A Place to Bark and Meow Blog by Bernie Berlin

Sunday, March 02, 2008
Better Days Ahead...
"It's in grief's darkest hour when we really need to know that only in acceptance can new hope grow..."

"Acceptance when it finally comes begins to bring relief.  
As healing hope renews our souls and strengthens our belief..."

"Light can emerge from darkness when acceptance shows it's face.
As we allow ourselves to heal through God's own love and grace."

-Hilda Lachney Sanderson

This has been an extremely hard week, one of my hardest weeks doing rescue.
I got back from CHA, The Helen Woodward Animal Center and Boston, a week ago Thursday. Just stepping off my flight when we landed in Nashville, I turned on my phone to find my first voicemail, was from animal control about a Lab that was hit by a semi and survived, that needed rescue. 
So that is how things started when I got home..

Then later that day, I get to my vets office to start bringing dogs home.  
Obviously I have to do this over a few days, since we had so many there..  
A few of the pups looked suspicious, so we did Parvo tests and sure enough, the test turned positive before the control.
In the next few days, we had many more break and in the end treated 25, we lost 5, but 20 survived.  
Lucky thing is that my vet has two clinics, an old one about a block away, that is where my dogs are always kept when boarding.
So they were in a separate, building away from regular clients when this broke.

This is our largest outbreak ever, usually it is isolated to an individual litter.
But the problem we have had lately, is our quarantine time was usually 14 days, but the strains are changing and I am seeing Parvo break at 21 to 28 days. 
So a much longer quarantine time will be needed and applied.
It has been heartbreaking and a terrible time for me emotionally.  
Giving I.V. fluids and medication all hours, keeping the babies warm and clean, is physically tiring, but looking in their eyes, holding them and knowing all you can do is your best and pray for a miracle..  
That is the hardest part, the helplessness of letting go and letting God.
The only good that came from this is that the vaccine company is working with my vet and a research lab in Oklahoma, using the blood samples from the sick dogs, to do research on the new strains of Parvo.  And hopefully help to assist in their development of new vaccines.

The picture above is of "Edna" Spunkmeir she is a Parvo survivor.  
Her paws have been shaved for she was on an I.V. pump.   
A sweet darling Australian Shepherd mix who has cute little furry boots now.

The new strain of Parvo, is called CPV type 2c, if you want to read here & here for articles.
I have been saying this for the past year, that something is not right and the virus is changing.  
I have seen so many different variations, from incubation time, to the symptoms, to the way they react to the medications given.  
So, as with all things in this world, change is inevitable.

The pups are doing really well now, eating, playing and the best yet.. 
They have solid poop!!!
Yes, that is the one thing that makes me smile, from ear to ear is a perfectly formed poop!!!  
True dog people will agree:)
If you know nothing of Parvo, know it is a terrible killing virus, that basically makes the pups hemorrhage from the inside out.  
Truly the most horrible experience, that I hope you never have to go thru.
All I can say is, I am very grateful to have you all reading, helping me heal with your kind words...  
Never will you know how much that helps and lifts me up!!!
Life is never easy, but with friends, we can get thru the hard times and revel in the good..
This situation could have been much worse my friends remind me, I still wish with all my heart, that we would not have lost any.  
At times life is not fair, all we can do, is our best with the purest of intentions and pray.

I am a bit disappointed, because of this situation, I will not be able to go to Artfest this year:(
This is a trip I have had planned since last year, something I wanted to do for myself to recharge. 
But with the current situation and so many dogs recovering, I won't be able to transport till next month and financially cannot afford to board everyone again and go away.
So it is what it is..
The dogs come first and there will be other Artfests to come in upcoming years...
I will miss seeing everyone and will be thinking about all my friends that week.
So if you are going have lots of fun for me!!!

So much to tell you and catch up on...
I will try to do so in the next few days.
Thanks again for being here for me.....
And we will do the drawing soon!!!

So many little lives saved!

Bless your heart for all you do.

