Webster, was only a little Ridgeback cross puppy and along with his siblings, he was born sometime in November 2008.
We don’t know where or how this little man spent his first Christmas but we do know that Webster, his brothers and sisters for some reason, were collected by council rangers and taken to the pound just like so many other unfortunate dogs cats, puppies and kittens.
After spending his week in the pound listening to the barking and crying of all of the other dogs and seeing a constant stream of dogs being taken away every day to be “put to sleep”, Webster and his siblings were more fortunate than most others, because instead of being “put to sleep” they were rescued and taken away from the pound to start a new life.
They were taken in by a rescue group and taken to a foster carer’s home where they could be loved and cared for.
The plan for Webster and his siblings was to have them vaccinated, microchipped and desexed and they would be lovingly cared for until a new and loving “forever” family could be found for them.
Webster and his family were all beautiful and very well behaved puppies and their foster carers knew that it wouldn’t take long for them to be “discovered” by a new family so that they could be taken away to “live happily ever after”.
Very soon, after appearing on the rescue group’s website, sure enough, the enquiries started rolling in and as soon as someone came along to meet Webster, it was “love at first sight” and everyone knew that Webster had a wonderful future to look forward to with a new dad.
The man that came along to meet Webster was so excited about finding his new “best friend” that he returned the following day to see Webster again and to let Webster meet his parents. He also proudly announced to Webster’s foster carers that he had decided to call him Ashley (or Ash for short).
Things just couldn’t look any better for these lovely puppies, there was a constant stream of people coming to meet them and within days, all of the puppies had wonderful futures to look forward to with their forever families who were all excitedly looking forward to the day when they could take their puppies home.
Mysteriously, a few days later, Webster woke up and he was feeling a little unwell, he wasn’t interested in eating, drinking or playing. All he wanted to do was lay around and sleep. He was also starting to vomit and he had some diarrhea.
Knowing that this just wasn’t right for this happy and special little man, his foster carers, immediately took him off to the vet for an examination.
After checking his vital signs, it was decided that he should also be tested for Parvovirus. Sadly, within a few minutes, the test showed a positive result.
Webster was immediately placed into isolation and put on to a drip so that the fluid that his body had lost could be replaced and he could also be given extra medication.
After several hours on the drip, Webster’s condition hadn’t improved so it was decided that he should be given a plasma transfusion to help counteract the virus that was now starting to overpower his body
He was losing weight rapidly as the virus was multiplying inside of him and eventually, he just couldn’t fight it off any longer.
Four days of fighting this insidious disease had just become too much for this very special and courageous little man and he was completely sapped of all of his energy and he didn’t even have the strength to lift his little head up.
He couldn’t even summon enough energy to wag his tail and that was something that was so much a part of Webster’s personality up until the day that the Parvovirus started to overtake his body.
It was with a very heavy heart that Webster’s foster carer agreed with the vet and while holding him close to him for the very last time, Webster peacefully closed his eyes and drifted off into a very deep sleep.
In just eight short weeks this little man had fought so many battles after being brought into this world and finally the time had come for him to rest in peace.
In the meantime, back at the foster carer’s home Webster’s brother Wilco and his sisters Whoopi and Whinni also started to show some early symptoms of this pathetic virus.
One by one, they also made the trip to the vet and as I write this, they too, are under constant observation hoping that their condition doesn’t deteriorate to the same extent as Webster’s.
Yes,it’s true, Webster’s story is very very sad but I sincerely hope that by writing this I can help to spread the word about Webster and many other dogs and puppies that have faced and continue to face a similar fate.
Parvovirus is an insidious disease that just overtakes the body of any dog that is unfortunate to catch the virus.
It is extremely contagious and can spread just like a wild bushfire anywhere that an infected dog goes.
As a “civilized” and “humane” society that love our pets so much, why do we sit back and just watch while this disease is allowed to continue killing off precious family pets everywhere? There is an answer to help stop this disease from spreading and the solution is very easy.
A simple yearly vaccination that is not expensive can help to ensure that your pet doesn’t become a sad statistic like our Webster.
Please let Webster’s life, teach us all a lesson and that is to PLEASE vaccinate your pets. Don’t be complacent and think that “it won’t happen to me” because in the real world, it just might, Parvo doesn’t care who it’s victims are, the virus is not fussy at all and no dog is safe.
Some people might even think that the vaccination is too expensive or that they cannot afford it, but how can somebody possibly put a price on the amount of love, happiness and the great times that you and your pets have shared.
Next time you look into your pet’s eyes and they look back at you, please think of Webster and do your bit to ensure that Webster’s short life and his battle are not in vain.
It has been three days since I started to write Webster’s Story and sadly, Whinni, Whoopi and Wilco have all lost their battles as well and they have gone to The Rainbow Bridge to join Webster.
Sitting here I am feeling devastated and very empty when I realise that the happy faces, their big innocent eyes and those constantly wagging tails won’t be coming home to spend any more time with us.