We Have a Tomorrow Because You Believed in Us Today

You remember Dante? How could we forget? He came in with his partner Nova. Today Nova has the honor and privilege of announcing to everyone that thanks to each and every one of our angels, we have reached our goal for the 2019 Holiday Matching Funds.

You would think that with the holidays, everyone would be taking time off to spend with their families and the end of the year would be a slow time for rescue. Definitely not. We’ve had a very exciting end of the year and would like to share just a little bit of the joy that we had because of support from angels like you.

Nova didn’t make it to the 12 Dogs of Christmas, she wasn’t ready then, but she does have a story, and its a story that should be told. When we received the call to help Dante and Nova, we knew that above all, Nova would need a foster home. Having her puppies in a kennel just wasn’t a safe option. Fosters for moms-to-be are few and far between, but one stepped up for her, one who had fostered moms and puppies before and knew the work that would go into it, but also knew the joy that would come from all of that work.

Like Dante, Nova had never been invited to live in a home before. When she came in, she was covered with dirt and filth, crawling with fleas. After having a much needed bath, she was taken home to her foster. Her foster mom could see what a sweet and shy girl she was, but for as sweet as she was, she trusted no one. It would take patience for her to be able to let someone in where others had failed her before. When she tried to walk her into the house, Nova refused, as though terrified at what punishment would meet her if she crossed that sacred threshold. After lots of encouragement and patience, she slowly came in. As each day passed, she would enter the home quicker, but always with caution, until, finally, she knew it was her home too.

All the time Nova’s foster mom was working to help her feel more comfortable, she was preparing for the day the puppies would come. The message was sent out to volunteers to see if anyone could help with supplies. Donations came in of towels, blankets, puppy pads and puppy food. Thanks to the support of our Coastal family, Nova’s mom had everything she needed to welcome in the new pups.

And then the time came. Nova gave birth to a healthy puppy, active with all of the squeaks and squeals of a newborn, and then the next, and the next, and the next. All the while, Nova cleaned and nursed enjoying the affection she was receiving from her foster mom and helper, but always with caution. We had been told that Nova had a litter before. When we asked what happened to the puppies, we were only told quickly that they were “taken care of.” We had no idea what Nova had been through before. But as the night wore on, if her behaviors could tell a story of a past, it was a story that was breaking our hearts. Each time we removed a soiled towel in a ball, Nova would get anxious and start looking for a puppy. She would pick her puppies up and move them closer. After each puppy, Nova would scoot herself into a sitting position and stretch her front legs out as far as she could, and then, like an angel with wings, she would gather all of her little ones under her chest, envelop them with her imagined wings and tuck her head underneath her, as though protecting them with every ounce of her being. When she realized she was safe, she would relax, stretch out, and begin to nurse, only to repeat with the birth of each new soul.

By dawn, Nova had given birth to 10 puppies, and her foster had welcomed 11 fosters into her home. As she thought about the new mom and her 10 puppies and the 11 dogs in her room that had been rearranged just to fit them, she thought of her own “12 Dogs of Christmas.” Nova’s story and watching her bring her puppies into the world and protect them with her body had brought tears to her eyes, but it was her 12th Dog that brought the final tear and filled her heart.

Her “Watcher,” her first foster failure, a dog named Red. He had been picked up by the shelter as a stray in August and he almost didn’t make it onto the Freedom Train because the shelter had deemed him “aggressive.” Luckily, the Coastal team had seen something in him that the shelter hadn’t and they took him in. On the night that Nova gave birth, all semblance of his normal routine was gone, no bedtime, lots of strange noises, squeaks, squeals, whines and new smells. All the while, Watcher, the boy who almost didn’t make it out of the shelter because they deemed him aggressive, laid by the dining room, watching, giving his mom a gentle nudge when she needed it and glancing at Nova just to make sure she was okay.

Watcher has a tomorrow because someone believed in him. Thank you. Nova and her 10 puppies won’t be ready to go home for a couple of months, but they will go home, to a good home, all because someone believed in them and in Coastal. Nova will be able to care for her puppies in a loving environment, and then she will never have to worry about having puppies again, and she will get the best home anyone could ever ask for, all because someone believed in her and Coastal. Thank you.

But wait, there’s more. Before 2019 could end we welcomed four dogs into the fold. Elmer is a sweet, gentle soul who cowers at the sight of a hand being raised, but he knew who to trust when he met our volunteers. Coastal welcomed Elmer into the family, along with Little Kipper, the cutest of cute; Georgette, and Naty. All who now have a chance now because you believed in us. Thank you.

And just days into the new year, Georgette and Naty are already in their new homes with loving families. Nova is caring for her 10 puppies, and Watcher is patiently watching, all having a tomorrow because someone believed in them today, all because of you.