Love the pic of all those tails, headed the other direction.

Edna looks so much like "Echo" in the Pedigree commercials (Echo, in a cage at a shelter, smiling at people walking by. Voice over: "For every good dog who finds a home, another does not." and more about how Pedigree tries to help dogs get adopted.) I bet she'll be snapped up in a minute, when she's ready to be adopted.

Wishing you only perfectly formed poop, perfectly colored. :-)
I understand only too well the perfectly formed poop! My little girl was sick last week so we have been dealing with poop issues. Thankfully she's all better now and bouncing off the walls again.

It's sad that you're going to miss Artfest but you're right, there will be other years. How cool would it be if some of your friends could pop in for a visit and you could have your own little Artfest!
Yes...perfectly formed poop is a triumph after parvo : )

Congrats on all your furry successes this week!
yay!!! it's all about the poop!!!
so glad the puppies are doing better!

my heart reaches out to you bernie. i'm so sorry for this terrible time. it is so, so sad. and i can't imagine taking care of so many babies. one at a time was hard enough around here. but through this difficulty you will help the drug company to find a new vaccine to save so many. you are my hero!
You are a blessing - our very own St. Francis. I'm praying for your sweet best friends, and so are my kitties, Gremlin and Shadow, who know the joy of a solid poop.
(((Hugs))), Sweetie!

I have been so concerned for you and your furbabies! My heart aches for you for the sadness you feel losing a few. But you saved so many who wouldn't be here if not for you. And you and your vet (bless him, too!)will be saving more lives in the future with your discovery of the mutating virus!

I wish there was something I could do to get you to ArtFest! You so need and deserve it!
I'm so glad about the 20 pups! (and sad to hear that 5 were lost).
You cracked me up with the poop comment - but it's so true!
Blessings to you and all the furry fighters!
aka PaperAddict
I am sending you and the pups love. I think dogs and cats are more out of whack now because of the environment. Our golden retriever pup is now on herbs and flower essences after our beloved vet couldn't figure out her allergies.

Here's to things settling down.
Good luck with the pups, I know Parvo is a real hard one to deal with. In my vet tech days we had a bunch that came in. I swear I can recognize the smell of that disease as soon as I walk into a building the dog has been in. I diagnosed a puppy with it when I came out of an exam room and the vet insisted that it wasn't parvo. Sure enough we had a positive test within 15 minutes. I wished I wasn't right but at least she lived!
Warm hugs and well formed poo wishes for all yours!
Yes, you are our very own St. Francis, I agree!
So glad you are there for them.
Hi Bernie

Thank you for your wonderful post and your strength to follow your heart. These little souls that have the blessing of bumping into you are what life is about. Your work is a miracle, love in the truest sense. You are an inspiration, and I am so happy to have met you.
Hi Bernie,

My heart aches hearing about the five little souls who lives were so short. My consolation is that they couldn't have had a more loving and compassionate guardian angel to care for them and stand vigil over them wrapping them in your love. The vaccine that will come out of this, saving thousands of other pups, is truly a fitting memorial to them.

I just want to tell you that Scooter had his first full grooming today. He came home looking half the size he was when he left. (Lots of hair stayed at the groomer's.) Puppy cut. He is soooooo cute! Right now he and Grace are cuddled up together under blankets on the couch -- just heads and shoulders sticking out. He brings so much joy into this house! Everybody who meets him loves him. Thank you for giving us our perfect pup.

I'm so sorry that you have had all this sickness with your babies. I know how full of LOVE you are and I know that each and every one of those doggies felt your LoVE pulsing through them--either on their road to recovery or their journey to heaven. Sending Love and Light, healing and peace to you, Jeff and all your babies......
this picture is priceless, nothing like sweet wiggley puppy butts!!!
what you are doing is much more important than artfest even though i know how important it is to have your own time to recharge...i think that maybe you should have a combo art & dog retreat, where we art and help you out with anything you need with all your rescues.....all money would go to the sweet dogs........
take care, sweet angel....
this picture is priceless, nothing like sweet wiggley puppy butts!!!
what you are doing is much more important than artfest even though i know how important it is to have your own time to recharge...i think that maybe you should have a combo art & dog retreat, where we art and help you out with anything you need with all your rescues.....all money would go to the sweet dogs........
take care, sweet angel....
Oh Bernie - so sad. Sorry for the pups but hopefully you will be helping other dogs with this mutating virus strain.

