December 8, 2023


A very special puppy accomplished yet another incredible milestone on November 28. On that joyous day, her name is Sasha, and she celebrated her 12 week birthday.

Most puppies take becoming three months old for granted. But for Sasha, who was born with hydrocephalus, a cleft lip, and a cleft palate, every day is a blessing.

Since her birth, Sasha has been in the skilled care of special needs cat rescuer Marie DeMarco. Her rescue organisation, FURRR 911, stands for Felines Urgently Rescued, Rehabilitated, and Rehomed.

DeMarco specializes in caring for ill, wounded, or special-needs cats as well as bottle-feeding orphaned kittens. She refers to these essential circumstances as “perfectly flawed.”

When she saw Sasha, she knew the pup would fit right in – despite the fact that she was a dog!

“She has been a fighter from the beginning and has overcome several difficulties in her short time on this world,” DeMarco stated on Facebook. “I’ve worried and stressed as her foster mom, lost a lot of sleep, and grown a few new grey hairs, but none of it matters when I look into her eyes.”

The tiny dog now weighs just over two pounds, which is exciting given the awful illness she recently overcame. Sasha was one of many cleft palate puppies who had upper respiratory infections. Her symptoms included a fever, runny nose, vomiting, an inflamed eye, and weight loss. Sasha, who was barely a pound, couldn’t afford to lose weight! When Sasha’s condition did not improve after receiving antibiotics, DeMarco became even more worried. The delicate pup’s temperature was back to normal, but she was still listless, unsteady on her paws, and averse to eating.

DeMarco took Sasha back to her neurologist because he was concerned that hydrocephalus was the root of her issues.

Sasha began to improve under the doctor’s guidance and a strict daily regimen of medications, fluids, and tube feedings. By the time she turned 12 weeks old, she was her usual feisty, cuddly self again.

“Sasha is a very calm and reserved puppy,” says DeMarco, who will most likely go from Sasha’s foster mom to her permanent mom. This is not your average puppy. She loves to sit next to or on top of my foot.”

Even though they are bigger than her, she enjoys cuddling with her feline friends and other rescue animals!

Sasha has a rough journey ahead of her with no promises, but she is surrounded by a tremendous amount of love, commitment, and support.

“This puppy is a great inspiration,” DeMarco added. “Despite her congenital defects and medical condition, Sasha proved to be a fighter with a strong determination to life.”

Fans of Sasha may follow her development on Facebook and donate to her care by visiting the FURRR 911 website.

Sasha crossed the Rainbow Bridge in March 2018, not long after turning 6 months old. She offered love and delight to her human, canine, and feline friends throughout her short life. Sasha’s memory is being kept alive via rescue by FURRR 911, which has now taken in additional cleft-palate puppies.