Early December seen new girl Nova coming into our care. A beautiful big Rottweiler aged just 10 months old, Nova was full of energy, full of love and we were soon to find out – full of surprises. Just a few short weeks after arriving with us we discovered that Nova was pregnant and once the initial shock passed, excitement, planning and the worrying of expectant parents soon set in with the Staff.
Having recently become members of the ADCH (Association of Dogs and Cats Homes) we had access to a very extensive and exciting puppy programme that could be implemented with Nova and her puppies from birth and we couldn’t wait to get started on it. We had also just developed our own puppy training and socialisation programme for adopters and new puppies and Nova’s would become some of our first puppies to experience it.
Well, this all came sooner than expected as Nova and her love of surprises meant that she gave birth a little earlier than we were quite ready for. And along came Evie and Enzo! 19th January seen the birth of these two absolutely adorable little puppies and the start of 8 weeks of fun and nerves. The first few days were touch and go but Nova was a fabulous mummy. She was a great balance of both easy going and protective and seemed to take it all in her stride. She was more than happy to take her well earned short breaks away from the pups and the Staff were able to start slowly introducing various things around them like a radio, different lighting and flooring, crates and of course, small amounts of handling.
In early February things went a little touch and go again when Nova and little boy Enzo both experienced the Canine gastro bug that seemed to be sweeping across the country. They required drips, medications, special diets and lots of TLC but they fought their way back and seemed better than ever. This meant that the Staff could start the puppy programme again. This time we tried things like short grooming sessions, playing in a ball pool, trips out in a Car to a grassy area and the puppies favourite – food! Needless to say, they were thriving.
Mid February seen one of our resident Dogs diagnosed with Parvovirus and the fear set in once again for Nova and her puppies. At just four weeks old they were considered to be at very high risk. Things went on lock down around the Sanctuary including around Nova and her babies whilst the entire Sanctuary was deep cleaned. The following 2 weeks were worrying but Nova, Evie and Enzo continued to flourish in our care and the pups were growing at an alarmingly healthy rate. They were loving their in house meals and entertainment from puzzle feeders, kongs, tunnels and extra TLC from the Staff.
Once we had the all clear from the Parvovirus we could resume our puppy programme and Nova began to enjoy longer periods of time away from the puppies. And they got to experience more from meeting our Volunteers and a few of our sociable and fully vaccinated other Dogs. They got their 1st vaccinations and clean bills of health and started to enjoy multiple trips out in a Car with Staff to a home environment and meeting other Dogs. These things just seemed to come so easily to them. The next big step for the puppies and Nova was to look for fantastic new homes. The time had definitely come for them.
17th March seen Enzo and his Sister Evie head off to perfect new homes. It was both a sad and happy time for Staff and Volunteers as we had obviously become so attached to these little cuties. We had known them literally from birth and watched them grow every single day. They had survived through so much – early birth in a stressful environment, gastro bugs and Parvovirus. They were true little survivors and Nova was a Supermum, guiding them through the entire time. What a role model she was for them! We hope for Nova to be heading off to a new home that is as amazing as her soon and the next stage for Evie and Enzo is to be enrolled in puppy classes with their new families as part of our new puppy programme. We can’t wait to hear how they all get on with their new lives and wish them all the best of luck.
We look forward to receiving our next little bundles of joy that are sure to bring the same levels of stress, excitement and love with them. And we hope that all of our supporters will continue to be right there with us, helping us to help them.