“Would you abandon your child with a cleft lip?” Probably this was the question that must have been topmost on the mind of a nurse practitioner in Westchester County, New York, who welcomed a tiny newborn pit bull with a cleft lip. This poor pup with a cleft lip and palette was so weak and tiny that the nurse had serious doubts about her survival. But, Sasha, the pit bull, as the nurse loving called her, clung to life.
It was early September when Sasha was born. Her cleft lip and palette prevented her to nurse and ran the risk of death on the very first day itself. Had it been any other person in her place, he or she would have long put this ugly, cleft-lipped pup to eternal sleep. But not this nurse.
Seeing Sasha’s plight, her owner did not waste any time in contacting Courtney Bellew, an animal rescuer. Bellew instantly recognized Sasha’s need for urgent care and straightaway brought the poor creature to Marie DeMarco, who had expertise and experience in nursing ill kittens.
What further inspection of Sasha revealed was even more painful. In addition to cleft lip and palette, this pup suffered from hydrocephalus, that is, fluid build up in the skull, upper respiratory infection, urinary tract infection and orthopaedic problems.
DeMarco realized that that rearing and taking care of this pit bull would be an uphill struggle. In her hear of hearts, she knew that love will pull both of them through. DeMarco told one interviewer, “She has an amazing will and determination. Through all this, she really shouldn’t be here.”
With her love and care, DeMarco started tending to the special needs of this pup. The first three months were the toughest and posed a stiff challenge to the experienced DeMarco. However, her determination to see Sasha through eventually saw her getting stronger. To keep Sasha’s morale high, DeMarco even dressed her up in fabulous dresses and sweaters to keep her warm.
Today, this three-month-old is doing fine for herself. She is not only stronger but has also gained in weight. The only conclusion that one can draw from this episode is that it was not only the care Sasha received at the hands of DeMarco but also her unconditional love that encouraged her to come out of her adverse situation.
Of course, Sasha will grow up to be an adult, just like other dogs, because she has all the support she needs to live happily and mingle with her ilk.