We have a saying that life has seasons, seasons of health, seasons of sickness, times of plenty and times of great personal need. We see seasons of caring for others then other times we need to step away for a season of rest and restoration. We never did expect the season we are now well into but we shall call it “The season of the Puppy”.
I had a friend express it this way, “It’s as if you just fell into it” Fell into it we did but not unwillingly or begrudgingly but surprised never the less.
How it all transpired? We have some friends, Bush Missionaries that bought a lovely Mastiff female from Australia. We have provided a place in our kennel when they needed a place for the pooch to stay while they are on break in town. We have really enjoyed getting to know this Missionary family, they have such a heart to serve the PNG people. We have also really enjoyed their very large lovely dog.
We were asked to watch the dog and pups while she was still pregnant as this family was going on a break to Australia, to get a two-week respite to recover from the grueling life of tribal Missions and of course we said “YES”. Who wouldn’t want cute little puppies tumbling all over the yard and who wouldn’t help Missionaries in need! So we said yes and little did we realize this Momma dog would have 16 puppies. We also didn’t realize she would have them a week before our friends left for their break to Australia.
The story has unfolded while our friends have been away the “Season of the Puppies” started.
With 16 puppies that one Mom can’t feed enough to keep them all alive, we bottle feed them three to four times a day a special formula I concoct in my Kitchen.
The first two weeks we’ve had to be Momma dog and help the peeing and pooping process as young babies need to have momma stimulate them to keep everything moving, gross yes, necessary yes. On average it took us about two hours a feed to get through the entire litter each time.
We have been trying so hard to keep their life quite sterile as PNG in known for easy contraction of Parvo so I became the germ Mom I never thought I would see. We bleached everything, we wouldn’t allow anyone to walk in the room with shoes on from the outside and still on Monday of this week all 16 puppies were lethargic and had temperatures fluctuating between 99 Degrees up to 101. We were so concerned as people loose whole litters of puppies to parvo. They all started getting diarrhea and we were wondering how bad it was going to get.
It was during this time that I started holding my breath in worry and fear as I just love these sweet little creatures. I was feeling so responsible to keep them alive and make the best formula possible, make sure each one was eating and pooping but not dehydrated. My fear was becoming quite a burden. We fall into bed each night exhausted as we were trying to care for puppies but live life as normal and not allow it to keep us from our ministry here on base as well as homeschooling the boys. I fear that everything has suffered a bit during this season but with 16 little wriggling bodies to care for the other things just get in line. My boy have said “ Mom we can’t wait for the puppies to leave so we get our Mom back” It been hard on everyone and yet helps us all to step outside of ourselves and think about something other than our own personal need, I think God has allowed a season for that as well.
One of the mornings I felt God beckon me to come, I was sleeping and yet woke up quite early with this sensation that God was calling me, to minister to my soul. I got out of bed, stumbled to the kitchen, made a cup of tea and sat in the recliner to read His word. I opened to Psalm 104…Oh what words of comfort. The entire chapter just ministered to me.
God’s word was like a soothing balm and refreshed me, I came away free from the bondage of fear and the responsibility of loss as I read Psalm 104:27-30
These all wait for You, That You may give them their food in due season.
What you give to them they gather in;
You open your hand, they are filled with good.
You hide your face, they are troubled;
You take away their breath, they die and return to their dust.
You send forth Your spirit, they are created;
And you renew the face of the earth.
May the Glory of the Lord endure forever;
May the Lord rejoice in His works.
After reading this I have been freed from the amazing responsibility of keeping my sweet babies alive. I get to do my part and feed and care for them but it’s God’s Good pleasure whether they live or die. I can trust His perfect sovereign plan even if I can’t understand it!
So far two weeks into their little lives, all are well. All our puppies tumble about looking for Mom or a bottle. They all cry and bark and howl which is so funny to hear. All the babies have had a hard first two weeks of life but they are strong and
are fighters. I think whoever gets to take one of these babies home will be blessed with a loyal companion should God allow them to reach maturity! I trust God for His perfect plan and thought I might share with you “The Season of the Puppy”
Thank you so much for praying we know your prayer has helped in so many ways! We also know the Parvo could have been 100% worse. We feel God has protected the puppies and our sanity! I’m off to go warm up some bottles for feeding time! Time to feed the babies! J