The Unstoppable Journey of a Tiny Pit Bull Born with Unique Qualities Towards Becoming Stronger

Marie DeMarco affectionately calls Sasha, the dog she fosters, her “miracle” dog because of all the difficulties the little pit bull has overcome in her short life. Despite being born with a cleft lip and palate, Sasha has shown an incredible desire to live. She arrived in September and was already in danger just a day after her birth. The individual responsible for her and her littermates reached out to Courtney Bellew, who runs SNARR Animal Rescue Northeast, a New York-based organization that specializes in special needs dogs. The owner wanted to save Sasha despite her condition, and Bellew took her in when she was still very small and weak.

Bellew quickly teamed up with DeMarco, a nurse practitioner with extensive experience in caring for vulnerable kittens that are new-born, critically ill or injured. They collaborated after realizing that Sasha would require tube-feeding. Bellew believed that DeMarco’s proficiency in handling such fragile animals could significantly boost Sasha’s chances of survival, and DeMarco shared this optimism. Bellew transported Sasha to a parking area close to DeMarco’s residence in Westchester County, New York. To ensure the puppy’s comfort during the journey, she created a heating pad by boiling rice in a sock and placed the dog in a box with some blankets.

When Sasha was born, she weighed a mere 11 ounces, and her health problems began with a cleft lip and palate. DeMarco noticed that despite the size of her head, her body seemed small. Upon examination by a veterinarian, it was discovered that Sasha has hydrocephalus, which is a buildup of cerebrospinal fluid in the head. As a result, her brain is only about one-third of the expected size.

Afterwards, Sasha was diagnosed with an upper respiratory illness, a urinary tract infection, and orthopedic issues. Despite these challenges, she persevered. DeMarco even commented on her remarkable will and determination, acknowledging that she shouldn’t have survived all of this. At three months old, Sasha only weighs a tiny 1 pound and 9 ounces. Sadly, she is not big enough for the surgeries necessary to allow her to eat and drain the fluid from her skull. Although she may move a bit slower and be less energetic than other puppies her age, she is happy and adored nonetheless.

To ensure that both Sasha and DeMarco can get some much-needed rest, the former is fed at intervals of three to four hours during the day and every five hours at night. Sasha displays her enthusiasm for food by licking her lips when she watches it being prepared. To stay warm, she wears clothes and sweaters, and is often seen playing with DeMarco’s foster cats and kittens, greeting them with nose-to-nose sniffs. Most importantly, Sasha has a strong attachment to DeMarco. She loves being close to her foster mother and enjoys giving and receiving affection. As per DeMarco, “Whenever I hold her, she licks my nose and even kisses me if I hold her close to my face.”

It is still uncertain what lies ahead for Sasha, but her well-wishers are hopeful about her future. Despite the challenges she has faced, DeMarco and Bellew believe that their efforts in helping Sasha have been valuable. They have watched Sasha fight bravely to overcome her difficulties. DeMarco expressed, “Life has not been easy for her, but she is loved and valued.”

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