Five at a time – puppies in Morocco

„We are here to add what we can to life, not to get what we can from life.“ – William Osler

I love this quote in view of myself and in view of the purpose I’m writing today. What do the 3 Million street dogs and an unknown number of street cats in Morocco get from life? Some are maybe luckier than others. Some find a part-time shelter and some find a little bit of food, some of them more often than others and some of them can hardly find any of that. But certainly, most limits start when sickness gets them.
I’m writing today about five cute puppies. Their story is sad. Very sad. But their story is only one of so many in Morocco and in so many other countries: but today it’s about these five, about their story, to not forget them, may you all rest in peace.

Sometimes we go to feed dogs on a field. Sometimes only five, sometimes ten but there were also evenings where there were 20 dogs around us.
It was the 2nd of December and we haven’t been at the field for some time. When I arrived there, I found a small black puppy B1 and a small brown puppy B2 running around my feet. When I kept walking, there was another brown puppy B3 showing up and at the place where is the water bowl, I found two other brown puppies with black faces B4 and B5. They were all super cute and jumping around our legs! They even played with the bigger puppies from the field and everything seemed good. We looked after them daily.
It was Saturday, December 3rd when we came back to them and found B4 laying there, without any interest in his environment and without appetite. When we tried to make him stand, he didn’t really move his back legs so we thought he maybe had broken his leg. We tried to call several vets that stated online to be open Saturday evening or 24/7 but no one picked up the phone. We called an organization but we were told to not go to the vet because they all only steal our money, even though it’s true for so many vets in Morocco but what to do? They studied it and they know what to do. But no other help was offered by this organization.
We decided to take B4 with us home due to his bad condition and the fact that the weather had changed and it was very rainy and windy outside. For the other four puppies, we placed a cardboard box into the bush to give them some protection from the wind.
Due to past foundlings, we had a box and covers for B4 at home. Sadly, he passed away just that night. I woke up at 3.30 and found him laying there dead. He was full of fleas and they started jumping away from his cold body. From that moment we knew it was probably a virus and we were hoping the others were not infected yet.

The following two or three days were fine, we brought them food and tried to give them some dry shelter in the bush. But then one day the black puppy B1 and one brown puppy B2 started looking tired but were still eating. The next day we found B2 dead there. It was heartbreaking.
The next morning, it was the 8th of December, we wanted to take the black puppy B1 to the vet. But when we came to their place I only found B3 and B5. So I thought B1 already died at night which really frustrated me. I decided to go back in the afternoon to look after the other two and who was there too? B1!! She wasn’t dead. It really gave me hope again. I gave them some food and she was even eating! Together with B5. But B3 didn’t want to eat anything. So we decided to take all three of them to a Vet.

Arriving there, we found very nice employees and a nice vet. There we were told that they are about four weeks old. He told us that B1 and B3 have to stay there. B5 didn’t have to stay there because she had no symptoms, was very active and had an appetite. We were told to come back with her the next day.

So again we had a foundling at home. But this time it was different, she wasn’t a silent very sick foundling who would lay calm in her box in the corner. She was very active and didn’t want to stay alone for too long. At night she started whining every 30 minutes – 2 hours. If it was two hours, it was already a luxury! She exhausted us but she was super cute with how she would run around. And as soon as one would be with her in the room she would be calm. And if you were sitting there and doing your things she would come and lay on your feet to sleep. Because she was super noisy at night we gave her the name Nousy.
Unfortunately, Nousy’s situation changed Sunday morning. She was calmer as usual and I already noticed she is more sleepy and was eating less. We’ve got a prescription for medicine for her. We left her alone because she was calmer and less whiny. So went to the Pharmacy, got her medicine, and also got a plastic box to build them a windproof and dry shelter when they recover. Bringing them back and build them something in the bush would have been the only opportunity since we couldn’t have kept three dogs in our apartment. Before, I contacted every organization within two hours radius and either they ignored my message or they said they are too full and can’t take them. When we came back home, we already heard her whining and barking. Even though she was not feeling well she was barking because of being alone. She was jumping and running around us. She seemed so happy we were back.
The box we bought became a great investment because it allowed us to take her with us, without her being able to go out. The last night, I slept with her in the living room. Me on the couch, her inside her box. Sometimes she would start whining, then I would put my arm into the box and she would lay around my hand and cuddle with it. She just wanted some company.

It was Monday, the 12th of December and Nouseys situation hadn’t changed. We went to the vet and got to know that the sweet black puppy B1 passed away on Sunday. Due to Nousy having symptoms too now she was also kept at the vet. So we left without her and coming home and finding it calm and peaceful there felt somehow very strange.
The next day we came back but nothing had changed for Nousey. Her sibling B3 was in a very critical situation. He was only laying there, not really reacting anymore. So we knew he was probably not going to make it the night. On Wednesday, we didn’t go there, we only called and were told that B3 had passed away.
It was Thursday, the 15th of December and we decided to visit Nousy at the vet. When we came there, we found her in a very critical situation. She just lay there, without any reaction when we stroked her. It broke my heart to see her like this and that was the moment I knew we lost her too. In the meantime I had even found a home for her. A woman and her husband wanted to adopt sweet little Nousy. But it wouldn’t be her anymore being adopted. She also lost the fight against the virus.

I really had hope she would make it because she already received medicine and treatment without having symptoms. But they were too young, without a mother, with a virus, fleas, and worms. It was too much. We couldn’t do more than that.

So exactly one week later we drove back home with my lap being empty. Where there were three small puppies on my lap one week ago, there wasn’t even one anymore. We lost all of them. We tried but we lost the fight. But at the same time we won, because we gave them shelter, we gave them love and they did not have to die on the street, in the cold and in the wet. They could die with dignity and in peace. And even though it’s breaking my heart that they couldn’t make it, it’s the least we could do as human beings for them.


Puppy sleeping
Puppies at the vet
Puppy sleeping on show

These five are a perfect example of why it is so important to sterilize and vaccinate street animals! All the animal organizations are doing a great job in Morocco but they’re struggling financially. So every Euro can help these organizations to minimize the agony of Morocco’s street animals.

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