Maybe artfest in October?
You are a saint. The world is such a better place because of kind people
like you. Many blessings your way!

My heart is breaking! I can't imagine your sorrow. You are a savior to so many. It is so sad to lose so many with so much promise in their lives. Many many many blessings to you and your dogs.

I also have to say that I was catching up on your entries and read about Sam. What an impressive boy he is. So mature and generous. He will certainly go on to do many wonderful things in his life!

Take care of yourself and rest well knowing that there are so many people praying for you and your dogs each night.

All the best,

Thanks for the update. I'm so sorry about the 5 you lost, but happy to hear that researchers are working with you. Keep up the good fight.
Love those butts, Bernie. I never thought that I would become a poop watcher, too. Made my heart sing when I saw that mine's poop was back to being normal. I agonized over just one for ten days. I am exhausted. Can't imagine agonizing over all that you had. I was so glad to see that yours are on the road to recovery. Even though they can't say anything, you know that they are grateful for all that you did in their time of need.

Love you Bernie.
All those cute little doggies and kitties were blessed when you came into their lives. Thanks for all you do.
What a blessing and an inspiration you are!!!

I'm with you on the solid poop! One of our babies has a very sensitive stomach so we are all for S-O-L-I-D poop. :)

Bernie Berlin, you ROCK even when it seems life SUCKS! (Isn't it a bummer when life "isn't fair", that those puppies had several rounds of medicine...they "should NOT" have gotten Parvo...but the disease isn't following the rules...but you saved 20 puppies, plus all the ones that will benefit from your actions with research people (Vets)...hurray!

So sorry you will not be able to attend Artfest. You deserve to go.
Sending Love and strength, Erin
Bernie keep your faith. The babies are extremely lucky to have you. Take care of yourself and best wishes.
I'm so sorry for all that you've recently been through. I'm am happy to know the rest of the pups are doing OK. Keep your strength up!
Hi Bernie - I just wanted to say how deeply I admire what you do and how much you love your furry friends. I could only wish a few more people showed half the care you do to their pets, it breaks my heart that so many animals are in need of rescue in the first place. Anyhow, just wanted to give you the thumbs up from Australia and send you and the sick pups a big cuddle from Australia.

Kate Palmer
I just found your blog through Nichole from LapDogCreations. I'm a huge dog lover and knitting obsessed. I'm sorry you came back to such disarray. I've seen a puppy go through Parvo and it's very tough. I'm glad you were able to save so many.

I actually started a podcast about dogs and knitting. I'd love to interview you someday. Check it out at www.barknknit.mypodcast.com.

Wish you the best.
Bernie, I am happy to hear that most of the pups survived. And the 5 that didn't survive at least enjoyed the warmth and care of people who truly loved and fought for them at the end - and that is all the difference. Even though you can't make it to Artfest, don't forget to take some time for yourself anyway - its so important. You do amazing work!
You are so incredibly AMAZING!! You and your pack of pooches are always in my prayers.
Edna is sooooooooo cute...I WANT her!! I love the fuzzybutted puppies pic...SWEET!!

Btw, I'm also PomegranateMoon over at lj. Thanks again for your comment when my cat passed on. It meant a lot to me.
Bernie, you are an angel to these pups. Thank you for all you do. Since I followed the link on your site to the Wisconsin Cocker Rescue, I've begun the process of adopting a little girl Cocker Spaniel. Thank you for that, also!
Just came across you blog. This is a great article. It is very interesting and informative!
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