On November 28, a very special puppy hit another incredible milestone. Her name is “Sasha” and she celebrated her 12 week birthday on that happy day.
Most puppies are three months old. Every day is a blessing for Sasha, who was born with hydrocephalus, a ᴄʟᴇꜰᴛ lip and a ᴄʟᴇꜰᴛ ᴘᴀʟᴀᴛᴇ.
Sasha has been in the care of special needs cat rescue specialist Marie DeMarco since she was born. FURRR 911, her rescue organization, stands for Felines Emergency Rescued, Rehabilitated, and Rehomed. DeMarco focuses on caring for sick, injured or special needs cats, as well as bottle-fed orphan kittens. She calls these critical situations “completely flawed.”
When she sees Sasha, she knows she’s the perfect fit despite the fact that she’s a dog! “She has been a fighter from the start and has overcome many challenges in her short time on this planet,” DeMarco wrote on Facebook. “As her adoptive mother, I was worried and stressed, lost a lot of sleep and her hair had grown a few gray hairs, but it didn’t matter when I looked into her eyes.”
Due to her recent illness, the tiny puppy now weighs just over two pounds, which is cause for celebration. Upper respiratory tract infections are common in puppies with cleft palates and Sasha is no exception. She had a fever, stuffy nose, vomiting, eye infections, and weight loss. Sasha can’t lose weight by just over a pound!
When Sasha didn’t improve after antibiotic treatment, DeMarco became even more worried. The fragile puppy’s temperature has returned to normal, but he remains comatose, shivering on his paws, and unwilling to eat. DeMarco brought Sasha back to her neurologist, concerned that her problems were caused by hydrocephalus
Sasha began her recovery after following her therapist’s instructions and following a strict daily regimen of medications, fluids, and tube feedings. She’s back to her hot-tempered, snuggly self on her 12th week birthday!
DeMarco, who will most likely become Sasha’s mother forever, said: “Sasha is a very calm and reserved puppy. This is not your typical puppy. She likes to sit next to or on my feet.” She also loves to cuddle her feline friends and other rescues, even if they’re older than her!
Sasha faces a difficult journey with no guarantees, but surrounded by loads of love, commitment and support.
“This puppy is a great source of inspiration,” says DeMarco. “Despite her birth defects and health conditions, Sasha has proven that she is a warrior with a strong will to live.”
Sasha supporters can track her progress
Sasha crossed the Rainbow Bridge in March 2018, not long after she was 6 months old. Throughout her short life, she has given love and joy to her human, dog, and cat companions. FURRR 911, which has since adopted other cleft palate puppies, is preserving the memory of Sasha.
Sasha’s beautiful birthday photos were taken by Gina Gencarelli, a volunteer photographer.