I rescued him. Once he was healthy, the vet’s family adopted him!

    Do you think you could? Yes. In addition to the dog, I rescue kittens abandoned dumped on streets and back alleys, left to die by owners who want no more cats. It usually involves bottle feeding, which means getting up every couple of hours when they are super young, then found homes for them. All of my cats are street rescues. Two of them watched their mom get run over.

    Do you volunteer at any shelters or animal sanctuaries? Yes! In fact, just last weekend, we had a free spay and neuter clinic at the national park headquarters in town. The park vet donates his time, as well as 9 other volunteers. I have no medical training so I help make food for the volunteers. We sterilized 171 cats and dogs in three days. We do this every six months or whenever we are able to raise enough funds for the medications necessary for another clinic.

    Just for kicks, care to guess how many dogs Mirjan, the Rescue Paws director, lives with? 12?

    Emily In Ecuador | eXpat Creates Kids Skating Club in Puerto Lopez, Ecuador

    • Guilie Castillo

      What a joy to discover you, Emily! A fellow rescuer is always a pleasure to find 🙂 Thanks for the visit, for sharing this beautiful insight to your life, and—especially—for helping to give these little ones a second chance. Kitten rescue is HARD; I’ve done it with puppies, and I know all about those sleepless nights with a bottle they don’t want (at least at first)… But, yeah, maybe the hardest part, for any rescue animal, is finding homes for them. So double kudos to you for placing the ones you saved!

      Here in Curaçao we do sterilization ‘actions’ (that’s what they call it in Dutch: ‘acties’) every year, sometimes twice a year. The next one is in June—want to come help? 😉 I’m one of the surgical volunteers; no medical training, officially, but I’ve been volunteering with vets for years, and so I’ve learned some of the basics. No actual cutting or suturing, of course, but I usually do prep and post-op. That sense of achievement one gets from knowing these guys don’t have to go through heats and pregnancies and hormone roller coasters… Priceless, right?

      I’m so sorry… 12 isn’t even close! I’ll post the answer in a couple of days, after the weekend 🙂

      Great to meet you, Emily! Thanks for all you do!
      Guilie @ Life In Dogs

    • Guilie Castillo

      Thanks for the visit, Jacqui. ‘Appalling’ is right, yes. That’s why it’s so important to not turn a blind eye, to help however we can, at the very least to raise our voices in defense of the voiceless.