It has been many months since we updated you all on everybodys favourite little greyhound puppy, Kaipo
As you know we were asked to take Kaipo on when she was approximately 3 weeks old. She had previously been brought to her local vets as her owner noticed that she couldn’t really suckle and could not stand up without falling over. The wonderful team at A Country Practice Vet Clinic wanted to give the little pup a chance so they kept her with them for nearly 2 weeks, doing the 3 hourly feeds and monitoring her progress. Knowing our love of pointy noses, they then asked us if we could help. Our kennel manager Emma arrived back to our sanctuary with the tiniest little pup in her arms as her new foster baby.
And so began a journey of dedication and love ,fuelled by the courage of this tiny 3 week old baby who despite her condition (vestibular disorder) was determined to belong and enjoy life ..
Those early weeks weren’t easy and at times it was quite distressing to watch this baby continually circling, falling, hitting her head, but with every fall Kaipo got back up again.
We had no idea what the future held for Kaipo. We could manage her spins, her falls, her frustration and at times her anger when she was this small but how would she be as an adult Greyhound?
So we learned as a team not to look too far forward , instead we focused on one day at a time. And every week Kaipo surprised us a little more as she grew bigger, stronger, more opinionated and stubborn.
There were many ups and downs throughout her journey, for both Kaipo and her foster mum but they had started this journey together and were determined to see it through whatever the final outcome may be. At one stage it seemed as though her sight and hearing may be impaired and Kaipo seemed so frustrated but we worked through those difficult days…as a team.
Kaipos spirit inspired us all at Heathlawn. She spent every day at our sanctuary and was cared for by many of our team. But she loved her foster home and her doggie brothers and sisters . She refused to be left behind and joined in on their walks to the fields, the woods, the beach, the bog and even did a “Hug a Dog Day’ for Galway SPCA in NUIG.
As she grew more and more a s she learnt to run in a somewhat straight line, her foster family could see a future for this brave girl who had overcome so much already in her short 5.5 months, but sadly they also knew this future wasn’t going to be with them. Kaipo needed more than they could ideally offer.
So the search began for a forever home and we held our breath.
Two applications ONLY came in for Kaipo and we felt quite disappointed .
One was unsuitable for her needs, the other in the UK and we did reach out to the lovely couple in the UK for some tentative chats. And then, a week later, one more application came in and as we read it our hearts pounded in our chests. Had we just found the most perfect home for Kaipo, here in Ireland?
Hannah and Paul already had two hounds, Larry the Greyhound and Rupert the Lurcher. Hannah was also trained in dog physio and Paul worked from home. It was perfect.
In July a meet and greet took place and it was as though Kaipo had been just waiting for this amazing couple with their equally amazing dogs to walk into her life.
And an hour later Kaipos foster watched as the pup she had carried into the sanctuary (unable to suckle,unable to stand) walked away from her a proud, playful and loving 5.5 month old Greyhound (still with some speed wobbles as she went ‘) and she couldn’t help but feel so proud of her baby who had battled so hard, overcome so, so much for this day
And there were no tears because how can you feel sad when you know that Kaipo would now live the life she so deserved, surrounded by so much love. If truth be told we believe foster mum and her four dogs may have breathed a little sigh of relief
It has been 4 months and Hannah and Paul have kept in touch regularly on Kaipos progress. They have continued to help her progress and Kaipo may never run fully “straight” but her Mum and Dad love her unconditionally, wobbles and all
And tonight we would like to share it with you ….
Hannah, Paul, Larry, Rupert and Kaipo, you are perfect together and we at Galway SPCA thank you all for continuing your journey together and letting us be part of it
Kaipo, you were one of the bravest little girls we have had the honour of loving and love you we did with all our hearts. You most definitely left your pawprints on the hearts of not just your foster family or your friends at Galway SPCA but on animal lovers across the world.
You showed us that where theres a will theres a way and we thank you for never allowing us to forget that.
And to top off this heartwarming story, Kaipo was chosen to grace our front cover on our 2023 Galway SPCA Calendar to honour rescue animals everywhere who refuse to let their past hold them back