2018 is here! Reflections, new ways, and Evie and Ernie!

A new day and a new year. 2017 was full of ups and downs, from successful adoptions to precious lives being lost to disease. This roller coaster ride led to changes within our little rescue group, Stepping Stones Canine Fosters WV, changes for the better. It no longer was good enough to send 30 puppies northeast every 2 weeks, hoping we would get updates on the happily ever afters, we now expected to know EVERY adopter and know the health status better than we ever have. You see, puppies are unpredictable, especially when they come from environments where there was no human love, sometimes no human contact. One day they are running and playing, and the next day suffering with fever and diarrhea. We took a step back, and looked at our mission, and moved forward from there.

Ernie and Evie

So here we are, January 1, 2018. (It took until January 6 to finish this post, the puppies have full tummies and are resting) Many puppies and dogs have crossed our paths over the past few months, and we like the direction we’re moving. We may not “move” as many puppies as we did in 2106, but we now have time to invest in their health and get to know their adopters. Yes, this is good.

Now to Evie and Ernie. You haven’t heard about them yet because it’s been pretty hectic since fall. Actually, you haven’t heard from me since I fostered Evie and Ernie’s litter mates Evan, Earl and Emily in October. The E Puppies (we name each litter with a single letter of the alphabet) came to us September 7, 2017 full of potential and hope. Their first foster mom noticed immediately that all 7 puppies would eat so fast that they couldn’t keep their food down, or at least that’s what we thought was happening.

Through a series of events we learned that the E puppies have megaesophagus, a condition that makes it difficult for food/liquid to pass into the stomach. Once we learned why they regurgitate often, we could make a plan and help them. I’ll try to show some of the things that help Evie and Ernie, and hopefully spread awareness of megaesophagus.

Ernie and Evie at Dr. Keith’s office

Evie being examined by the Vet Tech while Ernie watches

Smaller frequent meals. Normally we put a bowl of dry dog food on the floor and our dogs can eat whenever they want, well, not for Evie and Ernie. Their meals are prepared in advance, usually softened kibble mixed with canned food and sometimes a little added to it, like pumpkin and coconut oil. And they sit in their Bailey Chairs while they eat and for a while after.

Ernie and Evie in their Bailey Chairs

While we get to foster these fun amazing puppies, we continue to hope for the perfect forever homes. There’s so much more to this story…