So we recently rescued 11 puppies.
Which equals: 11 sets of puppy pee and poo. 11 x 3 sets of puppy shots. 11 dogs off to the vet for sterilization and/or neutering when they turn 6-8 months old. 11 dogs to potentially care for for the rest of their lives.
I can't even think about it without my heart pounding faster.
11 of them might be easy to house now. But what's going to happen when they all grow up? We need space for them to live and play freely and comfortably so that they are able to develop into healthy, well-adjusted adults.
It's not like we haven't found ourselves in this situation before. Some of the more notable litters in the past include those born in the shelter.
For instance, out of the 7 in Debbie's blessed litter in 2009, all were adopted.
Of the 5 in the Daphne litter in 2012, 4 found homes.
Out of the 12 in the Dora litter in 2013, 10 got lucky.
But we aren't always so fortunate. In fact, as the pool of adopters gets more saturated over the years, it gets harder to find homes for the pups.
In the recent group of 7 puppies rescued in the February-March period this year, only 1 of them was adopted. It was dismal.
In April, the two wonderful girls we rescued failed to garner any suitors, possibly because they came ridden with a mites condition known as demodex.
Thankfully though, in the subsequent group of 4 pups rescued in August, 3 of them are doing well in their new homes.
And by a stroke of luck, out of the 3 in the September rescues (although only 2 are pictured here), all 3 have found families of their own.
So you see, sometimes we get lucky, sometimes we don't... Which got me thinking, what if this time, we don't?
No doubt about it. The field of dog rescue can become quite discouraging over time. The number of dogs that needs saving just keeps rising. Yet, taking on each one can be a potential commitment of a decade or more.
They come with all sorts of baggage - some are sick, injured and/or fearful. Even when they are happy, healthy and well-adjusted, they just aren't lucky enough to find homes to lead the rest of their lives. It can get frustrating when you just don't see the light at the end of the tunnel.
In addition, the matter of our relocation after mid-2016 is unresolved and remains at the forefront of our concerns. The future of all the dogs currently residing on the plot of land on which we sit - not just our dogs alone, still hangs in the balance.
What's to be done then?
If we were to start worrying about the dogs, there really are quite a number of things that can fill our minds. I learnt that the only way to keep putting one foot in front of the other in our field of work is to retain our positivity.
There's always a bright side.
Certainly, the responsibilities may be daunting. But hey, it's all in a day's work. This is what we bargained for when we first embarked on this road. Nobody said dog rescue was going to be idyllic and stress-free.
If we face difficulties finding homes for our pups and dogs, then perhaps we ought to cast our net wider. Hold adoption drives. Better yet, participate in those organised by others. If we haven't the time, make time. Work harder on social media. Tug at heart strings. Spread the word.
Rather then brood over the what ifs of the future, do something.
If we had fretted over the nitty gritties, we would never have gone on to set up the shelter. Now is not the time to turn into mush.
Dream, decide, do. There's really no time for anything more. Perhaps when we meet the challenges head on and let our hearts lead the way, we will realise it wasn't so tough after all.
It's the weekend. Let's get the doing started.
For all and any enquiries including adoption, we are contactable at firstname.lastname@example.org.