One cold day, a foxhunt turned into a rescue mission for one very needy puppy. The history of this puppy’s life before this day is unknown. Abandoned and left to fend for himself, no one knows his owner’s reasoning for not taking him to a shelter or trying to find him a home. This is his story.
On the day in question, a Whipper-in (a person who helps with the hounds on a hunt) alerted the huntsman that a young, ribs showing, black and white puppy was hiding in a pile of trash near a busy road. The puppy appeared to be lost and in need of care. The huntsman, being a true foxhunter and dog lover, immediately asked the road whips to check on the situation.
Two drove to the site. One watched over the puppy, coaxing him out of the bushes with a breakfast bar, while the other raced home to get a crate, some water and dog kibble. Through skilled handling by these two people the puppy regained a bit of trust in humans and even managed to wag his tail. He allowed himself to be gently nestled in the crate. Once there, the road whip rushed him to the local vet for treatment.
Found to be severely dehydrated, starving and in need of extensive medical care, the doctors did what they could to stabilize him and then asked what should be done. The road whip and the huntsman’s natural instinct was to give him the chance he deserved and they accepted responsibility for the puppy’s hospital care.
This is not unusual behavior for foxhunters. Foxhunters are known to be caretakers of the land and its’ animals. They treat the wild as wild, respect the natural survival skills of wild creatures and work hard to preserve the open country and habitats of all animals. They also accept the responsibility of caring for domesticated creatures. Most foxhunters have an ark’s worth of adopted, rescued, and retired pets. The huntsman, being the epitome of a foxhunter, even volunteered to adopt this puppy when and if he became well enough to go to a forever home.
This puppy could have been ignored and left to suffer the lonely fate his previous owner had chosen for him. He needed so little, a gentle hand, food to fill a tummy, water, and he responded with trust and love when offered a helping hand by the hunt members. He showed he appreciated everything with a grateful wag and a gentle lick of his tongue.
Unfortunately, we will never know what a fine dog he might have become. Because of a road whip, a huntsman, a vet and others, this puppy, who suffered so much in his short life, knew the love of caring humans as he left this world. This is the end of his story but if this one small puppy could talk, I think he would say thank you to people like those who help one in need. He would tell us we are lucky to have people like them in our community. The puppy died two days after his rescue.