Depressed rescue dog finds comfort in stuffed animals after losing puppies
1010 WINS - Meet Kiah, a shelter dog who is going through a bout of depression following the tragic loss of her puppies.
Caroline Claffey, a foster for the Cherokee Humane Society (CHS) in Atlanta, GA was approached by someone who found Kiah wandering the roads for a few weeks. When no owner was found, Claffey took her home where she found Kiah had just started lactating.
Expecting puppies to be born, she became concerned when Kiah showed no signs of active labor. “When we got her to the vet,” Claffey tells 1010 WINS, “her x-ray showed old shotgun pellets near her spine and a belly full of puppies.” After performing an emergency c-section and finding all her puppies had died several days previously, Kiah spent two nights at the vet for observation and then went home with Claffey for her recovery.
RELATED: Top dog names of 2017
For a couple of days after surgery, Claffey says Kiah would just lay in her bed all day even though she has an entire room all to herself. Kiah is now recovering well, with her incision healing and her milk drying up, but Claffey noticed Kiah was refusing to eat or drink.
“I had to give her water with a turkey baster and pour food down her throat,” she says. “I went out and bought her some stuffed animals, hoping they would cheer her up. She has three tiny ones, a regular sized one, and one that hums lullabies and vibrates (that’s her favorite). After she got her new ‘babies,’ she started eating and drinking with a little more enthusiasm.”
Claffey says the toys certainly make Kiah feel better but “her spirits are still low.”
Still having to offer her food by hand and hold her water bowl, now Kiah takes it rather than fighting it. She also gets three teaspoons of supplemental gel every day, plus vitamins in her water to keep her as nourished and hydrated as possible.
“Right now she’s doing this thing where she’ll only eat if her stuffed dog is playing lullabies,” Claffey admits. Unfortunately for her, the toy only vibrates and plays for ten minutes at a time. Fortunately for Kiah, her foster mom is constantly running up and down the stairs to start it again for her.
Although dogs losing puppies and grieving is a natural part of life, Claffey believes the reason Kiah is so sad is that she’s confused.
“Most mother dogs give birth to a dead puppy or lose a puppy after it’s born,” she says. “They have a chance to see, and smell, and accept that it has died, and understand what happened. Kiah has probably spent her whole life in a puppy mill, getting pregnant and having babies – she knows what’s supposed to happen. But this time her puppies were never born. One day she had puppies in her belly, and the next day she didn’t. Her hormones are telling her she’s a mother, but she doesn’t understand why her babies aren’t there. It’s going to take a little longer for her to recover from that.”
If you would like to show your support and help Kiah, whose name means “a new beginning,” visit her GoFundMe page HERE.